To Democrats and their media megaphones, Jim Crow has risen from history’s grave and stalks our land again. President Biden invoked the inflammatory racial imagery twice in his Thursday press conference, saying it described the Senate filibuster as well as GOP-led changes in state election laws.
He claimed the election changes “make Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” which makes no sense except to suggest he’s got birds on his brain. Biden did it again Friday, after Georgia’s election changes were signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, saying the changes represent “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
By then it was clear Jim Crow was the party’s official talking point. Stacey Abrams and Atlanta protesters both labeled the Georgia law “Jim Crow 2.0.” One activist called it “Jim Crow with makeup and cologne.” Another called it “Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”
The list goes on, but you get the point. The left is eager to racialize any dispute and, for shock effect, dredges up dark pages from out history that bear zero resemblance to the current situation.
In their playbook, any election-law change they don’t support is racist and proves America has not made an iota of progress in 150 years.
Like their endless comparisons of Donald Trump to Hitler, the attacks are a form of extremism designed to evoke horror and spark anger. They lack only facts.
Yet even sympathetic voters may get tired of hearing about the second coming of Jim Crow because efforts to tighten sloppy election laws are underway in a reported 43 states. Are all of them run by racist governors and lawmakers who represent racist citizens?
In fact, most of the efforts involve fixing lapses in ballot security that became obvious during the 2020 election after states rushed to relax safeguards during the pandemic.
Most of those changes were pushed by outside activists and approved by Democratic governors and state courts. Although claims by Trump and others of widespread fraud failed in the courts, the new efforts are led by GOP lawmakers who were asleep or sidelined during last year’s revisions.
Despite the left’s outrageous comparisons to Jim Crow, the name given to post-Civil War laws in Southern states that used poll taxes and literacy tests to block black voters, the new rules are hardly onerous. Georgia, for example, actually expands early voting in some ways, requires it on two Saturdays and makes it optional for counties on Sundays.
No-excuse absentee voting remains available, though applicants must show a state identification card, as in-person voters do. For last year’s election, absentee ballot-checking relied on signature matches, which are less reliable.
The law, Gov. Kemp said, “makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
The facts seem to bear him out. And does anyone honestly believe it is racist to ask black absentee voters, along with all others, for identification? If it is, airlines, federal office buildings, banks and motor-vehicle laws are Jim Crow’s descendants.
Yet the most troubling question is what the hell happened to Joe Biden? Although he campaigned on the promise of civility and unity, he now repeatedly uses false, incendiary language designed to divide.
Biden, for instance, called the Georgia law “un-American” and said it would “deny people the right to vote.” He claimed, “It adds rigid restrictions on casting absentee ballots that will effectively deny the right to vote to countless voters.”
But as others have pointed out, voting laws in Delaware are stricter than the new law in Georgia, yet Biden never said peep about his home state.
Because there is no truth to the president’s odious claims about the Georgia law, we are left with two options. Either Biden has totally taken leave of his senses, or he has an ulterior motive.
While we can’t rule out the first choice, I believe the correct answer here is that his attacks on the Georgia law are a pretext for abolishing the Senate filibuster. Recall that it, too, shares, in his words, a Jim Crow lineage.
As a Wall Street Journal editorial notes, breaking the filibuster would allow the Senate to pass with just 51 votes a House bill that would nationalize all election laws — and remove most safeguards. The logic for taking that dramatic step is boosted if the left can persuade the public that changes in Georgia and elsewhere are racist and aim to suppress votes rather than protect the integrity of results.
In other words, Biden and his party are digging up Jim Crow for purely partisan purposes. Politics doesn’t get much dirtier or destructive.
The episode illustrates Biden’s late-in-life habit of reflexively resorting to charges of racism to score points. Recall that campaigning in 2012, he told a black audience in Virginia that if Mitt Romney were elected president, he would “put you all back in chains.”
Early last year, locked in a tight race with Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination, he made pitches for black votes by declaring that America itself is guilty of “systemic racism.” Following George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis, Biden began using the phrase frequently, including against law enforcement.
Before he was vice president, during his nearly four decades in the Senate, Biden praised Sen. Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK, and cited his friendships with segregationist Dixiecrats. He was a regular participant in uses of the filibuster to slow down legislation and in a 2005 speech, embraced it as essential to the Senate’s conduct and character.
Barack Obama, while a senator, also used it in the effort to block the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Samuel Alito, and Dems repeatedly used the filibuster last year — yet suddenly it’s a relic of Jim Crow?
By that standard, so is Joe Biden’s entire career.
Finally, recall that polls showed most blacks and most whites believed race relations had grown worse during the Obama-Biden years. Some people never learn — or don’t give a damn.
Don’t be stupid, journos
Reader Alan Jones offers advice to timid journalists, writing: “While in the service, I learned many life lessons, one in particular involved a sergeant. When I said I had some questions he might find stupid, he glared at me and said, ‘There is only ONE stupid question, and it’s the one you don’t ask!’”
Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said, “Yang never held a job in his entire life,” and accused him of trying to “disregard the people who make this city work.”
It’s a risky move because ranked-choice voting will pick the winner if nobody gets to 50 percent, leading most candidates to hope they will be the second choice for their rivals’ voters. Adams’ personal attacks, as opposed to policy disagreements, could lead Yang supporters to leave Adams off their ballots.