As I’ve said before, a strong case can be made that as Roberts Court atrocities go, Rucho v. Common Cause is even worse than Shelby County. Allowing not merely marginal vote suppression but for parties to permanently entrench themselves in power is both fundamentally anti-democratic in itself and encourages further erosion of democratic norms.
Pennsylvania is a case in point:
The new session of the Pennsylvania Senate got off to a chaotic start Tuesday, with Republicans refusing to seat a Democratic senator whose election victory has been certified by state officials.
Amid high emotions and partisan fingerpointing, Republicans also took the rare step of removing the Democratic lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, from presiding over the session. They apparently did so because they did not believe Fetterman was following the rules and recognizing their legislative motions.
Democrats, in turn, responded by refusing to back Sen. Jake Corman (R., Centre) from assuming the chamber’s top leadership position — an unusual maneuver on what is most often a largely ceremonial and bipartisan vote.
As Jamelle Bouie points out, these actions, those of the Hawley 12, etc. are all a product of the Republican belief that Democratic electoral victories are inherently illegitimate:
It’s a story of escalation, from the relentless obstruction of the Gingrich era to the effort to impeach Bill Clinton to the attempt to nullify the presidency of Barack Obama and on to the struggle, however doomed, to keep Joe Biden from ever sitting in the White House as president. It also goes beyond national politics. In 2016, after a Democrat, Roy Cooper, defeated the Republican incumbent Pat McCrory for the governorship of North Carolina, the state’s Republican legislature promptly stripped the office of power and authority. Wisconsin Republicans did the same in 2018 after Tony Evers unseated Scott Walker in his bid for a third term. And Michigan Republicans took similar steps against another Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer, after her successful race for the governor’s mansion.
Considered in the context of a 30-year assault on the legitimacy of Democratic leaders and Democratic constituencies (of which Republican-led voter suppression is an important part), the present attempt to disrupt and derail the certification of electoral votes is but the next step, in which Republicans say, outright, that a Democrat has no right to hold power and try to make that reality. The next Democrat to win the White House — whether it’s Biden getting re-elected or someone else winning for the first time — will almost certainly face the same flood of accusations, challenges and lawsuits, on the same false grounds of “fraud.”
American democracy is facing a genuine crisis, and it will get worse immediately if (God Forbid) the Inside Trading Twins carry Georgia tonight.