Left-wing "comedian" Samantha Bee devoted her opening monologue on Wednesday’s edition of Full Frontal to accusing Republicans of orchestrating voter suppression and trashing voter ID laws. Bee’s analysis made it perfectly clear that she did not tune into Cuomo Prime Time last week; where a Georgia election official put the myth of voter suppression to bed.
After expressing glee about NASCAR removing the confederate flag and HBO Max removing Gone With the Wind, Bee began her tirade against Republicans: “while some racist sh** is going away, one thing that isn’t is the way the Republican Party punishes black and brown voters for just wanting to vote.” She specifically focused on the primary elections that took place in Georgia last week.
In her effort to paint Georgia election officials as sinister engineers of voter suppression, Bee noted that “some churches and schools declined to act as polling places due to fears of coronavirus spread.” Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling explained during the aforementioned segment on Cuomo Prime Time that he and his colleagues told officials in heavily Democratic Fulton County “this is not a good idea, you need to find other alternative locations.”
According to Sterling, decisions about polling places are “made at the county level and the state has zero ability to tell them not to do that.” Because it was Fulton County that elected to close multiple polling places, Bee can’t accuse Georgia Republicans of instituting voter suppression with a straight face.
But she kept doing it anyway, proclaiming that “Republicans work incredibly hard to make voting difficult; especially for voters who are black, indigenous, or people of color. Republicans’ key voting bloc is older, whiter people who are one heartbeat away from the great Cracker Barrel in the sky. Meanwhile, the electorate has become more diverse and more likely to reject campaign promises that sound like they come from the most uncomfortable parts of Splash Mountain.”
As her monologue came to a close, Bee concluded that “it will always be a part of the modern Republican platform to suppress voters.” Based on Bee’s opening monologue, one can conclude that “it will always be a part” of the liberal media playbook to trash Republicans as cold, calculating racists.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Wednesday’s edition of Full Frontal is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
SAMANTHA BEE: Hi, welcome to Full Frontal. I’m Samantha Bee. As the country continues to face an overdue reckoning with white supremacy, America is rethinking the way it glorifies slavery. NASCAR banned the Confederate flag, HBO Max removed “Gone With the Wind,” and Lady Antebellum is now just Lady A. Guys, abbreviating your band name won’t make people forget what it originally stood for. People are still fully aware that ABBA used to stand for “All Bitches be Acting Crazy.” The C is silent. But while some racist shit is going away, one thing that isn’t is the way the Republican Party punishes black and brown voters for just wanting to vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN VAUSE: On Tuesday, many waited for hours to vote in Georgia’s primary elections. The wait seemed especially long in counties with large African-American populations. Dozens of polling stations were closed because of coronavirus concerns. Many voters, sent home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEE: Look, I know things move at a slower pace in the south. It was just last week some southerners found out they lost the Civil War. But no one should have to wait hours to cast their ballot, especially as we’re approaching an election that could open the seventh seal. This year, Georgia, in an attempt to answer for accusations of voter suppression during its 2018 governors’ race, rolled out new touch screen voting machines statewide. The result? Georgia managed to suppress the vote even more. Poll workers were given limited training on the new machines and some churches and schools declined to act as polling places due to fears of coronavirus spread. Those problems, combined with absentee ballots that were never delivered, resulted in a total clusterf***. The only way Georgia’s primary could have gone any worse is if the whole time, a guy was standing behind you in line going, “you know it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” This is a terrifying indicator for what’s in store for November; especially because for the first time in a generation, Georgia is a battleground state for the presidential election. The last time Georgia was in play for the Democrats, we were all drinking Crystal Pepsi. Crystal Pepsi, the other vile tradition to come from the south. But voter suppression isn’t just limited to Georgia. The message we hear from everyone and the one I give on this show is that if we want to change things, we have to go vote but it’s not always that simple. Republicans work incredibly hard to make voting difficult, especially for voters who are black, indigenous, or people of color. Republicans’ key voting bloc is older, whiter people who are one heartbeat away from the Great Cracker Barrel in the sky. Meanwhile, the overall electorate has become more diverse and more likely to reject campaign promises that sound like they come from the most uncomfortable parts of Splash Mountain. You guys have hundreds of movies. Choose a theme that’s not racist. Even a ride based on “Up” would be okay. I mean, like, it would be sad but it would be better than “Song of the South.” Republicans’ base is shrinking. It’s in their best interest to keep young people, people with disabilities, and people of color, who tend to vote progressively, from voting. And as seen last week in Georgia, they are amazingly good at it. How are Republicans still getting away with this? To answer that question, we have to look back to the by-gone anti-antebellum era of 2013; when the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Shelby County v. Holder gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. According to the opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, elements of the VRA that protected black and brown voters were no longer needed because, he implied, our country has successfully “wiped away so much of its racist past.” It was easily 2013’s most upsetting decision, which is impressive considering that same year, Michael Douglas decided to claim that he ate so much pussy, it almost killed him.
BEE: Ultimately, the Supreme Court’s decision took away federal oversight of state voting laws. While the decision mostly applied to southern states with a history of racist voter suppression, it also encouraged other states to pass discriminatory laws and oh my goodness, did they. Over the last decade, we’ve seen an alarming increase in GOP-backed state laws that disenfranchise minorities through tried and true voter suppression tactics; one of the most insidious of these being voter I.D. laws. They’re terrible for so many reasons; one of them being whenever I have to show my I.D. to anyone, they always ask “oh, no, what happened?” Republicans insist that America has a huge problem with people going to the polls and impersonating other voters but multiple studies have shown that this type of voter fraud barely exists in the United States. And there are tons of totally valid reasons why someone might be registered to vote but not have photo ID.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Passports are expensive and less than half of Americans have one. A driver’s license, well, if you don’t drive or you don’t have a car, you’re not going to have one of those. That leaves us with non-driver’s ID and there are several barriers to getting one of those. One of them is your birth certificate, which you need in order to get this I.D. Not everyone has a birth certificate. Sometimes, those records have been lost or destroyed. Sometimes, they’re in other states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEE: And sometimes, they’re just too painful to look at because instead of Samantha, your parents legally named you “Mistake.” I wasn’t a mistake. I was named after my grandmother. She was the mistake. But it’s not just voter ID laws. Republicans also attempted to suppress the vote by closing polling places, sabotaging the restoration of voter rights for former convicted felons, gerrymandering, and purging voter rolls; often not telling minority voters that they couldn’t vote until they showed up at the polls. And to make matters worse, they made them wear a sticker that says “I Did Not Voted.” Why did they use a small sticker to correct the bigger sticker instead of making a whole new sticker? This year, multiple states have seen irregularities in their primaries that disenfranchise voters and seriously threaten our democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To come here and to think that you’re actually taking an active part in bringing…bringing about some change and you get here and it’s like…I can’t vote. You don’t know if this is just negligence or if this is deliberate. You don’t know where it’s coming from.
PENIEL JOSEPH: In Texas, where I live alone, 750 polling locations have closed, shut down since at least 2013. The…the voter ID in Texas effectively strips 600,000 people of access to the voting polls and the fact that university students can’t use their student ID to vote but if you have a gun license, you can use a gun license to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BEE: Even worse, in Texas, the voting booths are set up like shooting ranges. Since the Shelby County v. Holder decision, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina tried to enforce photo I.D. laws. VICE found that in certain counties across 13 states, many of the closed polling sites were in minority communities. In North Carolina alone, officials worked to cut back on early voting, eliminate same-day registration, restrict pre-registration, get rid of annual voting registration drives, and take away the authority of county boards of elections to extend voting hours. Come on, North Carolina. If you don’t knock it off, Petey Pablo is going to have to re-record “Raise Up” about a less problematic state. And I’m sorry but no other state would take their shirts off, twist it around their hands, or spin it like a helicopter. All of this is made worse by the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. In April, the number of new registered voters across 11 states went down by 70 percent compared to 2016. And in some swing states, voter registration is down at least 50 percent. That’s the most something has gone down since Michael Douglas. And yes, I know I’ve turned off the majority of my audience but that was on purpose. That was a test. Those of you still with me are the ones who really care about voter suppression or, you’re gross. Either way, we can and should do better and voter registration is just the beginning. Many people are understandably scared to vote in person due to COVID-19. And poll workers, who are often elderly, are afraid to go into work. The best way to address these concerns is by offering mail-in voting. Most states already have no excuse absentee voting but Trump is working overtime to plant seeds of doubt in the system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We don’t want them to do mail-in ballots because it’s going to lead to total election fraud so we don’t want them to do mail-in ballots. We don’t want anyone to do mail-in ballots. Now, if somebody has to mail it in because they’re sick or, by the way, because they live in the White House and they have to vote in Florida and they won’t be in Florida. If there’s a reason for it, that’s okay. If there’s a reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEE: The reason is so that thousands more people don’t die. And there’s no evidence that mail-in voting causes widespread fraud; except for that time voters in the city of Chicago accidentally mixed up their mail-in ballots with cereal box tops and got Cap’n Crunch elected comptroller. He ended up being surprisingly effective at comptrolling. It’s more important than ever to mobilize voters but it’s not enough to just mobilize them. We also need to keep them safe. Maybe to some people, waiting in line isn’t that big of a deal. I myself waited four hours in line to audition for “Ontario Idol.” It’s just like “American Idol,” only your judges are Wayne Gretsky, Martin Short, and somehow still Paula Abdul. I deserved to wait then but no one should have to wait to cast their ballots. It will always be a part of the modern Republican platform to suppress voters, which is why we can’t wait until November to fix it. We have to do the work now that enables us to elect officials who care about ensuring everyone has the right to vote. It’s a lot easier to say “go vote” than it is to do it; just like how it’s a lot easier to audition for “Ontario Idol” than it is to make that star-making trip to Kitchen or Waterloo. But in both cases that are equally important, we have to try. We’ll be right back.