E.J. Dionne: Kris Kobach and the struggles of column-writing – New York News




It is neither paranoid nor alarmist to begin asking if the Trump administration plans to rationalize blocking a large number of voters who oppose the president from casting ballots in 2018 and 2020. And it is imperative that the civic-minded of all parties demand the disbanding of a government commission whose very existence is based on a lie.

The lying doesn’t stop. Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, is vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Its name reminds us why the adjective “Orwellian” was invented. Kobach chose to use a meeting of the commission held in New Hampshire on Tuesday to continue to cast doubt on the state’s election results even after his charges of voter fraud had fallen apart.

It was an object lesson into how Trumpists will twist, cook and distort facts about voting to manufacture numbers that sound ominous but vanish into the ether as soon as they’re examined.

That Kobach had initially made his case on Breitbart, the right-wing website, is a sign that the man in charge of what is supposed to be a sober inquiry is simply a propagandist. (Vice President Pence is the nominal chair of the commission, but he has a few other things to do.)


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Here’s how Kobach confected his Breitbart tale. New Hampshire allows would-be voters to register on Election Day. Kobach noted that 6,540 same-day registrants used out-of-state driver’s licenses to verify their identity.

This is perfectly legal under New Hampshire law, but Kobach’s “aha!” moment was to reveal that “ten months after…

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