There are only 18 days remaining before Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff elections, which will dictate control of the chamber for the next two years. Given the extraordinarily high stakes, interest in the races is high in Georgia, and early-voting turnout this week has been robust. The trend is likely to continue as activists try to bring as many voters as possible into the process.
But in some circles, this isn't good news. TPM yesterday highlighted Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) explaining why he's "very, very concerned" by what he's seeing in Georgia.
"Most importantly, they're mailing out a solicitation — they're mailing everybody out a solicitation to vote by mail," Paul intoned on Fox Business Network. "This is not a state law, this is something created out of whole cloth by the Secretary of State." ... "I'm very, very concerned that if you solicit votes from typically non-voters, that you will affect and change the outcome," he continued. "So I'm very worried Democrats will control all three branches of government and really truly transform America, but not for the better."
Right off the bat, it's worth clarifying that the Kentucky Republican is afraid of Democrats having control of the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House, which he described as the "three branches of government." But as Rand Paul really ought to know, the three branches of the government are the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
But it's also curious to hear an elected official express deep concern about encouraging those who don't usually vote to participate in the democratic process. Why would that be bad? Because, according to the GOP lawmaker, it's likely to "affect and change the outcome."
Well, yes, I suppose that's true. In a democracy, every vote does, in fact, have the potential to affect and change the outcome, which is precisely why Americans choose to cast ballots. It is a feature, not a bug, of the electoral process.
Regrettably, Rand Paul's on-air comments came on the heels of a committee hearing, in which the he falsely told the public that the 2020 election was "in many ways ... stolen." The senator made matters worse by adding made-up details to his lie on Fox News a day later.
Indeed, over the course of 2020, Rand Paul hasn't exactly covered himself in glory, as evidenced by a series of unfortunate assessments he's made about the coronavirus pandemic, each of which look even worse in hindsight.
It's as if Kentucky's junior senator is in a race with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to see who can do the most damage to their reputations.