If Democracy Gets Money-Whipped This Time Around, It May Never Rise Again
• Mar 08, 2021
Now that the Senate has managed to produce a COVID relief package that only happens to be the greatest piece of social legislation since the Great Society, thanks in no small part to the efforts of voters in the state of Georgia, the passage of H.R. 1, the For The People Act, has become more than urgent. It’s possible that the law is the last chance that democracy has against outraged privilege and the money power. The big guns are primed and ready. From, forgive me, Fox News: Heritage Action for America, a conservative nonprofit tied to the right-leaning think tank The Heritage Foundation, on Monday will announce that it plans to spend at least $10 million on efforts to tighten election security laws in eight key swing states. The details of the effort, first obtained by Fox News, will include digital and television ads, volunteer issue advocacy campaigns and lobbying state legislatures directly. Heritage Action will target Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin, all considered key swing states after the 2020 election. The $10 million will be an initial seed investment with more likely to come, Fox News is told.
Ten million bucks is seed money? The noxious plants sown by Anthony Kennedy in Citizens United are, apparently, perennials. If democracy gets money-whipped this time around, it never may rise again, not with a Supreme Court better than even money to bleed what’s left of the Voting Rights Act to death. The absurdity of “election integrity” laws being needed after the most secure election we’ve ever had should not blind us to what’s going on. This is a concerted effort by the oligarchical right to make sure events like the election in Georgia never happen again.
This isn’t Trumpism, although The Big Lie is a barely submerged subtext in all of these laws, as well as in the opposition to H.R. 1 in Washington. This is the desperate final act of a campaign that began 50 years ago. The echoes of the truncheons on the Edmund Pettus Bridge will echo through every syllable of every argument ranged against H.R. 1, a debate in which racism is the only actual reality. Every other argument against it is smoke and mirrors and cheap camouflage. And choosing to preserve the filibuster rather than break up the assault on the most essential element of self-government is to surrender to the forms of democracy, place it in service to useless ritual, and to the mythology of what actually happened in 2020.
"Fair elections are essential for every policy debate in the future," Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson said in a statement. "We are working to help state lawmakers restore trust in our elections, ensure transparency, and protect the rights of every American to a fair election. This is our number one priority, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes.”
There’s truth in that, god knows. Down in Georgia, where the franchise is under sustained assault in a lot of directions, this is part of Whatever It Takes. From WMAZ:
The bill adds an ID requirement for absentee ballot requests. It also limits the number of absentee ballot drop boxes and requires them to be kept inside of early voting locations. People can be charged with a misdemeanor for passing out food and drinks to voters standing in line.
You have to be more than half pissant to think of an idea like this, let alone vote for it. But Whatever It Takes, right? With $10 million there for seed.
You can read the full article by Charles Pierce here.