The Star Democrat

Dems pivot from build back better to useless extremism

- DAVID HARSANYI David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and author of “Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent.” To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonist­s, visit the Creators Syndicat

Unable to pass their welfare-state expansion with a simple majority, Democrats have reportedly shelved Build Back Better for the year. Now prepare for the entire left-wing infrastruc­ture — politician­s as well as the establishm­ent press — to pivot hard from the fake “social safety net” bill to the fake “voting rights” bill, which will quickly become the most vital piece of legislatio­n in the history of the republic. Just earlier today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, who not long ago heralded the mere framework of Build Back Better as “by far the most significan­t piece of legislatio­n ever passed in the world,” told reporters that it was now more important to get a “voting rights” bill through the Senate.

The “Jim Crow 2.0” smear — aimed at the Twittersph­ere, because there isn’t a single competitiv­e race in 2022 in which “voting rights” attacks are going to make a difference — will only succeed in further corroding confidence in elections. The demagogic lie that “democracy” is under attack in states that employ basic standards of voter integrity is an emotional appeal that does not stand up to scrutiny. It is a debate that Republican­s should embrace. Democrats can keep treating voter ID requiremen­ts as if they were poll taxes, but most Americans support the standard that, incidental­ly, existed only a few years before the 2020 election anarchy.

That said, the ginned-up “voting rights” emergency is also meant to continue laying the groundwork for blowing up the legislativ­e filibuster. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who participat­ed in over 300 filibuster­s during the Donald Trump years and who signed a letter in 2017 imploring Mitch McConnell to preserve the “existing rules, practices, and traditions” of the filibuster — and only a couple of months ago was criticizin­g former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for attacking the procedure — came out in favor of eliminatin­g the legislativ­e filibuster today. Here, too, it is highly doubtful that moderates such as Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — or even a number of other low-lying moderates — would help blow up a Senate norm to placate the hard left. Manchin has been asked about “reforming” the filibuster about a bazillion times, and in each instance, to the consternat­ion of progressiv­es on Twitter, he’s replied with the same answer: no.

Indeed, even if shameless hypocrites such as Warner were successful in killing the filibuster, it’s unclear that Senate Democrats would be able to find the votes to pass an H.R. 1-type “voting rights” bill, which would not only override hundreds of existing laws but compel states to count mail-in votes 10 days after Election Day to allow ballot harvesting, to allow felons to vote, to ban basic voter ID laws and to create councils to redraw districts (all the while undercutti­ng free speech rights with a slew of new election regulation­s). In the end, the Senate Democrats would almost surely be impelled to pass a diluted version of voting rights, which would still likely face challenges in courts by numerous states. Are redstate Democrats willing to dispense with a longtime Senate norm for, if anything, fleeting partisan gain?

In addition to advocating trashing the filibuster and overriding state elections, Court-packing is also back on the docket. In anticipati­on of Build Back Better being abandoned this year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachuse­tts) has come out in favor of an illiberal Court-packing scheme. Of course, the chances of the Senate destroying the judiciary are still quite small. These are largely issues and debates that political types (myself included) might welcome but they do not even register in polls that measure the priorities of American voters. These positions simply serve to highlight the radicalism and tone-deafness of many modern Democrats who are denied the comforts of railing about Trump every day.

And the closer we get to the 2022 midterms, the bigger the lift will be to pass the reconcilia­tion bill. The more Democrats have tried to sell it, in fact, the less popular it has gotten. In districts that matter in 2022, it is almost certainly quite unpopular. So instead, Democrats have decided to win the Twitter vote.

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