Republicans have been pumping faux outrage about rigged elections since Bush II, and now they’re clutching their pearls over Trump?
The modern movement to persuade Americans that Democrats rig elections began during the George W. Bush administration. Following the harrowingly close 2000 election, Republicans realized that the GOP would benefit from laws that limited Democrats’ access to the ballot—stringent voter ID measures, whose burdens fell disproportionately on minorities, a mostly Democratic constituency. But states needed an excuse to pass these laws, so Bush ordered the Justice Department to uncover and prosecute as many instances of voter fraud as it could find. In reality, there were only a handful of bona fide voter fraud cases throughout the country. But Bush notoriously fired United States attorneys who couldn’t find fraudulent voters to prosecute, signaling to Justice Department attorneys that their jobs depended on rooting out nonexistent fraud.
Between 2002 and 2006, the Bush administration’s crackdown led to a grand total of 86 convictions of voter fraud out of about 200 million ballots cast, a rate of 0.0000004 percent. A majority of the convicted voters had simply filled out registration forms inaccurately or misunderstood eligibility rules. Yet Republican politicians and lobbyists effectively repackaged these meager findings as proof that Democrats were corrupting the electoral system and possibly even unlawfully swinging elections. Over the next decade, state legislatures passed a raft of voting restrictions—including voter ID requirements and early voting cuts—along party lines. As a general rule, Republicans supported these measures and declared that they were necessary to prevent fraud, which they said—again, contrary to all available evidence—was pervasive. Democrats opposed them, recognizing that most voting restrictions had the practical effect of disenfranchising minorities, who tend to vote Democratic.
Even fucking McCain did it in the 2008 election, saying ACORN was going to steal the election for Obama.
I can only hope that Trump makes some of these tactics radioactive in the future. That lefties can say, “How Trump of you.” But I doubt it. As a nation, we have short attention spans, politically-speaking.