If you are one of those who think the Biden brainchild known as Build Back Better or the progressives’ Breathe Act, which would release all federal prisoners, are frightening, well, as the old expression goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s true that the BBB boondoggle, presently stalled in Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) mega-fiefdom, would saddle future generations with a full-on, socialist-style welfare state and untold trillions added to an already scandalous national debt. And the AOC-backed Breathe initiative would effectively terminate the concept of federal crime. But the plot now front and center as the Democrats’ top priority stands to make those transformative social schemes look like child’s play.
The fight for “voting rights” is what leftists are calling their full court press in the U.S. Senate as the new year unfolds. Permanent Democratic majorities is what it means. One need not dig too deeply to see exactly what Democrats have in mind here, and how they would turn two pieces of legislation ostensibly designed to protect the fundamental rights of aggrieved minorities into their ticket to permanent majority status.
The left wished upon a star to remove Donald Trump in 2020, and those dreams were answered with a pandemic, resulting in a double political windfall: hundreds of thousands of deaths they could blame on the object of their radiating hatred, plus the chance to pass voting laws in the heat of an emergency. Now, they want to make permanent the changes that amounted to a perfect storm of circumstances in the pandemic-riddled year of 2020 – and then go one important step further. If Democrats get their way with the two radical acts they now propose in the upper chamber of Congress, states will for the first time in American history be stripped of control over elections for federal office, from president to Congress. Together, these bills would effectively neutralize Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, which reads, “The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.” But it’s what follows that contains language Democrats appear ready to push to the limit: “… but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations …”
This effort comes straight out of the Democrats’ exploitation playbook. Exhibit A was shamelessly seizing political advantage from a tragic pandemic by altering election laws and enabling indiscriminate mail-in voting – to their enormous advantage in critical swing states and under the cover of helping COVID-stricken voters. Now, in Exhibit B, Democrats are more than willing to exploit the ugliness of January 6 to turn the Constitution upside down and deliver de facto self-dealing legislation, effectively granting them control of the federal government for as far as the eye can see.
Speaking about the first anniversary of January 6, Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, killed two birds with one stone – condemning the capitol riot for the umpteenth time and then citing it to justify a radical alteration of the U.S. Constitution that would likely render Republicans powerless to win most national elections: “We can stand up and turn back this anti-democratic movement if the Senate takes action to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act … and if necessary, we have to abolish the filibuster in order to accomplish that goal.”
Only two lone, increasingly familiar voices in the Democratic wilderness – Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) – stand in the way of ending the filibuster for the express purpose of passing this legislation with a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes. Together, the twin bills would signal the death of nonpartisan elections and the permanent corruption of the one foundation of our constitutional order which enables all others, and without which no other can stand: free and fair elections. Would anyone trust the outcome of federal elections again? How far would we be from becoming a de facto banana republic? However, just one downvote in Democratic ranks will kill these bills.
But it’s the Democrats’ intentions, and how close they are to actually pulling this off which should scare the bejesus out of not just conservatives targeted for extinction, but the mass of disinterested voters who find the whole political process increasingly noxious. Indeed, if you thought as so many have that the 2020 election outcome was some combination of bizarre and inexplicable, it is that set of laws which would nevertheless become the existing standard for future elections – except the virtual airdrop of unsolicited mail-in ballots, the defining feature of the 2020 election, would become the equivalent of an actual, permanent airdrop. The first-time features of that election would be institutionalized at the federal level. These would include, but not be limited to, structures to encourage and dramatically expand mail-in balloting and discourage in-person voting, unguarded post office-style ballot boxes, federally sanctioned ballot harvesting (collecting ballots and turning them in as a group), and liberalized verification standards. These features would generate massive “turnout” – and a petri dish for fraud.
The Lewis Act would set a very low bar for establishing federal control over voting practices in individual states, based on past voting rights violations. States in which 15 or more “voting rights violations” occurred in the last 25 years would be required to receive pre-approval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. District Court in D.C. before implementing any modifications to state law that would affect voting rights, such as changes to methods of election and redistricting. The Freedom to Vote Act would dramatically affect voting access, election integrity and security, redistricting, and campaign finance. It would expand automatic and same-day voter registration, voting-by-mail and early voting, and would severely limit the removal of voters from voter rolls.
Add it all up, and the demand for “voting rights” in these two pieces of legislation would take what we witnessed in the 2020 election and institutionalize it as the most extreme challenge to the centuries-old constitutional order in memory. It may be presented as serious and virtuous legislation designed to protect the still-threatened voting rights of victimized people of color. But what it really amounts to is a roadmap to permanent Democratic rule, and a wish list for the demolition of all opposition.
~ Read more from Tim Donner.