Joni Ernst Allowed To Lie On “This Week”


This is from an excellent article by Jennifer Rubin.  Mainstream press could expose and dispense of a lot of the right wing lies if they would just ask a single follow up question. But they don’t and the Iowa press is just as bad or worse.

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Republicans have no legitimate explanation for their efforts to limit access to the ballot and to seize election administration duties from neutral professionals. And when Republicans appear on mainstream news programs, hosts routinely do a poor job of pressing them on their party’s rationale for subverting our democracy.

On ABC News’s “This Week” on Sunday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) was at least asked about new voting rules in her state that shorten early voting and close Election Day polls an hour earlier. Does this make voting less secure? She honestly answered that “it’s the same level of security.”

Right there was the opportunity to reveal the dishonesty inherent in Republicans’ voting suppression tactics. She should have been asked: Then why was it billed as an election integrity measure? Was that a lie? Was it an attempt to cement the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen? But these questions were not asked. Ernst never was pressed to say whether she subscribes to the “big lie,” and if not, how she could belong to a party that has conducted an insidious campaign to delegitimize President Biden’s election.

Ernst came up with the excuse that it had cost too much to man rural election sites and keep polls open one more hour. Really? How much does it cost? Why was this not a problem before? Do you value rural voters enough to give them just a little more time to vote? What if someone needs the extra hour to get to the polls after work? Alas, none of those questions were asked either.

When asked about the shortened period, Ernst gave a classic whataboutism answer, claiming that “we have Democrats that are targeting red states like Iowa again.” This is absurd. They are “targeting” red states because red states are targeting access to the ballot.

Ernst and many other Republicans make the specious claim Democrats want to “federalize” elections. Voting law both constitutionally and statutorily has long been a federal and state responsibility. Everything from the 15th Amendment to the Electoral Count Act to the Voting Rights Act (which Ernst’s party used to support) reaffirmed the federal government’s role to protect the fundamental right to vote. When states seek to impair the right to vote, the federal government has an obligation to step in.

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