Tab Clearing

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“I think Trump would do less damage than Biden,” Barr told Collins. “I think all this stuff about a threat to democracy, I think the real threat to democracy is the progressive movement and the Biden administration.”

He explained his thinking by claiming that “the threat to freedom and democracy has always been on the left. It’s the collectivist socialist agenda.” He outlined how he saw these threats manifesting at the moment: “Parents are losing the freedom to control their children’s education. And people can’t speak their mind without losing their jobs, and things like that. This is worse than the McCarthy era.”

“We’re not enforcing our borders, we have open borders,” he continued a bit later. “We have lawlessness in our cities. We have regulations coming fast and furious. So, telling people what kind of stoves they can use, and what kinds of cars they have to drive, and eliminating cars and so forth. Yes, those are the threats to democracy.”

This is patter straight out of the right-wing media bubble.

Emphasis mine.

The news about Nadine Menendez’s specific diagnosis and the details about the FBI raid made for a kind of split screen on Thursday. Her actions will figure prominently in the senator’s case, with a defense attorney telling the jury in opening statements that she had kept her husband in the dark about her personal finances and about where she obtained gold bars and other luxury items that the FBI seized.

Call me crazy, but if my wife brought home some gold bars, I wouldn’t be keen on being kept in the dark (especially, you know, if I was a US Senator). And while the breast cancer diagnosis is awful on a human level, I have to admit my reaction is that it all seems cartoonish and matches the following.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. gVOR10 says:

    That Kevin Carey Xit is perfect. And if Menendez successfully blames it all on his wife and is acquitted, double jeopardy will apply and her defense will be it was all Bob.

  2. mattbernius says:

    RNC co-chair Lara Trump: ‘You cannot have ballots counted after elections are over’. The ongoing campaign to sew seeds of confusion and distrust in elections continues.

    This misses the fact that in many states, they are barred by statute from counting mail-in votes until after the polls closed. Many of those are currently Republican-governed states.

  3. just nutha says:

    @mattbernius: Well, isn’t the solution to just not count those ballots? Win-win.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The child marriage link (#2) appears to be broken.

    FTR, A law banning child marriage in Misery, died in the state House:

    Legislation enacting total ban on child marriage in Missouri dies in the House

    Cause we lahk ’em young and fresh….

  5. Joe says:

    This relies on the fact that in many states, they are barred by statute from counting mail-in votes until after the polls closed. Many of those are currently Republican-governed states.

  6. Kathy says:

    I can’t think of any major election where ballots were counted after the election was over.

    By definition, the election is over when all the ballots are counted and the results are announced. depending on the method used for casting a ballot, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Some jurisdiction may impose deadlines for electoral workers and officials to finish a count.

    Of course, this is not what the wingnuts on the right mean. They mean no ballots should be counted after election night, because they are nostalgic for the days when the winner was announced that day. So they make it sound as though counting legal ballots as prescribed by law is something nefarious and sinister, meant to prevent the minority from exercising their “right” to rule.

  7. CSK says:

    Good dawg, Menendez really is a pusillanimous slimeball.

  8. Jen says:

    @mattbernius: And, many of those mail-in votes come from overseas…you know, the military.

    Lara Trump is not the sharpest knife in the drawer if she’s making this argument.

  9. @Kathy: Indeed.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fixed.

  10. Kathy says:


    The stupidity of her argument does not necessarily mean she’s stupid (though look whom she married). It’s more an indication of the general level of intelligence or sophistication of the target audience. Like the preposterous quote from Barr in the post. He does know better.

  11. Jay L Gischer says:

    The statement about not counting votes when the election is over isn’t stupid, it’s doublespeak. It has no pinned down meaning, so it can mean whatever they need it to mean. It can be made to sound awful and can be applied selectively.

    That means it’s not stupid. It’s much worse than stupid. It is an assault on democracy. “We’re going to only count the votes we think are important” is the stance, and that’s what we should be saying about it.

    Calling it stupid plays into their hands.

  12. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Let’s refine this rhetoric a bit. I think you are either in favor of counting all legally cast votes, or you are an enemy of democracy. You are an enemy of the United States.

    So, are you in favor of counting all legally cast votes?

    I’d like to ask Trump that. (Both Donald and Lara.)

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Thanx.

  14. Kingdaddy says:
  15. Rick DeMent says:


    …because they are nostalgic for the days when the winner was announced that day.

    There has never been an election in any of our lifetime where all the ballots are counted on election day. Elections are called by media organizations long before the counting is complete.

    This is another example of bad-faith actors taking advantage of people who don’t know how anything actually works.


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