Senate GOP: We Don't Need No F*ckin' Election Security! Also Senate GOP: Here's How Russia Attacked Us In 2016

We have a really big surprise for you, you ready? Republicans don't give a shit about election security, just like they don't care about "one person/one vote" or anything else like that. Why? Because they can't win without reacharounds from racist voting laws and hostile foreign powers. Hooray!

The Robert Mueller hearings had barely finished before the GOP had set to killing election security bills in the Senate. You'd think that the optics (heeeeeeeeey, Chuck Todd!) of doing that right then, just after Mueller told GOP Rep. Will Hurd that the Russians are literally up in our shit right now, that they'd be here in 2020, and also told the House Intelligence Committee that he feared this was the new normal for American elections, might have been "bad," but if you bothered to think about that, you are not Mitch McConnell!

McConnell had help from one of the newer useful GOP idiots in the Senate:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came to the Senate floor Thursday to personally object to House-passed legislation backed by Democrats. This comes after Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi objected to a trio of bills on Wednesday, in keeping with long standing GOP arguments that Congress has already responded to election security needs for the upcoming election.

What, you don't remember the GOP Senate protecting our elections forever and always? You must not have been paying attention that day. Anyway, Mitch McConnell will not let these bills pass, because he says they are "partisan." In related news, the only people in America who currently give a fuck about our democracy having free and fair elections are "partisan."

CNN reports that two of the blocked bills would require candidates to report it to the FBI if a foreign power tried to give them an assist, and obviously we cannot pass that, because Donald Trump is super-excited for the foreign assists he plans to get in 2020, after Russia assisted him right into the White House. (Remember recently when Trump yukked it up with Vladimir Putin, getting play-mad at him like "HEY BRO, DON'T MEDDLE"? That was funny something only a traitor would do.) And as the New York Timesreports, measures pushed by Democrats would also have "given the states hundreds of millions of dollars in grants, mandated the use of backup paper ballots and required risk-limiting post-election audits." That is definitely some terrible stuff right there.

It's not like McConnell and his fellow GOP America-haters had only to rely on mean old Democrat Republican Mueller saying Russia is a criminal state that attacked us in order to install Donald Trump as Dear Leader. They could also have looked at the first volume of the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Russian election interference, which was released ... *checks calendar* ... yesterday! The same day McConnell was killing election security bills! This first installment is literally all about Russian intrusions into American voting systems in 2016, and while it is heavily redacted, it tells us the following things:

  • Russia targeted all 50 states. All of them. Most of them were just "scanned," which Talking Points Memo says is kind of like a burglar checking all the doors and windows of your house to see which ones are unlocked, just in case they want to do some burgling to you.
  • It doesn't find hard evidence that any votes were changed, but it doesn't say that as confidently as Wonkette would like it to say that. That said, "Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data" in Illinois, so that's cool.
  • It says it doesn't know why Russia didn't do more once it got inside all our voting systems in 2016, but maybe it was just making a list of attacks it could have in its toolbox "for use at a later date." You know, like once Russia is confident that it can do that kind of an attack really successfully and without any snags. Here's an ominous section of the report:

Finally, the report says that there are still vulnerabilities in "electoral infrastructure at the state and local level," despite the fact that it's better than it was in 2016. We sure are glad Mitch McConnell isn't letting any of those dumb so-called "election security" bills come up for a vote!

Anyway, here's the report if you'd like to read it. It ends with a long list of recommendations for what states can do, and what the Department of Homeland Security can do, and it even recommends papers ballots! But it doesn't have any recommendations for what Mitch McConnell should do, because the only good "recommendation" for McConnell would be "go fuck yourself," and Committee chair GOP Senator Richard Burr would never write that.

[CNN / New York Times / Talking Points Memo]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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