“GOP appears to fear election fraud because they do it.”
I wrote about the back story here: Staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will face criminal charges for filing fraudulent ballot petitions.
As we all know by now, Republicans are masters of that old Rovian tactic called projection. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s taking your candidate’s (or anyone’s) weaknesses and attributing them to the opposition.
By accusing voters of attempting fraud, making them jump through hoops in order to abide by new restrictive Voter I.D. laws, the GOP is projecting like crazy, considering former McCotter staffers have been charged with 36 counts of both misdemeanor and felony election fraud.
But despite both being illegal acts that can potentially affect elections, as I said in my previous post, it’s important to remember that election fraud and voter fraud are two different things. Voter fraud involves individual voters who show up at the precincts on election day who might use fake names, register to vote more than once, that kind of thing. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent, rarer than getting struck by lightning.
The McCotter mess was election fraud, which is rampant, and that’s when candidates or groups try to influence election outcomes by hacking into voting machines, engage in voter suppression (scroll), ballot box tampering, intimidation at the polls, deliberate miscounting, or as happened in this case, padding or otherwise altering petitions.
The point here is that it is all too common for hypocritical Republicans to condemn behavior while engaging in equally condemnable behavior:
In September of 2011, McCotter officially withdrew from the race and endorsed Mitt Romney. [...]
And this is the truth about so many Republican policies: rules and regulations are put in place to scapegoat people who aren’t causing problems. In Florida, drug testing welfare recipients showed that less than 3% of those receiving welfare were using drugs illegally, while that discriminatory testing cost the state nearly $120,000. Mitt Romney has evoked the “47% of people [who] pay no income tax,” conveniently ignoring that collecting income tax from all of those households would bring in less than than the president’s Buffett Rule which would slightly raise taxes for the country’s wealthiest. Reagan’s racist welfare queen myth still looms large in the conservative narrative, despite the fact that the Bush-era bailout for corrupt and irresponsible banks cost far more than years of welfare programs.
The cognitive dissonance bordering on willful delusion has become the hallmark of Republican policies and rhetoric. Expecting this heinous fraud to bring the GOP back to reality would be wishful thinking at this point, but at least one corrupt Congressman is now out of a job.
With any luck and a big turnout, many more will be out of a job as well.