Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best and Most Absurd

Nov 13, 2019 at 11:32 am
Amy McGrath

Thorn: Gov. Bevin Rips A Page Out Of The Autocrats’ Playbook... Again

A thorn goes to Gov.-ejected Matt “Bully” Bevin for questioning the legitimacy of his loss by claiming “irregularities” but providing zero proof — even a week later. This tactic, debasing the process and undermining voter confidence, has become a front-line response for Republicans here and nationally. It’s Bevin’s last-gasp attack on our institutions of democracy and straight from the autocrats’ textbook. In “How Democracies Die,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt warn: “This is how elected autocrats subvert democracy — packing and ‘weaponizing’ the courts and other neutral agencies, buying off the media and the private sector (or bullying them into silence) and rewriting the rules of politics to tilt the playing field against opponents. The tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy — gradually, subtly, and even legally — to kill it.”

Thorn: Tweet Bots Abetted Bevin’s Assault On Democracy

As the polls closed, @Overlordkraken1 tweeted to their 19 followers that they had “just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots. Bye bye Bevin.” The New York Times reported: “Within hours of @Overlordkraken1’s tweet, as it became apparent that Mr. Bevin was trailing in the vote tally, hyperpartisan conservatives and trolls were pushing out a screenshot of the message, boosted by what appeared to be a network of bots, and providing early grist for allegations of electoral theft in Kentucky.” Bevin ran with it.

Rose: Bevin Got The Flip Sweats

An exit poll conducted jointly by several universities of 3,913 voters found what you’d expect: More high school-educated, Evangelical Christian, old, white men voted for Bevin. The fatal fracture for Bevin was his loss of GOP votes: Of Republicans polled, 16% voted for Beshear, and of all with a favorable view of tRump, 15.4% voted for Beshear.

Absurd: Mitch, Are You Listening?

A Courier Journal story about Bevin losing support from state GOP lawmakers on his kamikaze run to overturn the election does not quote Kentucky’s grand political puppet-master, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. Not even a “no comment.” But the end of the story slips in an anonymous appraisal of Bevin from a “McConnell confidante” who said, “We counted the votes, and he lost.” Also: “You can’t just be a jerk and there not be a consequence.” ...Tell that to Mitch.