Michelle Obama hasn’t exactly been on the sidelines for the 2020 campaign process, but the former first lady has now officially waded in, announcing a voter turnout initiative along with 31 mayors from across America.
The effort will take place through Obama’s organization When We All Vote. Founded in 2018 by the former first lady, When We All Vote is described by The Washington Post — which began the title for its story with the ominous phrase “Michelle Obama is stepping into the 2020 election” — as a “nonpartisan voting initiative.” (I’d love to see the author say those words with a straight face.)
On Thursday, Obama “announced a coalition of 31 mayors across the country who will be brainstorming and sharing lessons and practices about how to increase voter registration and civic engagement,” The Post reported.
“This current crisis is a clear reminder of how critical it is to have competent leadership at all levels of government,” the former first lady said.
“Voting is bigger than any one party, any one issue, any one candidate, any one election,” she added. “The point is that no matter what party, what ideology, we want everyone to participate. We need your voices in this with us.”
Right. One can be sure that When We All Vote will be diligently trying to turn out votes in the red areas of swing states. Or she’ll be working hard to implement last-minute vote-by-mail schemes, one of the two.
“This pandemic will likely have a significant impact on the November election and on how voters across the country cast their ballots,” she said on the Zoom call. “Already in state and local elections, we’ve seen voters forced to choose between protecting their health and making their voices heard. And that’s absolutely not acceptable.”
Should Michelle Obama get involved in the 2020 election?
She added people needed to keep watch so that the pandemic “doesn’t turn into a crisis of democracy, too.”
This all sounds wonderful — who doesn’t like the idea of more people voting, after all? — until you realize the decidedly partisan reasoning behind the effort. One of the pleasant fictions Democrats tell themselves about their 2016 loss is that people actually wanted them to win, they just didn’t get out to vote.
“Almost half of eligible voters didn’t go to the polls in the 2016 election and a group of political scientists and data analysts found that 4.4 million people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 stayed home in 2016, including 11 percent of black voters who cast ballots for Obama in 2012 — comprising one third of abstainers,” The Post reported.
In Michelle Obama’s Netflix documentary “Becoming,” the former first lady said the day her family left the White House was “painful” since “a lot of our folks didn’t vote, so it was almost like a slap in the face.”
No one, I think, will ever be able to properly explain the condescension behind this conceit to the Democrats.