The Fraud Of Fraud

It's becoming clear that the fraudulent GOP "vote fraud" project is up and running at full speed and will likely be a huge story for well beyond the election. Rick Perlstein had an interaction with John Fund recently, who said right out that Democrats didn't believe in election law and would try to count illegal votes. He's selling books so perhaps his hyperbole is just salesmanship, but his prediction that a close election will be thrown into doubt because of Republican efforts to challenge every provisional ballot sounds quite plausible to me.

The process of turning ACORN into a terrorist sleeper cell has begun and I see little hope that they aren't going to be successful. The press is clearly fascinated by the right wing caricature of a group of shiftless "community organizers" trading crack for Obama votes in the inner city and have done exactly zero research into the issue, so the reporting has been hysterical.

I have written many times about this report (pdf) from 2004 about the history of Republican vote suppression efforts and I urge you to take the time to read the whole thing if you haven't. This has been a tool of conservatives of all parties since the beginning of the Republic, but it's only been since the 1980s that the Republicans professionalized it with the formation of the Republican National Lawyers Association. The report shows that the Jesse Jackson campaign's successful new voter registration efforts was a particular impetus for GOP efforts to promote the false allegation that there is systematic voter fraud in the land.

This is the first election where we may see the full effect of this project. The Republican National Lawyers association were a vital part of the Florida recount (they even give out an award to certain lawyers featuring some of the famous Florida chads) but this may be where the true genius of the project lies. We are going to have what appears to be a substantial Democratic victory by an African American with a strong minority constituency. The totals may not be close. But by ratcheting up this spectre of "voter fraud" in advance, they are helping to lay the groundwork for delegitimizing a president Obama in the eyes of a large number of Americans.

That the media is running after this story like a bunch of toddlers gleefully chasing puppies is typical, but still disheartening. It was only a couple of weeks ago that a special prosecutor was named in the US Attorney firings after the Inspector General found that that some of them, notably David Iglesias, were fired because they failed to prosecute bogus voter fraud cases. In light of that you would think that the press would be a bit skeptical of voter fraud allegations by Republicans.

Instead you have this:


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