Watching Democrats take advantage of those mourning January 6 to pass an unconstitutional attempt to further federalize our elections is outright disgusting.
Democrat sources tell liberal outlet Politico that “Democrats are hoping that Thursday will be more than just a day of remembrance. In the Senate, we hear from well-positioned sources, there’s a desire to take the opportunity to supercharge the party’s long-stalled voting rights legislation — possibly even using the anniversary to try to get [senators] to go nuclear on the filibuster or embrace rules changes.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to his caucus: “Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness — an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration — they will be the new norm.”
“Given the urgency of the situation and imminence of the votes, we as Senate Democrats must urge the public in a variety of different ways to impress upon their Senators the importance of acting and reforming the Senate rules, if that becomes a perquisite [sic] for action to save our democracy,” he threatened.
But, as Nancy Pelosi’s former top lieutenant Rahm Emanuel has said before, “[y]ou never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Together, Pelosi and Emanuel recruited moderate Democrats to build a majority that they then crashed into the electoral defeat that was Obamacare in the 2010 midterm election.
Liberals achieved some of their policy goals, though, and that was the whole point.
Democrats haven’t figured out how to firm up a sustainable majority. It feels like 2010 all over again, and Pelosi may have to hand over the gavel to Kevin McCarthy or Jim Jordan. Or maybe Speaker Donald J. Trump? Ha!
Again, Democrats feel pressure with elections in Virginia and New Jersey after a presidential election in which they took power and bragged about their new majority. There’s renewed pressure for center-left Democrat senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to part with their constituents and join the partisan push to federalize our elections. Not only does the left wing want these senators to vote for the bill, they want them to vote to change Senate rules to do so. House progressives and their activist arms are chasing them into bathrooms and elevators, through airports, and calling their homes.
This is the same kind of left-wing pressure that backfired and elected former Sen. Scott Brown, a centrist who earned the Tea Party its first win in the deep blue state of Massachusetts. A Republican wave is coming, and the Democrat Party wants levees for it to crash into.
Nuking the Senate filibuster in order to pass the partisan Democrat voter turnout bill would hurt democracy. It certainly would not restore faith in elections. It’s an attempt to increase Democrat Party voter turnout and use the government to stymie independent state election laws.
January 6 should not be used to bully two center-left senators into compliance with the fringe left of their party.
But we are a union of states, not a nation-state with arbitrary lines. Changing the filibuster and thus speeding up what’s known as the “great deliberative body in the world” wouldn’t just tarnish a tradition but a would damage a vehicle that has allowed our constitutional republic to find compromises and build majorities. There’s no point in having two legislative chambers constrained by the reactionary impulses of popularity and the hustle of perpetual campaign fundraising.
Second, elections are the prerogative of the states, not Congress. The federal government does have a place in ensuring civil rights are protected in those elections, but it has no place in bullying red states into conforming with the dramatic morphing of election mechanisms like that found in the blue states of Oregon, Colorado, and California.
Neither the Freedom to Vote Act nor the far-left bill named after the late liberal John Lewis are really voting rights bills, anyway. They’re Democrat voter turnout boosters and state election law suppression mechanisms. The bills attempt to stop states from passing legislation popular with the public, like voter ID verification. Red states have offered government IDs for free for some time to make this less contentious an issue.
Meanwhile, the establishment Republican commentariat is attempting to sell the Electoral Count Act to GOP lawmakers looking to beef up cocktail party invites. Has there ever been a more well-funded failure than the Republican National Committee under Ronna Romney McDaniel?
Democrats should be satisfied that Republicans have totally failed when it comes to redistricting efforts at the state level. Shockingly, those efforts actually sit in the Democrats’ favor as of right now. This, at least, for them, isn’t at all like 2010.
January 6 and its memory should be used to beef up Capitol security and intelligence sharing. It should be used to address concerns about election integrity that a majority of Republican voters (and many Democrats) hold. It should be a demonstration of our fairness when it comes to the due process of the accused and convicted.
It should not be used to bully two center-left senators into compliance with the fringe left of their party.
Democrats are desperate for a win. Joe Biden is deeply unpopular after claiming 81 million votes. Afghanistan, inflation, supply chain issues, and pandemic response are all disasters. Progressives are publicly discussing primarying him. And the electoral problems aren’t only up top. They trickle down. Kamala Harris is in a constant state of crisis. Pelosi is losing yet another majority and is headed out the door. Off-year elections were a disaster for Democrats.
America doesn’t need to weaken our faith in elections by passing the Democrats’ election bill, and January 6 isn’t an appropriate theme to revive the defeated bills. Republican senators must and will filibuster to avoid a narrow vote on federalizing elections. Democrat senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin should not allow the Democrat Party’s voter turnout machine to destroy democracy in America.
Ali Alexander has been a Republican political consultant for 15 years and is the civil rights activist who helped father the election integrity movement. He helped pioneer digital electioneering efforts, co-founded the Tea Party movement, and is well-connected within Christian and conservative Republican circles. Outside the Trump administration, his influence was felt on issues such as criminal justice reform, Section 230, and economic empowerment zones. He sat before the January 6 House Select Committee on December 9, 2021. He can be found at alialexander.org.