This is why we don't take advice from Never-Trumpers.
Tim Miller, of The Bulwark, former Republican, but currently man of nO LaBeLs, because god forbid he should actually align with the people fighting for democracy, condescended to advise us on how to approach voting rights. Mind you, Miller, of the white male persuasion, has likely never faced a voting restriction since turning 18 years old, but he sure knows what the rest of us should do in the face of the authoritarian, deranged, GOP tidalwave of voter suppression laws being passed across the nation.
Nicolle Wallace described one such law passed today by Arizona's legislature, which if, in effect in the 2020 election, would have removed more than 125,000 voters from the rolls (most likely, Democrats.) Here was Miller's wise counsel to us hapless Dems, who clearly have no clue as to what deserves top priority. At first he sounds like a pal...like he's on our side...but he can't help but slide into that condescending political tic that afflicts so many of the white males who used to be Republicans, but find the current iteration of the party distasteful in its overt fascism. It's the both-sides twitch.
"It's happening all over the country, and these reviews of the election are, I keep learning about new ones every day. New Hampshire and Michigan, it's not just Arizona, where they're still going back over the 2020 Big Lie!" (See? Sounds like a real buddy. A friend-o-the-Dems.)
"These changes are the main legislative issue. It's what the Koch brothers and others are pushing in a lot of these state legislatures. Something does has to be done, now," Miller exhorted. Oh, we couldn't agree more! How about that For the People Act?
"Here's my issue just from a strategic standpoint, though."
"The best thing that the Democrats can do to get good election reform passed, and to guarantee the next election isn't stolen, is to do well in 2022. Because, with Joe Manchin there, it isn't gonna happen, it's just reality. It just isn't going to happen."
The best way to get election reform passed is to win the next election? To guarantee the next election isn't stolen is to win it? With all these states Biden won narrowly passing voter suppression laws? If what he means is that we need bigger majorities in both houses of Congress, well, that's true. But he thinks we get them by just — winning?
Please, Tim. Tell us how to succeed.
"The Democrats and Joe Biden need to stick with popular issues, continue to force the Republicans to vote down and stand in the way of popular issues. That is partly some of the spending policies that we've been talking about, but it's also on this," sayeth Miller.
Hasn't that been happening since January? Doesn't Biden have a bazillion percent approval rating to show for it?
Miller then offered specifics.
"I wish the Democrats would try rally behind election day being a holiday, you know, automatic voting, automatic registration for voters, something tangible and popular that the country can get behind. Make republicans vote that down." Gee, Tim, the For The People Act does all of that, except making election day a federal holiday, but it makes up for it by vastly strengthening mail-in voting and early voting.
Not good enough for our Tim. But, why?
"I do think this For the People Act is jammed with every left-wing interest group's favorite thing, and there's important stuff in there, and then there's some not so important and some kind of crazy stuff in there, and so I..." whoa, slow down, Tiger. THERE it is. The tic. You can take the Republican out of the GOP, but he's still a Republican.
What's the crazy stuff, Tim? Strengthening the FEC? Targeting dark money made ubiquitous from the disastrous Citizens United decision? Taking on gerrymandering? Yeah, that's a lot of crazy, liberal, left-wing interest group stuff.
Oh, sorry, did I interrupt you?
"...think that the Democrats need to have their eye on the ball of winning in 2022, forcing the Republicans on this issue, exposing their anti-democratic bent that the party has gone down, that's an understatement, and that that is probably the best path forward," Miller finished, having vented his frustrations.
Wallace was ready to go to commercial at that point, but Dr. Jason Johnson needed to speak or else they were going to have to scrape him off the screen with a spatula. Thankfully, Wallace threw it over to Dr. Johnson for a response.
"Tim, everybody already knows what the Republicans are. They literally led a march to the Capitol, and not the civil rights kind, a couple months ago! Everybody knows what the Republican party is. There's no thing in exposing them anymore, and quite frankly, if they don't make this the number one priority, you can't wait until the 2022 elections. Because if these laws stay on the books in 2022, Democrats will lose the House and Senate, and they will impeach Joe Biden in February of 2023! I promise you, that's what the Republicans will do!" Johnson insisted.
"So, like, no, you can't wait for a year-and-a-half and hope that this works in a functional politics sort of way, because we're beyond functional politics, when you have Josh Hawleys and Ted Cruzes of the world saying, 'Well, I don't really know if an insurrection, where they're calling for the death of my colleagues is something that makes you unqualified to be in elected office anymore,' you're way past campaign management. This is about saving this country."
But former Republicans don't like to face the fact that they're really not that far away from the party they're trying to disown. We need people like Dr. Johnson to remind them that they can leave the democracy-saving to us.