There’s a real oddity for us, or at least to me, about this moment in our history. “Vote fraud” propaganda and voter suppression have been central issues in TPM’s coverage literally from day one, going back 22 years now. So all the different misleading and disingenuous games, the ways to fool people about alleged fraud, the ways to use the numbers to bamboozle people — we’ve been writing about all of these for years. But now what was a matter of relatively marginal mainstream media interest is the very center of the story. In stories like the one below and this one yesterday we see the same old — really, ancient story — “vote fraud” propaganda and suppression tactics targeting largely African-American cities — in this case Detroit and Philadelphia. So, from an editorial point of view, we find ourselves explaining to longtime readers points we were explaining and reporting on back in 2002 and 2006 and 2016.
Of course, in 2022 the story has taken a new turn. The prime targets are still minority communities and ones who tend to vote largely Democratic. But the virus has, as it were, escaped the lab. Now all voting is suspect. Indeed, fraud is allegedly so widespread that the whole democratic process is suspect and fraudulent. Republicans now sometimes won’t accept the legitimacy of elections they appear to have won.
These are the stories, the scams, the groups, the malefactors we’ve been writing and reporting about for years. It’s just that now they are the centerpiece stories of American politics.