This is (but shouldn’t be) America.
Early in-person voting started in Georgia Monday, and what we witnessed was hardly democracy in action. People were waiting in lines that snaked around city blocks for almost 10 hours. That's a de facto poll tax and outright disenfranchisement for people with disabilities and parents of small children. It's inexcusable, but that didn't stop officials from trying. God bless.
"Georgia is seeing record turnout for early voting because of excitement and enthusiasm of the upcoming election," said Walter Jones, a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State's office. "Long lines are to be expected — voters need to be aware of all of their options including three weeks of early voting, no-excuse absentee and in-person voting day of the election."
See? Long lines are to be expected, so sit down and shut up. Well, you can't actually sit. You'll have to stand for hours on end, but your tired dogs are no excuse for bellyaching. This is America, where our regularly scheduled elections remain a constant source of surprise.
John James hates politics. Probably because he’s so bad at it.
Getting the Senate out of Mitch McConnell's creepy hands is just about as important as evicting Donald Trump from the White House. A key race is in Michigan, where Republican John James hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Gary Peters. (Peters shared his story of his and his wife's experience with abortion with Elle today and you should read it.) The candidates are projected to spend a combined $100 million in the Senate race, a state record that the Detroit Metro-Times claims “dwarfs the $93.4 million spent on the 2018 governor's race between Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette." (The Metro-Times is generous in its use of the word “dwarfs" here.)
James is trailing Peters by five points according to the Real Clear Politics average, which is an improvement over his almost seven-point loss to Debbie Stabenow in 2018. That's nothing to write home about, though, unless the subject of the letter is “I'm losing another Senate race."
During the 2018 election, James, a former fighter pilot, described himself as a “conservative warrior," someone who "hated politics but loves this country." That would make him a bad fit for a career in, you know, politics. He might as well just stick to complaining about “do-nothing politicians" at his local bar.
James is Black, but he has no problem showing up at Trump's hate rallies. Low marginal tax rates are just that important to him. During a conference call with Black leaders in Michigan, James insisted Trump doesn't need “less Black folks around him. He needs more." This implies Trump would become less racist if there were more Black Republicans in his orbit, but he'd just wind up requesting a more elaborate musical number.
Make it hurt, Joe!
It's been 84 years since the first and merciful-God-willing last presidential debate. Donald Trump was an absolute asshole, constantly interrupting and talking over Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. This was apparently a performance worthy of The Bell Curve Hall of Fame, because conservative deep thinker Andrew Sullivan was scared ... while simultaneously wowed by President Ubermensch.
However, some feared Trump might turn things around after his COVID-19 diagnosis. He'd gain the sympathy vote! Biden pulled his negative ads, while Trump's campaign refused because no one who works for the president has a shred of human decency. This would surely hurt Uncle Joe's momentum.
Despite all the doom and gloom, this isn't Biden's first rodeo or even a rodeo at all. It's a presidential election that Biden's winning, and don't lecture me about how the polls don't matter and we need to act like we're 16 points behind. Sure, if we don't vote, then Biden doesn't win. I get it. Your graduate-level political science degrees really paid off. But it's Donald Trump who needs the motivational speeches, and I'm about to do the exact opposite.
Shut up, everybody, Trump DID TOO win!
NOTE: We wrote this piece before Trump announced that he (allegedly) has COVID-19. If he really has it, thoughts and prayers. If not, then that's a mighty convoluted way to get out of debating Joe Biden again, which is what this post is about.
So on that note, travel back with us in time to yesterday afternoon, which was by our calculations 476 news cycles ago:
The first scientific poll is out, my friends. CNBC/Change Research found that Joe Biden's lead after the debate has widened to 13 points (54-41) and that approximately the same majority believes Biden won the debate. Meanwhile, only 29 percent of those surveyed — Trump's base paste-eating cult supporters — were willing to say Trump won. The rest are just holding their noses.
Oh, but you think that's a poll? The Trump campaign got polls! We'll show you how much they got polls! In just a minute!
There may have been many more developments by the time you read this — like Melania's I Really Don't Care Do U tapes about the baby jails and OH YEAH COVID — but we giggled Thursday afternoon as we watched reporters live-tweet a call with the Trump campaign, where they whined and bitched and moaned about the UNFAAAAAAAIR Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is nonpartisan, and which has Republican and Democratic board members. Now, clearly, Trump has decided that not only is his enemy Joe Biden and the moderator and America, but it is also the CPD, which is BIASSSSSSS against him, by wanting him to follow the rules his own campaign agreed to, and for suggesting it might give the moderators a cattle prod or mute button, in case he starts flouting the rules again.