The Hidden Secret Behind the Arizona ballot Counting

Republicans are channeling Joseph Stalin who once suggested, “It doesn’t matter who votes; what matters is who counts the votes.”

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Lore has it that Joe Stalin once said, “It doesn’t matter who votes; what matters is who counts the votes.” Republicans in Arizona are today engaged in an act of political treachery worthy of Stalin’s quote.

There’s history here.

Grab the nearest Republican and ask them, “How did John Kennedy win the election in 1960?” Most will answer, “Mayor Daley stole the election for him in Chicago.“

Complaining that the only possible way they could’ve lost an election is if the other side cheated is nothing new for the Republican party. The difference between now and 1960, however, is that in 1960 Richard Nixon had the common decency not to promote a Big Lie, and enough concern for his country — he served honorably in uniform, volunteering for sea duty in the Pacific during World War II — to not pit armed Americans against each other. 

Today’s Republicans are an entirely different breed. Soulless psychopaths like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Marjorie Traitor Greene have taken over the party, and drawn to them the fringe psychopathic element that has always been part of American society but has never been so concentrated around one particular issue or ideology.

My dad was a Republican in 1960; I suppose you could say I was, too, because at nine years old I pretty much followed his political leanings. 

But he also had a good job because of the machinist’s union, a contract he renegotiated every year on behalf of the tool and die shop where he worked, was a big believer in Social Security, and was proud of the fact that he’d gone to college on the G.I. Bill at no cost. Those were all positions that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower and his Vice President Richard Nixon shared with my dad in 1960.

But my dad also introduced me to the psychopaths on the fringe of the GOP, telling me that I needed to know about “people like that.” A guy he knew from the local model railroad club was a member of the Michigan Militia, and they took me to a John Birch society meeting once. 

At that meeting, I picked up a copy of John Stormer’s book None Dare Call It Treason, and reading about all the communists who’d taken over the State Department scared the living hell out of me. My dad reassured me that “those [Birch Society] guys are nuts,” and went on to point out that the Dixiecrat racists like Strom Thurmond and George Wallace in the Democratic Party were worse than anybody in the GOP.

Richard Nixon, in fact, later supported the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and school desegregation, as did my dad. Even Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” which he, Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes hatched later, in 1968, seems tame by comparison to the virulence of today’s Republican racists.

This isn’t to praise Nixon; he was a venal, greedy, corrupt SOB. But he at least had the decency to resign when he got busted.

Republicans today are very, very different; they’re actively doing everything they can to destroy democracy in the United States. In this, they are being cheered on by autocrats around the world, and in many cases assisted by those very autocrats with big bucks and covert efforts on social media, as Robert Mueller found.

With few exceptions, today’s GOP is doing everything it can to tear America apart, pitting us against each other along lines of regionalism, gender, race, religion, education and even the use of American iconography like the flag and the national anthem. 

And now they’re even encouraging sickness and death among Americans by trying to discourage us from getting vaccinated, all to prevent President Biden from getting America and the American economy back on track.

That’s pretty bad, but the Big Lie of voter fraud and the “lost cause” of Donald Trump’s 2020 election is the one that will live on for generations. 

After all, Jack Kennedy could’ve lost the entire state of Illinois but still would’ve had enough electoral votes (he won 303 to 219) to become president. He didn’t need Chicago.  On top of that, Republicans insisted on, and got, two separate audits of the vote in Illinois, one immediately after the election and one in 1961 after Kennedy’s inauguration, and both showed that Kennedy won. But Republicans still think Mayor Daley somehow won the day for JFK. The persistence of political grievance is extraordinary.

Republicans today, however, are trying to set up more than just a myth of political victimhood. They’re trying to destroy faith in America’s core democratic institution of the vote so they can control and manipulate it in the future — to their own benefit — with impunity.

The effort underway with the phony staged “audit” in Arizona will, no doubt, produce “questions” about the election, even though Republican officials in that state supervised three separate and comprehensive audits overseen by the media that found no evidence whatsoever of election-altering fraud.

It will be used to justify increasingly draconian limits on who can vote and increasingly partisan control over which votes are to be counted and which are to be discarded in future elections. 

They were willing to overturn the 2020 election: can there be any doubt they are more than willing now to rig future elections?

Thomas Paine once referred to the vote as the “beating heart of democracy.” Republicans are going after it with an ice pick.

This isn’t just a fight for the survival of The Democratic party or even fair and clean elections and functioning politics.

The endgame here, for the Republicans engaging in this vicious attack on our republic, is to end the American experiment and turn us into an authoritarian country that more closely resembles Turkey, Hungary or Russia. (For a deep dive, this is the topic of my most recent book, The Hidden History of American Oligarchy.)

Right now there are only two things standing in their way.

The first is public outrage, which is building but can easily be displaced by a big news event like a disaster, a terrorist act or another Trump-follower attack on the Capitol.

The second is HR1/SB1, the “For The People Act,” which reduces the power of dark money and establishes national standards for clean elections; it has passed the House but is hanging under the hammer of McConnel’s filibuster in the Senate.

In an email I received this week from Freedomworks, the Koch-founded organization that brought us the Tea Party, they bragged about how they helped put Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court:

[We] Reached over 11 million activists in support of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. In a matter of only a few weeks, FreedomWorks reached over 9.8 million Americans on Facebook, reached more than 1.4 million on Instagram, generated 500,000 peer-to-peer texts in eight target states, and delivered 49,870 emails to the Senate all in support of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme 

Now’s they’re turning their millions and their efforts toward blocking the For The People Act, which they complain, “would also require 501(c)(4) organizations (like FreedomWorks) to expose the names of donors, leaving them vulnerable to the Left’s ‘cancel culture’ mob attacks.”

If we are to succeed in blocking oligarchy and restoring democracy to America, now is the time to call your Senators at 202-224-3121 and let them know you support ending the filibuster and passing the For The People Act.

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