RED BAIT: New Voting Rights Bill Has GOP Invoking Russia Smears

There are few power addicts as sinister as a Republican politician clutching onto their dark money welfare cheques. Group these junkies together and you’ll find the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a federal institution which ironically combats reforms to ensure the oversight of government. In fact, their refusal to control these campaign fund vices has reached the point of the GOP invoking Russia, the boogieman of the Democrat Party’s cold war rhetoric against President Trump, using their words to avoid the left’s sweeping voting rights protection measure.

Since December, right-wing members of the committee have vocalised their opposition to H.R. 1, the first bill proposed by the newly elected Democrat majority, decrying the apocalyptic results of making a federal holiday out of elections, accountable campaign transparency, subsidising small-dollar donations from average voters and measures to prevent the purging of voter rolls without absolute necessities. If these proposals don’t sound all that controversial, that’s because they aren’t — but leave it to the power hungry to passionately defend their corruption-occupied seats by any means necessary.

“It should be called the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “For the past two years, our united Republican government drained money and power from Washington and returned it to states, communities and families. From middle-class tax cuts to regulatory reform, we took this approach and watched the nation thrive more as a result. Democrats have a different philosophy… they’re trying to clothe this power grab with cliches about ‘restoring democracy’… [while proposing] a naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party.”

To credit McConnell, this Marxist strategy of “accusing your enemy of what you are doing, as you are doing it, in order to create confusion” does unleash a frightful punch. This doesn’t make his narrative correct, however. As cited by Vox, recent polling from sources such as the PAC End Citizens United has found that 82% of all voters, regardless of party affiliation, support a bill which reforms campaign finance in order to combat corruption.

This bill seeks to accomplish these desires by having the Federal Election Commission (FEC) track information on how lobbyists, PACs and Super PACs invest their funds into electoral campaigns, requiring states to offer same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, early voting, allowing released felons to vote, granting federal workers pay for working the polls and, gradually, would move the governmental system towards the public financing of elections. Funny how improving democracy could actually benefit this one party — the operative factor being their benefits would be earned through “draining the swamp” rather than stolen by its monsters.

It only makes sense those monsters try to maintain their power. “So lets take a whack at a little summary here, professor,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top GOP seat on the committee, speaking with former FEC chair Bradley Smith during his congressional hearing on Wednesday. “H.R. 1 requires taxpayers to pay for a holiday on Election Day for government workers. H.R. 1 requires taxpayers to pay for six days of paid leave for government workers who want to be poll workers. H.R. 1 requires taxpayers to pay for politicians’ campaigns. And if those same taxpayers give to some organization, some ©(4), they can be outed under H.R. 1 so that the left can — or anyone — could harass them or their family.”

“Yes,” Smith responded. “Such a deal for the taxpayer, right?”

Sure, this would be absurd… if the bill actually allowed for doxxing. Simply put, such measures don’t allow anyone to just find personal information on candidates to conduct targetted harassment. McConnell, Jordan and colleagues frame their own political power-grabs as a form of free speech, arguing that any kind of overturning of Citizens United, let alone any transparency of how campaigns and their corporate-elite donors conduct themselves, is protected “as long as [they’re] broadcast to everyone.” Shouldn’t calls for privacy from a public representative — regarding their own public work — raise serious red flags as to their conduct?

Apparently not since Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) went on to condemn these transparency measures because it “resembles Russian government policy.” This rightfully caused pushback from the committee’s reigning Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “One year ago today, on my mother’s dying bed, at 92 years old — former sharecropper — her last words were, ‘Do not let them take our votes away from us,’ ” Cummings responded. “They had fought. She had fought and seen people harmed, beaten, trying to vote. Talk about inalienable rights. Voting is crucial, and I don’t give a damn how you look at it. There are efforts to stop people from voting. That’s not right! This is not Russia,” he bellowed. “This is the United States of America.”

As of today, the country’s name doesn’t live up to expectation. As reported by journalist Akela Lacy of The Intercept, the hearing didn’t mention the many ways in which partisan gerrymandering by public representatives has historically benefitted one party over another. She cites a lawsuit filed by the ACLU last year which argued Jordan’s own 4th of Ohio was one of seven cases where “borders that defy explanation by any political boundary or geographical feature” have swayed elections unfairly.

“That is really convenient, and rich, and hypocritical,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) who spoke with the publication. “H.R. 1 has been described as a wishlist by the Democrats. Well, you got us there. A wishlist for an inclusive, expanded democracy and electorate. Characterizations of H.R. 1 as a power grab — you got us again. Guilty. We wouldn’t have to grab back the power for the people if through policy you weren’t complicit in, or perpetuating, the disenfranchisement and marginalization of the people.”

Thanks for reading! This article was originally published for TrigTent.com, a bipartisan media platform for political and social commentary, truly diverse viewpoints and facts that don’t kowtow to political correctness.

Bailey Steen is a journalist, graphic designer and film critic residing in the heart of Australia. You can also find his work right here on Medium and publications such as Janks Reviews.

For updates, feel free to follow @atheist_cvnt on his various social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Gab. You can also contact through bsteen85@gmail.com for personal or business reasons.

Stay honest and radical. Cheers, darlings. 💋

troubled writer, depressed slug, bisexual simp, neoliberal socialist, trotskyist-bidenist, “corn-pop was a good dude, actually,” bio in pronouns: (any/all)

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