Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Owen

Everything but tech support.
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0727, 09 Nov 22

Legislature must shore up elections

Sorry. We’ve had some technical issues with the blog for the last few days. It appears to be healthy now. Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday. Given the disappointing election results, it’s fairly moot.

We have reached the culmination of another tempestuous election season with the capstone of Election Day. Self-governance imposes on us the responsibility of enduring the withering assault of political campaigns before choosing who will carry our priorities into government. Irrespective of the outcome of the election, our civic responsibility is to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and secure. We have work to do in Wisconsin.

 

The reason that some Democrats questioned the results of the 2016 election and some Republicans questioned the results of the 2020 election is because it is too easy to defraud our electoral process in many districts. America’s history is replete with examples of election fraud and cheating. There is little to suggest that the human condition has advanced to the point to think that such fraud is no longer possible. The fact that so many of our elections are decided by so few votes makes the consequences of even a little bit of fraud too dire to tolerate.

 

Wisconsin’s election laws are fairly good compared to many other states’. Voters are required to prove their identities with photo identification; same-day registration helps ensure voter access; and state law requires the regular purging of voter rolls. Unfortunately, the execution of the laws has been uneven and the holes have been exploited by bad actors. Many of the holes in our election process are the result of unclear or ambiguous laws that leave great discretion to state and local election officials.

 

As a general theme, the Legislature should take up the effort to codify specific election rules to ensure that all of Wisconsin’s voters have equal and fair access irrespective of their address. Specifically, the legislature should address the rules regarding early voting. If I had my druthers, I would severely curtail early voting to make Election Day great again, but the public has come to enjoy the flexibility of early voting. If we are to have it, it should be the same for everyone. The Legislature should set standard open hours for early in-person voting and restrict it to established municipal or county facilities like city halls or court buildings. The purpose is to ensure that every voter in Wisconsin knows when and where they can cast an early in-person ballot.

 

In respect to early voting, the Legislature should also prohibit drop boxes of any kind. Every early in-person ballot should be received, checked, and witnessed by an accountable election official. Not only does such a procedure provide a check against fraudulent ballots, but it also ensures that legal votes are not discarded due to clerical errors.

 

Speaking of clerical errors, the Legislature should also completely prohibit the counting of any mail-in ballots that are not legally completed and witnessed. This should not be left to the discretion of clerks.

 

Events last week exposed another hole in the mail-in ballot process when a Milwaukee election official illegally ordered three military absentee ballots to the address of Representative Janel Brandtjen. Current law does not require military voters to register to vote or provide identification to request a ballot. This must be remedied.

 

The Legislature should also prohibit ballot harvesting. This is simply when people — usually political operatives — collect people’s early ballots and submit them en masse. The issue is that there is no security to ensure that a voter’s ballot is cast and it allows for bad actors to intimidate voters. While homogenizing early voting laws will correct for some of this, the Legislature should affirmatively prohibit this practice. There is other work to do. The Legislature should also prohibit private citizens from administering or funding our elections. All elections should be administered by accountable public officials. They should also prohibit the practice of central counting which is more susceptible to fraud or the perception of fraud.

 

The biggest lift for the Legislature is to decide what to do with the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The WEC has performed abominably through the pandemic with partisan and illegal actions. The Legislature should abolish it completely and replace it with a bipartisan bicameral legislative committee. That way elected officials will be accountable. By codifying much of the electoral process into statute, the actual duties of such a committee would be severely curtailed.

 

Good elections require a balance of ballot access, ballot security, and transparency. The end goal must be that we have confidence that everyone who is legally allowed to vote can do so, and everyone who is not legally allowed to vote cannot.

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0727, 09 November 2022

60 Comments

  1. Mike

    Nothing moot about this.
    The Constitutions Elections Clause, which reads, “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.”

    The legislature needs to take back this power, which has been usurped by the administration thru the use of the veto as if legislative control were accomplished as regular law. The legislature should guard this power as jealously as the gov guards his power of the pardon.

  2. Mar

    Here in Arizona, we are having major problems and I distrust the current election results.
    And if course, the current person in charge of elections is running for governor and refuses to refuse herself and her staff.
    What could go wrong.
    Seems like a lot of things have gone wrong.

  3. jonnyv

    Mar, sounds like AZ uses paper ballots that get fed into the “scantron” machine. It was just the readers that were having an issue. Sounded like something to do with the on-demand printed ballots. Do they really PRINT the ballot when you come in? That seems like it could be a major issue for tech workers. Printers / copiers suck to maintain.

    I personally have a distrust of touch screen ballot machines. I really like the scantron versions that have a paper backup that can much more easily be recounted.

    I do find it funny that I rarely see ANY sympathy (from republicans) when voting issues occur in predominantly democratic areas or larger cities. Sometimes causing HOURS long waits. But in AZ the tabulating machines were down, it didn’t cause people NOT to be able to vote. They could go to another place or drop them off securely. Kari Lake hasn’t said if the numbers are inaccurate (because she will wait until she either wins or loses to do that). Wanna bet that if she ends up winning that all the votes were accurately tabulated?

  4. Mar

    Johnny, we have paper ballots where we have to circle your choice.
    But it seems like like the conservative areas were hit hard by tabulator malfunctions.
    But what does concerns me is that Hobbs is in charge of voting in the state and she somehow might be elected governor.
    I’m sorry, but I am very skeptical.
    But then again, our state has been invaded by dumbass Californians who bring their their dumbass California values to our state.

  5. Mar

    I will say this, this might be end of the Trump era.
    To say the election results were disappointing from a conservative stand point is an understatement.
    Maybe Desantis is leader if conservatives now

  6. Mar

    I would say this, I think there is something rotten in Pennsylvania water
    They elected a brain dead senator and a actual dead person to the state legislature.
    It shows once again, liberalusm is truly a mental disorder.

  7. jonnyv

    Mar, this HAS to be the end of the Trump era. Or get used to losing more. It is my dream that he tries to run again, cause it will split the R vote. He has too many cult like followers that could spit out if he doesn’t get the nomination.

    How bad was Oz if he couldn’t beat Fetterman?? Oz just was not right for PA.

    The red wave turned into barely a drip. I heard an exit poll that said 18-25 year old voted +29 democrat. That doesn’t bode well for the future R party’s National chances. The Rs need to stop nominating election deniers. And although I haven’t seen any exit polls, it seems like the abortion issue may have hurt the R party by driving out young people to vote.

    It will be a great election if Boebert gets booted.

  8. jonnyv

    **split out.

  9. Mar

    Johnny, younger voters have always voted liberal, even way back to the stone age.
    But once they get families and a paycheck learn the about the real world.
    As far as Oz, I’m not sure what went wrong. But I have read newspapers and other medina in Pennsylvania and they were hiding the fact that he is severely brain damaged.
    As a former special education teacher, and Fetterman was in high school, he would have been in the cognitively disabled-severe classroom.
    But elections have consequences. Pennsylvania voted and the liberals showed that the letter D means more than the person.

  10. jonnyv

    Mar, I don’t believe any of the Fetterman crap.

    Younger voters would switch to R if it were just about financials. But unless the Rs change their viewpoint on LGBTQ and abortion, those morals are very ingrained and probably won’t shift. So if the right doesn’t nominate people who start to fall in line with more progressive social issues, the kids won’t change.

  11. Mar

    Seriously, Johnny?
    You honestly think Fetterman has no cognitive disability?
    Come on, Johnny, you are better than that.

  12. jonnyv

    Mar, he is recovering from a stroke. It takes time for those pathways in the brain to reform. My mother spoke slowly with a slur for up to a year. She is way better now, but I still catch the occasional drift in her thoughts that I didn’t notice before the stroke. Maybe it is just her age? But she is only 60.

    Time will tell if he has perm damage. He clearly isn’t 100% right now. But still beat Oz.

  13. jonnyv

    Mar go and watch his victory speech, that isn’t a man with severe cognitive issues.

  14. Merlin

    >But elections have consequences. Pennsylvania voted and the liberals showed that the letter D means more than the person.

    Dems vote for the brand rather than the candidate. They vote for vegetables and corpses as long as they carry the brand. They don’t quibble about competence, or health, or character, or criminal records. They don’t do circular firing squads during their primary seasons. Apparently a pulse is not even a requirement anymore. Their voters buy every brand lie, large and small. The end always justifies the means. Always. They’re all about the team.

  15. Tuerqas

    Personally, I think the abortion issue is the major cause for the ‘red drip’ as JV put it. It allowed the Ds to media blitz a false campaign of Rs limiting healthcare, and women’s rights. It was a very strong campaign playing to the D’s strengths for getting out the votes…emotions.
    While Ds and Rs have held the same positions on abortion/anti-abortion for 50 years, there has been no movement on the issue since Roe v Wade. Retracting it gave Ds the emotional issue they needed for the mid-terms. The LGBTQ movement is not really a big issue in that Rs are not really fighting it. The liberal wave normalizing it by TV inundation and school curricula has really already won the issue. The ‘fights’ by conservatives have been largely limited to things like unlimited public bathroom access.
    The perception of limiting rights and medical care for a specific (majority) group that people deal with literally on a monthly basis are always going to be in the spotlight in an election and as long as Ds can pretend that Rs are going to ban abortion completely, it will win a significant number of votes that Ds would not normally see.

    I happen to personally know Ron Johnson’s political (and personal) view on abortion and it starts with taking it out of federal hands. Essentially, as a national Senator, he believes it is and should be out of his hands. It has been returned to State hands and so are out of his. If other Senators try to make national laws, he will fight for the best pro-life option he can get, but he believes ultimately, it should not be his fight. So all those ads on RoJo against abortion was a giant straw man politically. And outside that, the big negative Ds came up with was that he was making personal wealth while in office. Oooo, his wealth has doubled in 12 years? Really? A businessman turned politician’s wealth increased while in public office? I would wager that you could not find any other 12 years past his 25th birthday where his wealth ONLY doubled.
    Obama multiplied his wealth by 60 in 12 years. And if you really want to feel angry, look at Pelosi’s wealth multiplication over any 12 years she has been in office.

  16. jonnyv

    T, I don’t know if you would agree with me that I think when you get elected to a national political position, you (or spouse) should not be allowed to trade individual stocks. Make it part of the deal. You should have to trade all your individual stocks into an index fund and then you can’t trade it while you are in office. (You can buy and sell that particular fund though).

    And yes, the Ds do push out the vote on the abortion issue. But why didn’t RoJo come out and say that he WOULDNT ban abortions??? Because it wouldn’t play to the fundamentalists and hyper conservative base, and it would hurt his brand. I don’t care what his personal feelings are on it, I care about what he will do in the voting booth. He could simply come out and say, “I will NOT support a nationwide ban on abortion that was floated by the leadership of my party.” We saw further evidence this midterm that when left to the people, they are choosing to enshrine a pro-choice stance.

    The “doubling wealth” message didn’t play to me, but it might to some others. A good campaign has a multi-faceted attack strategy. And RoJo is very lucky, the city of Milwaukee turnout was very low (down 46K). And that is probably due to the lack of excitement for Barnes as a candidate, and a general apathy in progress. Statewide, no one is speaking to the city of Milwaukee people directly. In fact, usually from the R side, they are disparaging them and the city. There needs to be a coordinated effort between the state and city to help the people and neighborhoods that need it most.

  17. Merlin

    There’s certainly more analysis to be done, but it sure looks to me like it was Republican voters who defeated Tim Michels. The 68,000 vote gap between Johnson’s take and Michels’ was ridiculously large. Where was there a stance on issues gap between Johnson and Michels?

    That doesn’t mean Republicans split ticket to vote for Evers to any large degree. I think what it means is they simply withheld a vote for governor. Beglinger got an almost 27,000 ignorance/protest vote, but that’s still just 1%. Did the Kleefisch supporters withhold votes for Michels? Again, where was there a stance on issues gap between Kleefisch and Michels? Not likely an issues thingy. So why did Republicans defeat their own candidate?

  18. jonnyv

    Merlin, are you sure it was “republican” voters? Maybe people who consider themselves independent or people who just don’t follow politics as much during the “off season”.

    Michels came across on his ads as arrogant and aggressive. The whole “and I don’t care who I offend” comment was played up a bit. And do you notice how they REALLY backed away from those Trump supported ads that ran early on with “the wall”. Tony Evers never ran an ad where he looked aggressive. His play was the soft spoken “nice guy”. We all know these are just advertising fronts for who these people really are. My guess is that this had something to do with it as well. if you don’t follow as closely as the people that are here, those subliminal contexts may matter.

  19. Merlin

    >Merlin, are you sure it was “republican” voters?

    Not absolutely sure of anything yet, although I find it hard to believe that given the way Johnson has been treated so brutally by state and local media for the past decade and the high vitriol of the ads run against him recently, that your independents and libertarians with delicate sensibilities would have been offended to the tune of 68,000 less than they were of Michels.

  20. jonnyv

    Some people just want balance in the Force too. Evers to balance out the R in the state house and senate. We will honestly never know.

  21. Merlin

    >Nothing moot about this. The Constitutions Elections Clause, which reads, “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.”

    So where does this leave a Wisconsin Legislature with a recent history of clear Republican majorities that continues to allow Dems to run an unchecked ballot collection system separate and distinct from actual legitimate voting at polling places? One operates in the light of day while the other slithers under cover of darkness with effectively zero oversight. No matter how uncomfortable the confrontation is certain to be it can’t be ignored much longer. When overcoming ‘margin of fraud’ becomes part of open election vocabulary and campaign strategy we’ve all got a real problem.

    How do you plan to address that bit of chicanery, Mike?

  22. Randall Flagg

    *** independents and libertarians with delicate sensibilities would have been offended to the tune of 68,000 less than they were of Michels.****

    Looking at Michael’s together with Oz I think I see a couple of clear reasons they didn’t get independent and libertarian votes:

    1) Trump Endorsement: They both beat establishment candidates as Trump’s chosen candidates. While that played well with the Republicans, that is starting to wear thin with independts and Libertarians. I am fairly sure the establishment candidates candidates would have won in the general election, and won fairly handily.

    2) Hard line on Abortion: They both took very hard lines on abortion, or at least didn’t stick to one position. I’ve heard that exit polls in Pennsylvania had abortion much closer to the top of issues than other states, which contributed even more to Oz’s loss

  23. dad29

    So why did Republicans defeat their own candidate?

    Michels missed a VERY big bet by almost totally ignoring the education problem in this State.

    And Kleefisch’s spoiled-brat non-endorse/non-campaign for Michels may well have influenced some of her voters. Nicholson gained 20 points in my mind when he paid for ads endorsing.

  24. MjM

    Just a reminder: Michels lost by 11 points to uberlib Russ Feingold 18 years ago. Johnson then beat Feingold twice.

    This is a wish-washy state. Always has been.

    As far as the Fetterstien/Oooz thing, that should go down in history as one of the most absurd political races ever. A Dain Bramaged Dem (and not necessarily from a stroke) dressed like a vagabond going against another slimy Dem fraudulently claiming “Republican” but in nice polished shoes. As Merlin said above, Dems vote brand, not candidate. In this case they could have elected either and gotten what they wanted.

  25. Jason

    Ever before the stroke… Fetterstein looks like he did his ancestry research at “24 And Me”.

  26. Randall Flagg

    ***another slimy Dem fraudulently claiming “Republican” ***

    So why did Republicans choose Oz as their nominee rather than the other choice? Because Republicans struggle OT think for themselves, so they vote for who Trump tells them to vote for, be it Oz in Penn or Michels here in WI. Typical herd behavior. Moo Republicans. Moo.

  27. Randall Flagg

    Jason you need to get over the fact that the red wave turned out to be a pink splash :) Maybe ask yourself “If Fetterman is so bad, how come the Republicans lost to him?” Of course that would mean admitting the Republican’s screwed up big time, something dad29 seems willing to admit but others…not so much.

    I mean it is the worst midterm performance by an opposing party in decades.
    In the middle of high inflation?
    A POTUS with abysmal approval ratings?
    How do you screw that up?

    But never underestimate the ability of Republicans to screw things up.

  28. jonnyv

    I really do find it funny that some in here are saying that D’s vote for the brand and not the person. Yet almost every race was within a few points. AND… there is a runoff with Walker, who is SO anti-abortion that he has paid for 1 of them, and asked a GF for at least another one from what I read. But, they will all hold their nose and do it, for control of the senate. Voting for a brand. Don’t get all Ron Sanctimonious with us here. Rs are just as guilty of voting on brand as the Ds are.

    I may not get my dream of Boebert getting the boot… but PLEASE… PLEASE LET TRUMP run again. Nothing would make me happier.

  29. Mar

    When the Democrats vote for 2 severely brain damaged Democrat politicians, Fetterwonan and Senile Joe Biden, you cannot argue seriously about your point johnny that Democrats vote for the person and not the brand

  30. Merlin

    >Jason you need to get over the fact that the red wave turned out to be a pink splash :)

    Nope. Question all of it and pay attention to the responses. Wisconsin Pubbies need to come to terms with why they can’t all pull in the same direction when necessary.

  31. jonnyv

    Mar, just because you keep saying something doesn’t make it true. Fetterman seems ok to me. He has a few issues speaking at times (due to the stroke), but there is no indication that it has affected his mental capacity. And have you LISTENED to Herschel Walker? Sometimes he sounds like he wasn’t wearing a helmet during his years of play.

    And lets be honest. Almost EVERYONE here would vote for Trump again if it came down to a race in 2024 between Trump and ANY Democrat. Pick your FAVORITE Democrat… and you would STILL vote for Trump. That is how most of us on these boards work.

  32. Jason

    >Jason you need to get over the fact that the red wave turned out to be a pink splash :) Maybe ask yourself “If Fetterman is so bad, how come the Republicans lost to him?” Of course that would mean admitting the Republican’s screwed up big time, something dad29 seems willing to admit but others…not so much.

    Nah, I’m enjoying the free rent in your little head.

  33. dad29

    I think the abortion issue is the major cause for the ‘red drip’ as JV put it.

    Except DeSantis, Budd, and one other major-office Pubbie………..all of whom won.

    You’re being fed a Narrative by certain parties who use the press artfully. Abortion remains 5th/6th on a list of concerns.

    As to the 18-29 YO voters…………they’ll have a job, get married, have kids, and wake up to reality. They are NOT perma-Dems. Hell, I voted for John Anderson before all that stuff happened to me.

  34. Merlin

    >Hell, I voted for John Anderson before all that stuff happened to me.

    I cast my first vote ever for Jimmy Carter. We live and learn.

  35. jonnyv

    Dad29. As I said, I think that fiscally many get more conservative as they age. But socially, they won’t. The morals that they have now, DONT change. Abortion rights, gay marriage, healthcare, trans rights, and environmental issues will all probably stick with what these kids believe. Sure, taxes, investments, home ownership, etc. may all change. This WILL hurt the R party unless they can work on a unified message appealing to these voters.

    Over the last 20 years, the R party HAS started to shift on some issues. How many are still anti-gay marriage? How many are now closer to that 15 week abortion ban limit? Now that Roe v Wade is gone, they can’t hide under the cover that it gave them. They could claim to be absolutists before, when it didn’t matter. Now they are actually FORCED to take a side.

    DeSantis & Budd had bills that more or less fit with what the populace is fine with. 15 weeks. And DeSantis avoided talking about it during the election cycle. Lets see how well they do if they try and push that up to 6 or 8 weeks. Or don’t carve out rape, incest, and mother’s health. I have long said that there are absolutists on both sides of this issue, but a majority of the US believes that there is an acceptable moral window to allow abortions.

    Plus, it wasn’t just the Rs that put up bad candidates. Crist was uninspired and never had a chance. The Ds knew that it was a fruitless battle.

  36. MjM

    Randy Flags can’t figure it out: So why did Republicans choose Oz as their nominee rather than the other choice? … they vote for who Trump tells them to vote for

    Yes, that’s precisely why 68.8% chose someone other than Trump-endorsed Oooz in the PA repub primary.

    Oooz garnered 31.2%, or 972 votes over 31.1% second place McCormick. Had 24.7% 3rd place Barnette, being a similar candidate to McCormick and ardent anti-Oooz, bowed out, Oooz would have been buried.

    And here in cheeseland Michels won with less than 50% of the primary vote.

    Bray, Randy, bray.

  37. Mar

    Johnny, you really diminish yourself when you say Fetterman sounds ok to you.
    Seriously?
    Fetterman quote: “Hi, Good night everybody ”
    That was his opening statement in the debate with Oz.
    I don’t support fracking and then when pressed, he supports fracking.
    And still no comment from you about Senile Joe Biden.
    Heck, even a liberal reporter said Fetterman said he isn’t mentally sound.
    Come on Johnny, you’re better than that

  38. jonnyv

    Mar, until you have been close to a stroke victim and watched them struggle to form words or get out their thoughts properly you may not understand that mentally they are fine. Go look up some stroke victims and verbal issues and you will see what I mean.

    It is possible that he has mild aphasia. That could be permanent, or with therapy he could recover. I am not about to make assumptions.

  39. Mar

    Yeah, Johnny, I’ve been there and done that, so, you can kiss your theory goodbye.
    And we and not arguing aphasia.
    I suggest you look up the definition of aphasia.
    But we really don’t know what his cognitive abilities are since he refused to release his medical records.
    And come on, Johnny, you still refuse to address Senile Joe Biden and his severe cognitive disabilities.

  40. Mar

    Johnny, your support of Fetterwoman shows that you admit you you support the brand vs the person.
    Seriously, who is cognitively smarter.
    Oz or Fetterwoman?

  41. Mar

    Oh, and Fetterwoman celebrates the demise of abortion.
    Do I need more evidence?
    I’ll supply more, if you would like.

  42. Mar

    Oh, in case, you think, Johnny that I support the brand, well my house of representative isis Paul Gosar. Maybe the most theost conservative in Congress.
    I will never vote for that thing.
    He decided to play political commercials during a memorial service for K9 Amigo, who died in the line of duty, in Kingman, AZ. And then lied about it.
    But you would vote for a brain dead president and Senator elect who has severe cognitive disabilities.
    Shame on you.

  43. Tuerqas

    JonnyV
    >T, I don’t know if you would agree with me that I think when you get elected to a national political position, you (or spouse) should not be allowed to trade individual stocks. Make it part of the deal. You should have to trade all your individual stocks into an index fund and then you can’t trade it while you are in office. (You can buy and sell that particular fund though).

    Sure, I would have no problem limiting stock trading. Of course I am strongly for term limits on all national offices, single issue bills eliminating pork, not giving healthcare, a generous stipend and security for life because one held a national office, and all the other ‘dream on’ sponsored points that Dem and Rep voters believe would improve our Government. You know who is really not for any of them? Every single person who still votes Dem or Rep, because none of their representatives want to limit their power or ability to gain wealth while in office. Did you vote Dem? Then I disbelieve you are serious about the issue and just like to talk about ‘ought tos’ and ‘what’s best’ scenario dreams. You don’t actually vote with them in mind.

    Dad29
    >You’re being fed a Narrative by certain parties who use the press artfully. Abortion remains 5th/6th on a list of concerns.

    You have said that one before, but I think you are still holding on to the pre-Roe v Wade overturning. When the Dems created the ban all abortion scare it went up a few notches. Evidence that I have seen:
    According to CNN it was the second most important issue for the last midterm elections, particularly among Democrats. When Dems are outraged and/or fearful they vote and Reps lose a lot more often. It doesn’t matter that all your Republican websites may say 5th or 6th to Republicans. If the issue turned out the Dem vote, it was important. Every site I looked at had the economy/inflation as #1 and if that were really true and people voted with hat foremost in their mind we would have seen the red wave in spades(actually hearts or diamonds:). Something mitigated that economy concern.
    Pew research agrees with me on that. They noted that the Roe v Wade overturn and media blitz brought abortion to the fore in this election.
    Still just my opinions…

  44. MHMaley

    Congrats to all for the most reasoned analysis of an election that I’ve seen on this site for years minus the general , consistent level of sneakiness that usually appear here about any issue .

    The election was a disaster for the GOP .

    They had all the issues on their side ( pollsters believed ) and women and the young tore their hearts out .

    I read a stat that the D 18-28 vote cancelled out every GOP vote over 65 .

    Big for Johnny V being measured and respectful .

    If you can’t beat Brain dead politicians or the least charismatic politician in America , that’s on you .

    and Ms Bobert can still lose her race as votes can be “corrected “ in Az ( and no , the Dems didn’t just start this practice .)

  45. jonnyv

    T. Do I vote specifically on THAT subject? No, of course not. That is a dream scenario. Because it wouldn’t matter WHO I voted for, it probably won’t change. It would be the sprinkles on the ice cream. I am still gonna eat ice cream, even if it doesn’t come with sprinkles.

    And FYI. It wasn’t just the Dems that created the “all abortion” scare. You can blame Graham for that. It was just absolutely insane for him to propose any sort of abortion ban, even if it was the 15 week version, adding the threat of doctor imprisonment didn’t help. I don’t understand the strategy there. A BIG F-up by the Rs nationally.

    I think that on top of abortion, keeping the gas prices at the current rate helped out. That helped dull the inflation discussion. It gives the Dems 2 full years to get the prices down… or people will get used to the prices if these are the new norm. Biden did this by tapping into the reserves.

  46. Tuerqas

    >T. Do I vote specifically on THAT subject? No, of course not. That is a dream scenario. Because it wouldn’t matter WHO I voted for, it probably won’t change. It would be the sprinkles on the ice cream. I am still gonna eat ice cream, even if it doesn’t come with sprinkles.

    Great imagery there, JV, very descriptive. I do understand that pov, many Reps here say the same thing, if less eloquently. I get a little saltier (sprinkles are needed:) around elections as virtually every piece of information fed to us is a lie or out of context half truth and means nothing anyway as the same old same old will be the political outcome from Madison and DC no matter which party is elected. I just don’t see either Party ever offering even the smallest reforms that will hurt the powers they believe are theirs by right. I believe only third and fourth parties give us even the chance for change so I will continue on my voting path.

  47. jonnyv

    T, that is maybe why I also tend to gravitate towards the more progressive side of the D party in the primaries. But usually that doesn’t pan out for me. So often times I do feel like I am voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

  48. Randall Flagg

    Wow a bunch of posts (Nov 12-13?) disappeared here! I am guessing related to the technical issues Owen mentioned.

    I agree with Johnny V on the abortion issue being much bigger than Republicans thought it would be. On the radio (right-leaning talk show) I heard that in Pennsylvania it was actually #1 on the exit polls (but have not been able to confirm)

    I also like MH’s statement ****If you can’t beat Brain dead politicians or the least charismatic politician in America , that’s on you .**** That is the kind of introspection the GOP will need to do, but they’re probably not capable of it (not that the Dems are either)

    ****Something mitigated that economy concern.*** Exactly T. And while abortion was #1, #2 on my list would be Trump. Sure some of his chosen candidates won, but that was in places where they had huge leads. Wherever it was close, they lost for the most part. And i am not the only one. I saw today that from October to November he went from 15% up on DeSantis to 10% down (Texas GOP Poll) I have seen more articles/statements critical of Trump (from the right) than I ever have. I don’t think that’s going to stop him from announcing tomorrow, his ego is too big. Plus he has already started attacks on DeSantis very reminiscent of those on Ted Cruz.

    Oh and hang on to your hats, Georgia is gonna get nasty:(

  49. dad29

    You can blame Graham for that. It was just absolutely insane for him to propose any sort of abortion ban, even if it was the 15 week version, adding the threat of doctor imprisonment didn’t help. I don’t understand the strategy there.

    Linnnnndsseeeeey!!! is a Democrat operative calling himself Republican. That’s exactly why he did what he did there.

  50. Randall Flagg

    *****Linnnnndsseeeeey!!! is a Democrat operative calling himself Republican. That’s exactly why he did what he did there.*****

    I see posts/articles that say things like this a lot. My question is why do Republicans keep electing him then? Assuming it is true, can’t they figure this out and elect someone else?

  51. Mar

    Johnny, you really insult the mentally disabled when you say Fetterwoman is just fine.
    I understand your family situation, which makes me wonder why you would say Fetterwoman is cognitively stable.
    It really does baffle me.

  52. Mar

    Well,, it apparently, Kari Lake list in Arizona.
    And it is conservative so called Republicans who contributed to her loss.
    Arizona, especially in conservative areas, have allowed so.many Californians to move here by allowing so many subdivisions and other single family homes that it has changed the dynamic of Arizona voting.
    In the probably the most conservative area in the country, the so called conservatives have allowed dozens of new subdivisions and single family homes into our county.
    But yet they complain they don’t have the water or infrastructure to support these new people.
    I always thought liberals have a mental.illness but it seems like many conservatives also are mentally ill.

  53. Merlin

    >I see posts/articles that say things like this a lot. My question is why do Republicans keep electing him then? Assuming it is true, can’t they figure this out and elect someone else?

    The short answer is Republican tribalism. GOPe prefer a lifetime of minority status to any manner of coexistence with MAGA populism.

  54. jonnyv

    Merlin, the Rs would love to be able to bask in the populism, and they are getting some of that. What they want is to DROP the term MAGA. Because MAGA comes along with a LOT of baggage. When I think MAGA, I think of Charlottesville, I think of Jan 6, I think of election denial, I think of aggressive name calling, more or less extremism. The left has done a great job of painting MAGA into that corner.

    A rebrand is what it needed for that wing of the R party. Drop the red hats. Focus on the future and not on the 2020 election.

    But, supposedly today is the day Trump is gonna make a “big announcement”. We will see if he still does.

  55. jonnyv

    Mar, can I give you a little advice? Constantly calling him “Fetterwoman” is not doing yourself any favors. It is a cheap Trump tactic of trying to get a bad nickname to stick.

    As if you are doing that to signal that he isn’t a “man” and instead some sort of “woman”. Acting like that is an insult being a woman? It just doesn’t play well for you.

  56. Mar

    Jonny, he called himself Fetterwoman and made up a pink t-shirt saying the same thing.

  57. Merlin

    >Merlin, the Rs would love to be able to bask in the populism,

    If you think the DC GOPe wants any part of populism you don’t understand the GOPe. Therein lies the problem. GOPe wants voters willing to vote brand to their own detriment. They absolutely envy the Democrat model. They long for a return to no accountability to their voters. That genie ain’t going back in the bottle.

    Trump didn’t create the movement. He stepped to the front and applied some extensive marketing to it, but it is not his. It won’t go away if Trump drops dead tomorrow.

  58. dad29

    The TEA Party was the first iteration, but by the time Trump came around, there were a lot more issues than taxes. Clinton gave away US manufacturing, Obama made healthcare cheaper (unless you actually pay the premiums, deductibles, and co-pays), Bush/Obama created the Spying State, grade-school education became Porn 400 plus Grooming!! and ordinary Joes are now paying for psychotics who reject nature.

    Adding that amount of crap to the smoldering anger still around from the TEA Party (commandeered by McConnell), then adding fraudulent “elections” in ’20, and you have a problem, Houston.

    And it may not be a polite problem, either.

  59. Merlin

    Michels invested $12 million to beat Kleefisch, then only another $6.7 million (some of it only loans to his campaign) to beat Evers. Whatever it takes evidently meant not to exceed $18 million. That’s a lot to spend if you’re not all-in. Not sure what to make of that, but I do find it curious.

    Can’t help but wonder if that Trump endorsement was predicated on assurances that Michels would be a) able to self-fund, and b) willing to self-fund.

  60. MjM

    Wizard foretells: “ That genie ain’t going back in the bottle.”

    Touché. Until the e and those who support them dies out/retires the party will remain split.

    Wizard wonders: “Whatever it takes evidently meant not to exceed $18 million”

    Hmmm. The value of his Greenwich Connecticut house.

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