4 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of June 24

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.


  1. psi
    (edited )
    "Trump threatens lawsuit over ad using his own words to discourage mail voting." NBC News. So I'd agree that attempting to disenfranchise people is pretty shitty (even when legally done). Which,...

    After having condemned mail voting for years, Trump is now embracing it and encouraging his voters to take advantage of the practice in the presidential election.

    “MAGA Patriots, listen to our president,” the ad from Pennsylvania Values PAC begins, before it splices together sound bites of Trump condemning mail voting.

    “Mail in voting is totally corrupt, get that through your head,” Trump says in one such clip.

    The digital ad ran over the weekend, according to Google data. Trump's campaign sent the group a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday afternoon.

    "We are aware of your advertisement falsely claiming that President Trump has asked Pennsylvania voters not to vote by mail. This advertisement may constitute both a criminal and civil conspiracy to injure the rights of President Trump’s supporters to cast their ballots in Pennsylvania. Cease and desist broadcasting, or otherwise distributing via the internet or elsewhere, this false advertisement immediately and preserve all relevant documents in anticipation of likely litigation[.]" [...]

    In the letter, the Trump campaign argued the group was violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, legislation enacted to protects Americans from political intimidation. That law has also been cited in litigation against Trump and his allies over the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

    So I'd agree that attempting to disenfranchise people is pretty shitty (even when legally done). Which, by the way, the ad is almost certainly legal -- Trump did indeed say those things, misleading or not. In fact, let's return to the point of whether this ad is misleading later. And even if this ad violated the Ku Klux Klan act (it's doesn't), it would only show how much stronger the case against Trump would be for his comments in 2020. This lawsuit is purely about chilling speech.

    As a reminder, here's what Trump did in 2020:

    But all those headlines about voter fraud — amplified daily on Facebook and Twitter — served a purpose: They laid the groundwork for a legal challenge. The Trump campaign had a team of election lawyers standing by to dispute election results throughout the country, and the Republican National Lawyers Association had readied a self-described “Navy SEAL-type” operation to fight similar cases. In the event of a Republican loss, they would need a story, and fraud was it. The truth appeared to be a secondary concern at best.

    Trump didn't care about voter fraud when his team did it:

    The 2018 midterm elections did see one bona fide large-scale ballot-fraud effort. A political operative in North Carolina ran a complicated scheme in which he requested hundreds of ballots on behalf of unwitting voters and then intercepted them and filled them out for the candidate he was working for: the Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris. Election officials spotted the suspicious activity shortly after the vote, refused to certify the results and conducted a new election. Trump never posted on Twitter about this rare actual instance of fraud.

    Trump tried to remove automatic sorting machines to slow-down mail-in voting:

    When Congress headed off for its summer recess with no deal on money for voting or the Postal Service, Trump told reporters. “They need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said. “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it.” His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, told CNN, “He doesn’t want an election.” Republicans played down Trump’s statements. And the Postal Service said sorting machines were removed only for lack of use; it said it was confident that it was prepared for the election. But Stanley Bastian, a federal judge in Washington, who would temporarily block DeJoy’s postal changes before the election, ruled, “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement.”

    When that failed, Trump tried to interfere with the Postal Service in other ways:

    Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states began pursuing ways to make up for the Postal Service delays and the lack of financing, easing deadlines and installing special ballot drop boxes throughout their counties. The Trump campaign, PILF and Judicial Watch filed or supported suits to block those moves. They cited one reason above others: fraud. [...] The judge in that case was skeptical and demanded proof in August. The campaign struggled to provide any.

    So yeah, fuck Trump. And honestly, after watching the anti-Trump ad from the article, I'm not even convinced that it's misleading (see it for yourself here). For convenience, here's a transcript (all quotes from Trump):

    Mail-in voting is totally corrupt. Get that through your head. It has to be.

    There's fraud. They found them in creeks. They found some with the name Trump just the other day in a waste paper basket.

    All of the things that are happening with uh votes by mail, I'm not going to say which party does it, but thousands of votes are gathered and they come in and they're dumped in a location and then all of a sudden you lose elections you think you're going to win.

    Trump said all those things, and it's not like Trump ever disavowed those comments. Trump to this day claims that he only lost because of voter fraud. Everything suggests that Trump still believes that mail-in voting constitutes voter fraud. He only objects now to the target audience.

    3 votes