by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A casual internet search on the term “save democracy” will retrieve countless articles and opinion pieces from major media outlets contending that free elections in the U.S. will soon be a thing of the past if Congress fails to pass “voting rights” legislation now. The following Washington Post headline is typically portentous:“Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin mull whether democracy is worth saving.” It is little more than an ad hominem attack on the only two Democrats who have resisted pressure to eliminate an arcane Senate rule in order to facilitate federal usurpation of state election prerogatives outlined in the Constitution.
The alarming irony is that these two Senators constitute the only bulwark protecting the nation’s historically decentralized election system from a one-size-fits-all, Beltway-dominated scheme designed by and for the Democrats. Even more unnerving is that both favor “election reform.” Indeed, Manchin is among the co-sponsors of the “Freedom to Vote Act.” His sole concern about this bill involves the necessity of altering the filibuster to get it passed. …
… Biden inadvertently revealed the true impetus behind the “voting rights” push. As the Brennan Center for Justice laments, at least 19 states have passed election integrity laws in 2021. And, as Biden’s wild mischaracterization of them suggests, he knows they are a threat to his party. As Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) puts it, “Any time Democrats say something is a ‘threat to Democracy,’ it really means a threat to the Democrat Party.” They know, if they can’t win in states like Virginia they don’t have a prayer in states that actually take election integrity seriously.
Last month’s election in the Old Dominion highlighted how vulnerable the Democrats will be in next year’s midterms if they can’t find some way to federalize our elections such that the states have far less control than the Founders intended.