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On Tuesday, President Joe Biden demonized Republican election integrity efforts yet again in a speech in Philadelphia. He flew to speak in Philadelphia just after a forensic audit of the 2020 election began there. In his remarks, Biden again repeated the deceptive and destructive claim that Republican election integrity laws represented “21st Century Jim Crow.” Yet he went even further, accusing Republicans of trying to prevent anyone from voting against their preferred candidates.
Biden mentioned the Texas election bills, which would regulate the rights of poll watchers, crack down on “ballot harvesting,” and restrict local officials’ ability to send out mail-in ballot applications to people who do not request them, among other things. The president suggested that the protections for poll watchers amount to a systematic voter intimidation scheme.
“They want to make it so hard and inconvenient that they hope people don’t vote at all,” the president alleged. “Seventeen states have enacted 28 new laws to make it harder for Americans to vote.” He also mentioned “nearly 400 additional bills” pending in state legislatures.
“The 21st Century Jim Crow assault is real. It’s unrelenting. We’re going to challenge it vigorously,” Biden declared. “This is election subversion. It’s the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of elections in our nation’s history.”
He argued that allowing partisan poll watchers more access to observe the process means that partisan actors will be able to strike people’s votes just because they voted for the “wrong” candidate.
“If you vote, they want to be able to tell you your vote doesn’t count,” Biden said. “They want to ignore the will of the people if their preferred candidate loses.”
“They’re trying, not only targeting people of color, they’re targeting voters of all races and backgrounds with a simple target — you did not vote for me,” Biden charged. “It’s hard to declare just how critical this is. It’s simply unconscionable.”
The president accused Republicans of “making raw power, rather than the idea of liberty, the centerpiece of the common life.” He called the election integrity laws “a new wave of unprecedented voter suppression and raw, sustained election subversion.”
Then Biden made a rather curious statement.
“Just like we did in 2020, we have to prepare for 2022,” Biden declared.
He had begun his remarks by praising election officials who “made it easier and safer” for Americans to vote in the midst of a pandemic and celebrating the fact that more than 150 million Americans voted in 2020. He called the 2020 election “the most scrutinized ever in American history,” citing recounts, court cases, and audits.
Yet Biden did not note the election irregularities, such as ballot drop-boxes with insecure chains of custody or the widespread mailing of mail-in ballots using outdated voter lists. In fact, Time magazine published an astonishing story about a “cabal” and a “shadow campaign” that pulled the levers behind the scenes in the 2020 election. While the article claims these efforts aimed at preserving a free and fair election, organizations like the Center for Tech and Civic Life funneled money into blue areas of the country, boosting turnout that helped Biden prevail.
When President Joe Biden called Georgia’s election integrity law “Jim Crow on steroids,” a Georgia state representative pointed out that the election laws in Biden’s home state of Delaware are far more restrictive. The Washington Post gave Biden four Pinocchios for repeatedly claiming that the Georgia law “ends voting hours early.” In fact, the bill extended voting hours.
Biden has not apologized for his attacks, and he attacked Georgia’s law as “racially discriminatory” and “vicious” in his remarks on Tuesday.
Biden praised Attorney General Merrick Garland for bringing a legal challenge against Georgia’s law (no word on when Biden will challenge Delaware’s election laws), and for doubling the staff at the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Division.
Biden also called on the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 1, the Orwellian “For the People Act.” That bill represents a federal takeover of election law, complete with restrictions on free political speech and the 2020 election practices that raised red flags last year.
While the president framed H.R. 1 in terms of protecting “the sanctity of the vote,” the Republican efforts he condemns as “voter suppression” represent a return to some election integrity safeguards that officials scrapped in the 2020 election.
As PJ Media’s Matt Margolis noted — and former President Donald Trump later claimed — Biden’s decision to fly to Pennsylvania to blast the 2020 election audit “seems like a panic move.” While Biden touted the results of the 2020 election, audits in Georgia and Arizona revealed significant irregularities. “Joe should say go forward with this, with all of these audits,” Trump wrote. “Why are they so concerned that a President, who never goes anywhere, would hop onto beautiful Air Force One and head to Philadelphia if it were an honest election?”
Biden’s extreme exaggerations about Republican election integrity laws also raise questions. Does the president really think the Texas bill aims to prevent people from voting? Does he really think Texas will allow poll watchers to strike people’s votes merely because they voted for the “wrong candidate”?
Or is all this hyperbole a distraction, a call for a “shadow campaign” to pull the levers behind the scenes in 2022 just like forces on the Left did in 2020? Is that what he means by “preparing for 2022” just like they did for 2020?