The Strongest Argument that Democracy is Not Dying is an Extremely Weak Argument
"Well, it all depends," Biden said Wednesday at a White House news conference when asked whether the coming elections would be legitimate. When another reporter followed up to ask whether the president really fears the midterms won’t be free and fair, Biden imagined Republican election officials discarding votes. "I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit," he said defiantly.
- “Democrats have a surprisingly good year at the ballot box, holding on to their House majority thanks to the gerrymandering they’ve managed, while increasing their Senate majority by at least two votes.
- “With Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) no longer in control, the Senate passes an exception to the filibuster allowing voting rights legislation to get an up-or-down vote.
- “They pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which bans partisan gerrymandering; President Biden signs it.”
In response to important articles by Barton Gelman and others, Noah informs his readers that the cover on the print version of a recent Atlantic issue was "the fourth pitch-black Atlantic cover in two years," and in short order he refers to a different article as "another doom-and-gloomer." He then points to a pundit on the right who has been similarly ridiculing The Atlantic for its unwavering pessimism. But what matters, of course, is whether he (or anyone) can make the case that pessimism is uncalled for.
But this fetish for crêpe-hanging, of which The Atlantic is the most notable but hardly the sole practitioner, is overwrought, unhelpful, and all too typical of liberalism. I’m a dedicated liberal myself, but let’s face it. We get this way from time to time.
But all these assaults against democracy are a sign of Republican weakness, not Republican strength, and they’re mostly being waged in inhospitable venues: the courts and the ballot box. Rather than wring your hands about democracy’s imminent demise, I advise you to write a check to the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, which raised a record $4.5 million last year and is looking to raise at least $15 million this year. Here’s the web page for donations. While you’re at it, consider donating to the Brennan Center, which does excellent work to fight voter restrictions. Here’s the relevant web page for Brennan.
There. Doesn’t that feel better than keening and whingeing? It wouldn’t kill you, either, to go door to door for some Democratic candidates for state legislature, especially if you live in one of the 30 states where Republicans have legislative majorities. That’s way too many.