The Republican Party’s strategy for winning future elections is simple: prevent people from voting. This anti-democratic approach was exemplified by the much-discussed voter suppression laws recently passed in Georgia, and similar measures have been popping up in red states across the country.
Many of the efforts essentially boil down to making it more difficult for minorities that predominantly lean Democratic to vote at all. Others are simply engineered to depress voter turnout across the board. Republicans know that greater turnout generally favors Democrats because the majority of Americans prefer the Democratic platform. If they have to choose between democracy and maintaining power Republicans will choose power every time.
Of course, the GOP refuses to admit what it’s doing and has trotted out all manner of defenses for their Draconian voter suppression bills. This morning, Arizona State Representative John Kavanaugh (R) appeared on CNN’s New Day for a conversation with Brianna Keilar to discuss new anti-voting laws in the Grand Canyon State. As is now standard for Republicans appearing on TV, he raised the false specter of mass voter fraud (which doesn’t exist). The conversation quickly grew heated after Keilar confronted Kavanaugh over some of his past remarks.
“Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well,” he said in March. Keilar brought up the now-infamous comments and Kavanaugh responded in trademark conservative fashion by getting huffy over having his own words thrown in his face and insisting that he would never stop a legitimate voter from voting.
When the two began discussing the effect of voting roll purges on the ballots of military families who are Arizonian but deployed elsewhere Kavanaugh got even more worked up. Keilar pointed out that these people could be removed from voting rolls due to the Republican bill.
“You’re really twisting the facts to make your point here. All we’re doing is trying to do is get people who are dead or moved off the list,” said Kavanaugh after the two went back and forth on the topic.
“I’m talking about being purged from the early voting rolls. I’m talking about people who are purged from that early voting list,” Keilar jumped in.
“Can we use neutral names? They are being removed after multiple checks to make sure that they actually aren’t there. They aren’t being purged,” responded Kavanaugh.
“That is your… That is how you describe it, sir, and we do appreciate you coming on,” said Keilar.
“I’m not spinning it, I’m doing the truth. I’m not doing spin,” said Kavanaugh.
“I’m not spinning it either,” Keilar replied.
“Purge? What am I, Stalin? Come on, don’t be ridiculous. This is really, this is why we can’t have reasonable discussions across the political divide because everybody wants to throw gasoline on what should be a critical intellectual discussion,” whined Kavanaugh.
“Sir, you’re not being honest and what you’re saying doesn’t even line up with what you have said about votes,” Keilar stated.
“When am I dishonest?” asked Kavanaugh.
“You’ve talked about quality votes over quantity. I think that is loud and clear,” said Keilar.
Watch the embarrassing display below.
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