Absentee Voting, Antifa, Armed Resistance, Ballot Harvesting, Ballot Security, BLM, Capitol Riot, Domestic Terror, Donald Trump, Early Voting, FBI, filibuster, Freedom To Vote Act, George Wallace, Glenn Reynolds, Insurrection, Joe Biden, Joseph M. Hanneman, LARP, Legal Insurrection, Mail-In Voting, Marco Rubio, NASA, Oathkeepers, Patrick Eddington, PATRIOT Act, Proud Boys, Ray Epps, Robert Byrd, Russian Collusion, Sedition, Transfer of Power, Voter ID, Voter Suppression, Voting Rights Act
The so-called insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021 (J6) has obsessed Democrats seeking to ram through a “voting rights” bill that they hope will advantage them in future elections. Oh, and to legitimize proposed new powers for agencies in the fight against “domestic terror”, and to somehow disqualify Donald Trump from holding the presidency again. We can thank a couple of moderate Democrats for shutting down the election bill, at least for the time being, by refusing to eliminate the filibuster.
The Real Threat to Voting Rights
If your real aim is to undermine ballot security and make it easier to cheat, you’d have to work hard to beat the election bill pushed by the Biden Administration: the Freedom To Vote Act (FVA). In their fashion, however, the Left prefers to stake-out phony rhetorical high-ground, replete with spurious charges against the opposition alleging racism and subversive, anti-democratic intent. Joe Biden demonstrated this vividly during his ill-advised speech in Georgia last week.
Here is a fairly thorough summary of the FVA, including an earlier version passed by the House last March. The overarching thrust of the bill is to substitute federal for state authority over the election process. States would not be permitted to demand that voters produce photo IDs. The bill would also require automatic voter registration at the department of motor vehicles and other government agencies, on-line registration, same-day registration, more days of early voting, excuse-free, notary-free, and witness-free absentee ballots, and extended counting of late-arriving ballots.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have now used a NASA funding bill as a shell for all these federally-prescribed protocols. Reportedly, this bill would legalize ballot harvesting nationwide, but that does not appear to be the case. Nevertheless, it includes all of the other provisions cited above, and many others.
While Congress certainly has the power to regulate elections, states were given the primary authority for conducting elections under the Constitution:
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped secure minority voting rights that plainly exist under the Constitution, and it prescribed federal review of certain changes in state voting procedures (some aspects of which were struck down by the Supreme Court). However, never before has such sweeping federal authority been proposed as to the range of mechanics involved in casting and counting ballots. Ballot security would be compromised by several provisions of the legislation.
While voter registration should be relatively painless, it should not be so painless that non-citizens find it easy to register. That is likely to be the case under automatic voter registration. Surely many non-citizens have much to recommend them, but they have not yet demonstrated their commitment to the nation through earned citizenship. The right to vote is a benefit of citizenship; it serves as an inducement to learn about our system of government through the naturalization process. These individuals might not be interested in going to the trouble, however, or they might be loyal to a foreign power. Do we really want such individuals to have a vote? And to the extent that their interest is focused on public benefits, they surely do not have an equal claim to natural-born but similarly-situated Americans.
Voter ID is a safeguard against voter fraud, and a huge majority of Americans support it, including majorities of minorities. The very idea that a photo ID requirement would “suppress” the legitimate votes of minorities is based on the presumption that those voters might have difficulty obtaining identification such as a drivers license or other government ID. Oh really? We can safely file that contention under “the bigotry of low expectations”.
Extensive use of absentee ballots was intended to facilitate voting during pandemic restrictions that were expected to reduce the safety and efficiency of polling places. However, most developed countries ban “mail-in voting”, regarding it as a prescription for voter fraud. That threat seems all too real given the lax standards proposed in the FVA.
The Threat to Political Opposition
The House investigative committee looking into the January 6th melee may recommend new intelligence powers for the federal government. Those powers aren’t needed to investigate the Capitol riot: the FBI has been in possession of teams of video evidence, and it has broad powers under the PATRIOT Act and other measures. Here’s Patrick Eddington from the link above:
“… the FBI already has unbelievably sweeping authority to surveil individual Americans or domestic groups without ever having to go before a judge to get a warrant.
Under an investigative category known as an assessment, FBI agents can search commercial and government databases (including databases containing classified information), run confidential informants, and conduct physical surveillance, all without a court order.”
The simple truth is that certain congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration are attempting to use the Capitol riot as an excuse to turn federal law enforcement against their political enemies. The claim by Biden, the guy who bragged of being mentored by Klansman Robert Byrd, and the same man who praised George Wallace on several occasions, is that his opponents are “domestic terrorists” and/or “white supremacists”. We’ve seen quite enough of this chicanery already. Having suffered through a lengthy “Russian collision” charade, a willingness to completely ignore massive riots and property destruction by BLM and Antifa activists in 2020, and an orchestrated attempt to treat concerned parents of schoolchildren as “domestic terrorists”, we’re expected to believe that these stooges need more power?
The J6 Fiasco
And that brings us back to the Capitol riot. It was, as Glenn Reynolds has said, a clownshow and a mess. But speaking of insurrection, let’s hope the FBI is keeping its eye on violent leftists as well, who perpetrated some unquestionably treasonous escapades in the not very distant past. From Legal Insurrection:
“…leftist rioters … attempted to stop the peaceful transition of power during President Trump’s inauguration. … did anti-Trump leftists riot, attack and injure police, set cars and buildings on fire… …
… the multi-day May, 2020 assault on the White House that left at least 60 Secret Service agents wounded and forced President Trump to be whisked away to a bunker for his personal safety.”
Even more dangerous leftist attacks on the Capitol building have been perpetrated, such as bombings by the Weather Underground in 1971 and the Armed Resistance in 1983.
Many people were hurt in the J6 riot through no real fault of their own, including Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer shortly after she attempted to stop attackers from smashing windows. Nevertheless, those who breached the Capitol building were mostly a bunch of hapless goofballs encouraged to run amuck by certain instigators. Among those were the Oathkeepers, a gang who marched around in stack formation wearing gear that looked vaguely militaristic. They brought no weapons to the Capitol (though they had some stashed in the VA suburbs). Apparently, one of them did assist a crowd in barging through a door to the Capitol. Their activities on J6 have been described by one pundit as LARP — live action role playing. Nevertheless, there was much talk among them of interfering with the transfer of power to “the usurper”, as they called Joe Biden. And now, eleven of them have been charged with insurrection and sedition. Members of the Proud Boys were also at the Capitol, some of whom fought with police.
But what really happened to make things go off the rails on January 6th? This article by Joseph M. Hanneman offers an excellent discussion of the events of that afternoon, and the subsequent investigation. He notes the mysterious absence of a number of individuals involved in the breach of the Capitol and grounds from the FBI’s “Seeking Information” list of over 1,500 photos. That includes one Ray Epps, whose incitement was otherwise fairly well-documented. Some suspect certain parties with no interest in seeing Donald Trump remain in office actually encouraged the rioters, up to and including the FBI. Would that surprise anyone after the Whitmer kidnapping operation or the Russian collusion hoax?
The vast majority of the crowd on J6 came to the Capitol grounds to conduct a peaceful protest in the vain hope for congressional action to put a hold on the counting of electors pending state election audits, investigations, and court challenges. Many of those arrested were denied due process, and were held for months with no charges filed.
As for the “threat to the nation” posed by the crowd on J6, I found this Marco Rubio quote to be apropos:
“I don’t care how many candlelight vigils and musical performances you have from the cast of Hamilton, you’re not going to convince most normal and sane people that our government last year was almost overthrown by a guy wearing a Viking hat and speedos.”
Democrats still hope to vote to eliminate the Senate filibuster and then pass the FVA. That is a pipe dream at this point, but they would come to regret eliminating the filibuster in due course. They have used it themselves to defeat legislation hundreds of times in the recent past. The filibuster has its shortcomings, particularly its inability to restrain executive power. Nevertheless, it has never been more critical as protection against a tyrannical (and slim) majority in Congress.
The Freedom To Vote Act is doomed to failure. Still, no one should forget the mendacious rhetoric employed by Joe Biden and the leftist Democrat leadership in Congress on the issue of election integrity. Nor should anyone forget their dishonorable, anti-democratic intent to devalue legitimate voting rights.