Paris On the eve of Independence Day in the United States, President Trump and his Kansas pistolero, Kris Kobach, who is ramrodding his fake voting commission, are getting a course in good old, American civics. Part of the lesson is about voting rights and the scrutiny of the ballot box, but the other part is that politics is not a zero-sum game: if Trump and Kobach win, then hundreds of local elected officials who administered voting lose.
States throughout the country have been pooh-poohing the Trump gang claim that there is voting fraud of any kind on their watch, much less that millions upon millions of undocumented folks swarmed the polls and skewed the results. One after another when contacted by authorities, reporters, and researchers have flatly stated, no, way.
The Commission acting from the bully pulpit, sent out a request for all the election officials for a ton of information, including social security numbers and other very private and privileged information. In ironic resistance, almost half of the states simply ignored the request and refused to send the information along. Some didn’t just ignore the letter, but scoffed at it in open rebellion, and this wasn’t just the usual bi-coastal suspects either. Arkansas and Louisiana haven’t figured out how they are going to handle what everyone sees as an overreach, but Mississippi was even more forthright. The top election official there said the commission could jump “into the Gulf of Mexico,” and furthermore that his state, lying along the Gulf, was a perfect place to jump from.
Of course rather than President Trump keeping quiet about the fact that he and Kobach’s snipe hunt has been exposed as just that, instead unleashes some of his terrible tweets, even in the midst of a media war with some morning show hosts for some inexplicable reason, conjuring up the charges of misogyny that roiled his campaign regularly. His tweets, predictably asked the resisters, “what did they have to hide.”
Earlier I mentioned that this was a good civics lesson about how politics really works when you are the ox trying to gore smaller oxen on the local field. I should clarify that saying this is a lesson, does not mean that Trump and Kobach will learn anything or pass the test, but as all of us who made it through public school know, just being taught the lesson does not guarantee a passing grade. Sometimes we ace it. Sometimes we flunk.
There is a last bit of irony here though. Kris Kobach, serving as Secretary of State in Kansas, and promulgating this mischief as clerk of the works for this Commission, is also not providing the records requested for voters from Kansas either. State law in Kansas forbids sending this kind of personal information to anyone. Other states do as well.
Pay attention in class, Donald and Kris, this is going to be a question on the test.