A slew of private organizations have recently protested against suppressive election restrictions that Republican state legislators have proposed and passed around the country, and on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned their outrage in grandiose terms. His comments, as reported by journalist Burgess Everett, were absolutely outlandish. To paraphrase, McConnell characterized corporate messaging against voter suppression as “a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,” which is just — wow.
In other words, McConnell seems totally outraged over private interests making their political opinions heard now that those private opinions differ sharply from his own on issues like election integrity. That’s not protective of democracy — that’s wannabe authoritarianism from the Senate Republican leader. As McConnell threateningly put it:
‘Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.’
McConnell takes aim at corporate US: “Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order."
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) April 5, 2021
He makes companies sound like they’ve launched some kind of coordinated physical assault against the sitting U.S. government, which obviously has not happened. The existential fearmongering of his remarks, however, is alarming. He, like other Republicans, is apparently attempting to help lead a charge against a supposed existential threat that doesn’t actually exist as he describes it. Maybe, if your political party feels metaphysically threatened by private interests merely making their voices heard as part of the democratic process, it’s time to get a new party.
Some of the suppressive new election restrictions at issue include newly enacted legislation in Georgia and Iowa, although Georgia has seemed to garner more attention. In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp recently signed a bill into law that, among other provisions, imposes new voter ID requirements on the mail-in voting process, although no systematic problems were discovered in the state’s previous signature-based verification method for mail-in voting. Now, Georgia authorities have imposed the pointless procedural hurdle of requiring ID information with mail-in ballots. If using Georgia drivers licenses to fulfill the requirement, accidentally submitting the wrong info seems easy, voting rights lawyer Marc Elias troublingly noted.
The new Georgia law will require voters to submit ID to vote by mail. If they use their driver's license, they need to provide the #.
One of the two numbers below is correct. If they put the other, it will be rejected.
Are you sure you would pick the right one? pic.twitter.com/3yQZAgioLO
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) April 1, 2021
Major League Baseball recently announced that they were moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia in protest of the suppressive legislation.