“No more stimulus without universal vote-by-mail!” Tell your representatives.

Generally speaking, I don’t have the stomach for playing political hardball when people’s lives (or the profitability of huge corporate behemoths like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) are on the line, but I think that we need to encourage Democratic members of Congress to stand firm and demand that, before another bailout is signed into law, we first get an agreement on universal vote-by-mail legislation. The Republicans desperately want to put Donald Trump’s name on more checks between now and Election Day, as they know it’s the only way for them to even have a shot at holding onto the Senate and the White House, and we need to use that fact to ensure that this next election is both safe and fair.

The Republicans, you can be sure, will make it difficult. They’ll say we’re trying to rig the election on behalf of Biden and the Democrats by trying to make voting easier during the pandemic, but, as the New York Times pointed out a little while ago, “As with false claims by Republicans about vote-by-mail fraud, there is no evidence to back up the argument from the right that all-mail elections favor Democrats.” I know Donald Trump has said in public that, if we have universal vote-by-mail, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” but, as with many things the president has said, there’s really no evidence of it. As of right now, five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — already have all-mail elections, and there’s no evidence that having made that switch has favored one party over another. And the same is true for Arizona and California, both of which give citizens the option to vote-by-mail. [As the folks at TechCrunch point out, some Democrats in Oregon were against vote-by-mail, thinking that it would give Republicans an advantage, but it didn’t, and the people there, regardless of party affiliation, seem to love it.]

But, as you can hear in this clip, Donald Trump is convinced that universal vote-by-mail would hurt the Republicans. So he’s not willing to consider it, even if it means more polling place disease transmission and death.

The Republicans will say that the Democrats are doing this in order to “rig” the election in their favor, and they’ll say that Democrats don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get their way. They’ll accuse the Democrats of holding up stimulus checks. But we have to stand firm, for the health of our nation and the integrity of the election. [It’s worth noting that, during the Obama administration, the Republicans stood against infrastructure stimulus spending just because they didn’t want to increase Democratic popularity. They said at the time that they were against it on the grounds that deficit spending wasn’t fiscally responsible, but we know that was a lie.]

We know that this pandemic may still be with us come November, and we have to plan accordingly. It’s the right thing to do… If Donald Trump can vote by mail, everyone should be able to. We shouldn’t have to force people to stand in line for hours on end, alongside people who are ill, just to cast their ballots, and exercise their constitutional right. Doing so would not only be cruel, but also potentially very costly, as another flareup could force us to reinstitute the national shutdown we’re all living through right now.

I was going to go on at length about why vote-by-mail is important, but then I discovered that the folks at Pod Save America have already built a website dedicated to the subject that does a much better job than I ever could. Here’s an excerpt, but I’d encourage you to visit the site and read through everything for yourselves. They even have a call script, for those of you who might never have called the offices of your elected officials before.

There are various plans out there. Elizabeth Warren has a plan. Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden have a bill. I suspect there are others as well. I don’t have a preference at this point as to how we do it, it just needs to be done. We need to ensure that voting is safe, efficient and fair for everyone… Speaking of Warren, here she is saying that some form of universal vote-by-mail absolutely has to be part of any future relief bill.

OK, so can I count on you to look up the numbers of your elected officials, give them a call, and tell them how important it is to you that we establish universal vote-by-mail across the United States?

And, if you happen to live here in Michigan, where we already have absentee voting, fill out the online form, and make sure that, come November, you get a ballot in the mail. And then tell your friends to do the same. I know, if you’re like me, and really enjoy the act of voting alongside your neighbors, it might be something that you’re not incredibly keen on doing, but it’s the responsible thing to do… So just do it, OK?

Still not decided that vote-by-mail is absolutely necessary? Here’s a headline from Wisconsin, where Republicans recently forced primary election to be held in spite of the pandemic.

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32 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Yes let’s advocate for mail-in like our country depends on it. I’ve always loved the Civic act of joining my neighbors to vote. But between the voter suppression addicted gop and now covid, it’s definitely time. Of course they are compulsive cheaters though, so in short order they’ll be gaming the mail-in too.

    Hopefully the virus passes in time for a good old fashioned, All-American, public execution of Agent Orange. That would be great to see in a big crowd!

  2. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    GOP officials are rarely so dumb as to admit publicly that they can’t win high-turnout elections. T-Rump is the absurdly stupid, rare exception again, of course.

  3. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Not allowing cheating = voter suppression.

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/voter-fraud-texas-evidence-non-citizens-voting/

    After a yearlong voter-fraud probe, Texas discovered that, lo and behold, 95,000 people identified as noncitizens had voter registrations. What’s more, 58,000 of them voted in one or more Texas elections.

  4. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Aloha, as usual HW is unable to look beyond what his leader tells him. Total bogus report promoted by Trump and spread by his Death cult.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.texastri
    bune.org/2019/02/01/texas-citizenship-voter-roll-review-how-it-turned-boondoggle/amp/

  5. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.texastribune.org/2019/02/01/texas-citizenship-voter-roll-review-how-it-turned-boondoggle/amp/

  6. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “Aloha, as usual HW is unable to look beyond what his leader tells him. Total bogus report promoted by Trump and spread by his Death cult.”

    Oh it sounds so dumb. Pretty sure I have been on to election fraud for a while.

    I think with an article that is that long you have to quote what you think is good and relevant in it. You just want to just link it and then stand there with your hands on your hips like “m-hm”.

  7. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Aloha , Demand the Democrats do better this time. The last “bi-partisan” covid relief act made sure that those with the most get the most.

    600 Kent County millionaires get an average of 1.7 million each.

    https://griid.org/2020/04/19/the-600-millionaires-living-in-kent-county-will-receive-on-average-1-7-million-because-of-the-covid-19-relief-policy/?fbclid=IwAR21IcMCRLLlO27pQSfM-w0WvPaWJwOSRxwIL-1P8xRco63N3JFqx4lNzOI

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    To be Clear, Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be fine. They got their CARES Act loan. And so did contractors, professional firms and tech companies with staff making less than 100k/year each. And then the money dried up. The businesses who didn’t get the money they need to pay rent and utilities and their staff and be able to re-open when they are allowed to are basically every other storefront business ever. Like ALL OF THEM. I have spent the last week listening to them cry because their life’s work is going down the drain.

    So let’s be clear who we are impacting with this suggestion for a bold move: Not the big guys. Every fucking small retail business in the country and every business that does business with them.

    They are out of money. They don’t get unemployment. They will be bankrupt if this thing is held hostage. And it’s entirely uncertain whether they will get the money this time any way. If Congress and our local banks and our local politicians don’t wake the fuck up to the macroeconomic impact of small business (45% of all businesses and 50% of employers) we are all in very big trouble.

    Vote by Mail is the least of it.

    Here’s an alternative, we can stop holding small business hostage and just pass that part of the legislation and then do the rest later.

  9. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Until you can produce a court case showing people who voted illegally are being charged, we all know the claims are bullshit. Your mentally disabled president wouldn’t know one way or another. He couldn’t organize a charity car wash. His ignorance of simple matters is glaringly evident whenever he speaks.

  10. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Trump is so dumb, incompetent and emotionally fucked up, he spends his time and effort attacking the Republican governor of Maryland for getting 500,000 tests from South Korea. Trump was so stupid, he said his administration provided a list of labs in Maryland to their governor. Trump is too dumb to comprehend the governor of Maryland is aware of the labs located in his state. What Trump also was too dumb to know was that the labs on the list he shared were federal labs which the state does not have access to. Trump also didn’t understand labs don’t produce tests. They process them. How brain dead does a person have to be not to understand that?

    So Trump thought it makes sense to dedicate a press conference to attacking a governor for getting the tests Trump won’t (and is incapable) of helping him get.

    This is better than FF thought things would be. He considers this as doing a good job.

    You’ve asked me to name things about Trunp and his actions that are ridiculous. Add this and every aspect of it to the list. I am confident I will never run out of examples.

  11. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    It’s nice to have translators here though, who can explain how the constant flow of idiocy from that narcissistic moron is actually brilliance and decency.

  12. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Aloha , us old folks know who the Death Cult will throw under the bis next. Crush the vtus demand safe workplaces safe public spaces.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/04/a-stunning-reversal-trumps-approval-plummets-among-older-americans-as-he-pushes-to-re-open-despite-covid-19-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR2zbI3foSt0hZY-RhH-RSdWBUPp1FbXX3D0HXyf-iUEOgzMczyf7lmImNQ

  13. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    “To be Clear, Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be fine.”

    I think Mark was implying sarcasm. I doubt he was really all that concerned about the prospects of Ruth’s Chris.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    “Vote by Mail is the least of it.”

    Are you serious, Jean? How can you profess to care about things like small business, human rights, income disparity, climate change, the makeup of the Supreme Court, or anything else that you claim to care about, and say that safeguarding this election shouldn’t be a priority?

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    “Trump is so dumb, incompetent and emotionally fucked up, he spends his time and effort attacking the Republican governor of Maryland for getting 500,000 tests from South Korea. Trump was so stupid, he said his administration provided a list of labs in Maryland to their governor. Trump is too dumb to comprehend the governor of Maryland is aware of the labs located in his state. What Trump also was too dumb to know was that the labs on the list he shared were federal labs which the state does not have access to. Trump also didn’t understand labs don’t produce tests. They process them. How brain dead does a person have to be not to understand that?”

    It was a coded message to the Q, Robert. Trump, as usual, is playing three-dimensional chess while you’re playing tidily winks.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous—
    The implication that concerned me was that the CARES act was only going to ever benefit places like Ruth Chris steak house.
    That’s not at all the case with this second round of funding— in fact half is going to community banks to prevent that from happening. Which is why we need to pressure local banks wherever we live to support small local businesses.

    Which is also why, as I made clear, Anonymous, I don’t think this legislation should be held hostage by any other agenda.

    None of this means I don’t support voting rights or think they are critical. But the CARES act funding is as urgent as nythinh can be. We have time to put vote by mail Through and I actually believe (and I’m not alone) that it would be more useful to put it up as a stand alone and force GOP senators to go public on their vote. It can also be linked to the other legislation coming up.

    Already big institutional partners like UM with a lot more pull than small businesses and giant endowments and access to donations are asking for support.

    Let the legislation for players with the means to survive this wait take on voting rights.

    A reminder here that an economic collapse will Lso threaten voting rights.

    It’s fucked up to use small businesses and workers as a human shield to pass other unrelated legislation and to put those interests against at one another, which effectively is what Mark did by diminishing the risk of delay and you, Anonymous, bought into that false either/or paradigm.

    These interests are not naturally completing and can both be protected and preserved.

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I just read the first sentence. Does someone need to remind Mark that he has been running a propaganda website for years? He might not be the type of person who likes to play “hardball” but he is the type of person who would, in a heartbeat, poison the opposing teams Gatorade so he could avoid playing the ball game altogether.

  18. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, the Democrats need to be upping the anti. Debt forgiveness, universal health care, no-foreclosures …Election integrity.
    They cant sell gas. Take every dollar that goes into carbon technologies and put it into green energy. Start building an economy for the future.
    43000 millionaires get 68 billion (1.6 million in stimulus money each. You get 1200. )

    Get something for the people, at least make it safe from the virus.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    So an agreement has been reached and the half of funds going to community banks has been dwindled to about a quarter. But no voting by mail attached.

    I’m not a fan of those mechanisms on either side of the aisle especially when attached to emergency legislation. It’s a shame this crisis are the only time we can pass legislation now.

    Im going to repeat what I said before in context, since Anonymous removes it from context:
    “ f Congress and our local banks and our local politicians don’t wake the fuck up to the macroeconomic impact of small business (45% of all businesses and 50% of employers) we are all in very big trouble.
    Vote by Mail is the least of it”

    Yes an economic collapse unprecedented at any time in US history is more important than vote by mail. And not least because it could warrant martial law being declared and a voiding out of the election this Fall.

    We know Trump only cares about preserving power at any cost. We can sane the post office and get universal vote by mail by simply advocating for it.

    That’s how we passed redistributing reform in MI which a majority of GOP and Dems supported because most ppl of either party care about the integrity of our democratic institutions more than they care about their party holding on to power.

    We tend to forget this. And forgetting this leads to some pretty screwed up suggestions for how to pass legislation.

  20. John Brown
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    OMG, is Fashy Flake doing the ultimate whataboutism by calling Mark’s attempt at artsy intellectualism propaganda?

    10,000s of deaths are on the heads of agent orange and his supporters. That’s just the facts.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Redistricting reform. *
    Apologies for endless typos. Never did get to eye doctor and my son is using my laptop for school. I’m doing the best I can as a semi blind person (astigmatism exacerbated by other shit) who can’t disable autocorrect.

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I did not read past the first sentence JB. I do not know what “artsy intellectualism” means. Is the rest of Mark’s post good? I didn’t read it. His first sentence is hilarious. Your respond is funny too.

  23. Lynne
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Wait? Did I just hear a TRUMP supporter complain that an opinion blog is propaganda? Hahaha. Good one. 8

  24. Lynne
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I will just say that the small businesses I know that got stimulous money are grateful.

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I always find it interesting how the people who most often employ bigot-brain-lyncher-logic seem to believe identifying their own garbage reasoning as “opinion” somehow magically makes there garbage reasoning immune to criticism.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted April 22, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    FF– You support President Trump. That precludes you from reasonably criticizing any other persons ‘garbage reasoning.’

    It’s really so obvious and so simple.

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted April 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    “Reason is a narrow system swollen into an ideology.

    With time and power, it has become dogma, devoid of direction and disguised as disinterested inquiry.

    Like most religions, reason presents itself as the solution to the problems it has created.”

    John Ralston Saul, Voltaire’s Garden

    I suggest you read this book, FF.

    https://www.amazon.com/Voltaires-Bastards-Dictatorship-Reason-West/dp/0679748199

  28. Posted April 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Milwaukee is doing the right thing.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 22, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I think I might consider issuing a trigger warning for Jean the next time I use the word “reason”. Everybody knows reason has its limits. Jesus. The guy who wrote the book seems completely normal to me. Reason is a tool in most people’s toolbox. I am not sure it is your toolbox Jean.

    Here is Saul doing his thing…. Nothing at all surprising in anything he is saying. Normal. So my question is why in the world do you assume that you have some esoteric insight reason is “not on the throne” when pretty much everybody gets it? Is it just because you are not good at it? Because you really are not good at it.

  30. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 22, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MjzEJoSbvRc

    Normal.

  31. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 22, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Aloha. Excellent analysis on the Democrats failure to get any part of there agenda in the last give away to corporate america.

    https://sirota.substack.com/p/dems-give-unanimous-consent-to-trump?r=nst7&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3iVcIi0lPCSCh7zUhN6bzTKyZJTLedkLw5jgIIgM9VwQWqizZ7-7wHKtg

  32. Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Why do you suppose that is, wobblie?

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  1. […] drive down turnout. [He’s defended voter suppression strategies in the past, saying that, when more Americans vote, Democrats win.] So, of course he’s trying to make voting more difficult here, putting his name on stimulus […]

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