Can you feel the healing and cooperation? President Joe Biden, who at times struggled to form complete sentences during his hourlong press conference yesterday, did manage to make at least two crystal clear points. First, asked point-blank whether the Senate filibuster is a 'Jim Crow relic,' Biden answered, "yes." Second, when invited to attack Republicans by a progressive activist with press credentials -- this happened several times during the session -- Biden denounced state-level Republican 'voter suppression' as worse than Jim Crow: "I’m convinced that we’ll be able to stop this, because it is the most pernicious thing—this makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle," he said. Regardless of what one thinks of any of the state legislative efforts being debated and passed, this is a grotesque statement. Here is a reminder of Jim Crow's hideous legacy:
Jim Crow laws soon spread around the country with even more force than previously. Public parks were forbidden for African Americans to enter, and theaters and restaurants were segregated. Segregated waiting rooms in bus and train stations were required, as well as water fountains, restrooms, building entrances, elevators, cemeteries, even amusement-park cashier windows. Laws forbade African Americans from living in white neighborhoods. Segregation was enforced for public pools, phone booths, hospitals, asylums, jails and residential homes for the elderly and handicapped. Some states required separate textbooks for Black and white students. New Orleans mandated the segregation of prostitutes according to race. In Atlanta, African Americans in court were given a different Bible from white people to swear on. Marriage and cohabitation between white and Black people was strictly forbidden in most Southern states. It was not uncommon to see signs posted at town and city limits warning African Americans that they were not welcome there.
And here, for example, are some key provisions of the freshly-signed, Republican-passed Georgia voting law:
Gov. Brian Kemp has signed SB 202, a massive voting and election-administration related omnibus bill that expands early voting for most counties, requires ID info to vote absentee, makes big changes to the State Elections Board, and more. My explainer: https://t.co/wymisqs3h1— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) March 25, 2021
“While signature matching was successful in 2020, some top election officials say that requiring an ID number instead is a far more objective standard than having election officials determine if the voter's signature matches.”— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) March 26, 2021
“The law also bans election officials and government authorities from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters, as the secretary of state's office did for all active registered Georgia voters for the June 2020 primary, and tightens regulations for mass mailings,” the primer also explains. I understand that there are concerns about some of the elements of the new law, which was amended significantly, compared more restrictive drafts. But this legislation expands early voting in most of the state and affords increased flexibility to counties to mitigate long lines at polling places. One can make an argument that positive components are outweighed by negative components, and people will have disagreements over the definitions of what's good or bad. One cannot argue that this is "Jim Crow" all over again, as so many Democrats and leftists are casually doing -- including Vice President Harris, Stacey Abrams, and her legions of conspiracy theorist election truthers:
The Republican who is sitting in Stacey Abrams’ chair just signed a despicable voter suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow. The Senate must pass the #ForThePeople Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act immediately – our democracy is at stake tonight. https://t.co/xDolZO9Bf3— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 26, 2021
"Sitting in Stacey Abrams' chair." Gov. Brian Kemp won a free and fair election, and anyone baselessly claiming otherwise, including the losing candidate who's never conceded, is undermining and attacking our democracy. Biden managed to go even further, asserting that these types of legislative pushes make Jim Crow -- full-blown racist segregation -- look favorable by comparison. What an insulting misappropriation of history. None of the journalists present at the press conference saw fit to follow up or push back, mind you. Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia elections official who became a media darling for his (admittedly courageous and indefatigable) fact-checks against President Trump's dangerous lies about the 2020 election (with appalling revisionism and dishonesty continuing to this day), has blasted those trying to conflate "controversial" pieces of the new law with "voter suppression:"
97% of Georgia voters have a DL# & 99.9% have the last 4 of their Social in the system. Moving to an objective identifier instills confidence & is easier for counties to execute and train. Anyone claiming voter suppression has as much credibility as those claiming voter fraud.— Gabriel Sterling (@GabrielSterling) February 25, 2021
Has his Strange New Respect from the Left/media suddenly expired, now that he's correcting hyperbolic and false claims from their side? Or does the only acceptable form of speaking truth to power involve speaking truth to Republican power? Karl Rove also notes that major parts of these supposed neo-"Jim Crow" laws being weighed in Republican legislatures closely resemble active laws on the books in blue states where Democrats thrive and people of color vote easily:
Democrats are particularly upset with requiring Georgians voting by mail to provide the number from their driver’s license, free state-provided ID or other generally accepted identification. If this is racist, then New Jersey, Virginia and California are suppression hotbeds. New Jersey requires a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number for online voter registration, while Virginia requires both a photo ID card and your Social Security number. California—hardly a red stronghold—also requires ID to register. Where are the bitter denunciations of these state’s racist (Democratic) governors and legislatures? Ms. Abrams and her allies also oppose efforts to toughen signature verification requirements for mail-in ballots. But what about Colorado? The increasingly blue Mile High State has what’s likely the toughest such procedures in the country, which is important since it conducts elections primarily by mail. Last fall, roughly 1 of every 112 ballots—29,000 altogether—was rejected because the signature didn’t match the one on file with election officials. This was after voters were allowed to “cure” problems by responding to a text asking for a copy of—you guessed it—their driver’s license or other photo I.D. bearing their signature. More than 11,000 did so. When will Colorado’s Democratic governor and legislature be branded vote suppressors?
They were certainly on the ball in Iowa, where Democrats unanimously opposed the election reforms Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed. Among other things, Democrats criticized the new Hawkeye State law for closing poll locations at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m., while keeping opening time at 7 a.m. Yet Democrats have been mysteriously quiet when it comes to rules enforcing the same opening and closing times set by the Democratic governments of California, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island; the Democratic governors of Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania; the Democratic Legislature of Maryland and the Democratic mayor and City Council of Washington. More urgently, when will Ms. Abrams and her associates castigate the Democratic suppressors who run Colorado and Hawaii, where polls close at 7 p.m.? That’s a whole additional hour lost! The Iowa law also drew fire for reducing the number of early voting days to 20 from 29. If this is evidence of suppression, what should we call the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Wisconsin and 15 other states, all with shorter in-person voting periods than Iowa? And what about Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey, none of which have early in-person voting at all?
Another example from Rove: 'Both Georgia and Iowa are continuing no-excuse mail-in absentee voting, a favorite of Ms. Abrams, Ms. Harris and the Democratic left’s anti-“suppression” brigade. But if they’re really concerned about protecting this essential tool of democracy, they’ve missed a couple of suppression efforts. New York state is one of 15 that doesn’t allow no-excuse absentee voting, along with fellow deep-blue Connecticut and Delaware. If attempts to constrain or limit no-excuse mail-in voting are prima facie evidence of racism, what does it say about states whose statutes don’t allow it at all?" It says that outrage is selective and partisan -- and that Democrats see a greater utility in screaming "suppression!" and "Jim Crow!" in order to rile and scare their base than in discussing facts or context. Who's surprised? After all, these are the same people pushing awful HR 1 legislation, an abusive Washington takeover of federal elections that would reduce safeguards and enshrine some of the worst fraud-vulnerable and "temporary" measures nationwide -- in addition in forcing taxpayers to subsidize political campaigns.
As for the filibuster, Biden endorsed former President Barack Obama's smear, which we've dismantled previously. Even left-leaning 'Politifact' admits that the filibuster was not invented in the Jim Crow era, and of course modern-day Democrats have used it promiscuously for decades. Biden sought to illustrate filibuster "abuse" during his presser by citing statistics from last year, during which every single filibuster was mounted by the Democrats:
Biden — who has passionately defended the filibuster — says the filibuster is being “abused in a gigantic way,” citing how many filibusters were mounted last year. Last year, every filibuster came from his party.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 25, 2021
And here are some passionate speeches defending the essential role of the filibuster, via a pair of famous Jim Crow apologists:
Sen. Barack Obama in 2005 vigorously defending the filibuster, which he now decries as a “Jim Crow relic:” pic.twitter.com/ha6OrW2vzK— Christian Schneider (@Schneider_CM) March 25, 2021
In 2005, Sen. Joe Biden argued the filibuster was a crucial constitutional tool, and doing away with it “eviscerates minority rights” pic.twitter.com/qTwG69Rf5x— Christian Schneider (@Schneider_CM) March 25, 2021
I'll leave you with this expression of deep respect for democracy:
Speaker Pelosi says it is her “right as Speaker” to seat or unseat any member of Congress she wants even if the election is certified— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 25, 2021