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Stop the Steal ’24

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A timely reminder that the conspiracy to steal the 2024 election should that prove necessary is well under way:

Recall that after the 2016 presidential election, Trump blamed a wave of illegal voting for his popular-vote defeat. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” he said on Twitter.

Illegal voting was a useful boogeyman for a president-elect who ran on the fantasy that the United States had been besieged by illegal immigrants. It remains a useful boogeyman as the former president revs up his supporters with spittle-flecked attacks on immigrants, who he says are “poisoning the blood of our country.” If one set of Trump allies is spreading the notion of an unfair election, another set is building out what that might mean by placing the specter of illegal voting by migrants and undocumented immigrants at the center of their rhetorical agenda.

“We all know intuitively that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections, but it’s not been something that is easily provable,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said last week at a news conference he called to support a new bill that would bar undocumented immigrants from voting in federal elections. This is already illegal under existing federal law, but Johnson insisted on the measure as necessary prevention in the face of uncertain information.

Johnson, who voted in 2021 to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, was joined at the news conference by Representative Chip Roy of Texas and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, two so-called constitutional conservatives who initially urged the White House to try to contest and overturn the 2020 results in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6. “We owe it to ourselves, to each other, most importantly to the American people, to make sure that those making decisions on behalf of our government and who’s going to serve in government in elective office are indeed empowered to make those decisions,” Lee said, validating the fiction that recent American elections have been shaped, even stolen, by rampant illegal voting.

“We all know intuitively that…[xxx]…but it’s not been something that is easily provable” is the credo of both contemporary Republican governance and Republican jurisprudence. The email forwards of Fox News grandpas are the only evidence anyone ever needs.

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