Ummmm ……… Isn’t This Just Shoe Leather Politics?

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readMar 8, 2022


So, I just came across a breathless article from Pro Publica, about how the racist terrorist group Oath Keepers is plotting to take over the Republican Party on behalf of Donald Trump.

This raises a couple of questions, the first being, to quote Dorothy Parker on the death of Calvin Coolidge, “How can they tell?”

Racist terrorist dirt-bag is kind of the Republican brand these days.

On a more substantive note, the actions involving this plot, dubbed the, “Precinct Plan,” seem to be fairly anodyne low level politics, though it is clear that the people working this are bat-sh%$ insane, but then again, this has been the case with Republican Party insurgents since (at least) Barry Goldwater’s acolytes.

What they are are planning to do is volunteer for low level duties at election precincts and be actively involved in voter canvassing and voter turnout in their neighborhoods.

There is a term for people who do this, “Ward Heeler,” and they have been around since the beginning of the Republic:

Former President Donald Trump has officially endorsed a plan, created by a man who has self-identified with the Oath Keeper militia, that aims to have Trump supporters consolidate control of the Republican Party.

The plan, known as the “precinct strategy,” has been repeatedly promoted on Steve Bannon’s popular podcast. As ProPublica detailed last year, it has already inspired thousands of people to fill positions at the lowest rung of the party ladder. Though these positions are low-profile and often vacant, they hold critical powers: They help elect higher-ranking party officers, influence which candidates appear on the ballot, turn out voters on Election Day and even staff the polling precincts where people vote and the election boards that certify the results.


In addition to Bannon and Lindell, the precinct strategy has won support from pro-Trump figures such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who urged Trump to impose martial law, and lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, who led some of the lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results. Right-wing groups such as Turning Point Action, which organized buses to transport rallygoers on Jan. 6, also joined the effort to recruit precinct officers.

Let’s be clear: The people involved in this are dangerous and a threat to the republic, but the tactics described are pretty normal, and if progressives in the Democratic party were willing to do the same thing, they might achieve more success.



Matthew G. Saroff

Husband, father, pinko, slave to cats