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April 04, 2021

Comments

(1) is the new law racist, as many are saying? and (2) in what specific way does the new law tilt things in favor of the R's?

I'm on record as saying the law isn't specifically racist. And, as Janie pointed out upthread, the word 'racist' did not appear in this thread until you introduced it.

So perhaps your first question should be addressed to the 'many who are saying' rather than anybody here.

Whether you like the NYT or not, this is a pretty good summary of what the law will change.

Very briefly, the law places significant impediments on voting in ways that are, relatively speaking, more commonly used by folks who vote (D).

The water thing is probably not of much consequence, it's just amazingly dickish.

Vocabulary word for today:

Disingenuousness.

Tomorrow we will tackle triumphalism.

In case it wasn't clear that irony is well and truly dead, Mitch McConnell is now telling CEOs to stay out of politics.

irony is well and truly dead

A stark reminder of why you should be careful what you wish for, lest you get it. McConnell was big on corporations being allowed to support political positions. And now that they are doing so, he doesn't like it any more. Oops.

irony is well and truly dead

It has been a subject of conservative assault for some time. The real irony is they don't seem to notice or care what it is they are killing.

What is really sad is that sarcasm has gone down with it.

Very briefly, the law places significant impediments on voting in ways that are, relatively speaking, more commonly used by folks who vote (D).

Inarguable.

And, as others here have said, this law is proposed and voted for exclusively by a party which has historically held state power in GA pretty much unopposed, in the wake of a presidential election which was held by all observers and officials to be clean and uncorrupted, and senate runoffs ditto, in both of which for the first time in living memory the opposing party won in GA by a wafer thin margin. Whereupon the party in state power rushes to pass new voting laws, which address no observed problems, and which just happen to disproportionately adversely affect voters of the opposing party, and give hitherto unavailable power over elections to the party in state power.

Vocabulary word for today:

Disingenuousness.

To put it mildly.

I was thinking the other day that a little over a century ago, two political changes came sweeping out of the West: direct election of Senators and women's suffrage. (That is in no way intended to belittle the enormous efforts made by women in other parts of the country, just to note that states that gave women the vote first tended to be in the West.)

My suspicion is that over the next 10-12 years something similar is going to happen: vote by mail and independent redistricting commissions. Last November something over 90% of the ballots cast in the 13-state West were distributed by mail. Last year was peculiar, but in 2018 the number was something over 70%. I believe that a majority of those 13 states have taken redistricting authority away from the legislature. Both of those have been happening in red and blue states.

OTOH, referendums, initiatives, and recalls become embedded in the West at the same time, with much more limited adoption in other regions.

Sorry I don't have the link, but there was something by a TV writer who said that back in the day when broadcast standards were stricter especially in regard to sitcoms, they would often put in something that would be so over the top and outrageous that it would attract the censors attention and then argue for it tooth and nail. When it finally was rejected, the other risque jokes would get ignored, passing under the censor's radar. The writer said that the water thing was that thing and the actual object is to take over control of local commissions
https://www.kcrg.com/2021/03/27/gop-lawmakers-seek-greater-control-over-local-elections/

Rather than dance to the tune of AlaMcT's the monkeygrinder is playing, I'm more interested in how corporations are coping with this. Some more links

https://www.npr.org/2021/04/04/984290214/black-leaders-in-georgia-say-corporate-backlash-to-voting-law-is-too-late

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/05/business/voting-rights-ceos.html

This was interesting
https://www.blackenterprise.com/delta-internal-statement-leaked-showing-praise-for-georgia-election-restrictions-bill/

If you are going to diversify your workforce, you are not really going to be sure whether your deliberations are secure.

I feel like this is a bit of a perfect storm, those corporations saw COVID as a unavoidable pause, and now, as things (and consumption) get back to normal levels, this rises up to put them between a rock and a hard place. I think that different industries have different investments (it's no surprise that Delta leads off the NYT article)

There are also a lot of stories that have the lede that the Republicans have overreached. wj, who is some ways is our resident optimist, raises the be careful what you wish for idea. I see that, but if that gets trotted out to much, it tends to normalize all the idiocy that goes on, from denying Garland a seat on the Supreme Court to the scene of 7 white men signing a massive bill to change elections after an election that was argued to be 'never have been more secure or trustworthy'
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/21/brad-raffensperger-georgia-results-2020-election-trustworthy/

But no matter what happens, I'm sure that our three horsemen of the whataboutaclypse will find their feelings hurt more and more. Some things will never change.

wj, who is some ways is our resident optimist, raises the be careful what you wish for idea. I see that, but if that gets trotted out to much, it tends to normalize all the idiocy that goes on

Well, I definitely don't want to normalize idiocy. But my sense is that, in big chunks of the country, it already has been normalized. And celebrated. All I'm doing is pointing out, when they cry over how badly it has worked out for them, that they brought it on themselves.

This was an especially frustrating/annoying drive-by, because I live in Atlanta, follow the local/state news, etc. Had the person who's profession I dare not name done, for example, a search for AJC articles over the last couple months he would have found factual descriptions about the effects of the law, as well as quotes from various figures that would have illuminated the points of view in the debate. As well as loads of disingenuous BS from GA GOPers, like the state rep from Rome who "wondered" - "why should Fulton County have different rules than Floyd County" in the context of reductions of early voting, drop box hours/locations, etc. Neither he nor the writer of the article mention the detail that Floyd County has a population of 98,000, compared to over 1,060,000 in Fulton County.

Priest, I'm sure he did a through search of Alabama newspapers and finding nothing, was convinced of the rightness of his thoughts...

wj, no malice intended, and I get that. But the 'they are getting what they deserved' pops up can often, if one is not careful, make it seem like the system is self-correcting. It ain't.

can often, if one is not careful, make it seem like the system is self-correcting. It ain't.

Alas no, it isn't. At least not in the short run. Nor in the long run, without significant effort on the part of lots of people.

Thing is, McConnell doesn’t care about it on principle. He’s just doing his usual shtick where he makes what sounds like a high minded argument against whatever it is that’s giving team GOP a hard time. He doesn’t care about the free speech rights of corporations. He just wants to piss on liberals.

irony is well and truly dead

Eaten alive by hypocrisy.

Is the third advocatus diaboli by chance me?
If so, I believed my sarcastic intentions to be generally sufficient to make clear where my actual positions are to be found.

Hartmut, my guess is that the 3 are deadly serious, which excludes you.

But who is the third? I don't think CharlesWT has expressed an opinion on this, and I can't think of anyone else these days....am I wrong?

GftNC: After thinking about it last night, I decided it must have included CharlesWT as the 3rd, on general principles and methods even if not on this topic.

Hartmut -- rest easy.

Check out this by Jamelle Bouie in the Times (that librul rag).

“For the 2020 election, there were 94 drop boxes across the four counties that make up the core of metropolitan Atlanta: Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett,” Corasaniti and Epstein report. “The new law limits the same four counties to a total of, at most, 23 drop boxes, based on the latest voter registration data.”

if we could harness the power of the handwaving this fact alone generates, we could stop fossil fuel use cold.

GOP: "This legislation is not racist, so that should be the end of it. People can still vote, can they not? QED."

McKinney: "That's good enough for me. If you object, we can obviously dismiss your objections for not being substantive, QED."

my word for today is: synecdoche

The law includes nary a word about race or Democrats. QED.

*****

If you object, we can obviously dismiss your objections for not being substantive, QED.

The royal "we," fittingly given the degree of highhanded/handwaving dismissiveness.

Georgia GOP: They won't get another drop on us!

Marty, McKT, do you remember the recent presidential election? The then president tried to steal the election by putting pressure on Republican officials, including Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to change the results.

Now politicians in Georgia sympathetic to Trump (Republicans won a tiny majority of the votes in the state elections, and a big majority of the seats) have forced through legislation which increases political control over the election process, and makes voting more onerous in the most populous areas, where Ds win most of the votes.

There's no actual problem which this legislation seeks to address, other than the Rs problem that they can't fool enough of the people to win an actual majority of votes for their policies. The one real problem in the Georgia election process - long queues at polling stations in D areas - will be made worse.

Shame on you for not condemning this assault on democracy.

I can't help myself, but before I start popping off, I want to make sure I'm shooting at the actual target: what are the specific deficiencies in the new GA voting law that make it racist? Thanks.

My apologies—sort of—for this formulation: the media is loaded with overt accusations of the law being racist/Jim Crow, etc. There was a discussion here. I was asking what the fuss was all about.

I put the question to Nous, after quoting him directly, I'm just trying to figure out what the actual harm being done is. Seems like a fair thing to ask, since everyone appears to be very upset. Who is being harmed and how? I am very much not down with anyone being harmed by state action, so please tell me what harm is being inflicted, particularly if it is being inflicted in a focused, racist way. If, as you say, there are "very manifest and obvious problems", it should be easy to point them out specifically. Thanks.

Nous replied with a series of questions, none of which demonstrate any actual harm to anyone, merely questioning the need for the law (ok, fine, It’s unnecessary, but that’s not Nous’ initial contention).

So, again, I asked, Answering a question with a bunch of questions. Ok, I'm going to say you don't have much of a case unless you can actually make it out by linking something in the statute to a real world harm.
Where is the undue burden on anyone's right to vote?

To which Nous offered this: Ok, I'm going to say you don't have much of a case unless you can[...]

Speaking of tells.

I'll pass until any of our three devil's advocates actually engage on substance rather than on procedural, semantic, or historical grounds or in any way acknowledge the larger context in which GA decided to push through these changes.

Nous: what tell, pray tell?

Second question, with the predicate being your own formulation: the discussion is being steered away from the very manifest and obvious problems of equal representation and access to voting: if the problems are “very manifest and obvious” (parenthetical question: do you realize that “obvious” and “very manifest” mean the same thing?), why don’t you tell us what they are? If the GA Leg has done an injustice, or many injustices, spell them out, assuming you are able to do so.

Priest says, I was responding to your mischaracterization of the particulars of the circumstances of that particular issue.

My question to Priest: first, pls show me my word choice that you believe mischaracterizes “the particulars of the circumstances of that particular issue” and explain why I have mischaracterized, if you don’t mind? Of course, you don’t have to. No one is obligated to respond to anyone else here. I will note, however, that it is considered bad form for me to comment and leave but apparently not bad form to offer an ad hominem and then refuse to back it up.

Cleek: a bunch of things that didn't need to be done but all tend to either work against a specific group of Dems (on the ground) or for the GOP (in the election process).

This may be the case. I will thank Russell at this point to the NYT article, which I read. My overall sense is that, with the exception of the new, 5 person election junta—whose function I haven’t seen yet—the balance of the provisions—as a matter of substantive law—are like rain, everyone gets equally wet. Now, is it reasonable to assume that the GA Leg wrote this law up because it ran out of shit to do and thought this would be a productive use of their time? Not likely. Of course they see electoral advantage in what they are doing. That’s the only reasonable inference. For me, however, unless the law—any law, not just this one—imposes a demonstrable harm on people for whatever reason, I’m just not going to get that upset about it. Now that I’ve learned more about the GA situation, for me, there is a lot less there there.

Vocabulary word for today:

ad hominem

Priest: This was an especially frustrating/annoying drive-by, because I live in Atlanta, follow the local/state news, etc. Had the person who's profession I dare not name done, for example, a search for AJC articles over the last couple months he would have found factual descriptions about the effects of the law, as well as quotes from various figures that would have illuminated the points of view in the debate.

LJ: Priest, I'm sure he did a through search of Alabama newspapers and finding nothing, was convinced of the rightness of his thoughts...

Actually, what I did was read LJ’s link and make a single, noncontroversial statement about the article that was the opposite of a drive-by since I explicitly stated that I would hang around and finish the discussion at least through today. But, now that the goal posts have been moved—again—and it’s now incumbent on those outside the bubble to anticipate the sensitivities of those like Priest and thoroughly research whatever Priest or others might determine in hindsight should have been researched, I will try to prepare better for future goal post moves.

There are people who either thoroughly misunderstand what I do for a living or who are ignorant either willfully or otherwise. I’m a trial lawyer—usually on the defense, i.e. responding to a claim made by someone, a person, a company, what have you. The system is, by design and definition, adversarial. There are some few lawyers whose style is to attack their opponents across the board: style, integrity, good faith, etc. The name for that style of advocacy is “loser”, because that is what happens in a system where the parties are required to state their case and support it with actual evidence in line with actual law, not just a series of pathetic cheap shots. Most importantly, the issue is decided by either a judge or a jury, so to do the job effectively, one has to be persuasive to a third party.

You can’t refuse to address the other side’s case unless your strategy is to lose by default. Refusing to engage claiming some higher ground as a reason for not dignifying an opposing view is what people who don’t have an answer do. I rarely see it among experienced lawyers, but it’s not too uncommon among beginners. They either learn quickly how ineffective it is or they find out they can’t make a living and do something else.

Real life is no different for me, except I substitute reason and logic--my reason and my logic--for law. Just as in the courtroom, I don’t win every fight and I learn more from losing than winning. My thanks to those who tolerate me and are willing to engage.

Cleek quoted this:

For the 2020 election, there were 94 drop boxes across the four counties that make up the core of metropolitan Atlanta: Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett,” Corasaniti and Epstein report. “The new law limits the same four counties to a total of, at most, 23 drop boxes, based on the latest voter registration data.

McKinney, someone already presented data about who ends up standing in line the longest to vote, but because that data was limited to a category of voters you objected to, even though it was a category relevant to the metric, you dismissed it. The situation described above will make that problem worse, but because it's a problem you aren't likely to acknowledge, its worsening probably doesn't bother you.

Just as a hypothetical, do you think unnecessarily standing in terribly long lines to vote is a harm?

do you think unnecessarily standing in terribly long lines to vote is a harm?

maybe it's just that the other, better, areas are being rewarded for voting correctly.

I'll give McKTX the benefit of the doubt, if he can correctly guess the number of jellybeans in this jar.

Hey, when the US were founded elections were put on Tuesdays so people in rural areas could use the whole of Monday [no travel on Sundays!]to reach the next polling location, so they could vote on Tuesday morning and be home in the evening. If people then were willing and able to sacrifice two whole workdays, then the urban lowlifes of to-day can't reasonably complain that they have to stand in line for 10 hours or less. Clearly beats a 2-day trip on a horse-cart given how bad the roads were then (although it's only a matter of time before it will be as bad as then again given the fundamental opposition to investement in infrastructure and its maintenance displayed by the modern GOP).

Player, ref, commissioner of the league.

You all have fun now.

My apologies—sort of—for this formulation: the media is loaded with overt accusations of the law being racist/Jim Crow, etc.

I've heard that, on the highest authority, it's more than Jim Crow. It's Jim Eagle! So many things these days are at most Jimmy Sparrow.

McKinney, you were obviously stung by comments by some of us here about your lawyerliness, and your adversarial approach. Speaking personally (daughter of an eminent - usually on the defense - lawyer) I certainly don't hold the first against you, and although the second can be difficult in the context of a usually friendly, even when sparring, blog, I value your contributions. But the point I have made about your arguing with us about views we don't hold is difficult; I find it so, and I'm not the only one. russell said that you were the first person to use the word "racist" about this new law, and I believe him without having to check. You might have said "I know nobody here has specifically said it's racist, but that accusation is all over the media. What do you guys think?"

I don't want to dictate your language, not that I actually could, but there is a difference in tone. Now, I do actually think that the intent of the law is to disenfranchise Dem voters, many or most of whom in GA are black. This seems to be incidentally racist, if only incidentally. But given the US history (often openly acknowledged) of the disenfranchisement of black voters, this should give you a clue (and pause) when considering whether to be "moved" by this issue. Consider, at a minimum, Pro Bono's comment above at 10.36. You seemed to feel that American democracy was in trouble during the Trump Big Lie about the election - why are you not "moved" by transparent attempts to disenfranchise certain categories of voters?

Structural racism is such a hoot!

Crossed up with GftNC.

although it's only a matter of time before it will be as bad as then again given the fundamental opposition to investement in infrastructure and its maintenance displayed by the modern GOP

A term for the current infrastructure legislation is MUGA - Make Unions Great Again.

I'd say the new Georgia law could be used by fair-minded officials to conduct fair elections.

It also empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections.

The evidence, for example the closing of polling stations after Shelby County v. Holder, is that politicians in Georgia will exercise any powers they have for partisan advantage and against democracy.

This piece, in today's NYT, headlined Georgia's New Law and the Risk of Election Subversion seems to fairhandedly address the ways that the elections were already at risk, the ways that the new law could make it worse, and the other risks which are not addressed by the Dems' new HR1 law:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/06/upshot/georgia-election-law-risk.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage

And what Pro Bono said @12.05, particularly the last paragraph.

synecdoche

indeed.

McKinney: —the balance of the provisions—as a matter of substantive law—are like rain, everyone gets equally wet.

But the situation is actually like this. We have two groups. One has rain gear (hats/hoods, rain coats, boots, etc.). The other . . . does not. Now we pass a law banning umbrellas -- which everybody had been using without problems previously.

It's true, without umbrellas, everybody gets equally wet. On the outside. But only one group gets soaked to the skin. Arguing that the law is neutral because "everyone gets equally wet" is, at best, disingenuous.

the balance of the provisions—as a matter of substantive law—are like rain, everyone gets equally wet.

1. one group was sortof used to the nice weather and made plans around it
2. there was no reason to cause the rain except for #1

it's a petty, spiteful, clearly-targeted bunch of crap.

AlaMcTex writes:
what I did was read LJ’s link [sic] and make a single, noncontroversial statement about the article that was the opposite of a drive-by

Here is AlaMcTex's entire first comment
I can't help myself, but before I start popping off, I want to make sure I'm shooting at the actual target: what are the specific deficiencies in the new GA voting law that make it racist? Thanks.

My post was about the tension between corporations that want to keep in good graces with customers, and not one, but two situations, Georgia and Texas. So you reading my "link" and coming up with an orthogonal point is the definition of a drive-by. Circling around the block to check still makes it a drive-by.

I realize that topics meander and certainly I'm not shocked that the question of whether these lawS are racist emerged. The point of talking about what corporations are doing is to perhaps set aside the question of whether it is racism and frame the post in a way that we could discuss how responsive should corporations be to consumers and if they have a civic responsibility. But your asking about Georgia and not about Texas indicates that you are just interested in trying to be an asshole. Mission accomplished.

I'm all for a discussion about how the law is racist and I'd be happy if you found some link, any link, to suggest that (Maybe you could find one of 'Sullivan's brutal fact-based takedowns' that you get off on waving around) But really, such a transparently disingenuous way (I'm trying to find out what the fuss is. O rly?) is such bullshit. At least be honest enough to state your opinions. That asking about the Georgia law is another one of those tells. You could have told us more about the Texas situation, and provided some actual content. I'm sure you would have gotten pushback from people who might have a different opinion than you, but it would be infinitely better than you wandering in here with your 'What, me worry?' badge on.

I note more and more writers are using the word 'emetic' in their writing. Reading your prose makes me understand why.

McKinneyTexas - to be clear, my comment about tells, along with the bolded part, was not about you being a lawyer. I don't expect you to stop being a lawyer in your approach to a discussion any more than I expect myself to stop being a rhetorician.

The tell I am speaking of, though, is the habit you have of treating every discussion here as one for which the rest of the commentariat (Marty and CharlesWT excepted) are arguing a case (your words above, bolded) and the way you structure your interactions with the discussion makes it clear that you see yourself as a judge considering the merits of our arguments, rather than trying to understand the situation we are discussing in order to find some shared understanding.

My assumption, meanwhile, is that in the time you spent putting together a detailed response to the blog proceedings here and demanded evidence, you could have gone to any number of national and international groups that monitor elections and advocate for free and fair government. The Brennan Center comes to mind as one that shows up in the reporting for the NYT, the Guardian, and the AJC. Maybe your time will be better spent going to their website and going through their evidence rather than coming here and expecting us to paraphrase it for you and then deciding the merit of the issue based mostly on the quality of our second-hand presentation.

Then we could discuss the issue, not defend our presentation of someone else's research and analysis.

Just a thought.

McKinney, you were obviously stung by comments by some of us here about your lawyerliness, and your adversarial approach.

Actually, there isn't much stinging going on here, at least as perceived by me. I tend to view it as lame sidestepping. I have zero problem with people giving it back to me substantively--hell, I'm pretty sure I invite it. What I have an issue with is moving goalposts and snotty cheap shots. If someone doesn't want to engage, then just don't. I could care less. If someone makes an assertion and is asked to substantiate or explain, as a matter of comity, if the request is reasonable, a response is due. I try to follow this rule. For the most part, the long-time commenters here and I engage well. Some not so much. Today, for whatever reason, I felt like addressing the latter crowd. I usually follow my own advice and ignore them. Also, in terms of tone and tenor, I'm pretty much in the mix IMO.

And, with that said, let me address your direct question: why are you not "moved" by transparent attempts to disenfranchise certain categories of voters?

I think that if you, for example, read the NYT piece and look at the statutory language, there is nothing facially or substantively that disenfranchises voters of any class or other identifiable description. Therefore, I think your formulation is overwrought. I think much of the reaction to these new laws is overwrought. At worst, the rules have changed in some respects, but they apply equally to all. The changes are not onerous nor are they unprecedented or uncommon.

As an illustration, heads are beginning to explode on the right about raising or eliminating the SALT cap, the spin being that it is "blue state" preference to allow underwriting of blue state heavy spending. Or something along those lines. Even if there is something to that argument, so what? If the blue staters are paying a crap ton in blue state taxes for blue state services, that's their choice and singling blue staters out for disparate treatment *for that reason alone* is chickenshit. That was my view then and it hasn't changed.

I'd say the new Georgia law could be used by fair-minded officials to conduct fair elections.

It also empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections.

Yes and yes, potentially. Right now, it's speculation--possibly informed and possibly justified speculation, but speculation nonetheless as to what the future holds. GA already has one bad look, signing the law under the portrait of that ante bellum mansion. Padiddling with an election under the guise of state-sanctioned oversight invites Federal scrutiny and fulfills every worst case now being predicted, so doubly a bad look.

Then we could discuss the issue, not defend our presentation of someone else's research and analysis.

Just a thought.

Well, if I may: why am I obliged to do research that you deem relevant (and how am I supposed to know what you deem relevant?) before asking you or anyone here a question about a statement that your or someone else might make?

I appreciate what appears to be a reasoned and non-confrontational attempt to engage, but I'm pretty sure no one here is expected to do background research from a specific perspective as a prerequisite to *asking a question*.

You made several definitive statements about the effect of the GA laws. I asked for the back-up. What is wrong with that, and what is wrong with expecting a straightforward answer? As me a reasonable question, I'll try to answer. I've been doing that here since '07 or '08.

the way you structure your interactions with the discussion makes it clear that you see yourself as a judge considering the merits of our arguments, rather than trying to understand the situation we are discussing in order to find some shared understanding.

One advantage of re-reading a reasoned effort to engage is that I often miss important comments/observations on my first read-through. I plead guilty to "considering the merits of [your] arguments." I would go farther and say that I openly question arguments and positions I find to be wanting. I am happy when an exchange of views produces a shared understanding, but that would be the exception rather than the rule. The more common outcome of a lengthy exchange is something like "no resolution" or "now I understand your position better, thanks" or "you have given me something to think about." But these are outcomes, not goals.

It may be that you are not interested – – as you have every right to be, please do not misunderstand me – – in my style of-and-take. If that's the case, I will try to respect your wishes, but I'm sure there will come a time when you will take a position that I will either question or note my exception to. You are under no obligation to respond. Thanks for letting me know your position. I am attempting to return the favor.

Right now, it's speculation--possibly informed and possibly justified speculation, but speculation nonetheless as to what the future holds.

So the law has the potential to allow for some very undemocratic actions. That potential must be justified because of the actual problems that have been solved. What were those problems?

Also, too, does the law make it easier or harder for people to vote? If harder, why? What problems did that solve?

at the risk of sounding like a boor... maybe it would be better if this blog didn't turn into non-stop attacks on the character of one of the regulars?

So the law has the potential to allow for some very undemocratic actions. That potential must be justified because of the actual problems that have been solved. What were those problems?

Maybe. I don't know and I don't have the indepth knowledge of what issues GA has had in the past. Russell's NYT article referenced problems in Fulton County that I took to mean election officials were derelict in some manner, but that was just my take-away from reading the article. I could have it wrong.

Also, too, does the law make it easier or harder for people to vote? If harder, why? What problems did that solve?

Again, I don't know. My reading of the statute is that, bottom line, not that much of a much. If it turns out there was a hidden sinker that blows up down the line, that will become known when it happens. As for "what problems did it solve", I'm sure the proponents have their answers, whether its administrative efficiency, more timely vote counting, election security and whatnot. Who knows? I don't.

Of course they see electoral advantage in what they are doing. That’s the only reasonable inference.

That's pretty much my take on it.

And it's of a piece with a number of attempts by (R)'s to make it harder for people who don't tend to vote for them to vote at all. Which I find offensive.

If you can't win without gaming the system, the problem is you, not the system.

As an aside, I guess I want to say that (a) I recognize what seems to me to be a lawyerly approach in McK's participation here, and (b) it used to bug me but then I just decided to not worry about it.

We all have our quirks. I sure do.

Not saying how anyone else should respond to any of that, just saying how I do, FWIW.

A term for the current infrastructure legislation is MUGA - Make Unions Great Again.

Yay!!

As for "what problems did it solve", I'm sure the proponents have their answers, whether its administrative efficiency, more timely vote counting, election security and whatnot. Who knows? I don't.

Proponents reasons, as they express them, come down to:

  1. Increase security and prevent election fraud. Compared, apparently, to the past election. Which the Georgia Republican Secretary of State said had zero election fraud.
  2. Reassure voters who are concernef about election fraud.
    Not because there was any. But just because those same proponents spent months claiming that there was. Even though they could never produce real evidence of any.
So yeah, they have "reasons." But administrative efficency? More timely counting of votes? Somehow none of their public statements and arguments touch on those.

Just as a hypothetical, do you think unnecessarily standing in terribly long lines to vote is a harm?

I missed this one, sorry. I think the question is subjective as is the answer, but the intent seems to be: if the statute, by design, is calculated to and, in fact, does result in one party, or identifiable faction thereof, be offered objectively reduced opportunities to vote, yes, that is a "harm." On its face, I don't see where the statute does that. If the polls are open for early voting 10 or 17 or whatever days prior to election day, it's the individual voter's issue to get to the polls. If a particular cohort waits until the last day to vote, I think long lines on the last day are reasonably foreseeable and avoidable.

Pro Bono: I'd say the new Georgia law could be used by fair-minded officials to conduct fair elections.

It also empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections.

McKinney: Yes and yes, potentially.

A new election law, addressing no previous problems, which empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections is a bad law, and in a state like GA speculation that the latter (bold type) will turn out to be the case is a pretty good bet. As for it happening in the wake of a large number of GOP politicians seeking to overturn a free and fair election (or what else would you call the vote to not certify on 1/6?), I would say it moves beyond speculation to informed prediction.

And what hsh said @01.20 above.

But why are you not "moved" by this very, or even rather, likely possibility?

And why, out of interest, did you concentrate on the possible racist effect of the legislation, as opposed to the threat-to-democracy effect which we, here, are mainly discussing?

maybe it would be better if this blog didn't turn into non-stop attacks on the character of one of the regulars?

Yeah, I agree, although God knows putting up with that russell guy is hard sometimes!

don't get me started.

Yeah, I agree, although God knows putting up with that russell guy is hard sometimes!

Yes, all those reasonable-minded polemics that require multiple uses of the scroll bar...

But why are you not "moved" by this very, or even rather, likely possibility?

Well, for all of the reasons I have outlined above, including in particular my review of the statute, I believe your formulation is not warranted and overstated. IOW, we see things differently. I'm open to actual bad things happening down the road and being addressed at that time.

And why, out of interest, did you concentrate on the possible racist effect of the legislation, as opposed to the threat-to-democracy effect which we, here, are mainly discussing?

I think I addressed this upthread, but my initial thought process was that huge amounts of the buzz outside ObWi is all about the "racist GA voting law", and so I was asking about whether people here thought it was racist. The answer is, some do and some don't.

On its face, I don't see where the statute does that.

On it's face, it doesn't.

In the context of the actual demographics and voting patterns of folks in GA, it does.

A lot of the debate here (and elsewhere) seems to be focused on 'show me where in the law it says that'. To a large degree I think that misses a larger point.

The readily foreseeable consequences of the law are that people who tend to vote for (D)'s will find it harder to vote. And that's why they are trying to get it passed. As you yourself note, it's the only reasonable inference.

(R)'s want to make it harder for people who generally don't vote for them to vote at all. It's not acceptable.

As an aside, I'd also say that any situation where people have to stand in line for many hours to cast their vote is an indication of a broken system. Regardless of the partisan aspect. Voting is the primary way that the overwhelming majority of people engage with their own government. We are supposed to be a self-governing polity; enabling people to vote should be at the top of our list of public priorities. IMO.

I was asking about whether people here thought it was racist.

For some of the legislators who passed the bill, I think it was strictly about keeping political power, with race quite incidental. For some, it absolutely was all about race, and making it as hard as possible for non-whites to vote. And for some, both factors were important.

However, I think it wildly unlikely that any of them honestly believed that it had anything at all to do with solving real concerns about real problems with the voting process. As opposed to with the voting results.

I will say that, whatever the actual motivations, it's hard to argue persuasively that the law has any legitimate purpose.

Major League Baseball announced this morning that the All Star game will be played at Coors Field in Denver. There is a moderate Twitter storm going on with people asserting that Colorado's voting laws are tougher than the new ones passed in Georgia. That may be true for in-person voting... but in Colorado in-person voting is for the <5% edge cases. >95% of people receive their ballot by mail and return it either by mail or using one of the hundreds of drop boxes in the state. For that >95%, there's no showing ID or waiting in any sort of line.

When experts rate the states' voting systems for security, accuracy, and ease of use, Colorado is always in the top five and usually in the top three.

Max Boot (what has this world come to?):

The law’s ostensible justification is to combat voter fraud — except there isn’t any significant fraud. Trump is still claiming the election was “rigged,” but he has never produced one iota of credible evidence. Republicans filed more than 60 lawsuits challenging the election results that failed. A recent analysis from the Mitre Corp., a nonpartisan research organization, found “no evidence of fraud, manipulation, or uncorrected error” in eight battleground states, including Georgia.

The Georgia law was obviously passed not to crack down on nonexistent voter fraud but to make it harder for Democrats to win elections by making it more difficult for their supporters to vote. Some on the right even admit as much. With admirable (if chilling) honesty, National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy defends the law by writing: “It would be far better if the franchise were not exercised by ignorant, civics-illiterate people, hypnotized by the flimflam that a great nation needs to be fundamentally transformed rather than competently governed.”

It goes without saying that the “ignorant … people” that McCarthy wants to disenfranchise are not Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), who claims that Jewish-controlled space lasers are setting wildfires and that vigorous exercise can protect you against covid-19. He is obviously talking about people of color and progressives who believe that a country with a long history of racism and discrimination needs to be “fundamentally transformed.” That the Georgia legislature just passed a law restricting voting rights only shows how urgent that transformation remains.

I think the question is subjective as is the answer, but the intent seems to be: if the statute, by design, is calculated to and, in fact, does result in one party, or identifiable faction thereof, be offered objectively reduced opportunities to vote, yes, that is a "harm."

So it's okay if it makes it harder for everyone to vote (for no good reason)?

For context, this isn't the only country that holds elections, and it's the richest nation in human history. Yet people stand in line to vote here far more often and for for longer waits than in other economically developed democracies.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54532189

Forget making it even harder for people to vote. Just leaving things as they are is bad enough.

So it's okay if it makes it harder for everyone to vote (for no good reason)?

If it does, to what extent is it "harder" (harder than what?) and to what extent can people mitigate or eliminate the issue? I don't see this a binary or imposing a tangible burden *if* people manage their affairs reasonably.

harder than what?

Um, harder than it used to be, before the law was enacted? Seems obvious, but....

I don't see this a binary or imposing a tangible burden *if* people manage their affairs reasonably.

i'm willing to bet that nothing in the text of the bill even hints at this being a reason to pass any part of any of these provisions.

social engineering is not the reason.

no doubt the good people of GA will adapt themselves to yet another attempt to make their lives harder than it needs to be.

but, for fuck's sake, maybe the GOP could stop trying to make it harder for people who don't vote for them to vote?

"but, for fuck's sake, maybe the GOP could stop trying to make it harder for people who don't vote for them to vote"

This is the most ridiculous of all the arguments, for whatever value of harder it might be, it is applied to everyone. The Dems want special treatment of people they anticipate will vote for them. But the law doesn't actually make it much harder to voge.

This is pretty pointless by now, but McK referred to "partisans" handing out water to voters who were in long lines due to their poor management of their affairs (to use his phrase above) in waiting until election day to vote.

I responded that there was no partisan identification to either those giving or receiving water, and that some of the instances of long lines occurred on early voting days, due to the far fewer voting locations during early voting.

His response to that was "so it's all about the water, nothing to see here." Ignoring the correction and additional information. I responded that I was addressing (what I considered) mischaracterizations of that specific part of his comment - I didn't realize it was only allowed for me to respond to everything in his lengthy comment, rather than just the part I knew to be factually inaccurate and incomplete. I don't see how that's ad hominem, I was trying to clarify the narrow scope of my comment. Replace "mischaracterizations" with "mistaken descriptions" if that depersonalizes it.

As to research, nous's response works for me. I have been living through this as news, not research. I don't make comments about the granular details of situations in other cities/states that I am only vaguely familiar with and expect others to explain it all to me in the course of a blog comment thread. And yet when specific examples and data are provided (and I'm not going to repeat portions of previous comments where I provided such), they get no response, not even acknowledgement before dismissal.

Leaving meta behind, I hope that Kevin Drum's take is what will happen, that the effects on election outcomes will be trivial because efforts towards voter education about the changes and turnout efforts will swamp the intended curtailment of "non-quality" votes.

McTX: I'm open to actual bad things happening down the road and being addressed at that time.

A somewhat troubling sentence, there.

Preventing "actual bad things" is often (if not usually, if not always) less fuss and bother than "addressing" them when they occur.

Not wanting to guess what "bad things" McKinney may be "open to" the possibility of, I can easily imagine that "addressing them" after the fact could involve either violence or litigation.

To lawyers in general, litigation may count as a feature and not a bug, of course:)

--TP

The Atlanta Braves baseball franchise should move to Coors Field as well.

The U.S. headquarters of Dominion Voting Systems Inc, soon to be enriched by Court-enforced mergers of the fake wealth of the My Pillow guy and other lying, thieving, lunatic Trump insurrectionists on to Dominion's balance sheet, is exactly three blocks from Coors Field.

QAnon will soon pounce on that. There must be a tunnel of some kind.

I do hope this season's All-Star game is sufficiently secured against violent right-wing Republican Party terrorism of the sort (and worse) witnessed on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol and ordered by Donald J. Trump, the same villain for whom the right-wing legislatures in Georgia and Michigan, and others, are squeezing voter access to the polls, a phenomenon toward which innocent conservative faces turn and see nothing.

Water will be available at polling places in those states in future elections, but it will be, because it will have to be, administered thru high pressure fire hoses as it was in the not so distant American past by those intent on restricting access to the franchise, because this will not stand.

The FOX headlines will read: "Democrats All Wet Over Receiving The Water They Demanded!"

The odd claim that new restrictions placed on access to the voting franchise -- making it more difficult to vote -- are nothing to see here because they apply to everyone is Anatole France-worthy.

“It would be far better if the franchise were not exercised by ignorant, civics-illiterate people, hypnotized by the flimflam that a great nation needs to be fundamentally transformed rather than competently governed.”

Are ignorant, civics-illiterate citizens refused access to deadly weapons guaranteed by the Second Amendment as well? May I hand a dumbass a bottle of water who is standing in line outside a gun store awaiting his turn to vote semi-automatic?

Seems a naive threat to the well-being of the McCarthy types to restrict the first and encourage access to the latter.

How you say ... elitist?

As Constitutional scholar and professional wing man and male hooker Matt Gaetz pointed out the other day: the Founders did not bequeath our Second Amendment rights to us for hunting or self-defense; they gave us the right to arm ourselves and to use deadly force against the tyranny of government (and to force the favors of underaged women ... in and out .... in and out ... of government).

McCarthy and Gaetz presumably have an afternoon set-to scheduled at the OK Corral to settle this hash.

Back to reading.

One advantage of re-reading a reasoned effort to engage is that I often miss important comments/observations on my first read-through. I plead guilty to "considering the merits of [your] arguments." I would go farther and say that I openly question arguments and positions I find to be wanting.

Thank you for this.

All I am trying to point out here is that, as is often the case, the arguments in a comment thread are often going to be half-assed summary and paraphrase of multiple sources. I definitely understand pointing to a lack of time to engage. My own research time at the moment is taken up by the subjects I have my students write about (science fiction, music, potentially environmentalism and philanthropy). So while I can follow and try to understand things in GA, or WI, or CO, I'm not at leisure to put together an annotated bibliography for those subjects because that writing time is already accounted for with my other subjects.

Knowing this for myself, I try to respond to, for example, the articles that CharlesWT posts links to, not to his own presentation of them (which is usually pretty minimalist, anyway).

That's an academic habit right there; move the argument as close to the source of the actual disagreement as you can. Sometimes that takes some extra digging, but it usually also leads to a more productive and nuanced discussion.

The conservative movement state legislators in Georgia and Michigan subscribe to the same deeply racial and nationalist political paranoia, and also believe the election was stolen from Trump, as the insurrectionists who on January 6, 2021 attempted to violently overthrow a duly elected US Government, and murdered human beings in the attempt.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/04/shocked-i-tell-you-shocked/

At the very least, I can question their motivations for restricting access to the polls.

Yeah, but they wanted to murder Mike Pence, too, not that HE seems to mind.

Well, then, nothing to see here, I guess.

Marty: "This is the most ridiculous of all the arguments, for whatever value of harder it might be, it is applied to everyone."

McKinney: "the balance of the provisions—as a matter of substantive law—are like rain, everyone gets equally wet."

This line of reasoning is the very same line used to justify the suppression of black voting in the Jim Crow era. THE. EXACT. SAME. BS.

Irony is indeed deader than a doornail.

As for everybody tiptoeing around the word "racism" let's get real here-the law in its majesty has deemed disparate outcomes as pretty much the current embodiment of RACISM.

This piece of shit legislation would have been burned at the stake by a decent Justice Department before that corporate fuck John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County. THAT WAS THE LAW...

But you know when the other side trots out garbage like this, you kinda' know they are losing the argument, and are really not even trying.

I'm open to actual bad things happening down the road and being addressed at that time.

Actual bad things could happen, McKinney, whether you are open to that happening or not. I'm with Tony P on this.

So, in your own words, the new law potentially empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections. And although you have not admitted that this law was passed to address non-existent problems, given the near-universal verdict that the GA elections were without fraud, I think we can take this as fact. So the GOP have passed an unnecessary law which potentially empowers politicians to run grossly unfair elections, and you are not "moved" by this, or even much bothered by it, and you think the general response to it an overreaction. You were horrified by Trump and his post-election conduct, but you cannot see the connection between these anti-democratic behaviours, both supported by most of the GOP. OK, I think I've got it.

Um, harder than it used to be, before the law was enacted? Seems obvious, but...

Harder by 1%, by 3.5%, tens times harder, harder how? It's a pretty squishy concept. It's harder to get a DL in TX now--why? No idea? Is it hard to vote? Not for me--I just show up and vote. The only lines I remember were for early voting back in the day and it seemed to impact everyone the same.

A somewhat troubling sentence, there.

I will attempt to clarify: I am open to being observant to something bad happening in the future and, if it does, addressing it at that time. I am not hoping something bad will happen, I am simply leaving open the potential for the GA law to be abused/misused, producing the need for intervention when something actually happens.

All I am trying to point out here is that, as is often the case, the arguments in a comment thread are often going to be half-assed summary and paraphrase of multiple sources.

We all identify, assess and discuss things differently, the differences often being very subtle. Conversations go sideways for no apparent reason. I try to proof my work before I post and I often edit, if not severely edit if not delete entirely large blocks of my awesome prose. Over the years, I've developed somewhat of an ear for how my BS will sit with a half dozen or so ObWi regulars and I try to stay inside my sense of their collective tolerance level. I frequently go back over my stuff and imagine what the response from my mental focus group would be and think, 'maybe this is a bit much.'

That said, ObWi has always been a place where views were stated, exchanged, challenged, etc. This is only website I visit, much less comment. The give and take can be spicey. My personal rules of the road are to *try*: to ask reasonable questions, respond to questions, state my position, defend it and avoid getting personal. I'm human and subject to error.

That's an academic habit right there; move the argument as close to the source of the actual disagreement as you can. Sometimes that takes some extra digging, but it usually also leads to a more productive and nuanced discussion.

Not any different than my goal, we just have different ways of getting there.

Thanks for the reply.

This line of reasoning is the very same line used to justify the suppression of black voting in the Jim Crow era. THE. EXACT. SAME. BS

I read that piece this morning. I was not impressed. But, perspectives differ.

Harder by 1%, by 3.5%, tens times harder, harder how? It's a pretty squishy concept.

Just because it can't be readily quantified doesn't make it squishy. Do you have to travel farther? Do you have to wait longer? Do you have to jump through more administrative hoops? Do you have to do those things in a shorter amount of time?

The question is, to me, why should it be any harder at all when it's already harder than it should be? Why is it easier to vote in other states than it is in Georgia? Why is it easier to vote in other countries than it is in the United States?

(Is it harder to understand quantum mechanics than to learn the alphabet? If so, by what percentage? Oh, you can't come up with a number? Get lost, then!)

The question is, to me, why should it be any harder at all when it's already harder than it should be? Why is it easier to vote in other states than it is in Georgia? Why is it easier to vote in other countries than it is in the United States?

Ok, and you may be right, but the GA Leg says otherwise. I suspect the US Senate and the House are going to do some things that make my life harder. I don't think they should, but it's going to happen, probably. The context will be different, but the "harder" part will be there.

Others will think the imposition on me and others like me, while regrettable, has other, offsetting benefits and on balance, it's the right thing to do. That's more or less the continuing argument in a democracy.

On the matter at hand, I just don't see this voting law as a huge thing, nor an objective injustice, I just don't. Others disagree and I've read pretty much every comment here. I'm unmoved. If things that I can't see in the statute produce material and unjustified burdens on voting down the road, I'm open to rethinking. That's just where I come out on it.

"This is the most ridiculous of all the arguments, for whatever value of harder it might be, it is applied to everyone."

so. fucking. dumb.

poll taxes and literacy tests were applied to everyone, too. guess who they affected most.

the water synecdoche is applied to everyone. but it's only an issue for people who have to wait in long lines. and who are those people? take a willlld fucking guess.

and for bonus points, see if you can figure out why the shitbrains in the GA legislature suddenly found water to be an issue that deserves their attention.

and then see if you can figure out how to claim that reducing per-capita ballot drop-off locations in certain counties while raising it in others is 'applied equally'.

and for bonus points, see if there's any overlap in the long lines targets and the reduced ballot drop-off targets.

man, talk about needing a hat.

Why is it harder in any state? Why can't we all do things exactly the same? Why are there any rules?

Because different people perceive problems differently and solve perceived problems differently.

It should be as hard as it needs to be to avoid abuses. Those are perceived differently. One of the red herring arguments is that there aren't any widespread abuses. There are lots of things we have laws for that don't have widespread abuse, and some that are abused all the time. That's not a condition for creating a law. Potential abuse at any level can suffice.

Priest saw no partisan identification in people passing out water and food. Others did. Now you can't, but water stations can be provided, I think they should have been mandatory but, hell, I live in Florida now and we have our own stupid disagreements.

I don't think campaigns should be allowed to drive busses around to pick up people and take them to the polls. That seems pretty much election interference to me. But then I think people should make the effort in, for Georgia, 19 days of early voting plus voting day to get themselves to the polls.

Voting is a right everyone should exercise, but it should be OK if it requires a person to do something except wake up on election day and decide to vote.

I was not impressed.

This response is not substantive.

I'm open to actual bad things happening down the road and being addressed at that time.

LOL. Then obviously enacting legislation that makes bad things more likely is not all that bad!

To state the argument is to refute it.

This response is not substantive.

I do not value Bouie's viewpoints. His contention that, because people said that Jim Crow was race neutral (it wasn't, but so what), therefore any argument that a statute today is race neutral is tainted by prior use of the same argument is just really shitty logic in my view. I looked at the statute, courtesy of the NYT, and it is race neutral. I don't care how Bouie characterizes what assholes 80 years ago said. I can read English and make up my own mind.

but it should be OK if it requires a person to do something except wake up on election day and decide to vote.

This "something" is done when the person registers to vote, thereby expressing their desire to actively participate in our civic life.

Making it more difficult is simply opening the door to abuse (real, potential, or imagined).

Why is it harder in any state? Why can't we all do things exactly the same? Why are there any rules? Because different people perceive problems differently and solve perceived problems differently.

Living where I do, I ask myself at least one of those questions. Every time experts look at states' voting systems for security, accuracy, and ease of use, the states using contemporary vote by mail systems win. Every. Single. Time. There's a known best practice. Anyone who isn't using it has something that they value more than security, accuracy, and ease of use.

It should be as hard as it needs to be to avoid abuses. Those are perceived differently.

Absolutely true. And for some, it is perceived as abuse if their side doesn't win the election. Which makes it difficult to see how their could be free and fair elections unless everybody miraculously agrees on who should win every time.

Harder by 1%, by 3.5%, tens times harder, harder how? It's a pretty squishy concept.

A gaming house that sets its slots at 0.3% 'take' will still grind up the customers in the long run. For a political party trying to maintain its electoral edge in highly polarized closely contested elections and running against a demographic tide, well, a 0.3% edge can be the difference as between winning or losing.

This should not be difficult to understand.

I do not value Bouie's viewpoints.

Getting less substantive all the time.

Jim Crow politicians also claimed their election rules were 'race neutral'...but we all know the impact and/or application was definitely not.

Defenders of this piece of legislative garbage are saying the same words, but the impact will most likely be disparate when evaluated by taking into account race.

Calling this line of argument "shitty" is just calling it names, and is not substantive.

Getting less substantive all the time.

Ok, well, I guess I give up then.

All, I think--for my part--I've said all there is for me to say. I'm wrapping this one up (for me). Time permitting, I'll try to drop in again fairly soon on another topic.

Just to show how evenhanded I am, there are some politicians in New York that should be taken to the woodshed for making the voting process unnecessarily difficult.

How that came to be is unknown to me (machine politics?), but I bet that it didn't start with, "hey, those blacks like to vote on Sundays, and the all vote for those commie Democrats, so let's make voting on Sunday more difficult, and just to show how neutral we are, we shall make it a universal rule...LOL, sucks to be you, commie Dems!"*

*from the legislative hearings. Oh, oops..my bad...there wasn't much in the way of that waste of time.

Cleek writes
at the risk of sounding like a boor... maybe it would be better if this blog didn't turn into non-stop attacks on the character of one of the regulars?

Normally, I'd say cleek and I are possibly about at the 90% level in terms of being on the same page. This is the other 10%. AlaMcT (that appellation is to remind everyone that he admitted to coming here to throw bombs) is just getting what he dishes out. The only reason I can see that his attacks are not non-stop is because he scurries off after he picks a fight and then pops up anew, repeating the same behavior. If we lined them up, I'm pretty sure they'd be no break. Reaper, meet sower.

nous, on the other hand, I think approaches 99% for same pagitude
The tell I am speaking of, though, is the habit you have of treating every discussion here as one for which the rest of the commentariat (Marty and CharlesWT excepted) are arguing a case (your words above, bolded) and the way you structure your interactions with the discussion makes it clear that you see yourself as a judge considering the merits of our arguments, rather than trying to understand the situation we are discussing in order to find some shared understanding.

That last part bolded. At the risk of 'mind reading' (though I think it has been proven pretty much beyond a doubt by what AlaMcT has written), he's not interested in shared understanding and he's not interested in discussing the situation. He's interested in scoring points. He's interested in using this blog to assure himself that his view is always correct. If we treat him like just another guy, we just make this blog another stage for the counselor AlaMcTx strut. I'm sure that he has picked out the anecdote from here to recycle somewhere else so when he's talking to conservatives that shows he's better than they are, he's a conservative with a broad and diverse group of people. However, he wouldn't acknowledge that here because it might put a crack in his defenses.

And from the man himself
Others disagree and I've read pretty much every comment here. I'm unmoved. If things that I can't see in the statute produce material and unjustified burdens on voting down the road, I'm open to rethinking. That's just where I come out on it.

I can't speak for others, but if he had started this off with this, maybe there wouldn't have been a pile on in that we wouldn't have had to play what's my line to get him to admit it and so just maybe it wouldn't be 'personalized'. (I'd argue that one 'personalize' things when you lie about why something is being asked.) I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand. But as far as the reaction to AlaMcT, it seems like just returning the volley, it's not like he wandered in here and got assailed because he's a conservative lawyer from Texas.

I can't speak for others, but for my group of three, it is AlaMcT, Marty and CharlesWT. Marty comes in basically unhinged and angry, gets whatever it is off his chest. There is some pushback, but I don't give him nicknames or cringe when I see him post though I do wonder what he has read that has set him off. CharlesWT simply posts his Reason article or whatever he's been able to find on a quick google as a rejoinder to whatever is being discussed. I'd appreciate it if he might relate why he thinks the link is so apropos and what experiences of his might be related to it, but I don't see that happening. So I bitch about that, but after I get that off my chest, I'm good.

AlaMcT, on the other hand, treats this place like a court with the sole objective being for him to win the argument, ideally against as many people as he can. By treating everyone here like the simulcra in his head, he picks fights. Maybe, when he gets to Austin and has time to participate in this list on a more regular basis, he might change. Believe it or not, I'm hopeful. But he seems to want to behave like such an asshole now, he is going to find that the stench will cling to him. Emetic indeed.

If things that I can't see in the statute produce material and unjustified burdens on voting down the road, I'm open to rethinking.

OK, so let's assume this legislation, enacted by people who have evinced massive bad faith, is in good faith, then if it's used to steal an election or two, then we can protest.

...for whatever value of harder it might be, it is applied to everyone...

Right, everyone has an equal right to dine at the Ritz, and everyone has an equal right to overcome unnecessary barriers put in the way of voting.

If a particular cohort waits until the last day to vote, I think long lines on the last day are reasonably foreseeable and avoidable.

Here in the land of the unfree, I decide to vote on election day, I go to the polling station, I vote, I'm back home 20 minutes after I left my house. No forward planning is involved. That's what happens in democracies. Why do you want to run a non-democracy?


It seems to me, from what Marty has written, that he sees voting restrictions as a sort of test of will, or test of faith. If the obstacles to voting are there and are known, then all that it proves when they stop someone from voting is that the person involved didn't want to vote badly enough.

Fair inference, Marty, or would you like to qualify this in some way?

Except Michael, no one has to provide proof of identity after the first registration? See, there is no chance that becomes "widespread" voter fraud. But it leaves no check if someone moves out of state and the new person receives their ballot? Or did I read that wrong?

Don't know if McKinney is still reading. But if he is, he might find this enlightening:
https://thebulwark.com/the-state-assault-on-voting-rights-hurts-all-of-us/

Note that the authors are a) conservatives, b) Republicans, c) former elected officials. One is also a former chair of the Republican National Committee. They make no bones about the negative impacts of the rash of new laws, in Georgia and elsewhere.

So, about McKinney:

I see no harm, myself, in his "style" or "approach" or "behavior" or whatever. It's not like "winning an argument" in the comment section of even so estimable a blog as Obsidian Wings really amounts to much. Unless there's an electorally significant number of lurkers around here who are inclined to adopt McKinney's POV in the absence of responses to his comments, I don't feel compelled to rebut or refute his "arguments".

As I have said before, McKinneyTexas represents (to me) what "reasonable Republicans" are like -- for better and for worse. Yes, I know wj calls himself a Republican and McKinney doesn't, but still. So I live in everlasting hope that McKinney may someday persuade me to change my mind about some Republican position. It could happen, but not just because McKinney feels he "won" an argument.

Anyway, when McKinney writes

I just don't see this voting law as a huge thing, nor an objective injustice, I just don't.
I am reminded of a question I have asked myself before: how could I convince a color-blind person that not only can other people tell the difference between green and blue, say, but that blue and green are actually different in reality?

The meta-question, of course, is: why try? It's no skin off my own nose. At best, if he's my friend, I may feel an obligation to try because the awareness that green is different from blue may prove useful to him, someday, in some bizarre set of circumstances. But my sense of obligation would not overwhelm me.

--TP

Trump explains the Georgia and Michigan voting restrictions:

https://www.mediamatters.org/newsmax/newsmax-host-and-donald-trump-tie-new-restrictive-voting-laws-effort-overturn-2020-election

"Next election, and we won't have to fight it after the fact."

Coincidentally when innocent-faced conservatives might take another look, around the same time global climate change merits another look-see.

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