Woman was paid to collect absentee ballots. Trump won’t eulogize a former president. Republicans are no longer committed to that whole peaceful transfer of power thing [r/politics, Episode #3]

#1

A woman says she was paid to collect absentee ballots in North Carolina House race

An absentee ballot witness said Monday that a Bladen County, N.C., electioneer paid her to collect absentee ballots from last month’s midterm elections.

Ginger Eason told that Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr. paid her between $75 and $100 to pick up completed absentee ballots for North Carolina’s 9th District, the results of which are being officially investigated.

“I was helping McCrae pick up ballots,” Eason said to the news outlet, referring to the Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor who appears to be at the center of the probe.

Eason added that she didn’t see who people were voting for, but that she never mailed the ballots. Instead, she gave them to Dowless, adding that he did not mention to her that what she was doing was illegal.

Redditors reminds not to forget about the Mexican mother of 4, a permanent US resident with a 6th-grade education, who got confused with voter registration forms and was sentenced to 8 years in jail.

#2

For the first time in decades, the sitting president won’t eulogize a former president

President Trump will be attending the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, but don’t expect to hear from him.

Although Trump was invited to the memorial service on Wednesday, he won’t be delivering a eulogy, The New York Times and CNN report. Typically, the sitting president would speak at the funeral of his predecessor, but the Times writes that this is “seemingly a compromise intended to respect tradition while avoiding an awkward moment given the animosity between the current president and the Bush family.”

During his campaign, Trump mocked the 41st president’s phrase “thousands of points of light” asking, “What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out?” Bush in a 2017 book called Trump a “blowhard” and said he voted for Hillary Clinton, per BBC News.

Former President George W. Bush will speak at the funeral service, which is set to include several other speakers like historian Jon Meacham. But CNN reports that Trump not speaking may have less to do with the family’s rocky history with him and more to do with the fact that they’re in the unique position of having Bush’s son be a former president himself, so he’s filling the presidential eulogizer role that would normally go to Trump. Sources also told CNN that plans for the funeral were put in place before Trump was elected.

Reddit users are surprised why he even got invited with all the stuff he said about the Bush family.

#3

Republicans Are No Longer Committed to That Whole Peaceful Transfer of Power Thing

You may not have noticed this when it happened, but North Carolina elected a Democratic governor in 2016. It was a close race, and Republicans demanded multiple recounts, but eventually, they conceded and Roy Cooper was declared the winner.

But that didn’t mean everything was over. After all, there was another month left in which lame-duck Republican Pat McRory was still governor and the Republican legislature was still running things. So they did something unique: they passed a series of bills that stripped the governor of some of his powers. Cooper sued after he took office, of course, and the whole mess is currently working its way through the courts. Still, as corrupt as this was, at least it was just North Carolina, which has a recent history of anti-democratic actions barely matched since the end of Reconstruction.

You’ll be unsurprised to learn that this wasn’t the end of the story. In the same way that voter ID bills spread throughout red states after the first one produced light bulbs all over GOP-land, the same thing is happening here. Republicans who lost re-election bids in November are casting their eyes toward North Carolina and thinking that those Tarheels had a pretty good idea.

The incoming Democrats had promised a crackdown on dark money contributions, and this is an obvious attempt to stop them. The new commission would be split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, which would halt campaign finance reform in its tracks. And if Michigan can do it, you know that Scott Walker must be looking on from Wisconsin wondering if he can do the same thing.

And so the red splotch expands, as Republicans desperately try to thwart democracy and the usual peaceful transfer of power. Will our courts let them get away with this?

Redditors remind us that David Frum said recently

“If Republicans can no longer get elected Democratically, they will not abandon Republicanism, they will abandon Democracy.”