Thursday, February 16, 2017

Magic Bus

Donald Trump won the NH Primary – and he won it bigly. That night he said, “THANK YOU NH! I love you all.” Ah, gratitude…an emotion with a very short half-life.

Fast forward to a year later. Trump did NOT win NH in the general election, and it’s been eating at him ever since. That he sits in the White House is not enough for him. He’s miffed that he didn’t win EVERYTHING. The one thing Donald Trump loves more than anything is being seen as a winner. NH wounded his overweening ego, and like every petulant tyrant, he’s lashing out. If he didn’t win NH, it’s because thousands of illegal voters were bused in from Massachusetts.

The fantasy of busloads of people from Massachusetts voting in NH began sometime in the late 90’s, and was spread by the Republican Party. In a strange coincidence, this rumor began to circulate at the same time Democrats started winning elections. The more Democrats won, the louder the rumbling about buses became.

I sat through a hearing on a photo ID bill at the NH House a few years ago. It was such a big hearing that it was held in Representatives Hall. Dozens of people went to the microphone to testify that they had seen buses full of people from Massachusetts pull up to the polls and all of the passengers went inside to vote. Under questioning by members of the committee, it turned out that not a one of these folks took a photo of the bus, wrote down the license plate number, made a complaint to the moderator, spoke with the police officer on duty, called the Secretary of State or the AG’s office.

The ugly undercutting of our state elections has continued. Every year a handful of bills are presented attempting to cast the runes in some magic combination that will change the definition of the word “domicile” to allow the Republican Party to ensure that college students don’t get to vote any more. This year there are well over a dozen voter suppression bills. One of the concerns endlessly voiced by the voter suppression crowd is that of the same day voter registrations, or those who vote without ID, signing a voter affidavit. They claim there are thousands of them that need to be investigated, even though there is no proof that anyone did anything untoward.  Given the high volume of indignity expressed, one would think they’d be chomping at the bit for those investigations.

One would be wrong. They’re all mad at the AG’s office for not investigating – BUT – they aren’t funding the AG’s office sufficiently to do the investigations. That tells me that all this hype about voter fraud is intended to gin up the base and cast suspicion any time Democrats win. If they were really concerned, they’d pony up for the staffing the AG’s office needs.

This constant drumbeat of fraud serves to create a kind of cynicism intended to discourage voter participation. Republicans may have once had some interest in public service, and the best interests of our state. Now their service is to the shoddy values and dubious actions of their political party.

Now that Trump is in on the act, the stakes have suddenly gotten a lot higher. I’ve always said that when NH loses the first in the nation primary, it will be because of the Republican Party. The end feels increasingly near. The newly minted, unofficial leader of the GOP is nothing if not petty and vindictive.

Over the weekend, professional NH embarrassment, State Rep. Al Baldasaro was on WBZ-TV, showing a reporter some photos of Massachusetts license plates he saw at the polls in Londonderry on Election Day. A license plate isn’t proof of anything – but putting that aside, we also know that Al didn’t take his deep concerns to the moderator, the officer on duty, or call the Sec. of State or the AG’s office. He saved those concerns for three whole months – until he was in front of a TV camera, noble patriot that he is.

In the days before the election, candidate Chris Sununu had plenty to say about voter fraud in NH. Now he’s in the unenviable position of having to flip flop. If Governor Sununu followed his leader, that would mean that the legitimacy of his own election was in question. Can anyone explain to me, why, if busloads of people from Massachusetts came to hijack the election, do the Republicans have control of every branch of the state government?

Given the accusations leveled by Trump and his minions, there’s only one thing NH can do to put this matter to rest. 

We need to do the NH general election over, right away.

Published as an op-ed in the February 17, 2017 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper


tworavens said...

I think your suggestion of a NH general election to finally put to rest the lies is a good one. Sadly, I think it likely that most people would return to vote? Regardless, nothing changes the "alternative" "amazing" "huge" and completely bizarro reality we find ourselves in.

Trump has always behaved like a petulant highly sensitive male who evidently suffered arrested development and continues to rely on anyone who catches his fancy for poor advice. The most disturbing of all, are his supporters who hold themselves up as pro life, holier than thou religious and mire themselves happily in lies, deception and hatred against all (per the lying about buses of illegal voters. Undoubtedly they attend church each sunday). They wear their little flags on their lapels all the while maintaining the party line of "Party First, Nation Second". They are unpatriotic, seditious and treasonous in this voters opinion. The most laughable of all is their line "give Trump a chance". He is IN the White House, he has every power play at his fingertips, he doesn't require "chance" he is required to do the job the electoral college afforded him. I listened closely to his press conference during which he named Hillary Clinton so many times, I had to wonder if he perhaps he doesn't have "a thing" for her. I'm sure at some point, he'll have to revert to the threat of jailing her since he will be left with no other blame play.

I enjoyed your analogy of bills being cast in much the same way a rune throw would be cast. I've cast runes for over forty years (having been taught by an aunt) but sadly, do not need them to forecast how things will turn out.

Trump is spending so much time on the blame game which seems to be the only one he knows, as well as leisure time in West Palm Beach that even his supporters must surely be questioning this man's sanity/IQ or lack thereof - Nah!! Another excellent piece your wrote.

Junior Mints said...

Total Responsible Gun Owner Max Abraham and his Free Keene loser friends are now pushing the alternative facts of busloads sent up from Massachusetts.