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Mollie Hemingway Op-ed: GOP’s Old Guard Out of Touch with Their Voters on Election Integrity


Commentary BY: MOLLIE HEMINGWAY | JANUARY 13, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/13/gops-old-guard-out-of-touch-with-their-voters-on-election-integrity/

President Trump and Mitch McConnell

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden gave a speech asserting that people who oppose his plan for a federal takeover of elections are domestic enemies and racists.

“Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” Biden asked in his speech falsely claiming that the “right to vote” was in doubt throughout the country.

Biden is lobbying to end the Senate’s legislative filibuster in order to push through his plan for a radical takeover of elections. The election bill would unconstitutionally empower the federal government to control state election procedures, and help make permanent the decreased election safeguards that caused so many problems throughout the country in 2020.

The response of the old guard of the Republican Party this week has been to wholeheartedly endorse the media narrative that the 2020 election had no significant problems, while also opposing Biden’s plan to run elections. It’s a politically insane approach.

The 2020 election was riddled with problems. Voters know this. Republican voters know this very well. Time Magazine described what happened with the election as “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” They added that it was a “revolution in how people vote.”

The rigging of the election included changes to hundreds of laws and processes in the months prior to election day, flooding the system with tens of millions of mail-in ballots even as scrutiny of those ballots was decreased. Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million to finance the private takeover of government election offices — primarily focused on the blue areas of swing states — to enable Democrats to run their Get Out The Vote operations from government offices. The funding was significant enough to affect the outcome of races, independent analysts have concluded. And that’s to say nothing of Big Tech’s election meddling in the form of censorship and algorithmic persuasion nor of corporate media’s move into straight-up propaganda.

On Sunday, George Stephanopoulos — formerly President Bill Clinton’s press secretary — asked in his usual biased way for Republican Sen. Mike Rounds to opine against election integrity:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You voted to certify the election last year. You condemned the protest as an insurrection. What do you say to all those Republicans, all those veterans who believe the election was stolen, who have bought the falsehoods coming from former President Trump?

Even the dumbest Republican should have been able to answer this question without accepting the premise of the biased Democrat reporter. Knowing that the filibuster and election integrity are on the line, even a lowly, distracted Republican precinct person should have been able to respond by talking about fighting the federal takeover of elections, fighting the private takeover of government election offices, fighting the unconstitutional changes of voting laws, and fighting the second-class treatment of Republican voters by the media and Big Tech.

Instead, Rounds made bizarre claims about looking at “accusations” in “multiple states,” saying that while there were “some irregularities,” none were significant. Then he claimed — ludicrously — “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen.”

I mean, heck, if the election was as fair as any in history, why not join with Democrats in their push for a federal takeover of elections to make permanent the “revolution in how people vote”? But also, why say something that is not true?

The 2020 election was not the fairest in history, not by a long shot. It was riddled with problems, whether it’s the Zuckerberg funding or the coordinated Democrat campaign to weaken election security. The man who ran that coordinated effort was Marc Elias, the same man who ran the 2016 Russia collusion hoax. His partner was recently indicted by John Durham for just some of his lies associated with that hoax that did so much damage to the country and which itself was an attack on the 2020 election’s fairness.

As soon as Rounds showed himself subservient to Stephanopoulos, the Democrat media went wild. They amplified his comments, knowing how helpful they were to their cause of decreased election security and opposition to Republican victories.

One corrupt media outlet that excitedly amplified Rounds’ comments and used them to advance their political agenda was CNN. Russia hoax co-conspirator Manu Raju, known for pestering Republicans to get them to support Democrat narratives, wrote an article gleefully headlined “Top Republicans stand up for Rounds after Trump’s attack: He ‘told the truth’.” Some lowlights:

  • “I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Tuesday. “And I agree with him.”
  • Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican who contended Democrats took advantage of more voting rules eased during the pandemic. “I’ve moved on a long time ago, and most members of Congress have, including Mike.”
  • Other Republicans said it was time to focus on something other than 2020. “I say to my colleague, welcome to the club,” Sen. John Thune, the senior South Dakota Republican, said of the Trump attack on Rounds — something he has endured himself in the past. “I don’t think re-litigating or rehashing the past is a winning strategy. If we want to be a majority in 2023, we’ve got to get out and articulate what we’re going to do with respect to the future the American people are going to live and the things they’re going to care about when it comes to economic issues, national security issues.”

It is absolutely charming that Cramer has the luxury of “moving on” from the important election integrity battle, but Biden sure hasn’t moved on. Pelosi hasn’t moved on. Chuck Schumer hasn’t moved on. The entire corporate media hasn’t moved on. Why has Cramer moved on?

North Dakota is a state that voted for Trump in 2020 by 33 points. Its senator should probably be able to use some of his political capital to tackle the top issue of the week for American voters.

Thune says the politically wise thing to do is to not relitigate the past but work on issues people are going to “care about.” Someone should tell him that one of the top issues Republican voters care about is … election integrity.

The Washington Post this month reported that at least 69 percent of Republicans are seriously concerned about the 2020 election. Perhaps the worst thing a party could do if it cared about serious political power would be to signal that the issue means so little to them. This pathetic cowardice and incompetent weakness are exactly what Republican voters are sick to death of.

In previous months, Biden has falsely claimed that the country is experiencing “Jim Crow” resistance to the right to vote. He asked corporations to boycott the state of Georgia after Georgia’s legislature passed a bill to mildly improve its election security. Some of them bowed to the pressure. Major League Baseball, for instance, pulled its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Biden’s request, causing untold economic damage to the Peach State.

All of this is clearly an effort to keep Republicans from stopping Democrats’ 2020-style assault on election security. It works precisely because too many Republicans are too scared to fight. What if instead of Stephanopoulos easily pressuring Rounds into spouting Democrat talking points, Rounds had instead fought hard against these attacks on election security? What if he knew the facts about what actually happened enough to speak knowledgeably about what Republican voters want their leaders to advocate for?

What if establishment Republican politicians put away literally any thoughts about Trump — much less their anger or petulance about him — for a minute to think about the importance of election integrity and how to obtain it?

What if Republicans stopped running interference for what Democrats did in 2020 at the same moment that Dems are trying to take over the entire country’s election system? This isn’t merely academic. Old-guard Republican cowardice and fecklessness could lead to Pelosi becoming America’s election czar.

In general, Republican voters deserve a far better class of politician than what the old guard of their party has been forcing on them.


Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College. A Fox News contributor, she is a regular member of the Fox News All-Stars panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, National Review, GetReligion, Ricochet, Christianity Today, Federal Times, Radio & Records, and many other publications. Mollie was a 2004 recipient of a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship at The Fund for American Studies and a 2014 Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. She is the author of “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.” Reach her at mzhemingway@thefederalist.com

Democrats’ Top Priority Before Fall Elections Is Rigging U.S. Voting Rules


Commentary BY: JONATHAN S. TOBIN | JANUARY 07, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/democrats-top-priority-before-fall-elections-is-rigging-u-s-voting-rules-2656251008.html/

U.S. Capitol after the insurrection

Have Democrats found the issue on which they can break what’s left of Senate traditions and parlay a 50-50 split into partisan domination? It’s far from clear that anything will be enough to move the two recalcitrant members of their caucus — Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., — to change their minds about voting to change the chamber’s rules that require a majority of 60 in order to invoke cloture and end filibusters. But if anything will do it, it might be the claim that passing their game-changing federal voting rights bill is the only way to defend American democracy against Republican insurrectionists.

Manchin and Sinema’s opposition was the rock on which the Biden administration’s effort to pass their trillion-dollar “Build Back Better” spending bill broke in December. The pair felt comfortable resisting presidential pressure as well as a storm of abuse from leftists on legislation that would likely sink an already shaky economy and fuel record inflation.

But with their ambitious spending plans blocked, Democrats are pivoting in the new year to a renewed effort to pass something that is likely even dearer to the hearts of their left-wing base: changing voting laws to make it easier for Democrats to win elections. They are tying the “nuclear option” on the filibuster and passage of voting bills to their attempt to turn the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot into a festival aimed at demonizing all Republicans as “insurrectionist” traitors who present a threat to democracy.

With their cheering section in the corporate media treating “Insurrection Day” observances as if it were a new national holiday and more important than 9/11, they’ve created more leverage that could shift their two holdouts. If it does, that would allow Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote to transform the electoral landscape in a manner that will end federalism for all intents and purposes and give federal bureaucrats unprecedented power to help Democrats win elections.

Democratic Holdouts Could Be On Board This Time

The crucial point here is that, unlike “Build Back Better,” Manchin and Sinema have already endorsed both the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the even more far-reaching “Freedom to Vote Act.” So this will be a far sterner test of their principled opposition to a move that would essentially seek to make the Senate, like the House of Representatives, a purely majoritarian institution.

The Senate was designed by the republic’s Founders to act as a brake on the will of marginal majorities seeking to use a temporary advantage to enact laws that would transform the country with unknowable and potentially dangerous consequences.

The John R. Lewis Act would allow the federal government to intervene anywhere in the country to overrule local or state authorities whenever the left alleges that changes in the laws could theoretically disadvantage minority voters. That would override the U.S. Supreme Court 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder that held that it was no longer legal for activist lawyers in the Department of Justice to act as if the country hadn’t been transformed since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 forced the end of de jure racial discrimination.

Legislation Would Federalize Elections

The “Freedom to Vote Act” would, in effect, federalize all elections. Along with turning Election Day into yet another national holiday, the act would impose early voting rules everywhere and allow voting by felons and attempts to influence those waiting to vote with gifts of food and water. It would make automatic voter registration, same-day registration, and online registration mandatory. It would also end partisan gerrymandering while still protecting often bizarrely shaped minority-majority districts that were created to ensure specific racial groups would dominate them.

Even more importantly, it would hamstring any efforts to ensure the integrity of the vote by preventing actions like the cleaning of voting rolls to ensure that people who have moved or died aren’t still registered. It would also ban widely popular voter ID rules, expand mail-in ballots, restrict efforts to ensure that their signatures are valid, and legalize vote harvesting. It would also impose new rules on campaign contributions in an attempt to override the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision that protected political speech.

Taken as a whole, the bill would make every future election resemble the chaos that affected the 2020 pandemic voting, removing guardrails that ensure fairness. Even if 2020 didn’t produce a fraudulent result, the election still undermined the credibility of the system (with Big Tech internet companies and the corporate media tilting the election against former President Donald Trump).

This Is Not Defending Democracy

But like their claims that the actions of a few hundred disorderly rioters was the moral equivalent of al-Qaida terrorism or the Confederates firing on Fort Sumter, the idea that these voting laws will defend democracy is nothing but gaslighting.

Harris recently claimed the “biggest national security challenge” facing the country was the alleged “threat to democracy” presented by Republicans enacting laws in various states to strengthen voter integrity measures. The House’s Jan. 6 Committee is a partisan kangaroo court in which Democrats, along with two GOP turncoats (Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.), are attempting to mainstream conspiracy theories about Trump and the GOP. Their efforts to delegitimize opposition to President Joe Biden and leftist woke doctrines as “insurrection” continue, and the room for even moderate Democrats to oppose the left’s impulse to crush all opposition is growing smaller.

A vote to end the filibuster and pass these voting laws would be far from a defense of democracy or an appropriate answer to “insurrection.” This would be a stunning blow to the way the Senate has always ensured that slim majorities can’t enact legislative revolutions.

The essence of American democracy has always been the way the Constitution created a system that preserved order while allowing incremental rather than wholesale change. Belief in that concept used to have bipartisan consensus. But not for today’s Democratic Party. It is led by an aging president who is held captive by a leftist base that wants to create a legislative revolution now, before Democrats’ razor-thin majorities are erased in the 2022 midterms. That means changing the rules to get their way by any means possible is an imperative.

Some radical Democratic provocateurs are claiming that if they don’t get their way, Republicans will never allow another fair election. Although a Republican counter-claim along the same lines may sound like hyperbole, it would be closer to the truth to assert that ending the filibuster and passing the Democrats’ voting laws would be a genuine threat to the integrity of American democracy.

It may be that after the Democrats’ conspiracy-mongering about Russian collusion in 2016 and Trump’s “stop the steal” claims about 2020, neither side will ever fully accept any election loss in the future. But if Manchin and Sinema don’t stand their ground, the system will be changed in a manner that will make cynicism about rigged voting more a matter of common sense than tinfoil-hatted extremism.

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