The election of 2016 -- House, Senate and presidency -- was at least partially stolen.
Nor am I referring to the FBI/Comey intrusion, though clearly wrong. Always before, a simple "no comment" was standard policy for ongoing investigations. When the head of the FBI trash-talks a candidate for president, making her appear unreliable or worse, damage is done, even if he later "takes it back".
Worse harm came from something far less spectacular.
In numerous Republican-run states, Democrats have had their voting rights systematically reduced.
First, the Republicans have been working, state by state, for years to make Government-issue photo ID cards mandatory. They say these are necessary to fight voter fraud, to prevent a person from voting more than once -- but this is nonsense. In most states, there have been zero verified instances of voter identity fraud.
Who are those least likely to have government issued photo ID cards, i.e. driver's licenses?
The old, the poor, the disabled, minority groups and students -- Democrats.
How many voters are we talking about, who might be disqualified?
According to Elizabeth McNamara, President of the League of Women Voters:
"New photo ID requirements potentially disenfranchise millions of registered voters due to disability, age, illness, transportation, or financial issues. As many as 11 percent of United States citizens, more than 21 million individuals, do not have government-issued photo identification..."
One easy way to reduce the vote is to make it hard to register and vote. Like maybe figure out which counties have the most Democrats, and give them the least voting booths and places to register.
In a recent election, the African-American vote in North Carolina was down -- why?
"...The decline wasn't due to lack of enthusiasm or effort, but voter suppression...there's a near perfect fit between where black voters aren't voting and where Republicans have made it harder to vote..."
"...In Mecklenberg County, which...has (a large proportion) of the state's black voters, the Republican-controlled election commission cut early voting locations from 22... to 4..."
You have seen the long lines stretching around the block as people wait and wait and wait to register or vote? Make people tired enough, and they may go home without voting.
Or -- shorten the list of eligible voters.
Read the amazing article "The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters" by Greg Palast, Rolling Stone, August 24, 2016.
"Election officials have compiled lists of citizens whom they allege could be registered in more than one state--thus potentially able to cast multiple ballots--and eligible to be purged (removed) from the voter rolls."
In total, "...so far Crosscheck has tagged an astonishing 7.2 million suspects, yet ...no more than four (4) perpetrators have been charged with double voting..."
The man behind Crosscheck?
"Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach... co-wrote the ultra-conservative RNC party platform, working in a recommendation that Crosscheck be adopted by every state in the union. (Kobach) is also the Trump adviser who came up with a proposal to force Mexico into paying for Trump's wall."
Kobach is now an official member of the Trump transition team.
Why was this done?
For me the reason is simple: if Democrats had won the presidency and the Senate, liberals would have gained control of the Supreme Court. That would almost certainly have meant an end to the systematized corruption now permitted by the "Citizens United" decision, which allows unlimited financial involvement by the rich in politics.
So what happens now?
Four years of Hell.
Republicans will control both houses of Congress, the Presidency, and (once they appoint the Supreme Court justice they denied Obama) the Supreme Court.
There will be no checks and balances on their power. The Supreme Court, once sufficiently packed, will be overwhelmingly conservative, and can doubtless be counted on to legalize any and all Republican extremisms.
What will they do with this blank check authority? We will find out. My guess?
The Republicans will make taxes on the rich so low there will be no need for loopholes. With less money for government, social programs will suffer. Trump has promised not to mess with Social Security and Medicare--we'll see.
Women's reproductive freedoms are at risk.
In my own small corner of the world, stem cell research, I expect attacks: state by state and perhaps nationally.
And if President-elect Trump fulfills his campaign pledge to deport millions of Mexican-Americans? Suffering would be unimaginable. Buses arriving in the night, men with guns arresting anybody with brown skin, children screaming for their parents...
When I picked up yesterday's newspaper on my front porch, I found the following:
"Rights groups say voter suppression was key" by Tony Pugh, McClatchy Washington Bureau, Friday, November 11, 2016:
"When we look back, we will find that voter suppression figured prominently in the story surrounding the 2016 presidential elections," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law."
Perhaps worst of all, what appears to be a crime-- comes with its own coverup!
"North Carolina and Ohio refused to release their Crosscheck lists on the grounds that all these voters, more than a million in those two states, are subjects of criminal investigation, which allows them to keep the information confidential."
If the lists of removed voters cannot be examined, how can we know if there is a crime being committed?
America needs to be clear on what just happened. We must understand how voter suppression works, and elect people who will fight back against it.
Voter suppression will never go away on its own. It will be used on every election from here on out--until we make it stop.