According to the Huffington Post, President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Thursday that will establish a commission to investigate voter fraud. The move comes months after the president made the baseless claim that millions of illegal voters cost him the popular vote--an accusation that was originally levied by a right-wing political hack who has absolutely no evidence that such a conspiracy took place. In fact, multiple investigations have taken place over the last few decades and not one has turned up any significant amount of voter fraud, especially not the widespread fraud it'd take to swing an election; but that's not stopping Trump from beating this dead horse again.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) will reportedly chair the commission and Vice President Mike Pence will be the vice chair. The Commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of Federal elections ― including improper registrations, improper voting, fraudulent registrations, fraudulent voting, and voting suppression, according to the White House.
“In my mind, this is akin to launching missile strikes with the hopes of getting popularity points. There’s just no there there,” said Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at common cause. “But they’ll try to put on a big show over a so-called widespread problem that doesn’t exist.”
Chapman makes a good point, the timing of this executive order is extremely suspect given the controversy surrounding Trump at the moment. Two days ago the president fired FBI Director James Comey, the guy who was investigating his campaign for helping the Russians meddle in our election. Although the megalomaniac currently squatting in our highest office claims Comey was fired because he was very mean to Hillary Clinton (or didn't arrest her? Who knows. He has many reasons. Tremendous reasons. The best reasons.), we have learned that excuse is absolute bullshit. The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that thirty officials within the White House admitted the firing of the director had to do with Trump's own personal frustrations:
Trump was angry that Comey would not support his baseless claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped. Trump was frustrated when Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And he fumed that Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to investigating leaks to journalists.
With all of these leaks springing from his administration and the mess he created by behaving like a dictator, Trump needs something to distract Republicans. And what better way to do that than to dangle voter fraud in front of them?
In all likelihood, the Trump administration is going to use this commission to impose more voter restrictions on Democrats to secure a win in the 2018 and 2020 elections. I have absolutely no faith that Congress is going to impeach this president. We no longer have a legislative branch that comes together for the good of our democracy, like they did in the Nixon era. What we have is a Republican majority that will do whatever they can to stay in power, even if that means standing behind a president who is destroying the very fabric of our country.
The GOP knows that the vast majority of Americans want Trump out of office, but they also know that their party is full of low-information voters who will go along with whatever they say. That means that the only way they can win is by suppressing voting rights for as many progressives as they can and that is exactly what they are setting out to do.
Welcome to the new age of American "democracy."