Washington Post editorial today:
THE PRESIDENTIAL Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, set to hold its inaugural meeting Wednesday, is already better known as the voter fraud commission, owing not only to its explicit mission but also to the fact that so many of its members, including its chairman, Vice President Pence, and vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, are on record as subscribing to or defending President Trump’s unfounded view that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in last fall’s elections. In fact, the real fraud is the commission itself.
Mr. Kobach, a Republican running for governor of Kansas, professes indignation and phony puzzlement over the jaundiced eye that Democrats, voting rights experts and some Republicans have aimed at the panel.
Yet how could it be otherwise, given that Mr. Kobach himself has for years made a political cottage industry of his (repeatedly debunked) claims of fraud in Kansas and national elections? If ever a federal commission embarked on a “study” with a predetermined outcome, this is it.Charles Pierce traces its origins at least back to the Florida recount in 2000 that the Republican- majority Supreme Court decided to stop before Al Gore could be named the winner:
That mockery of a presidential commission sat for the first time Wednesday morning, but it was years in the making. John Paul Stevens saw it coming. In 2000, the Supreme Court blessed official ratfcking with a constitutional imprimatur. Famously, it held that its decision in that case was "limited to the circumstances" of the 2000 election and, therefore, had no precedential value. That may be true in the nation's courts, but it has proven to be a deadly precedent in our politics. It is going to take a generation, at least, to reverse.Vanita Gupta, former head of the Civil Rights division in the Justice Department, goes beyond the commission's efforts to disenfranchise voters:
The Trump administration’s election-integrity commission will have its first meeting on Wednesday to map out how the president will strip the right to vote from millions of Americans. It hasn’t gotten off to the strongest start: Its astonishing request last month that each state hand over voters’ personal data was met with bipartisan condemnation. Yet it is joined in its efforts to disenfranchise citizens by the immensely more powerful Justice Department.
Lost amid the uproar over the commission’s request was a letter sent at the same time by the Justice Department’s civil rights division. It forced 44 states to provide extensive information on how they keep their voter rolls up-to-date. It cited the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, known as the Motor-Voter law, which mandates that states help voters register through motor vehicle departments.
The letter doesn’t ask whether states are complying with the parts of the law that expand opportunities to register. Instead it focuses on the sections related to maintaining the lists. That’s a prelude to voter purging.As if to accentuate what propelled this effort now, we hear from the deranged man himself:
While introducing the first public meeting in his “voter fraud” commission on Wednesday, the president said that it was likely that the 44 states [Ed.: a large chunk Republican -run]were reluctant to hand over all requested information on voters — including the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers — because they were trying to conceal wrongdoing.
“If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about?” the president asked rhetorically. “What are they worried about? There’s something, there always is.”Several things live rent free in Rump's small but fevered brain. One of them is his being a loser to Hillary Clinton in the popular vote column. It burns like an intense flame inside him, side by side with the intense flame of Obama envy. As these two vengeful obsessions play out, untold damage is being done to peoples' confidence in their voting franchise and to the social fabric of our society. And there is no shortage of charlatans like Kris Kobach and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to enable him in inflicting that damage.