Did you know that black people are not going to be allowed to vote in America anymore? At least in states controlled by Republicans? It sounds a bit unlikely, but that’s a conclusion you might have come to if you took seriously what President Joe Biden said in Philadelphia Tuesday.
Biden decried Republicans’ proposed changes to election laws as “the 21st-century Jim Crow assault” that tries “to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy.”
This is, to be polite, unhinged nonsense.
Biden is old enough to remember what real Jim Crow voter suppression was like. It meant zero black people voting in places like Mississippi. It meant threats and violence against black people who tried to register to vote. It meant the unfair application of literacy tests and poll taxes.
Requiring voters to present photo ID is nothing like this: Large majorities think it’s reasonable. And measures such as reducing the number of pre-election voting days in Georgia (there are zero in Biden’s Delaware) or ending pandemic-inspired measures like drive-through voting in Harris County, Texas, are not the same. Not even close.
Early in his speech, Biden denounced “the big lie,” a reference to Donald Trump’s claims that he actually won the 2020 election. But Biden’s Jim Crow charge is an even clearer instance of the big lie — and a more dangerous one — since it’s unlikely to be fact-checked by most media.
If you want people to condemn a big lie, don’t tell one yourself.
In his criticism of Trump, Biden invoked a long-standing norm of American politics.
“In America, if you lose, you accept the results. You follow the Constitution. You try again. You don’t call the facts ‘fake’ and then try to bring down the American experiment just because you’re unhappy.” He spoke these words, apparently unaware that they could be applied to him and his own party.
You might not understand this if your only news sources are The New York Times and CNN.
But if you try to look at it, as Darryl Cooper does in the leftist Glenn Greenwald’s Substack, you might recall that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats NEVER accepted the results of the 2016 election and spent months advancing the Russia-collusion hoax to delegitimize and end the Trump presidency.
“We now know,” Cooper wrote, “that the FBI and other intelligence agencies conducted covert surveillance against members of the Trump campaign based on evidence manufactured by political operatives working for the Clinton campaign, both before and after the election.”
He went on: “We know that those involved with the investigation knew that accusations of collusion were part of a campaign approved by Hillary Clinton to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”
As Cooper noted, for months, many Trump supporters worried that there might be substance to the Russia-collusion charges. Democrats insisted there was. News media like the Times and CNN ignored or ridiculed efforts by the likes of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to show there was nothing there.
As became apparent when special counsel Robert Mueller admitted in his report that he had no evidence of collusion, Nunes was right. But the Times and other papers didn’t return the Pulitzers they won for their Russia-collusion stories.
The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, acknowledged in an angry newsroom meeting: “The day Bob Mueller walked off the witness stand, our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy s- - -, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ ” As a result, “We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years.”
“A little tiny bit flat-footed,” translated into English, means “dead wrong.”
Have Baquet or other news media leaders confessed errors for their misjudgments? Have any Democrats who pursued the Russia-collusion hoax like Inspector Javert confessed error? Not that I’ve seen.
Democrats who want to restore respect for the electoral process need to stop calling harmless changes in election laws “voter suppression” and a return to Jim Crow. They and their media protectors need to apologize for their years-long campaign to delegitimize Donald Trump’s presidency by advancing a baseless hoax.
OK: let’s put this “Big Lie” thing in the context of this “new” era of American politics.
First: the truth no longer matters — at least to those on the Left. Beginning in the 1790s, it was appropriate for politicians to have disagreements, some of which turned really ugly. But guess what they did: they found ways to reconcile those differences, especially regarding the essential things. After all, these were our nation’s leaders. It was incumbent on all those in office to do what voters in their districts and states chose them to do: represent the People. There were NO political factions that had great power, no lobbyists who represented massive corporations, and even foreign governments who all wanted access to those politicians who had the sole power to shape legislation in their favor.
So how in the world did they function?
They crafted pieces of legislation that best represented the wishes of voters. Then, on the U.S. House and Senate floors, debated, cajoled, argued, screamed, and hollered to convince those with opposite opinions to change. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t.
What’s different now?
It’s become vogue in government (and everywhere else in the nation) to abandon the pursuit of truth and reach consensus and replace it with this: “You have YOUR truth, and I have MY truth.” That sounds like a nice way to “just get along.” But what it doesn’t resolve are the differences, nor does that get legislation for the People passed!
Who loses in this process? The People.
Do you want an answer as to how to reach a resolution? The only way to achieve such is to enter into every negotiation with a willingness to “give a little to get a little.” Compromise on legislation is the fundamental building block in our Representative Republic. Without it, we are either an Autocracy (dictatorship) or a “banana republic.” Neither one is good.
I will not insult any person reading this story by saying that Democrats possess the role of being the “walkaways” unilaterally. The GOP is just as guilty. There’s plenty of fingerpointing allowed in this debacle.
What MUST happen is for ALL of our political members to in total to abide by their oaths of office in EVERY situation — even if/when it’s not one of their choosing.
Right now, we hear the catcalls by Democrats saying, “The Republicans don’t want to fix things. They want to destroy our democracy!” Democrats know that’s not the truth. And the People know that’s not the truth. But Democrats, in large today, use that as an excuse for the behavior in which they obfuscate their responsibilities as lawmakers to craft, revise, vote, and pass bills to send to a president to sign into law.
On the GOP side of the aisle, the consistent blather about Democrats is, “All they want is to fill the nation with illegal aliens with a long-term goal of making them voters to keep Democrats permanently in control of the U.S. government!” We don’t know if that’s true. Granted, it appears as a real possible option, based upon the policies (or lack of policies) from the Biden Administration to demonstrably enforce federal immigration laws. To further exacerbate the problem, when asked what their purpose is, their fallback is “We must rescue those from other nations who are just looking for a better life.”
Say what you will about these two scenarios, but saying anything will NOT solve our problem. Unless the men and women in government buy into the fact that their sole job is to work for the people by crafting and passing legislation for THEIR constituents, this nation will NEVER move forward. But it most certainly will slide backward — something it appears is already happening.
“Is there hope to stop it?”
Honestly, I don’t have any at this point. But gaining the resolve for this “resolution” process of differences begins when the People demand factual information from our lawmakers about every issue and a commitment to adhere to the principles of lawmaking to which each swore an oath.
Short of that, Venezuela, Here We Come!
If we DON’T do it, it will not be because of “A” Big Lie,” but about thousands of them. And I STILL think we’re better than that.
I hope our lawmakers agree.