Fatuous demagoguery from one of its masters, in service of complaining about … fatuous demagogues. Chuck Schumer accused Republican state legislatures of suppressing the vote, comparing it to a constitutional right which Schumer and his colleagues want to actively suppress even further than it already has been. This is so fatuous that it’s a wonder it didn’t result in gales of laughter on the Senate floor:
"Republican legislatures are making it easier to own a gun than to vote": Schumer says GOP voting restrictions passed in states across the country are "opening the door for some demagogue, a Trumpian-type demagogue — maybe he himself — to try and subvert our elections" pic.twitter.com/zDe9Dv03eq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 22, 2021
Speaking of demagogues, Schumer takes this cake with this comparison. For the record, no state legislature has passed any of the following restrictions on voting:
- A five-day waiting period for counting a ballot
- A federal background check to validate the eligibility of the voter
- Restrictions on how many choices one can make on a single ballot
- Red-flag laws to suspend the right to vote in case of mental illness
All of those restrictions apply to gun purchases and ownership in some states. The first two apply in every jurisdiction. The red-flag laws pushed by Democrats, including Schumer, apply specifically to current ownership. In contrast, most states have same-day registration for voting, and many states don’t even require an ID, let alone a federal background check for eligibility. Nor are any state legislatures proposing to impose any of the bullet points above for voting — and Schumer damned well knows it.
There may be reasons to object to specific proposals in some state legislatures. As details have emerged, it turned out that most of them are proposing to eliminate pandemic-related innovations from becoming permanent. Rather than oppose the specifics of these bills, Schumer and other demagogues have instead painted them as the Return of Jim Crow® with hysterical rhetoric such as this — rhetoric which is designed not to enlighten but to frighten.
If Schumer really worries about demagoguery overwhelming the American electoral system, he should start by looking in the mirror. And this is one reason why federalizing elections is a very bad idea, because demagogues at this level have much less accountability than they do at the state level. Schumer is proving the wisdom of opposition to HR1/S1 in this speech.