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Will ‘Voting Rights’ Become a Winning Issue for Democrats in 2022?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

President Joe Biden just gave a speech in Atlanta in which he declared he supported the idea of changing Senate filibuster rules so Democrats could ram through their “voting rights” legislation. Democrats and their close friends and allies in the activist media spent most of last year pretending that election laws passed by Republicans in red states somehow constituted “Jim Crow 2.0” and would be akin to sending members of the Ku Klux Klan to polling stations to stop black people from casting their votes.

Of course, leftist politicians and media figures continually fail to provide evidence to back up their assertions. But why show proof when you can just yell “thass raycissss!” whenever someone pushes back against their mindless race-baiting?

However, Biden’s speech, more than anything, signals that Democrats plan to make “voting rights” central to their overall campaign strategy. By now, it is apparent the left will attempt to convince the American public to believe Republicans are sneakily trying to make sure black people are not going to be able to show up at the polls because of reasons.

Next thing you know, Biden will start telling black folks that we’re gonna put them back in chains.

Oh wait, he already did that, didn’t he?

Politico reported:

Biden’s speech comes ahead of a push by Senate Democratic leaders to debate changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules in an attempt to create a legislative pathway for two bills — one aimed at restoring key sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and a second meant to end expand ballot access, as well as give local election administrators resources to prevent their removal for political reasons, among other provisions.

What Politico didn’t report is the fact that the sections the Supreme Court removed 10 years ago were no longer relevant because they were designed to ensure that states were not passing legislation blatantly designed to prevent nonwhite Americans from voting. Indeed since then, Census data shows black voter turnout has mirrored, or even exceeded, that of white voters, according to the Heritage Foundation

Some Republican senators are negotiating with Senate Democrats to work on smaller changes to election laws. This would include “a modest change to election law that would deal exclusively with how contests are certified,” according to Politico, which also noted that the White House has dismissed this proposal, deeming it “insufficient.”

Biden’s Atlanta speech was seen largely as an overture to Republicans to support bipartisan action on voting rights. However, his decision to invoke the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in a scathing indictment of former President Donald Trump and his supporters wasn’t exactly the best way to extend an olive branch. So, realistically, this speech was yet another way to smear those who oppose the Democrats’ voting rights proposal as vicious racists who detest black folks with the passion of a thousand David Dukes.

But this brings up a question: Is it a wise move for Democrats to make “voting rights” one of the centerpieces of their 2022 campaign? Aren’t there other issues they could push to the forefront that might work better for them?

After all, the For the People Act polled quite well last year, with a majority of respondents indicating they supported the bill. However, it is worth noting that each poll showing similar results came from left-wing sources.

Data for Progress, for example, is a progressive think tank whose study found that Americans overwhelmingly support most of the proposal’s provisions. Also, it is not clear how well respondents understood the pros and cons of the bill, which could easily skew the results. The same holds true for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

In the end, the efficacy of this approach will likely boil down to whether the public believes the “Jim Crow 2.0” narrative, which was developed purely because the racial angle is more likely to elicit emotion. Even if the polls are accurate, they do not tell us how strongly people feel about the proposal. Perhaps they agree with most of the provisions but are not exactly passionate enough to get them to turn out at the polling stations to ensure Democrats remain in power.

Even though the Jim Crow reference is clearly designed to manipulate people’s emotions, it is doubtful that most Americans – even Democrats – actually believe the laws passed in red states will actually bring the U.S. back to pre-1960s America.

In the end, harping on voting rights might not be the most potent tactic, but what else do the Democrats have to run on? They have failed to pass much meaningful legislation. President Biden’s first year in office was a complete and utter disaster of epic proportions. The COVID-19 issue is beginning to decline when it comes to voters’ priorities.

Given these realities, the Democrats have to take what they can get at this point. This, along with the Jan. 6 riot and “Orange Man Bad,” is all they have. They will surely make a valiant effort to push the voting rights issue to the forefront. But as it stands today, it is doubtful it will work.