One can have an interesting debate over the most self-defeating political statements in American politics. There was Bill Clinton’s not-so-clever answer about his affair with Monica Lewinsky as depending what “the meaning of ‘is’ is.” There was John Kerry’s statement that he was for the Iraq war before he was against it. There was Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer may have taken the crown with his yelling on the streets of New York that “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world. Now we take Georgia, then we change America.” It is a quote that will live in political infamy — and play endlessly in Georgia. Now adding to the Democratic problems are liberal figures openly encouraging Democrats to move to Georgia to stack the vote in the runoff elections. So Georgia just started a hand recount in the midst of claims of voting irregularities but figures like New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman are calling for liberals to move to Georgia to influence their election. In other words, Friedman and others are sending the self-destructive message is that Jon Ossoff and Raphael G. Warnock might not have enough Georgians to vote for them so they need New Yorkers and Californians to come and vote as Georgians. The New York Times, which has run repeated pieces on alleged vote suppression by the GOP, has had nothing to say about Friedman’s call for vote stacking in Georgia.
I recently wrote about the irony of the runoff election starting on the anniversary of Sherman’s March Through Georgia. I did not think it would literally involve Northerners invading the state to carry out the campaign.
One of the recurring arguments is that Democrats have so demonized Trump and his supporters (including calling them Nazis) that it gives license to supporters to take any measure to ensure a Biden victory. As if on cue, Friedman then took to the airways to reinforce that concern. He told CNN, “I hope everybody moves to Georgia, you know, in the next month or two, registers to vote and votes for these two Democratic senators.”
It seemed like Friedman’s first thought on the runoffs was how he or others could rig it. He is not alone. New York Magazine’s Eric Levitz wrote “These run-offs will decide which party controls the Senate, and this, whether we’ll have any hope of a large stimulus/climate bill. If you have the means and fervor to make a temporary move to GA, believe anyone who registers by Dec 7 can vote in these elections.”
It appears that people told Levitz that he was saying the quiet part out loud and he deleted his post. Vote stacking with out-of-staters is the type of thing that you are supposed to do quietly, not openly. Georgians might not take too kindly to New Yorkers voting on their representatives.
For his part, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has announced that he is moving his family to Georgia to push for Ossoff and Warnock. Now that will help . . . a leading California politician moving to Georgia to push for the runoff. Georgians will be thrilled.
What is fascinating is that, even if some people follow these directions, a hundred times that number of actual Georgians will be left irate over these calls.
Of course, the New York Times offered not even a hint of concern with one of its writers calling for people to manipulate the voting count in Georgia. It is all too familiar. The Times was fine with forcing out an editor for simply running an opinion piece by a conservative senator on the recent protests while later running a piece by “Hong Kong enforcer” supporting the crushing of freedom protests. It denounces Trump for what it considers suppression tactics while remaining silent as Friedman calls for dilution tactics in the election. It is also a curious call for the media which has been denouncing the effort not to count every vote. It now appears that counting every vote includes counting New Yorkers in Georgia.
Under Georgia law, you must be a “legal resident of the county” and meet other requirements to register to vote. Potential voters are required to provide either a Georgia driver’s license or a Social Security number and fill out a form online or in-person to send to the secretary of state by Dec. 7. It is a felony to vote in Georgia if you are not a legal resident or only plan to be in the state temporarily for an election. The Georgia Attorney General is mandated with enforcing these voter fraud rules.
Friedman of course has slammed Trump, which is his right and Trump deserved criticism on many of these occasions. However, he has portrayed himself as different from Trump despite calling him names because he is “respectful even with people I disagree with.” Except when he does not trust them to elect their own representatives and seeks to negate their votes in the name of the greater good.