The Left doesn’t want a debate over the details because it would show that the state laws they rail against simply make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
By JASON SNEAD
Democrats are once again teeing up a showdown over “voting rights” and the Senate filibuster. After the Build Back Better package stalled under its own weight, Senate Democrats pivoted and promised to pass a sweeping partisan rewrite of the nation’s voting rules “as early as the first week” in January.
What will the Senate vote on? It is hard to say. Ironically enough, the progressive leaders who have anointed themselves the defenders of democracy haven’t shared their specific plans with the public.
But whether the Senate vote is on H.R. 1, H.R. 4, the “Freedom to Vote Act,” or something new, it will amount to the same thing: yet another attempt to remake elections, weaken voting safeguards, and skew the machinery of democracy in favor of one party over the other. That’s a recipe for chaos that threatens to sap public confidence in elections.
Left-wing politicians have spent a year fueling a toxic narrative — now practically an article of faith on the left — that American democracy is under attack in states such as Texas and Georgia. Earlier this year, President Biden called new election-integrity laws in these states “Jim Crow” and “un-American.” Just after Christmas, Vice President Kamala Harris went so far as to label them the country’s greatest national-security threat.
These are preposterous claims, but for the politicians uttering them, the outlandish rhetoric serves a purpose: It builds outrage and urgency that partisan politicians can use to justify eliminating the filibuster and taking over our nation’s elections.
These are preposterous claims, but for the politicians uttering them, the outlandish rhetoric serves a purpose: It builds outrage and urgency that partisan politicians can use to justify eliminating the filibuster and taking over our nation’s elections.https://5a7070ee01fe70eda21766e75d04ee81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
But progressives face a steep hurdle to their ambitious plans to stack voting laws in their own favor: Most people support the policies that have been enacted in Georgia, Texas, and other states. These new laws have expanded early-voting opportunities, streamlined absentee-ballot procedures, improved protections for mail-in voting, and brought greater transparency and accountability to election administration.
And despite a year of persistent attacks, policies such as voter ID have grown in popularity, especially among minority voters. Today, 65 percent of Americans want to strengthen election safeguards, and more than three in four black and Hispanic voters think everyone should have to show a photo ID to vote.
Progressives nevertheless are doubling down on the claim that states are suppressing the vote, all evidence to the contrary. Georgia, for instance, now offers more early-voting days than deep-blue New York, New Jersey, or President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.
And despite all the hand-wringing over voter-ID laws blocking access to the polls, a 2021 study published by the Oxford Quarterly Journal of Economics discovered that voter ID had “no negative effect on registration or turnout . . . for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.” Voter-ID laws are in place in 35 states, yet the 2018 and 2020 elections set records for diversity and turnout.
The federal takeover Democrats pine for would replace popular and effective state laws with a left-wing wish list of flawed, unpopular, and likely unconstitutional policies. H.R. 1, for instance, uses taxpayers’ money to fund politicians’ campaigns, eliminates voter-ID laws, and legalizes vote trafficking, a practice that lets political operatives collect voters’ mail-in ballots without supervision and which may have fraudulently swung elections in California and North Carolina. It would impose same-day registration nationwide, a policy most states opt not to do and which 58 percent of deep-blue New York voters rejected in the November election.
It’s easy to see why the Left leans so heavily on the “Jim Crow” smear and the lie that American democracy is dying. They don’t want a debate over the details because it would reveal how extreme their own positions are and would show that the state laws they rail against simply make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. They want a political narrative that demonizes their opponents and enrages and animates their base.
That’s a short-sighted strategy that won’t change minds. Nor is it likely to persuade Senators Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) to break their pledge to uphold the filibuster, meaning this elections power grab isn’t going anywhere in a 50-50 Senate.
It will, however, erode public confidence in democracy. The stage has been set for voters and candidates on the left to reject the legitimacy of elections administered under “voter suppression” laws whenever the results don’t go their way. Stacey Abrams has already proven the concept in Georgia when she refused to concede in 2018, and she has become a progressive celebrity for it.
Thanks to the damage being done by progressives, 2022 may be the year that the Stacey Abrams strategy goes nationwide.