There are two big stories this weekend: voter intimidation and the Trump campaign’s attempt to game the election by convincing people that the president should declare victory on Tuesday night. There have been flashes of voter intimidation all along, with pro-Trump supporters blocking a poll entrance in Fairfax, Virginia, in September, for example. But that intimidation escalated yesterday when a caravan of trucks and cars sporting Trump flags surrounded a Biden-Harris bus in Texas, forcing it first to slow to 20 miles an hour and then forcing the campaign to cancel the rest of the day’s campaign events out of safety concerns. One of the trucks sideswiped a car as the two drove down the highway.
In Charles Blow’s opinion piece in this morning’s New York Times, “Our Most Dangerous Weeks Are Ahead” he describes the prospect of violence surrounding the election and the preparations that are underway to combat it.
The piece itself is disturbing, but what I took away from it was a comment by one of the readers. I have taken the liberty of including it here because it speaks to the devastating personal costs that voter intimidation brings with it, and the efforts some Americans have been forced to take to protect themselves and their families during our Presidential election. The last sentence of the comment felt like a hammer blow to the heart, “This is the America many of us now live in.”
“As a nation, our most dangerous weeks are ahead. But those of us who are minorities and live in Red states are the most vulnerable. I live in a Red state in which seeing white militias is increasingly common. I wish my family had the luxury of considering this election as purely an academic exercise. But we cannot. As Americans of Middle Eastern ancestry, we are literally at risk where we live. So while legal experts will grapple with novel questions never before sent to the nation's high court, my family will have a much more basic concern - how to ensure our own safety. Last year we had planned on being out of the country during the election. But the pandemic put an end to these plans. So we plan not to leave our homes for some time, perhaps weeks. We have a group of families, all close friends (and minorities) whom we've shared housekeys. We have safe words should we need to contact each other in a precarious situation. We know that if one of us is threatened, the rest of us will reach out and try to shelter each other as much as humanly possible. So while we may well see the very real spectre of this Trump Supreme Court extending his term in spite of a Biden win (both popular and electoral vote), families like ours just can't devote much intellectual attention to such weighty matters right now. Our small group has prepared the best we can - and our only aim is to protect ourselves from white supremacists. This is the America many of us now live in.”
And for some good news...The Texas Supreme Court rejects GOP's attempt to invalidate 127,000 votes in Harris County.
As a poll worker, tomorrow I will gird for battle, something I NEVER expected. I’m in TN and I have little faith in our county mayor (an ex-WWE wrestler and libertarian) and sheriff, who enforces only laws he agrees with, to keep voters safe. The good news is the elections admin takes all this seriously.
May trump slither out of office unlike the way he peacocked in, this time spotlight-flooded as he is taken in cuffs to appear before the SDNY and to be fitted for an orange jumpsuit.
Installation of unscalable fencing at the White House, with the National Guard called to protect an enemy domestic (also, arguably, an enemy foreign). What in bloody hell is wrong with THAT Election Day picture? Rhetorical.
We now know that part of trump's voting interference plan is to have his thugs generate myriad traffic jams. Dress rehearsal took place over the weekend. Add to that the certain assault on peaceful marchers.
One of my greatest concerns--lordy, there's a boatload of 'em--is the immediate future of Christopher Wray. Governmentally speaking, he is pretty much the Lone Ranger re protecting our nation. And it seems likely that trump will axe him.
(I just had a revelation! The reason no buses are picking up trumpeters from events is that the whole fleet has been immobilized by the humongous piles of people trump has thrown under them over the past four years.)
Regrets. I've had a few...
(1) That Mueller never came forward as a patriotic citizen to blow all the whistles in his possession.
(2) That a second impeachment initiative was not begun. Fuzzy on what the precise justification for that might have been, but it seems/seemed like a good, strategic action to me.
(3) U.S. Senator oath of office: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God." Parse that. Regrettably, I have more rage than regret. There is not one--NOT ONE--Republican Senator who gives a rat's patoot about that pledge. No one who has the moral fiber to speak to the absolute outrage that has been unfolding and escalating for the past four years. Apparently they decided the pledge was just a suggestion.
What this administration is doing is exactly what I read about oppressive, dictator countries doing when I was in grade school and thought, whew, glad I’m in America!
My WWII dad is rolling in his grave. Sorry we’ve lost the country you fought for Dad. We weren’t paying attention.
I agree with others. It will be so up to the news media. But that will be like putting a piece of chicken on the noses of untrained dogs and hoping they will just let them sit there and not snap them up. For as professional as the main TV news departments are supposed to be, the pack mentality, and the race for ratings and profits, will make it almost impossible for them not to try and scoop the others with updates and projections and horse-race hype. Instead they should maybe report on the voter suppression. The other thing they've done to prime rural Trump voters to think they're being screwed is put up those big maps and color in states as if dirt could vote. I've mentioned this before. From their graphics, lightly populated states look just the same as heavily populated ones. If they used CARTOGRAMS that adjusted states' sizes or color density by population, it would show better how unbalanced is our "democracy." ( see https://www.wiscontext.org/cartogram-wisconsins-2018-election-governor )
Finally, why aren't the intimidators arrested? If someone can be executed for sleeping in.his car in a parking lot, surely those who threaten harm to and disrupt a political campaign should at least get a ticket? I really see this as like part of the second rollback of reconstruction with a weaker party trying to protect rights. Do you think these Dems would refuse to seat "confederate" colleagues? Thank you for the link to Charles Blow article, too.
Maybe the architects of this 13 foot high non scalable wall around the White House should have noted the world record for the pole vault is now a little over 20 feet.
Heather, thanks for your summation of "Life in the day" at Crazyland. We in Central New York had several "Trump trains" as they are called here irritating drivers this weekend as well. None to my knowledge cause anything other than pity from onlookers. I know they think their 10 car "Trump train" is a 1,000 cars in their altered minds when infact there are far more cars in line to get into the local Wegmans grocery store on any given day.
That said, this "unscalable fence" at several locations with the National Guard at the ready, must be a representation of the fear that run through Trumps head that if his dog whistle of lawyers and complicit Government officials to keep him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue doesn't work, that a childish wall will keep him safe. Perhaps he doesn't realize that this sandcastle he is building will be eroded by the tide. It always does. It isn't a sustainable solution.
Stay safe, be well and don't let the bastards wear you down.
The news media can do a lot to forestall the second of HCR's big stories; calling the election on Tuesday night. Don't give the Big Mouth a mouth piece. Don't broadcast an announcement "from the White House" that the Trump Administration can't legally make. The same for the Biden camp for that matter.
The gangs of deplorables will be active. Take cell phone videos, including license plate numbers.
HCR interviewed by Bill Moyers;
Trump is finally going to have his wall. However, now it’s to protect him from Americans
So now he's counting on the "fake news" to correctly call the election the night of. I wonder if he ends up "losing" according to the media on election night if he will then switch to wanting to wait until all the results come in. Been an extremely rough week for me. Hanging on by a thread. My entire family, extended and all, is voting Trump. Im the only one who has already voted Biden and it feels extremely lonely.
I have a small, colorful Biden/Harris bumper sticker on my car. It was painted by a friend. I have noticed how few bumper stickers of any kind there are in my Maine town. Usually, before an election, there are a pretty good number of them. I got an idea of why there are few bumper stickers the other day when I was driving on a 4 lane road. A large, high, all black pickup raced up behind my car and started to make loud revving sounds. He, (sorry, I'm assuming it was a he) kept racing up close behind me and feinting back for the next very loud approach. When we reached a part of the road with other cars, he drifted off ahead. I still have my bumper sticker on, but I have a new awareness that some people are enjoying menacing women in Subarus.
The latest from what we’re going through in GA. Because of our “toss-up” status we’ve been getting a LOT of attention from the candidates in the form of campaign stops. We’re not used to that here as we’ve long been considered solidly red, but things seem to be changing and it sure is nice to see it!
As for everything else, what I took away from HCR’s current letter is that we’d best get used to being on a roller-coaster for the coming days. Because of the vagaries of ballot-counting methods in various states we’re probably going to be high one minute and in the depths the next. I’m trying to steel myself for whatever might come, but trying to keep my heart full of hope. I think we’d all best hunker down and wait and see what happens. It might all proceed smoothly. It could be total chaos. It’s the not knowing that is killing us. As a highly sensitive empath, I plan on unplugging a bit tomorrow and the rest of the week…reading folks’ posts on here…purposely keeping media out of my life…doing some crosswords & sudokus…listening to some calming Bach or Mozart…hanging out with my purring cat...relishing silence. I have to think of my sanity. Do whatever works to keep you calm, centered, and grounded. And if you’re the type, PRAY for the coming days! Y’all rock!!
My first thought on the myriad of "Trump convoy" incidents and other Trumpoid, intimidatory stupidities in different communities in particular parts of the nation is "WHAT A LOAD OF AMATEURS". It sounds very much like these seperate goups of "people" are fueled more by the beer they are drinking than the ideology they are proclaiming to support....10 year old bullies sneaking into the school kindergarden play-yard to frighten the kids...as on Halloween. The very uncoordinated nature of the different, disparate attacks on decent people would suggest the actions of loose canons or loan wolves and not a professional, disciplined organization. Trump himself underlines this very thesis in his "reactive" response and seems almost surprised at his people doing this for him despite his constant incantations, twittering and hectoring inciting "redneck" rebellion. He thinks it is "fun", "good TV" and "fair game"; he would have liked to have thought of that good "game" himself and is happy to take his meagre, thin-skinned support wherever he can find it....in Putin, Qanon, Fox, Guiliani, Falwell and in many other low-down, white hick-town and bar-room crazies.
The voter suppression tactics and legal challenges to votes, counting systems and results is something else. This is integral to the Koch-funded, fueled and directed Republican long-game to reduce any notion of democracy to a level at which their minority can continue to control society. They have been largely successful across many states as the have perservered in the effort over the past nearly 50 years while the Democrats sat and wailed at the GOP's iniquities and didn't accept the truth of the oppositions anti-democratic intentions. Now they are waking up to the near to spend a great deal of energy combating this insidious disease jsut as they will fight Covid. The Democrats have eqully brilliant legal minds at their disposal and now the motivation to say once and for all STOP!
My feeling though is that in the operational phase of the GOP's legal challenge to the people's wishes expressed through their massive votes to oust the usurper Trump, they will in the end be as disorganized and amateur as their "street, bear-laden, car-train militias playing soldier on the Texas high road.
So interesting that David Frum’s relatives were in line when that horrible spectacle took place. I am telling you, I was raised in NC and those sheriffs, I bet are KKK’ers. They are sick and heartless.
As always, thank you from this (exhausted) resident of Harris County, Texas.