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The National Review, standing athwart the enfranchisement of Black voters yelling “stop!” since 1957

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1/21/1988 President Reagan meeting with William F Buckley in oval office

The Baseball Crank has a defense of Georgia’s New Jim Crow that is a historic achievement in bad faith. He starts out by objecting to this quote from Biden:

It’s an atrocity. The idea, you want any indication, it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency. They pass a law saying you can’t provide water for people standing in line, while they’re waiting to vote.  You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting. You can’t provide water for people about to vote? Give me a break.

But, McLaughlin says, look at the law!

No person shall solicit votes [or] distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to [a voter] … This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer…from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to [a voter] waiting in line to vote.

So, to review, Biden says that the you can’t provide water to people waiting in line to vote. The law says you can’t give water to people waiting in line to vote, but…you can set up a self-service water station, that people will not be able to use because they’re waiting in line to vote and nobody is allowed to bring it to them. So I’d say Biden has a bull’s eye! Convenient of him to highlight the passages of the statute that proves Biden correct.

As if sensing that nobody is going to buy this bullshit, he also invents a tortured neutral justification for a senselessly cruel provision:

What you cannot do under the new Georgia law is deploy people in National Rifle Association t-shirts and MAGA hats to hand out free Koch-brothers-financed, Federalist Society–branded pizza to voters.

Except, of course, this electioneering was already illegal under Georgia law. The only reason for the new provision is that Republicans are deliberately creating interminable lines to vote in urban areas, and want the experience to be as miserable as possible. That’s it.

But I have good news — if we’re worried about voters being bribed with bottles of Dasani, the For the People Act offers a universal vote-by-mail option. Problem solved! I await the NRO’s enthusiastic support for this remedy for their Very Sincere concerns.

As a Never-Trumper, McLaughlin doesn’t want to defend vote suppression. Rather, his approach is an Alice in Wonderland defense of the vote suppression law as if it expands access to the ballot:

While you would not learn this from the Democrats or their sympathetic media coverage, S.B. 202 actually takes steps to fix those long lines. Georgia law previously allowed the state to override local election officials and require them to add more precincts or voting machines if people were left standing on line for an hour after the polls closed. S.B. 202 expands that authority, so that the state can step in and require more polling places or voting machines if voters in overcrowded precincts face lines of an hour or more at any of three measured intervals during the day.

LOL if you think that Georgia Republicans are going to act to ease voting lines in urban areas car salesmen must get into fistfights waiting to serve you when you walk onto the lot. But he’s on a roll:

This is the right direction: Instead of allowing electioneering while people wait on long lines, eliminate both the electioneering and the lines. That’s what Joe Biden’s ranting is supposed to distract you from hearing.

Aside from the fact that electioneering was already illegal, does the law act to reduce lines on net? Haha no, and let’s consider some provisions of the law that are ignored for obvious reasons:

With S.B. 202, the virus has mutated into an even more lethal form. Consider how several different components of the law interact. S.B. 202 strictly limits the number of ballot drop boxes counties can offer, and requires them to be located within early voting sites. The boxes may only be accessible when those sites are open. The bill also prohibits the use of drop boxes starting four days before an election—which is when voters need them most, since a ballot that is mailed at that point may not arrive on time. It shortens the voting period for runoff races and sharply curtails early voting for runoffs. And it compels some counties, including those with large Black communities, to reduce their early voting hours.

These provisions all guarantee longer lines at the polls, even though Georgians—especially those of color—already wait for hours to cast their ballots. 

The lies that Republican elites tell themselves about their vote suppression laws are embarrassing, but alas they’re good enough for John Roberts.

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