Flighty Texas Democrats

Flighty Texas Democrats

By

Leonard Zwelling

If you can’t win a political argument, I guess you can run away. That’s what the Democrats in the Texas State Legislature decided to do to avoid the passage of the voter suppression legislation pushed by Republican legislators and Governor Abbott. Abbott is furious that the Dems left and broke the needed quorum in the state legislature. My guess is that he will deploy the Department of Public Safety to arrest and jail the Democrats when they return home and then call another special session of the legislature until he gets what he wants. The only other solution is national legislation that cements voters’ rights despite some states’ efforts to curtail voting. That is what the Texas Democrats have gone to Washington, DC to secure but the chances of that are minimal unless the filibuster rules are suspended. Given that Senator Joe Manchin is unlikely to vote that way, that probably isn’t going to happen unless a special exception is made to eliminate the filibuster for voting laws and Manchin signs on. Don’t laugh. That could happen. It happened with the number of votes needed to approve federal judges under Democratic leadership and look who regrets that now.

The real problem is that these state issued voting laws are wholly unnecessary. There was no voter fraud in 2020. There wasn’t any in 2016 either except for that Republican primary in North Carolina. These voter laws are solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist and it’s all because the Republicans cannot give up “Trump’s Big Lie.” What’s the Big Lie? That he really won the election and it was stolen from him. He lost by 7 million votes and the identical electoral score he won by in 2016.

Neither the running Democrats nor the obstructionist and racist Republicans have this right. Should there be some voting law changes? Perhaps. I see nothing wrong in demanding a picture ID to vote. On the other hand, shortening voting hours (no 24 hour voting, no Sunday voting) is suppressive and ought to be outlawed. People should have to request an absentee ballot and not just have one delivered. Voting should take some effort. There’s nothing wrong with that.

In this way, both parties have this wrong as they have so much else wrong. If I went back to late 2008 and was having to select an office in the Senate in which to work right now, I think I would do what one of the other fellows did my year and work at the National Academy of Medicine on a project because he was so turned off by ALL of the congressional offices. Congress is now officially broken beyond repair. I see no leadership or followership except by the Republicans who will do whatever The Donald tells them to do. It’s a sad state of affairs but Governor Abbott has a point. The Democrats cannot keep running away from their responsibility in the legislature. They need to make their case against the voter suppression bill, lose if they must, and run harder next time to gain the majority.

The Democrats may be able to hold this up for a while, but not forever. Abbott will get his way eventually. Besides, this gives the Dems a great issue to run on in 2022 and elect Governor McConaughey.

Stopping people from voting is evil. Slinking off to Washington is cowardly. As usual, both parties have this wrong. Is there any sanity left in Austin or for that matter in Washington?

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