If you were glued to Election coverage last night (and I was, but mainly on Twitter and on Threads where the calls were made WAY earlier than TV), you know that Hinds County in Mississippi ran out of ballots early in the evening. While the race was on to replenish those ballots, the MS Dems went to court to get an extension for that county’s polling places til 8 pm (rather than 7 pm). The GOP filed with the state Supreme Court to vacate that order for an extension — they tried to specifically disenfranchise the people of that county. I probably don’t need to tell you that Hinds County is a majority Black county.
Pay attention to how fast and easily the MS GOP went to court to block Democrats — Black Democrats) from voting. Even though these voters were badly served by the people running their elections (running out of ballots is a very bad look), it was OK with the MS GOP that there would be citizens who would be disenfranchised for this election.
This is — of course — not a unique position for the MS GOP or even the GOP nationwide. Disenfranchising Democrats (especially Black Democrats) is as close to Party platform as it gets in today’s GOP. This brings me to this bit of business from Rep. Bryan Shupe: 2024 elections could create a political ruling class in Delaware.
Essentially (if you’ve given up on GOP claims that they are being victimized by something), Rep, Shupe wants you to have your hair on fire because the Democrats in Delaware have been successful in appealing to voters and the GOP has done their work specifically to marginalize themselves with voters. Meaning that Democrats can vote for the agendas they ran on and they WON on. Shupe thinks this well-established American tradition of Majority Rule needs some additional checks and balances — as if the voters themselves don’t already function as the checks and balances.
I encourage everyone to see this as a local (and official) expression of the very un-democratic DNA that is now deeply embedded into the GOP. Rep. Shupe has his own fraught history here — when the GA was working at making Vote by Mail a permanent part of the voting tools here, he voted for the first round to make this Constitutional change. Once Dems won so convincingly in that election, he was apparently persuaded to join the effort to try to stop making voting more accessible to more voters. Because it sure looks like the current version of the DE GOP can’t appeal to majorities of voted on their really bad ideas, they’ll try to make sure that voting stays as difficult as possible.
This is all part of the current effort by the GOP to convince people that majority rule is not part of a “constitutional democracy”. They need this narrative to justify why they should be in power even though they can’t get majorities of the vote. Hence, we have Shupe arguing that the ability of Democrats to convince majorities of voters to choose Dems to govern is “tyranny”. A thought that would never cross his mind if his party was actually working at being competitive here.
As another election season is upon us it is important to hear the autocratic and anti-democratic language being crafted and wielded by the GOP (and even our local version of them) to convince people that majority rule was never meant to be a thing. Of course it was. And it still should be. We shouldn’t have to change our democratic systems (or even our ambitions for our government) to accommodate a Republican party that is working overtime to be as toxic to voters as possible.
In 2024 Democrats up and down this state will be working hard to re-elect Joe Biden AND to deliver as many Democrats to our local governments as we can. We have a vision for the future and voters have connected with that vision. We do not conduct ourselves chaotically (see: Texas, Tennessee), we work across the aisle when that option is available to us, and do work at an agenda For the People. Unlike the GOP, we do not have a “the cruelty is the point” view of some of our constituents. When the tide is rising, we want all boats to rise with it. We’re not going to build a seawall around some and tell them they need to prove why their boat should rise as well. That was more tortured than it needed to be, but the point is Democrats believe that being elected to govern is vital trust. We work hard to keep the faith with both our constituents and with democracy itself. When the GOP gets out of their performative toxicity phase, they might find themselves able to earn more votes again. Until then, the majority rule means that the majority gets to deliver on its promises.