Ron DeSantis and his fellow Florida Republicans are now realizing their voter suppression bills have accidentally made it harder for Republicans to vote, and not just Democrats. Oops. This new revelation isn’t surprising, because in addition to being corrupt, the Republicans passing these kinds of bills are incompetent.
As we’ve said all along: these latest voter suppression bills aren’t some evil genius plan to win elections. While they are highly racist in nature, they’re primarily targeting the ways that people of color voted in the last election, which was during a pandemic where mail-in voting and early voting were uniquely crucial.
So why are these bills targeting the ways in which Democrats voted last time, instead of the ways they’re most likely to vote next time? Because this isn’t about winning in 2022 or 2024. These laws are primarily an attempt at making Trump feel better about his 2020 loss, by targeting the voting methods that were used to vote against him during the 2020 pandemic. This is all being done to keep Trump happy with the GOP, so he won’t tell his supporters to turn against the GOP.
That doesn’t mean these voter suppression laws aren’t appalling and dangerous. Of course they are. We must fight against them. We must (and will) overturn them in court. We must (and will) pass HR1 into law, which will override most state level voter suppression. But these laws aren’t some precision method of rigging an election; they’re the equivalent of throwing a bowling ball with your eyes closed, and hoping you only knock down certain pins.
Let’s not for one moment buy into the narrative that these voter suppression laws are some kind of evil genius plan that’s going to magically hand upcoming elections to the Republicans. There’s a reason these laws have been written in such incompetent fashion that even a number of Republican voters have accidentally been targeted by them: these laws were only written to allow a bitter old man to pretend he didn’t get his butt kicked.
Voter suppression is nothing new. We overcame it in 2018 and 2020 by simply putting in the work required to win. We can do that again in 2022, simply by putting in the work. No amount of doomsday narratives from the media are going to give special magical powers to these 2022 voter suppression laws; they’re just the same old crap, and this time they’re made less effective by being aimed at a past election instead of the next election.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report