Ever since Joe Biden humiliated Donald Trump – beating him by more than seven million votes – the despondent Cult of Trump has whined that Trump didn’t really lose. They continue to cling desperately to the “Big Lie” that the election was rigged and that the presidency was stolen. These are the fantastical delusions that led to the deadly Capitol Hill insurrection of January 6th.
However, despite having seven months, sixty court cases (all of which they lost), and unlimited hours of right-wing media on Fox News and elsewhere, they have never been able to provide even a sliver of evidence to support their hysterical, fringe-dwelling theories. Consequently, many Republican governors and legislators have turned their focus to future elections and a full-bore campaign of voter suppression.
That effort was met by Democrats in Congress who introduced the “For the People Act,” a package of voting reforms aimed at preserving democracy. It hasn’t been easy. The conservative Democratic senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, has been, until recently, gumming up the works. But now he has released his compromise version of the bill which has been positively received, even by the foremost advocate of voting reform, Stacy Abrams.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough to move the knee-jerk Republican obstructionists. In fact, they just became even more committed to their anti-democratic agenda. That was plainly evident in this exchange between Dana Perino of Fox News and GOP Senator Tom Cotton (video below):
Perino: One thing that’s a little puzzling about this is that Manchin Lite is very similar to the Georgia voting bill. And the Georgia voting bill, Stacy Abrams said, is Jim Crow 2. So you could be a little confused as to what the Democrats are actually trying to do here. Do you have any idea?
Cotton: I’ll confess I’m always confused whenever Stacy Abrams is advocating for some radical voting proposal. But Dana, I think it’s pretty clear what the Democrats are trying to do. S1 is the Democrats bill to rig our elections forever. They can’t pass their unpopular agenda, so rather than changing their agenda, they want to change the rules of our democracy.
Okay. Try to follow this. Perino says that Manchin’s compromise is similar to the Georgia bill that Democrats staunchly oppose as blatant voter suppression. But it isn’t similar at all. So it’s not surprising that Abrams supports the Manchin compromise, but not the Georgia bill. Then Cotton admits that he’s confused, which shouldn’t surprise anyone either. But he also complains that Manchin’s compromise is a “radical voting proposal,” which Perino just said is very similar to the Georgia bill. So Cotton is bashing as radical the ultra-conservative Georgia bill that he has previously praised.
Don’t hurt yourself trying to make any sense of this. It is a profoundly ludicrous stab at disparaging any attempt to restore fairness to America’s voting processes. Cotton continued in his dishonest misrepresentations by claiming that “This bill would require taxpayer funding of politician’s campaigns.” That’s a flaming lie. The proposals that make up Manchin’s compromise are clearly spelled out. They include…
- Automatic voter registration
- Making election day a holiday
- Mandating at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections
- Banning partisan gerrymandering
- Voter ID provisions
However, nowhere in the list is anything suggesting taxpayer funded political campaigns. Cotton has to know this. He’s presenting himself as knowledgeable about the proposed legislation. He has even made a determination that it would be unconstitutional because “the states have primary authority under our Constitution to regulate our election systems.” However, he’s flat out wrong about that as well. Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the Constitution states that…
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”
What we have here is a Republican senator purposefully lying in order to muddy the waters so that people can’t have a rational understanding of perhaps the most significant feature of American democracy, the sanctity of the vote. And he’s doing it with the full cooperation and complicity of Fox News. It’s because of deliberate transgressions against the American people like this that we must remain vigilant and committed to achieving real reform despite the obstacles in our way.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.