Good Republicans in Government May Be Democracy’s Last Hope

There is a surprise bag of good and bad news for almost everyone in Tuesday’s governor’s reversal in Virginia, when Republicans Glenn youngkinGlenn Youngkin The Hill’s 12:30 Report: House Republican Campaign Manager for Vulnerable Democrats: ‘Stand Down or Lose’ Fear of ‘Trump 2.0’ Not Enough for Democrats to Win, Says Former Legislator MORE Democrat outgunned Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeOcasio-Cortez: Virginia results show the limits of ‘trying to run a totally 100% super moderate campaign’ Biden talks to Murphy, McAuliffe after gubernatorial election Youngkin meets Northam: ‘Today was the beginning of a friendship ‘MORE by two percentage points. Experts are predicting pessimism and doom for Democrats nationwide, pointing to everything from the president Joe bidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MOREStagnant agenda, to COVID-19 fatigue, to the false belief that critical race theory (CRT) is poisoning K-12 public schools.

However, if our collective eye is instead focused on the viability of American democracy itself, which it should be, what happened in Virginia suggests that the most realistic way to avoid authoritarianism may be to choose good Republican candidates, since the his is the game to beat these days. . That standard is imaginatively easy to identify: Vote for anyone who rejects the 2020 Big Lie election and ex President TrumpDonald Trump Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia collapse Department of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security seeks nearly four-year sentence for former MMA fighter who struck officer on January 6 MORE those who spread it and, as Youngkin did to a small extent, turned to old-fashioned political platforms to win the election.

As I have explained before in The hill – with the Jan. 6 uprising on Capitol Hill still largely missing from the corridors of government and the GOP’s devotion to Trump – most metrics point toward the disappearance of the government by We the People in the next few years. Republican adherence to the Big Lie about an elusive “stolen” election in 2020 has gained traction.

A recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution shows that two-thirds of Republicans believe Biden is an illegitimate president, a figure that rises to 97 percent among observers from far-right outlets like Newsmax and OAN.

According to At the Brennan Center for Justice, an unprecedented 19 states so far this year have enacted 33 laws that make voting difficult. Four of them, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas and Texas, have passed new laws that impose severe criminal penalties on election officials for errors in the performance of their jobs. A great 30 per cent of these recently surveyed public servants expressed concern for their safety, including death threats, due to their profession.

Combine all of that with the Senate Republicans’ lockdown on even the most basic electoral reforms, including the reinstatement of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013 (despite its unanimous renewal in 2006). It’s not hard to see where things are headed: a Republican-dominated government that is comfortable canceling election results that don’t serve the party.

However, as Mona Charen, policy editor at The Bulwark wrote, “Isn’t it interesting that the Democrats seem to have forgotten how to manipulate the voting machines, fill the ballot boxes, participate in the early morning ballot dumps, collect the ballots from the dead, and coordinate with the Chinese / Venezuelan governments to change the result of elections? Two-thirds of Republicans to believe that’s what happened in 2020. And yet, just one year later, have the Democrats lost the skill? “

Virginia’s race proves, once again, that the elections are working well in the United States, something for which all Americans should breathe a sigh of relief.

In an emailed statement, the nonpartisan Safe democracy gave another positive note, “Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected governor in a state that EXPANDED access to the vote. In the past two years, Virginia enacted new laws to expand early voting, mail-in voting, and voter registration … further proof that providing equal access to the polls for all citizens does not benefit any party, rather it benefits all Americans. ”

In fact, voter turnout was exceptionally high for both Virginia gubernatorial candidates this week, surpassing the 2.6 million who voted for gubernatorial in 2017.

Meanwhile, although Trump endorsed Youngkin in May, a Washington Post / George Mason University Poll of likely voters revealed that four times as many voters (37 to 9 percent) said Trump’s support made them less likely to vote for Youngkin. Youngkin claimed he was honored by the nod and echoed the former president’s phony voter fraud narrative, but then he walked away from the MAGA train and onto political issues such as education (including the fabricated CRT debate) and inflation.

Like the atlantic David A. Graham commented, these kitchen table problems could have drawn suburbanites who voted for Biden to Youngkin’s column, stating that “if Republicans can win even in Virginia, … ‘bad’ general candidates could beat the Democrats in 2022 “without having to embrace Trump and his dark vision of the American government.

Voters undoubtedly put Democrats in power in a series of notable races this week: the governor of New Jersey. Phil Murphy He kept his seat with a very thin margin that was biting his nails, Michelle Wu became the first woman and person of color to win a Boston mayor’s seat in nearly two centuries, Aftab Pureval captured 66 percent of the vote to become the first Asian-American commander in Cincinnati history and, for the second time, a black man – Eric Adams – serve as mayor of New York City.

But make no mistake about it, democracy in general is on the ropes in America. It is the Republican Party led by the Senate Minority Leader. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Biden Denies Plan to Pay Separated Migrant Families Up to 0K Senate Republican Party Blocks John Lewis Voting Rights Bill Youngkin’s Shock Shows Trump Doesn’t Need to Win MORE (R-Ky.) And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy Democrats hit the panic button after Virginia collapse Democrats fear Virginia is a precursor to the beating of the House Republicans see education as a winning issue after Virginia successes MORE (R-Calif.) Who the main culprits are, not to mention fans like Sen. Josh hawleyJoshua (Josh) David Hawley Emanuel nomination advances despite Democratic opposition Republicans challenge Biden vaccine mandate Gun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA MORE (R-Mo.) And Representatives Marjorie Taylor-Green (R-Ga.), Lauren boebertLauren BoebertGreene racks up at least K in fines for ignoring the House’s mask mandate Citations are a real concern for lawmakers facing January 6 questions Anti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise and other high-profile conservatives MORE (R-Colo.), Matt gaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGreene racks up at least K in fines for ignoring House mask mandate Anti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise and other high-profile conservatives California man arrested for allegedly threatening Gaetz MORE (R-Fla.), AND Jim jordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan Madison Cawthorn to Join House Freedom Caucus Anti-Trump Republicans Target McCarthy, Scalise and Other High-Profile Conservatives Congress may be right to cite Bannon in contempt, but Justice would be wrong if I processed MORE (R-Ohio), among many others.

Let’s also not forget that even after the carnage on January 6, 147 Republicans voted to revoke the election without real evidence of fraud. This was itself a fraud for the voters, each of us, regardless of party affiliation, and if that lineup of politicians remains in power, we will certainly see more.

As things stand, no changes to national electoral laws through landmark legislation such as the pending Freedom of Vote Act and the John lewisJohn Lewis Harris Congratulates Youngkin on Governor’s Victory in Virginia Schumer Hints at Obstruction Reform After GOP Blocked Voting Rights Bill Senate Republican Party Blocks John Lewis Voting Rights Bill PLUS Voting Rights Act (which the Republicans are blocking), the election system will be rigged for generations. Prepared not only through cynical laws and manipulations that prevent people from voting, but for the first time in history, by lawmakers willing to give the green light to the cancellation of legitimate votes in favor of Democrats, all under the guise of fraud. fake electoral.

What Youngkin’s success suggests, then, is that if Republicans are on their way to taking over the American government anyway, perhaps they can promise to put their power to good use now that they know they can win the election fairly. and without Trump taking full control. If this evokes skepticism, it should, it would take a marked and deliberate Republican shift away from lies, hatred and electoral manipulation and back toward meaningful political debate and a modicum of integrity. What Virginians may have said yesterday, to both parties, is that it is what the voters really want.

Kimberly Wehle is a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and the author of “How to Read the Constitution and Why,” as well as “What You Need to Know About Voting and Why.” and “How to Think Like a Lawyer and Why” (Available February 2022). Follow her on Twitter: @kimwehle

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