69 thoughts on “Exposed: Progressive Democrats’ Totalitarian Obsession in COVID Crisis

  1. Gotta love the timing of this–calling one party totalitarian the day after the other kills a voting rights law. As the moderator of this board is fond of saying, “Good ideas don’t require coercion.” And yet…

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      1. I don’t understand your whole deal. You’ve said dozens of times you don’t believe in democracy, so why go to the trouble of pretending this is anything other than what we all know it is? The entire ideological underpinning of conservatism going back to the founding of this country is that regular people can’t be allowed to make decisions, and the franchise must be restricted to the “right” people. This is just a conservative movement making sure it’s as difficult as possible for the “wrong” people to vote. How does that not square with your entire worldview?

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        1. I believe in democratically conducted elections, but not in democracy.

          Government must be strictly limited to its Constitutionally established powers, democracy allows no limits to the lusts of the majority.

          My objection is to voting in uncontrolled venues, where coercion and fraud cannot be excluded.

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          1. How about Norfolk? I received a ballot in the mail and dropped it in a collection box. It was easy, convenient, and prevented me from having to stand in line with others during a pandemic. At no point did I experience any coercion or intimidation. I never even saw another human.

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          2. Did you request your ballot, or was it unsolicited?

            Did anyone with the ability to affect your life to your detriment suggest witnessing you fill it out?

            Did anyone other than you and post office have possession of it?

            If not, if you requested the ballot, filled it out in private and the chain of custody was unbroken, then I have no problem.

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          3. Full transparency: a person with the ability to affect my life to my detriment did stand over my shoulder when I filled it out: my wife (rimshot).

            I also find it laughable that members of the CSB were systematically going through Tidewater Gardens intimidating residents into voting for (checks notes) Joe “nothing will fundamentally change” Biden. Then again, you conservatives have always had very lurid imaginations.

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          4. Nope, but we have had experience with stolen elections prior to modern voting laws.

            Remember that JFK would never have been President had a few hundred Chicago residents not shown up at the last minute and voted in alphabetical order.

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          5. And anyone over 20 should remember when a bunch of Republican operatives and staffers stormed voting precincts and busted up the place in order to stop votes they assumed would go to Gore from being counted. We can do this all day. There is nothing inherently “insecure” about making Election Day a federal holiday, or expanding locations and hours, or voting by mail. The military do it every time.

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          6. Coercion and fraud were excluded in the last election.

            In fact, the only coercion was by Trump threatening and extorting election officials via phone calls.

            “ I believe in democratically conducted elections, but not in democracy.”

            Well, that is what we have. There are no pure democracies in larger nations. So what’s your point.

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          7. Prove that.

            Prove that there was no coercion in harvesting ballots, and that privacy was maintained.

            You can’t. Only by voting in person or by individually requested and mailed absentee ballots can that be protected.

            The desperation to protect ballot harvesting is very compelling evidence of the intent to cheat.

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          8. There was no effective cheating in the last election. Of any consequence. That has been established by both parties and extensive audits, etc.

            Can you prove coercion?

            Like I wrote earlier, the only coercion, illegal for sure, was the president trying to extort state officials with threats to alter vote counts.

            What about that side of the equation?

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          9. No, I can’t prove coercion, and you can’t prove there wasn’t.

            That’s the problem. Outside the controlled conditions established by law, neither of us can have real confidence in the elections results.

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          10. “Prove that.”

            You cannot prove a negative.

            But you can approve a positive. Where is your evidence of “fraud and coercion” that justifies disenfranchising people who want help in the election process? There are always going to be anecdotes and individual bad actors willing to break existing laws. They should be prosecuted. Isn’t that the essence of your argument against any new gun laws?

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          11. Exactly, you can’t prove a negative.

            You also can’t prove ballots in the hands of harvesters were not tamper with, or that they were.

            That’s the point,

            Our election laws were structured to prevent the opportunity for such undetectable fraud so there would be confidence in the process.

            Those protections were removed on the pretense of easing the pandemic. The election may have been on the up and up, or it may not have been,

            We’ll never really know. So, it’s time to go back to procedures that are transparent and verifiable.

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          12. …”it’s time to go back to procedures that are transparent and verifiable.”

            Right. Like legal voter nullification, voter suppression by legal closing of polling station, legal purging of voter rolls because someone skipped the last election.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. There are remedies, usually involving provisional ballots, for those problems.

            Without periodic roll purging, how do you keep the dead and relocated from casting absentee ballots?

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          14. Didn’t Bannon stay registered in two or three states?

            There are issues in our system that make keeping voter rolls current challenging. Mainly manpower and personal laxity as people move around.

            But as far as fraud goes, the audits showed few absentee ballots from illegal and out of state voters.

            Dead? So far the only ineligible dead people were the mothers of Trump voters. Others were legal and died after casting ballots.

            And they were caught.

            As we learned during the AZ Audi fiasco, election procedures are pretty well worked out, and can be complex in order to ensure fair and transparent elections. The idiots who hired the audit firm, and the idiots who ran it, were clueless about the backup and cross checking procedures. So they set hair on fire until they were told they did not know what they were doing. Then they mumbled about some other “anomaly” that really didn’t exist.

            So we want to lower the bar for idiots to run elections now?

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          15. You don’t want people to vote. Admit it. You are talking like a conspiracy nut who as an answer for every contested point.

            That answer is “see, lack of evidence is evidence”.

            My idea: make voting mandatory, polls open 24 hours a day for 3 days as a national holiday. Absentee ballots fine. We are a very mobile nation.

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          16. The only dead people who voted in 2020 actually voted for Trump … and were found out through normal procedures. And let us not forget the Trump stronghold in FL, The Villages.

            Calling out a problem that does not exist is ludicrous.

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          17. “That is the point”?

            A man was walking through town in Vermont beating a a saucepan with a metal spoon.

            Asked why, he replied, “it keeps the elephants away.”

            “But there are no elephants in Vermont.”

            “See, it is working”, the man replied.

            Unfortunately the reasoning behind Republican election law changes is simple: ”we want elephants”. And if voters don’t approve, then we will scrap the ballots and appoint our king.

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          18. There was no uncertainty except from one man who said elections were rigged since 2015. One man, and that is why we are supposed to believe our system is rigged?

            The “uncertainty” was fake then and it is fake now. And yet, the dittoheads just repeated it as if it were a holy writ.

            So now we a threatened with violence if we don’t follow the dictum of the Big Lie. “Another 1/6 or relent the ballot box to us”.

            Extortion runs in the Republican family evidently.

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          19. Actually, Jan 6 might as easily be repeated by Democrats if another election is lost by them under similar circumstances.

            Election laws were crafted to prevent the kind of thing that was routine in Chicago and NYC for decades in the early 20th century. That’s why voting machines were created, to have a record of the count.

            Absetee ballots were generally too few th change the outcome of elections.

            But if we’re going to have large numbers of mail in voting and no-excuse absentee voting, we have to have ironclad chain of custody.

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          20. Again with the threats? Let’s add up all the left wing militias.

            There is Antifa, an unorganized rabble of anarchists running around in black sweats.

            Then there are Oathkeepers who recruit self styled, phony patriots to break their oaths from the military to defend the US from enemies they perceive. That is, other Americans whom they dislike. Add in a slew of other disaffected losers in other gangs, and the threat is real. The numbers are in the tens of thousands.

            Let’s see, the Democrats lost in 2016. Some dumpster fires and kvetching, but Clinton concedes and Trump is sworn in.

            Democrats lost the VA governor’s race. No demonstrations, results are accepted, McAuliffe concedes and Youngkin is sworn in.

            Bottom line: whom are you trying to BS?

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          21. Mail in voting can work if the ballots are not in 3rd party hands prior to mailing and the ballots were requested by the person casting the ballot

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          22. “Those protections were removed on the pretense of easing the pandemic.”

            Your definition of “ballot harvesting” seems to involve a second person having control of cast ballots before they are turned in to public officials. So, what protections were removed that had any impact on that?

            What are you talking about? What protections were removed that enabled “ballot harvesting?”

            Liked by 1 person

          23. Just for a simple example, everyone on your block gets an unsolicited ballot, and shortly thereafter, a nice guy shows up and says he is collecting ballots to take to the drop box.

            You have a Biden sign in your front yard, your neighbor has a Trump sign, Which ballot gets lost?

            Who is the nice guy working for? Are you sure?

            Still think ballot harvesting is a good idea?

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          24. Your objection, that you attempt to cover with fertilizer, is Liberals vote too. But they shouldn’t be able to. And please don’t deny that you have said such things, sarcastically or otherwise.

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          25. Liberals should be able to vote.

            Once, in the district in which they reside, while they are alive.

            Not at their college dorm and absentee at their homes.

            Not on other people’s names by the boxful.

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          26. “Still think ballot harvesting is a good idea?”

            I did not see an answer to the question about what restrictions on “ballot harvesting” were supposedly removed. It remains everywhere a serious offense to throw away the ballots of other people.

            Your “nice guy” fantasy is fatally flawed because it leaves out the controls such as the fact that I can check to see if my vote was cast on-line. If it was not cast, that ” nice guy” is now in deep doodoo. Just like McCrae Dowless.

            Evidence from the real world trumps your fantasies every time.

            Voting by mail and absentee voting are not new. It started in the Civil War and several states use it as the primary means of voting. As there have always been, there are built-in controls to ensure the integrity of each vote cast.

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        2. RE: “The entire ideological underpinning of conservatism going back to the founding of this country is that regular people can’t be allowed to make decisions, and the franchise must be restricted to the ‘right’ people.”

          I think this statement ascribes to ideology what in fact were organic social relationships.

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          1. I assume the statement refers to the disenfranchisement of women and slaves. Those disenfrachisements, however, had long been customary; they were not by design. It is therefore inaccurate to blame “conservatism” for them.

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          2. …”disenfranchisement of women and slaves.”

            The disenfranchisement of slaves was done away with by the 13th Amendment, yet Jim Crow laws in the South perpetuated it until 1965 and the Voting Rights Act. The 19th Amendment did away with disenfranchisement of women with a lot less push back.

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          3. “I assume the statement refers to the disenfranchisement of women and slaves.”

            Working white men were also disenfranchised if they did not own property. That is why the assessment of rssllchndlr is entirely reasonable.

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          4. RE: “Working white men were also disenfranchised if they did not own property. That is why the assessment of rssllchndlr is entirely reasonable.”

            Do you blame conservative political philosophy for this? I don’t think you can pull that off.

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          5. …”conservative political philosophy”…

            Our illustrious moderator tells us all of the time that our Founding Fathers were politically conservative when the Constitution was written. It took progressive thought to allow former slaves and women to be allowed to vote.

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          6. It is not a question of blame. Or ideology. It is a question of fact. Conservatives (such as the landed gentry of colonial times and the Founding Fathers) have ALWAYS tried to limit the franchise. Liberals have always tried to expand the franchise. Which is just what Russell reasonably and accurately pointed out.

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          7. RE: “Conservatives (such as the landed gentry of colonial times and the Founding Fathers) have ALWAYS tried to limit the franchise. Liberals have always tried to expand the franchise. Which is just what Russell reasonably and accurately pointed out.”

            I’m pointing out that the political labels are meaningless in this context. Ancient Rome had the same suffrage arrangements you two are complaining about. So, (a) it would be ridiculous to discuss Rome’s political culture as reflecting the modern ideologies we call “conservative” and “liberal” and (b) by the time of America’s colonial period, Roman-style suffrage had become merely a social standard.

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          8. It is hardly ridiculous, but neither is it worth arguing about.

            Whatever labels you want to apply, the pattern in our history is clear. The wealthy/privileged have always tried to maintain the status quo and one of the ways they have done that is by restricting the franchise. Those seeking change have always tried to extend the franchise to help effect that change. That pattern continues to this day with the party representing the interests of the billionaire class doing their best to restrict the franchise.

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          9. RE: “Here’s a short essay about the founding ideology.”

            The manufacturing of consent is an ancient problem in that every society needs to preserve its elite. I think Chomsky overemphasizes this functional requirement when he should view it as one of the original problems of political science.

            To the extent that Madison and the other founders wanted to protect their own class, they also designed a Constitution that placed constraints on elite power.

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          10. “The manufacturing of consent is an ancient problem…” No, until very recently (world historically speaking) the ruling classes stayed in power through brute force and laws that tied people to one occupation or a physical location. Consent must be manufactured in a modern context, because we like to maintain the foundational myth that we are a free, democratic state. Convincing people their vote matters is what keeps them out of the streets and prevents the ruling class from having to use ancient brute force, which they imagine themselves to be better than.

            RE: Madison. They were the elites and they understood this. Yes, they initially designed an unworkable Confederation of states which granted practically zero central power, then a slightly less unworkable Constitution with slightly more central power. At every point it was designed to keep power as far from “the great beast” as possible, and make the gears largely unresponsive to popular inputs. From the outset, they considered parties–they called them “factions–unseemly and beneath better men’s dignity. The “minority of the opulent” would never stoop to appeal to the masses, this was cheating and ungentlemanly. Sound familiar? There is a historical continuity to all of this.

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          11. RE: “No, until very recently (world historically speaking) the ruling classes stayed in power through brute force and laws that tied people to one occupation or a physical location.”

            I would suggest to you that brute force is one of many different ways to manufacture consent. Others include control of information/knowledge, corruption of religious institutions, and public spending. Even the law, as in the case of Solomon or Hamarabi can be used to manufacture consent.

            Just because one can deduce a power struggle between the governors and the governed doesn’t mean that the struggle is real. This, in fact, is Chomsky’s error.

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      2. If by “vote manufacturing” you mean making it easier for people to vote, then you are correct. The various features of the bill – such as making election day a holiday – would very likely increase participation in the election process. That is a good thing.

        Of course, increased voter turnout is the worst fear of a party with almost nothing to offer.

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        1. It’s not often I disagree with you, but this piece was in the Pilot this morning and it explains clearly the myth concerning turnout from BOTH sides.

          https://tribunecontentagency.com/article/jonah-goldberg-how-an-enduring-myth-about-voter-turnout-distorts-our-politics/

          This is why I am more concerned about the voter nullification laws being passed, then what may or may not be voter suppression laws.

          Yes, closing of polling places in primarily low-income areas is concerning> As is ever changing ID requirements. But the laws that allow officials to overturn voters wishes because they don’t agree with the outcome is the bigger issue in my mind.

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          1. Jonah Goldberg is an intellectual lightweight which his doctrinaire best seller “Liberal Fascism” amply demonstrated. His argument in that book is that socialism and fascism are the same thing.

            Predictably, to my mind, this article does not stand up to scrutiny. He cites our recent election as proof that higher turnout does not favor Democrats. All that it really showed is that higher turnout by Republicans does not favor democrats. And that is what happened. Period.

            https://www.vpap.org/visuals/visual/2021-election-turnout/

            Since most of the impediments to voter participation have been purpose designed to suppress Democratic voters, removing those impediments, will favor Democrats. Republicans know this to be the case which is why they impose impediments and oppose reforms. Goldberg is blowing smoke to cover for them. Gee, he says, making it easier to vote won’t make any difference, so what is the big deal?

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          2. Sorry to say, Paul, but the numbers actually back what he said. You may think little of him, but I think he got this one right. Voter suppression attempts did not suppress the vote. Period.

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          3. Here is a point that seems to be overlooked. Goldberg’s contention was about the results of 2020. The voter laws have been changed since then with the obvious intent to make it harder for probable Democrat voters to find a polling station, drop boxes, get registered, etc. Yes, the VA election seemed to prove a point, but the rules in place were the same as in 2020. And VA rules were not onerous. A far cry from the draconian changes in some swing states. Even some deep red states, because even though Trump may have logged 2/3’s of the vote, it “should have been more”.

            But, and it was a big one, Youngkin won because of the pandemic and the CRT fantasy. The gaffe by McAuliffe regarding parental input was a “Macaca” sound bite that was hard to defend.

            All governors will be judged by the pandemic, left and right. Too lax? Too strict? A loser either way.

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          4. Youngkin won using the GOP playbook: F-E-A-R mongering about CRT, non audited election results (another lie, but hey what’s one more from the GOP?), and crime.

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          5. “Sorry to say, Paul, but the numbers actually back what he said.”

            You will have to explain what you mean. The chart clearly shows that the increased turnout was principally in Republican areas. And that is why Youngkin won. So, what am I missing? What is the entire GOP trying to suppress voting missing?

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          6. I was talking about 2020, not the VA election. I think Len’s assessment of the VA election is spot on. And there was no voter suppression or nullification laws in place in VA. “Macaca” describes my mother’s defecation and what McAuliffe said.

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          7. And while some of the laws being passed are suppression attempts, the more concerning ones to me, and should be to you IMO, are the nullification laws that are passing across the country.

            And don’t get me started on gerrymandering. How in the hell does the Houston area, along with other predominantly Hispanic population centers in Texas, grow and then districts are drawn to dilute or minimize those votes?

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