By Bob Barr
In an iconic scene from the 1980s comedy classic â€œThe Blues Brothers,â€ Jake (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) are being chased by the police when Elwood attempts to allay Jakeâ€™s fears by asserting, â€œThey’re not gonna catch usâ€¦we’re on a mission from God.â€ Todayâ€™s real-life Democrats believe themselves to be on a similar quest; one they claim is essential to â€œsave democracy.â€ And, like Elwood, they believe they will not (cannot?) be caught before the mission is complete.Â
For the sake of our nation, they must be proved wrong.
It remains unclear exactly from whom, or from what, Democrats want to saveÂ democracy. Nevertheless, and perhaps just by coincidence, this crusade has been the Partyâ€™s obsession since being shocked by Hillary Clintonâ€™s 2016 defeat. Curiously ignoring the fact that this same democratic process was working fine when electing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, DemocratsÂ nowÂ are convinced the system is completely broken, and have assumed for themselves the responsibility to repair it in advance of the 2020 elections.
One such fix, H.R. 1 — the â€œFor the People Actâ€ — was approved by the House Administration Committee last week, setting up a likely floor vote later this month. The bill comes with much ballyhoo from Democrats, and contains numerous election â€œreformsâ€ long coveted by liberals; including, for starters, automatic voter registration and expanded early voting.Â
There are other insidious measures lurking within the legislationâ€™s pages. Â The bill includes provisions carefully crafted to undermine the 2010 Supreme Courtâ€™sÂ Citizens UnitedÂ decision, which was a major victory for free political expression during election cycles. In a gut punch to nonprofit organizationsâ€™ ability to engage in election-cycle issue advocacy, H. R. 1 would force disclosure of contributorsâ€™ names; thereby significantly chilling free speech.Â
AÂ coalition letter organized by FreedomWorksÂ in opposition to H.R. 1 (signed by me among many others) outlines other serious issues with the bill, including an expansion of the definition of â€œpolitical coordinationâ€ that would severely restrict political advocacy; a reorganization of the Federal Election Commission to make it more partisan in nature; and several provisions significantly extending the arm of federal government control into state and local elections.
The degree to which H.R. 1 would â€œfederalizeâ€ state and local elections should come as no surprise to those who have witnessed the Democratsâ€™ contempt for President Trump and the GOP reach a fever pitch. Ever since Clintonâ€™s loss in 2016, the Left has been engaged in an all-out war to turn Americaâ€™s system of government on its head in order to grab from Republicans as much power as possible.Â
Calls for an end to the electoral college have gone from a largely-forgotten liberal talking point to one championed (but still misunderstood) by high-level Democrats, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, whoÂ labeled the electoral collegeÂ â€œundemocraticâ€ and â€œa vestige of the past.â€
Liberals also have expressed contempt for equal state representation in the U. S. Senate, especially following the 2018 election; prompting even the liberal-leaningÂ Washington PostÂ to remind Democrats the â€œSenate popular voteâ€Â did not actually exist. This, however, did not stop Sara Jeong, an ultra-liberal member of theÂ New York Timesâ€™ editorial board,Â from recently bemoaning on social mediaÂ â€œhow the state of [W]yoming has two senators and a total population smaller than [P]ortland, [O]regon.â€
Such disdain for a republican form of government so presciently designed by our Founders to protect minorities from the majority, belies the true intent of H.R. 1. Despite their tiresome moralizing, Democratsâ€™ support for â€œdirect democracyâ€ in presidential elections is merely a means to the end; wherein the balance of power in our country is shifted to high concentrations of liberals clustered in major cities across America, with the means to more tightly control and dictate public policy for everyone else.
It is understandable why Democrats use the term â€œfor the peopleâ€ to describe their scheme, rather than the far more accurate, â€œcontrol the people.â€ The camouflaged nature of their effort, however, makes it all the more important for us to understand that this legislative effort is but one instrument among many being employed by the Left with which to federalize public debate and policy. Â For example, despite declaring themselves â€œfor the people,â€ Democrats have not hesitated to enlist unelected federal judges in their effort; through mechanisms such asÂ nationwide judicial injunctions to thwart administration actions with which they disagree.Â
So it is with todayâ€™s Democratic Party,Â which cannot bring itself to declare what it stands forÂ but does not hesitate to impose its will on â€œthe people.”
(c) Bob Barr. Used with permission.