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Douglas Andrews / March 24, 2021

HR 1 Is Rotten Through and Through

The Democrats’ HR 1 is a naked and undemocratic power grab — in addition to being utterly unworkable.

When someone serves you a plate of rotten meat, you refuse to eat it because it’s rotten — not because you don’t like the plate on which it was served.

Yet the latter is essentially what the deep-thinking Jessica Huseman at the progressive Daily Beast has done in an article titled “How This Voting Rights Bill Could Turn the Next Election Into a [Charlie Foxtrot].” Indeed, Huseman undressed HR 1, the Democrats’ ridiculously named “For the People Act,” not because it’s a legislative abomination but rather because she thinks it’s technically unworkable.

“The For the People Act is, truthfully, the best piece of legislation proposed to standardize and ensure voting rights for all,” she cluelessly begins. “But the bar is low for voting bills, and this one barely clears it. While the tenets of the bill are laudable [no, they’re not] … it comes packed with deadlines and requirements election administrators cannot possibly meet without throwing their systems into chaos.”

Let’s set aside, for a moment, that fundamentally correct conclusion to remember that HR 1 is, in the words of our Louis DeBroux, “a massive power grab by Democrats that takes the worst aspects of the 2020 elections and puts them into federal law.”

Thus, if you liked the buttery-smooth means by which the 2020 election was conducted — the lawsuits, the recounts, the audits, the allegations of rampant fraud in Democrat-controlled big cities — you’ll love HR 1. As DeBroux continues, “Democrats aim to dictate from Capitol Hill election law for every single state, county, and city. HR 1 intentionally weakens election security, creating the very lawlessness and discord that made the last election such a nightmare and guaranteeing that it’s the norm for all future elections.”

So, what’s not to like?

To listen to the Daily Beaster, HR 1’s flaws are mostly in the means of execution. “Many of the changes the bill demands of election administrators are literally impossible to implement,” Huseman writes. “Others would significantly raise the cost of elections but provide no assured long-term funding. It empowers an agency — the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission — that was criticized less than a year ago for mismanagement and fecklessness by the same Democrats promoting this bill. And, perversely to its purpose, the bill would make elections less secure by forcing states to rush gargantuan changes on deeply unrealistic time frames.”

Again, she’s missing the trees for the forest. HR 1 takes a very bad situation — voters’ lack of confidence in our current electoral system — and proposes to make it much worse.

“There is a reason,” writes veteran political analyst John Fund, “Nancy Pelosi has called her 791-page bill, stuffed as it is with her favorite election-related changes, House of Representatives Bill Number 1 or HR 1. It’s that important to her. She has convinced or pressured every single House Democrat to co-sponsor. … Should the power grab masquerading as HR 1 become law it will represent only the latest distortion of democracy. It will undermine confidence in the system far more than anything Donald Trump attempted.”

For the last word, though, let’s leave it to the folks who’ll be responsible for implementing HR 1: “Listen, I’ll do this — if the law passes, I’ll follow it,” said one state-level Democrat election director in the Southeast who declined to be named. “But I can’t guarantee it’s not going to be a total clusterf—k the first election.”

“I don’t know what they were thinking, honestly,” said the head of an elections nonprofit. “It’s a bad bill. The goals might be admirable, but it’s a f—ing bad bill.”

It’s hard to disagree with this assessment, vulgar though it is. Except for the part about HR 1’s goals being admirable. They’re not. This bill is a naked and undemocratic attempt to rig our nation’s elections in perpetuity, and an ill-conceived one at that. And if ever there were a reason to retain the Senate’s filibuster, HR 1 is it.

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