It’s not like the White House has nothing better to do than chase down dubious claims of voter fraud. There are missiles in Korea, independent thinkers in the Senate, resolute law enforcement officers in the FBI and dedicated career officers in the top level of National Security, determined not to let Trump create Armageddon. And despite all of these perils, or because of them, he has quietly announced the Election Integrity Commission to hunt down those missing three million or so presumed Trump votes that vanished into thin air; acommission of two so far, VP Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The President has announced that this will be a bipartisan commission, but its leadership plainly is partisan. He may eventually find a couple of Blue Dog Democrats to sign on, assuming that they can say to their relatively conservative contingencies back home that they are working across the aisle.
Kobach currently is counsel to the Immigration Law Reform Institute. As Kansas Secretary of State, he’s instituted some of the nation’s harshest voting restriction practices. In a post-election interview with Trump, Kobach was photographed carrying a document entitled “Department of Homeland Security – Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days.” The paper was seen only in passing, so its contents are not thoroughly known. The plan rattles off a number of anti-Muslim measures that found their way into the thus-far unconstitutional travel bans. Nevertheless, his proposed Homeland Security plan does refer to voting registration measures, intended no doubt to keep brown people away from the polls.
Make no mistake. Kobach and Pence aren’t looking at 2016, They’ve got their eyes trained on 2018, and their commission will be recommending ways of restricting voter access in the midterm elections and after, efforts to keep the Trump voting bloc above the tide line of increasing non-white voters.
Kobach’s efforts to suppress votes is as old as Jim Crow and equally repressive. This will not be a commission. It will be a nationwide effort to stage voter restrictions in states critical to maintaining GOP Congressional control. Kobach failed to attain the cabinet-level post he sought but will utilize the co-chairmanship of the Commission to spread his message and methods throughout the nation. You can expect a short fact-finding mission followed by a fully-formed and rigorously reviewed list of “essential” reforms, drafted by legal experts trying to evade the constitutional equal protection guarantees that have doomed most voter restriction laws to date.