Stephen C. Smith

May 21, 2021

2 min read

GQP voter restrictions and the game behind the game

Most people would tell you that the restrictive voter laws popping up all over the country are a direct response to Trump’s pathetic whining about losing the 2020 Presidential Election he assumed was already rigged in his favor. And while that’s true, there’s also something more at play.

When House Bill HR-1, the For the People Act, was introduced in early January of this year, two days before the Capital Insurrection, it threatened to put an end to partisan gerrymandering, thus forcing a party bereft of policy ideas, or for that matter, original thought, to do things they are no longer equipped to do. So, it’s certainly no accident that the idea for Georgia’s Election Integrity Act also came about in early January. And now the thinly-veiled backlash to HR-1 has spread from Georgia to Florida, and now to Texas.

So, while hiding in Trump’s shadow, the GQP is stacking the deck in their favor while doing everything possible to water down, impede, and ultimately attempt to block the passage of HR-1 and John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The latter would restore vital parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court thanks to their decision in Shelby v. Holder in 2013.

In the GQP’s narrow, racist, misogynistic minds, if they can pass these restrictive voter laws at the state level, survive challenges in the federal judiciary crammed with unqualified, Trump-appointed judges, and block HR-1, they might be able to control everything, everywhere despite offering nothing to the American people beyond subservience to a twice impeached, retired amateur golfer.

Even though reforming or doing away with the filibuster passes both HR-1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, there is the danger that GQPers will take advantage of its absence in the future to wreak absolute legislative havoc the first chance they get. Except, that’s what they’re doing right now.

For example, Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain’s claim that he wasn’t aware of the Jim Crow Era context of “voter purity” in the Texas Constitution is every bit as disingenuous as Colorado’s Richard Holtorf’s apparent shock that an African-American legislator might be offended by being referred to as “Buckwheat.” Trotting out racist tropes and feigning ignorance gets you noticed in the GQP, and a lot of their members seem to have skin in the game.

So the choice is clear; the filibuster must go because there’s no need to worry about the future if you allow the present to be destroyed right now.