Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Jacksonian Politics

Everything old is new again. And everyone on Twitter seems determined to play into it. Well, on Twitter and on the intertoobs.

What you need, in other words, are people who have the time and resources to engage in bureaucratic meddling. Trump is very fortunate in that regard — by far his largest and most robust vein of support comes from people of retirement age. (People over 65 turned out for Trump in greater numbers than any other group of voters.) A veritable army of Fox News-drunk grandparents is forming, ready to interfere every step of the way with the systems that turn out, collect and count votes.

Last week, in a segment for the "Fever Dreams" podcast, Daily Beast journalist Will Sommer reported that the popular Trumpist website Gateway Pundit has put together a surprisingly intense 11-page "how to" guide for jamming up elections on a local level. Of course, the guide doesn't admit that's the goal; it claims to be designed for taking "proactive" steps to "prevent Democrats from cheating and stealing elections."

Reading the guide, however, clarifies that the goal is to hinder the ability of election workers to do their jobs. The guide tells readers to insist they "be stationed at major ballot transfer locations," which includes every post office, "loading dock at the central tabulation centers, and possibly at the print vendors." The guide instructs readers to routinely demand "investigations" of any box of ballots at any point in time and to throw fits if their unreasonable intrusions are rebuffed. Instructions are included for various ways to slow down the process, challenge the counting of ballots and otherwise make it difficult, if not impossible, for ballot counting to move smoothly and efficiently. The guide recommends readers "rent a motor home for the very problematic tabulation centers" and "[p]ark it close to the facility as the command center" for teams of election meddlers to work from. ("Problematic" is unsubtly defined as "Democrat run facilities" — basically a way to direct their readers to districts where Democrats vote.)


That's why it matters that Trump's allies have an army of retirees to draw on — the kind of people who have the motor homes to use as "command centers" and the time on their hands to spend harassing election workers.

Yes, they're back; that favorite bugbear of Millenials and Gen X'ers:  Boomers.  We are what's wrong with the world, and now we all have nothing to do and plenty of motor homes to park outside post offices and wherever else just so we can grab our walkers, jump out, and harass election workers.  Or maybe our friends who are election workers at early voting sites.  No, wait, can't do that; Trump supporters won't vote early. I'm sure that means every last one of them; just like every Boomer has a motor home on standby.  Oh, and reads Gateway Pundit with devotion.

(I dunno about that.  The craziest people on NextDoor seem to get all their marching orders from FoxNews and maybe Facebook.  I don't think "surfing" the Web is a particular skill of many Boomers; nor do I see them wading through 11 pages of how to disrupt an election, when they can't figure out how to post a poll on NextDoor.)

So JD Vance has lost his dignity (did he ever have any to lose?).  What about "names" on the internet who regularly cast aspersions via vague and glittering generalizations that clearly portend the end of civilization as we know it!  By November!  AND THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!!!!! When their prognostications are no better than the ones made by pollsters; or people reading chicken entrails, for that matter.

Meanwhile, we have compare and contrast:
Yes, but why won't Patel say that in court, under oath? For the same reason Russia bombed a playground in Kiev: "We live in the information age." Except a lot of the information ain't worth shit. And it hasn't been since Nixon looked unshaved in the debate with Kennedy. At least.  Please tell me how much our politics as coarsened, again, because I've been living in Texas most of my life and frankly, I just don't see it.  It's like making Mafia dons look like cultured gentlemen by putting them in tailored suits.  Or putting lipstick on a pig.

JD Vance is just the pig without the lipstick.

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