Ernest Dumas beholds the recent legislative session in this column, which begins:
Assessing the work of the Arkansas legislature, now a solidly Republican legion, calls to mind many descriptors—moronic, wacky, cunning, cynical, deceitful, immoral, mean, devilish—depending upon whether you’re talking about the laws or near-laws punishing racial, religious, ethnic, sexual or gender minorities, or troubled children or women, or else the laws protecting slaughter and mayhem by gun-toting patriots.
The worst of it:
But all those appellations would apply as well to another, but potentially more dangerous campaign by Republican lawmakers in Arkansas and in many other GOP legislatures—to impair that most fundamental of American rights: the right of citizens to choose their government by voting.
The flood of bills and acts to discourage voting all had dual purposes: to come to the aid of Donald Trump, who can’t accept his landslide loss, and to see to it that Republicans don’t lose again. They are a continuation of the greatest treason in 160 years, the presidential summoning of a mob to overwhelm the nation’s capitol, cancel a democratic election and the rule of law, and keep a defeated president in office, perhaps for life.
The column details what inspiredt this campaign (the electoral college and Republican losses of popular presidential votes are part of the equation). It has given rise to the Big Lie, that the election was stolen (a lie Trump told when Ted Cruz defeated him in the Republican-controlled 2016 primary election in Arkansas).
Why the push in solidly Republican Arkansas? Some of it is merely the national Republican agenda. A lot of it is to discourage Black voters, a continuation of a historic facet of Arkansas election history.
Dumas closes on a more hopeful note than I can muster:
Many fewer Americans will cast ballots in 2022 and 2024, but none of the voting laws here, Georgia or elsewhere will prevent a single instance of election fraud. The Democratic nominee in 2024—Biden or someone else—will not get the 81 million votes he got in 2020, but neither will Trump, the unlikeliest nominee, or some stand-in like Marjorie Taylor Greene, get the 74 million votes that Trump boasted about. Barring some economic or physical catastrophe, the betrayed American electorate will not
reward Republicans for their perfidies.
That is my happy thought for today.