In what David Harsanyi calls “fabricated panic,” Joe Biden offered lots of hyperbole and precious little substance. The president called the laws “odious,” “pernicious,” “vicious,” and “unconscionable,” a “subversion and suppression,” the “21st-century Jim Crow,” and the sure sign of an emerging “autocracy.”
Joe Biden, speaking at the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday, condemned the wave of election integrity laws recently passed in red states, calling the laws an “assault” on the right to vote and the “most significant threat” to the U.S. since the Civil War.
2020 Election Chaos
During his speech, Biden referenced laws that mostly are trying to reign in wild new procedures – extraordinarily long mail-in ballot periods, sending mass mail-in ballots to faulty lists of addresses – that resulted in chaos during the 2020 election.
Offering few details, writes Mr. Harsanyi in NRO, perhaps even Joe understands that most Americans would probably find voter-integrity laws rather innocuous.
Biden must also have sensed how preposterous his hyperbole sounded, littering his speech with a bunch of “literallys” and “for reals.” None of the voting laws passed in 17 states — some drafted better than others — comes anywhere in the vicinity of “authoritarian.” To compare photo-ID laws to Jim Crow is to cheapen history. Then again, Biden, doesn’t have a problem using Goebbels’s “Big Lie” formulation, either — the kind of Nazi reference that Democrats pretend to be upset by when used by Republicans.
Not only didn’t we hear much from Biden about how these “autocratic” laws work, we didn’t hear much about how H.R. 1 proposes to save democracy. The closest the president came to offering any specifics was to claim that new voter laws somehow legalize the intimidation of voters and the tossing of legal ballots. Both of those things, of course, are already illegal.
What “For the People Act” Proposes:
- Force states to count mail-in votes that arrive up to ten days after Election Day compel them to legalize ballot harvesting
- Ban them from having voter-ID laws
- Empower bureaucrats to redraw congressional districts
- Require states to allow felons to vote
- Undermine free-speech rights by imposing a new array of burdens on civic groups, unions, and nonprofit organizations
- Force states to count ballots cast by voters who are in the wrong precincts
- Prohibit election officials from reviewing eligibility of voters
- Bar officials from removing ineligible voters from the rolls
Delegitimize Any Republican Victory
Another reason Biden likely gave this speech, offers Mr. Hansanyi, was “to preemptively corrode trust in the 2022 and 2024 elections.”
Biden spent the first part of his talk bragging about how the United States had just conducted the cleanest election in history, grousing about efforts to undermine trust in our voting system. He then spent the rest of his time doing exactly that. Many of the Democrats who can’t stop talking about the horrors of Trump’s “Big Lie” had no compunction disputing results in Georgia or the presidential election only a few years ago. Now, they are creating a ready-made justification for delegitimizing any Republican victory.
Democrats have won numerous elections across the country and nationally under laws they now claim are authoritarian. They will likely win many more. The fact is that it is easier to vote today than ever before. Any citizen can obtain an ID and request a mail ballot in every state. No amount of cynically manufactured hysterics changes that fact.
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