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The First Bill House Democrats Will Pass Is a Death Sentence for the GOP

It might as well be called the "Make Republicans Lose Elections Act"
Image via Daily Express

Image via Daily Express

This January, House Democrats led by (probably) Nancy Pelosi will immediately pass a bill that would, if put into law, end the Republican Party.

The bill would establish automatic voter registration and reinvigorate the Voting Rights Act, crippled by a Supreme Court decision in 2013. It would take away redistricting power from state legislatures and give it to independent commissions.

Other provisions would overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which declared political spending is First Amendment free speech; they would mandate more disclosure of outside money and establish a public financing match for small contributions.

There's more to it but you get the idea. It's an omnibus bill to end the GOP's abuse of the electoral system. No more mass voter suppression by closing polling places or "accidentally" leaving voting machines meant for minority-heavy areas locked up in a warehouse. No more extreme gerrymandering that sees Republicans lose an election but still "win" the majority of seats. No more dark money buying elections. That last one will sting the most since Republicans have come to rely almost exclusively on rich donors and Super PACs to fuel their campaigns. Not a small amount of that money is being essentially laundered from outside the country (which used to be illegal and will be again). Turning off the spigot will be a huge blow to a party whose economic message is "cut healthcare to the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich." Not very enticing for small donors.

The automatic voter registration by itself would be devastating since one of the GOP's favorite dirty tricks is to remove people from the registration rolls. Brian Kemp, alone, has removed over 1.5 million people from Georgia's rolls in his preparation to run for governor. And that's out of the 16 million purged between 2014 and 2016 nationwide. Automatic voter registration also eliminates a lot of the hurdles Republicans have put into place to stop people from registering in the first place. C'est la vie, GOP.

Of course, Republicans will never allow the bill to get out of committee in the Senate but a funny thing is happening that has to be freaking Republicans out: People are talking about voter suppression and gerrymandering. A lot. And if there's one lesson we learned from Obamacare, it's that once people perceive an injustice in the system, they won't shut up about it. 

Think about the national conversation in 2007. No one was seriously talking about universal healthcare. The nation did not consider healthcare a right much less a right our government had to have a hand in providing. Now, a growing majority of the country very much considers healthcare a right and Obamacare is increasingly popular, even among Republican voters. This, not coincidentally, is why Republicans have been trying to kill Obamacare for the last decade. The longer it exists, the more people will come to understand that healthcare is a fundamental right and that is anathema to the GOP's agenda of selling off the country to the highest bidders. 

The same goes for voter suppression in all its forms. People have talked about it for years but the Democratic Party has never made it one of their priorities to address. The result was having election after election stolen from us. By making it a topline talking point and hammering it home for the next two years, along with the GOP's massive corruption, it will become a widely understood problem. The conversation will grow around it until people demand something be done. Already, even Republican voters are demanding an end to gerrymandering. That's because they don't understand it's what keeping Republicans in power and Republicans can't openly admit it without making themselves look weak. But, hey, take the support where you can get it, right?

All this means that when we take back the Senate and White House, we can implement all (or most) of this agenda because that's what Democrats will have been elected to do. The result will be a crushing blow to the electoral future of the Republican Party.

The best part about this is while, yes, this will hurt the GOP, that is literally just a side effect of strengthening democracy in America. These are not actually partisan reforms. Why wouldn't you want people to be able to legally vote? Why wouldn't you want impartially drawn districts that don't favor either party? Why wouldn't you want to get money out of politics? 

The fact that it also happens to cripple the GOP is because they've built their party on a platform of voter disenfranchisement and cheating. And whose fault is that?