Commentary

GOP still riling up its base with the Big Lie

June 17, 2022 6:30 am
Crowds arrive for the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Crowds arrive for the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation’s capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Indifferent to the revelations of the Jan. 6 hearings, the GOP in Wisconsin is riling up its base with the Big Lie even as those hearings are under way.

This week, the Republican National Committee and the Wisconsin Republic Party launched a nine-city “election integrity” tour.

That would be a laughable joke if it weren’t so dangerous because the Republican National Committee has absolutely no credibility on election integrity after it referred to the Jan. 6 coup attempt as “legitimate political discourse.”

And the Wisconsin Republican Party has no credibility here either after Republican legislators passed one bill after another in the last session that would have interfered with our freedom to vote had Gov. Evers not vetoed them.

On top of that, Speaker Robin Vos hired Michael Gableman, now held in contempt, to run a partisan fishing expedition into the Nov. 2020 elections. And Vos promoted Representative Janel Brandtjen to chair the Assembly committee on elections, which she turned into a hotbed of conspiracy mongers.

And every Republican running for governor wants to abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission and give its duties either to the Legislature itself or to the Secretary of State, if a Republican wins that office. Either way, Republicans would then be in charge not only of administering the elections but certifying them! This has the potential to be worse than voter suppression; it could lead to voter nullification, with Republican officials choosing the winner, not the voters.

But they haven’t given up on voter suppression, either.

This weekend in Wauwatosa, Republican partisans are holding an “election integrity summit,” with a focus on “recruitment, training and deployment” of poll watchers . One of the organizers is attorney Cleta Mitchell, who promoted Trump’s bogus theories of the stolen election.

This appears to be part of a national GOP effort to get as many hyper-partisan poll workers and election observers to sign up for duty, especially in Democratic precincts, to challenge as many Democratic voters as possible.

A recent article in Politico outlined “ a multi-pronged strategy to target and potentially overturn votes in Democratic precincts: Install trained recruits as regular poll workers and put them in direct contact with party attorneys.” One GOP official bragged, “It’s going to be an army.”

The summit is also showing the film “Rigged,” which amplifies the Big Lie.

And the two featured speakers there will be none other than Michael Gableman and Janel Brandtjen.

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Matt Rothschild
Matt Rothschild

Prior to joining the Democracy Campaign at the start of 2015, Matt worked at The Progressive magazine for 32 years. For most of those, he was the editor and publisher of The Progressive.

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