Texas Democrats and their Lack of Options

Republicans in Texas (like in many other states) are doing everything they can to make the most basic right in a democracy harder, because Republicans know that the only way they can win is by cheating.

The Democrats in Texas have left the state to prevent the Republicans from having a quorum to enact these laws.

Some people are saying this is unfair and that the Democrats should “do the job they were elected to do.”

Well, they are. They’re protecting the rights of voters, just like they’re supposed to do.

The GOP has fixed the game so that the only way they can do their job is by protesting. You know, the thing the Founding Fathers did a lot of. The thing that is protected by our very first Amendment. That thing.

“But the laws have a process that should be followed! They’re supposed to vote!” This argument has been used for generations to justify discrimination and bad laws. “Well, I’m sorry you don’t like the fact that blacks can’t vote, but the laws preventing them from voting were passed according to our rules.” Well, sure. But if the rules allow the majority to trample on the rights of the minority, what other option does the minority have?

The Texas Democrats are stuck using this as a means because the rules have been written by those in power to prevent any other means (in the same way the Filibuster is preventing the majority from accomplishing their goals in the US Senate).

Texas is, believe it or not, a purple state. Beto O’Rourke came this close to defeating Ted Cruz. Trump won it by only 1.3%. Republicans have gerrymandered the state in such a way that they control far more than 1.3% of the state house. They’ve used legal means to disenfranchise many voters, and now they’re trying it again.

Here’s a map. Notice how all the cities (which are heavily Democratic) have been divided in such a way that it is practically impossible for Democrats to win. Instead of having one big district in a city, it’s split so that the Democratic part of the city is overshadowed by the Republican rural areas adjacent to it. So. If we had a fair playing field, maybe one could argue that refusing to play is unfair. But the game is rigged, and the only way to fight it is to refuse to play.

Bamboozled

I am not making this up.

Arizona Republicans are doing another ballot count in one of their largest counties, convinced that the election was stolen because of the Big Lie. This ballot count follows previous ones that found zero evidence of ballot fraud, but since these QAnon idiots believe anything, they’re convinced that there is some vast conspiracy out there and they alone can find it.

So one of the things they’re looking for is bamboo.

I am not making this up.

Somehow, some crazy person suggested that the ballots were all forged and sent in from China for some reason and everyone knows that in China, they use bamboo in all of their paper. (No, they don’t.) And of course, there is no bamboo in America. (Yes, there is.)

So the Arizona Republicans, convinced that the Democrats were cheating (in a county where the election board is run by Republicans), demanded another recount. And it’s not going well. The state’s Republican governor has recently had to call in protection for the Secretary of State, who had the gall to declare that the election was fair and who has been receiving death threats for reporting the truth.

So these Republicans, not content to look absolutely foolish before, decided to hire a professional group with lots of experience to oversee the recount. I’m kidding, of course. They hired a group called Cyber Ninjas, who have absolutely no experience in doing this. They’re led by a conspiracy theory nut who is just looking for fraud, and how much you want to bet he’ll find something that will look real to him and that everyone with any brains will laugh at? (This group also has been promoting the theory that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rigged voting machines so Biden would win, despite the fact that Chavez has been dead since 2013.)

I am not making this up.

Oh, and did I mention that all of this appears to violate federal law?

How the minority rules in America

The values that liberals push are the values of America. The things we support are the same things a majority of Americans support: National health care, higher taxes on billionaires, free college, a higher minimum wage, legal abortion, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, “Black Lives Matter”, gun control, vaccinations — all have the support of a majority of our fellow Americans, poll after poll shows.

So why are we always fighting for these things?

Some of it is just history: Those with power have always, since the dawn of time, cheated to make sure they keep that power. No advancement has come about because of the Powerful’s humane caring for those beneath them. Everything we have gained has had to be fought for.

So how did we get here?

Mostly it’s the result of our system of government, which is by its nature not very democratic.

The Electoral College. When you start with a system that allows people who lose the popular vote to become President against the will of the people, you know you’re not in a truly democratic country. Our artificial borders place an emphasis on land instead of people and we end up with a system where the population of a dozen or so very sparsely populated states have more power than even a city. (More on why we need to get rid of the Electoral College here.)

Each one of these states has a smaller population than Los Angeles

The Senate. Similarly, Senators represent land, not people. No matter how small the state, they get two Senators. This means a Senator from Wyoming represents 286,000 people while one from California represents 19,500,000. Many times we’ve seen how the Senators from these smaller states have held up legislation the majority of Americans want simply because of the undemocratic way Senators represent our country.

The Supreme Court. Right now, there are more people on the Supreme Court who were appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote than justices who were appointed by those who won. (And once more let’s remind everyone that Democrats won the popular vote in 7 of the last 8 elections — spanning 32 years — but only won 5 of them, thanks to the Electoral College.) So when an issue about voting or gerrymandering or democracy comes before this undemocratically-appointed Court (approved by an undemocratic Senate), you can guess what their decision will be.

Gerrymandering. Admittedly, some Democrats have practiced this as well, where lines are drawn to benefit one party over another. This can be done in such a way that even though your party may be the minority one, if you get to draw the lines, you can make sure you get more of your party into power anyway.

Voter suppression. Republicans (who hold the minority viewpoint in America) know they will always lose if everyone votes, so their strategy has always been simple: Let’s change our views to appeal to a majority of Americans! I’m kidding, of course. Their strategy is instead: Let’s cheat to make sure we always win. That’s why they have spent 50 years

  • fighting against the Voting Rights Act
  • purging people from voting lists
  • closing precincts in minority neighborhoods
  • enacting restrictive voter ID laws
  • prohibiting felons from voting
  • stopping early voting and mail-in ballots
  • making sure election day isn’t a national holiday
  • killing any bill designed to prevent Russian interference
  • making sure no paper ballots are used
  • getting rid of election finance laws
  • making it illegal to even give drinks to people standing in line to vote
  • fighting against abolishing the electoral college
  • promoting gerrymandering
  • lying about voter fraud

There are even tapes of them admitting it. It’s not like it’s a secret. And come on, Trump is still claiming he actually won the election, despite more than 50 lawsuits being thrown out when absolutely no evidence was produced to support this insane conspiracy theory.

So yeah, those of us who represent the majority of Americans have huge hurdles to overcome to fight against the minority power controlling us. And that’s why it seems to many that our views are the unpopular ones, since we lose constantly.

But the real reason is much more complicated and much harder to resolve.

Georgia Governor Jim Crow

Oops, I mean Brian Kemp


Clay Bennett

Mississippi bans voting on Sunday because reasons

Chuck Schumer: Why is Mississippi banning voting on Sundays?

Republican Senator Hyde-Smith of Mississippi: Because Sunday is the Sabbath! We have to keep it holy! It says so in Exodus.

Schumer (highest ranking, most visible Jewish person in government): Oh, Exodus? Which is in the Old Testament, referring to the Jewish sabbath? Which is on Saturday? That Exodus?

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

(Clarification: Hyde-Smith really did say this, but Schumer’s comment was made up by me. I’ll bet he was thinking it, though)

One party rule

“Don’t you think it’s better when the government isn’t in control of one party?”

With the Democrats ready to take back the Senate (as I write this), that question comes up.

My answer? Normally, yes.

But that concept labors under the assumption that the parties will then work together and compromise. As long as one of the parties refuses to do that — refuses to even let bills come to the floor to be debated — then no, all that does is make government inefficient, useless, and nonresponsive to the electorate.

Give me a reasonable Republican party and maybe I’d agree.

The stupidest election lawsuit yet

Yesterday, the Trump election deniers lost their 50th case in their ridiculous quest to destroy democracy.

Here’s why it is so laughable.

The legislature here in Pennsyvania — which is still run by Republicans — last year passed the law allowing mail in ballots. Many of the GOP candidates urged their voters to use them. Not one complained about it or claimed the law they had passed was unconstitutional.

Suddenly they lose the state.

“The mail in ballots we passed and didn’t complain about for an entire year are unconstitutional!” they suddenly discovered. “Clearly, the only solution is throw every single one of these ballots out even though there was no fraud whatsoever and literally millions of voters would be disenfranchised.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court laughed that out of court, pointing out that not only was the lawsuit untimely but was clearly blatantly political. Not only that, even if the complaint was valid, the resolution suggested (throwing out all the mail-in ballots) was not reasonable.

The Trumpies appealed to the Supreme Court and within an hour, the case was denied with a one sentence statement and no dissenting comments from the court. (It should be noted that in order for the Supreme Court to decide to accept a case, you need at least three judges to agree — so at least one if not all three of the justices appointed by Trump voted to not take the case).

Of course, as I stated earlier, the real reason for all these cases is to raise money from the rubes. It has nothing to do with real law in any sense, which is why real lawyers have either refused to take these cases or have resigned as Trump’s attorneys — leaving us with Guiliani and his crew of slapstick-comedy rejects.

The latest attempt comes from Texas, whose motto is apparently “Don’t mess with Texas, but it’s perfectly fine for us to mess with you.” The Texas Attorney General has filed this case trying to throw out the results in only states Trump lost, with another vague accusation of something-wrong-but-no-one-seems-to-have-any-evidence-or-idea-exactly-what-it-is.

Since Republican ideology never actually stands for anything except money and power for them and their donors, the claim of “state’s rights” gets thrown right out the door in this blatant attempt for one state to interfere with the elections of another.

The Solicitor General of Texas — you know, the one who is supposed to argue these cases in the Supreme Court — has refused to participate, leaving Texas AG Ken Paxton to do all the work. You remember Paxton, right? The guy who is supposed to uphold the law who has been indicted for security fraud? Yes, that Paxton, whose real goal with this lawsuit is to impress Trump into giving him a pardon.

These criminals are so used to getting their way that they are astounded that the law is being applied to them.

Examining Nate Silver’s predictions for 2020

Nate Silver (of fivethirtyeight.com) actually did a pretty good job. Keep in mind that he is not a pollster; he just takes the polls, weighs them based on the pollster’s history of accuracy, averages them with math I don’t understand, and then makes his prediction.

Trump was undercounted in all the polls by about 2%, so the predictions for Florida and North Carolina going Biden’s way were wrong, but the others were around that 2% difference.

His prediction for some of the “swing states” is on the left and the actual percentage is on the right. The two he got wrong have asterisks.

AZ: 50.7 / 49.4

FL: 50.9 / 47.8 *

GA: 50.1 / 49.5

MI: 53.5 / 50.6

MN: 53.7 / 52.6

NC: 50.5 / 48.7 *

NV: 52.3 / 50.1

PA: 52.0 / 49.9

WI: 53.7 / 49.6

These are the swing states he predicted would be in Trump’s column (and they were):

IA: 48.5 / 45.0

OH: 49.2 / 45.2

TX: 48.8 / 46.4

The real reason they’re fighting over the election

In case it’s not obvious, the real goal of the Republican efforts to fight the election results is to keep getting donations from their gullible cultists.

This entire presidential administration has been about making the Trump family richer, by ignoring all laws about conflicts of interest and nepotism and by moving government funds to their own personal use. No reason to think they’re going to stop doing that simply because they lost the election.

Seriously: If you go to their donations page, you can see where they are asking for money to fight the election and then, in small print at the bottom, it says that the money will mostly be used to pay down their campaign debt.

I am not making this up. The Wall Street Journal today pointed out that the “Official Election Defense Fund” explains that 60% of contributions to the fund will go toward paying off Trump’s election debt, and 40% to the operating account of the Republican National Committee. Only after a donation hits the legal limit will the remainder go toward legal expenses.” 

So why is their campaign is in debt? You’ll see that they spent a ton of campaign money on fancy hotel rooms and cars and meals for the campaign higher ups, and there’s probably more abuse we just don’t know about. It’s clear that his campaign violated the law by laundering money meant for the campaign into other places, but as long as the Attorney General works for Trump instead of the people of the United States, don’t expect much to happen.

And, of course, these lawsuits are frivolous and have no chance of success, as plenty of experts have said.

How we stole the election

Our plan was perfect.

We used the Deep State as usual. The Deep State is all powerful, you know, and with it we can do anything (except stop Mitch McConnell, get Hillary elected, or prevent an unqualified Supreme Court justice from getting appointed, but other than that…).

We were so clever that we even had Trump-appointed judges on our side, holding that the election was going fairly and all votes were being counted.

Of course, we didn’t want to show our hand so we made sure that we didn’t take the Senate like everyone predicted. That would be too obvious. We also lost a few House seats as well, just to throw everyone off our trail.

Our strategy also involved the mail-in ballots in certain states. We allowed the Republicans in those states (such as Pennsylvania, where I live) to write the law that prevents poll workers from counting ballots until after election day. That would give the Trump supporters false hope, since we all knew the mail-in ballots would favor Democrats as they came in later. Sneaky!

Then to further mislead everyone, we allowed poll watchers from both parties to observe the counting, and even live streamed the whole thing so anyone who wanted to observe could watch. We stole the election right under their noses while they watched every single thing we did.

We’re so devious.

But here’s the real trick we used:

We got more than five million votes than Trump. What a shock, huh? Who would have thought that the guy who lost the popular vote last time and who has never reached a 50% approval rating in polls the entire time he was President would lose?!