The GOP’s 2022 Strategy: Voter Suppression or Bust

At the heart of the big lie – the crazy fantasy that the 2020 election was stolen from its loser Donald Trump – is the Republican belief that blacks’ votes shouldn’t count. In one lawsuit after another, Republicans asked the courts to discard votes cast in predominantly black communities. In Michigan, they literally picked Detroit and threatened to withhold its votes. The entire by-election strategy of the GOP was to reintroduce the racial disenfranchisement of voters by January 6th 147 Republican lawmakers voted to reverse the results directly because blacks had overcome white supremacy that was burned into the electoral college.

While the failed Capitol Rebellion has hampered at least some of these efforts, the very serious work of preventing blacks from voting in the future continues. The Brennan Center for Justice Reports State legislators have already drafted three times as many bills to restrict voters this year as were proposed in the same period last year. The numbers are staggering: “28 countries introduced, pre-filed or transferred 106 restrictive bills this year (compared to 35 such bills in fifteen states on February 3, 2020).”

In Pennsylvania, for example, the Republican-controlled legislature has proposed 14 new restrictions. New Hampshire legislature has proposed 10. (They should change their state motto to “Vote Republican or Die.”) Senator Josh Hawley’s home state of Missouri has nine bills to suppress voters, while Georgia has apparently eleven bills determined to suppress its way back to a red state after the Democrats had won the presidential election and two runoff elections in the Senate.

The new laws cover everything Republicans can think of to make it harder for people to cast a vote. Many of the proposals focus on postal ballots: Republicans want to make them harder to get, easier to reject, and impossible to fix. Other laws make it difficult for people to register to vote. Still others want to make it easier to remove registered voters from the lists.

Republicans need not succeed in any of these attempts – and ultimately they do not need to suppress so many additional votes – to get future elections off their way. Although Joe Biden defeated Trump nationwide by over 7 million votes, his margin on the electoral college fell to about 43,000 votes in three states. The college is already rigged to achieve Republican victories despite the will of the majority of the population. If only the Republicans can make things a little harder for the multi-ethnic coalition united against them poll the electoral college will do the rest against them.

The Republican presidential candidate lost the referendum in seven of the last eight elections. What’s wild is that the GOP has no plans to address this issue, no strategy to expand its appeal beyond the island white racists and wealthy white business interests who represent a stagnant and aging minority in the country. There will be no reckoning, no autopsy, no self-reflection on what their party has become. For them, it’s voter suppression or bankruptcy.

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