Saturday, July 03, 2021


William Saletan writes:
When you watch this parade of madness and cynicism, it’s tempting to write off the whole GOP. But that’s a mistake. To defeat authoritarianism, we need help from Republicans who believe in a republic. It’s a small faction, but it’s real, and last year in Arizona, it was arguably decisive. In January, 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump; in February, seven Senate Republicans voted to convict him. The third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, sacrificed her leadership post to defend democracy against the former president. Every week, Trump denounces more Republican officeholders. His stated list of Republican enemies includes four senators, three members of the House, two governors, and state legislators in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.... The more Trump talks, the more enemies he makes. Every one of those enemies can be part of the alliance for democracy.
Yes, there are Republicans who oppose Donald Trump's assault on democracy. But how many of these Republicans -- how many Republicans anywhere -- oppose the assault on democracy in GOP-run state legislatures, and in the courts?

The recent Georgia vote-suppression law passed on a pure party-line vote in the state House and Senate. The Arizona ballot harvesting law that was one of the issues in a Supreme Court ruling this week passed the state Senate on a straight party-line vote and passed the state House with 34 Republican votes in favor and only one against -- and then was upheld by the six Republican appointees to the High Court.

There's no Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger for legalized suppression of the Democratic vote -- no Republican in D.C. has a problem with this, and objectors in the states are rare. As I keep telling you, all Republicans oppose democracy, but "mainstream" Republicans want to tilt democracy in the GOP's favor in ways that maintain the appearance of legitimacy. S

So they won't say anything about these suppression laws (or they'll express support for them, as Cheney did in May after the Georgia law passed), and they won't object in the future when GOP-run states purge voter rolls of Democrats, close precincts in Democratic strongholds, and close motor vehicle offices in areas where Democrats need to obtain photo IDs for voting.

Opposing Trump is good, but it's not the same as favoring democracy. No nationally prominent Republican appears to be genuinely in favor of fair elections.

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