Friday, May 28, 2021

Wearing a Mask is Not Comparable to the Holocaust and The New Georgia Voting Law is Not Jim Crow

"You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany.  This is exactly the type of abuse Nancy Pelosi is talking about."

---Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) comparing the requirement that members wear a mask on the House floor to the extermination of millions of Jews, mentally disabled, homosexuals and others by Nazi
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA)

Greene's comments last week were truly awful.  Several Republican house members, such as Adam Kinzinger (IL),  Peter Meier (MI), and Lynn Cheney (WY) immediately condemned Greene's statement.  But it took five days for House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy, Steven Scalise and Elise Stefanik to publicly criticize Greene.  In contrast, when Rep. Cheney spoke the truth that the election wasn't stolen, she was immediately vilified by those leaders.  

McCarthy believes his sucking up to Donald Trump is going to earn the support of the Florida New Jersey blogger's support to become Speaker after the 2022 midterms.  Quite possibly, when the time comes, Trump is going to back someone else for Speaker.  McCarthy, who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, still does not get that when it comes to Trump, loyalty is a one way street.

In comparing being required to wear a mask during a pandemic to Holocaust victims having to wear a Gold Star before being sent to the gas chamber, Greene was engaging in what is known as a "false equivalency."  But false equivalencies do not exist exclusively on the right.  Following the passage of the Georgia election law earlier this year, many prominent Democrats including President Joe Biden, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, and defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams repeatedly called the law the reincarnation of Jim Crow.

But in reality, while there were some nefarious changes such as giving the state legislature the opportunity to interfere into local counting of ballots and the removal of the Secretary of State as a voting member of the State Election Board, the Georgia bill did not erect barriers to voting and in fact, in many ways, will make voting easier.  For example, Democrats had complained about long lines at urban voting locations, particularly in the Atlanta area.  The new Georgia law requires a monitoring of those lines and when they are too long, additional voting equipment must be provided.  If the long lines persist, then the precincts voting at those locations are to be broken up and additional voting locations created.

Instead of having an honest discussion of the Georgia election bill though, Democrats went off on a tangent comparing it to Jim Crow, the nickname for post-Civil War laws southern states adopted to legally discriminate against African-Americans.  Jim Crow voting laws included poll taxes, grandfather clauses, white-only primaries, and literacy tests to keep African-Americans from voting or being elected to public office.  In those years if you wanted to register, you had to go to the county courthouse and appear before a white registrar.  When blacks tried to register to vote, the registrar often closed the office to head to lunch.  As a result of Jim Crow voting restrictions and traditions, there were counties in the South which had majority black populations yet 99% of the voters in that county were white.  

Yes, the new Georgia law shortened deadlines for requesting a no excuse absentee ballot and made the deadline for turning them in earlier. (The change was for the purpose of ensuring better processing and quicker counting of absentee ballots that in 2020 took days to count.)  But is that change really a Jim Crow law?  Of course not.

Although the Jim Crow comments regarding the Georgia law do not begin to compare with Greene's holocaust comment, they are still bad.  It's a dishonest approach to argument and is essentially lying to the public.  Worse yet, it devalues the struggles that people who lived in that era faced and the obstacles they had to overcome to lay the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Let's stop with the false equivalencies on both sides.


leon said...

What sides? Did you miss my lecture on how the disease of progressivism infected both political parties? Do you or any of your running dogs ever read?

Patrick CG said...

Except that the change to deadlines is not the only change made in Georgia. Why people would complain if that was the only change, it was not. There were other changes to early voting, and it made a crime to pass out water to people who are standing in line to vote. And where do they not put enough voting places to make people stand in line for hours to vote. Black districts. That's what get the Jim Crowe comparisons

Paul K. Ogden said...

Patrick, the fact is it was already illegal in Georgia to approach voters who were in line to promote candidates and issues. Groups and candidates were using passing out food and water to get around that rule. That's why they barred food and water, and the ban is only the last 150 feet before the machine. There are other states that have the same prohibition on handing out food and water to people in line, including the State of New York, which last time I checked was run by Democrats.

As far as early voting goes, they briefly shortened the period, but expanded the time and opportunities. Early voting has not been reduced.

As far as the long lines at polls in black districts,, the new law actually addresses that by requiring monitoring of those lines and that additional equipment being dispatched to polling places the lines are too long. The law even requires that heavy voting precincts be split to permanently split heavy voting precincts so the problem is fixed.

The problem is the Democrats are just not being honest about the bill. There are very bad things in the bill - such as possible state take over of county vote counting operations and the removal of the Secretary of State from the State Election Board - but the Democrats don't want to focus on those things. They want to embellish and downright lie about changes that they know darn well won't prevent anyone from voting, but, to the Republicans credit, will make the running of elections go more smoothly.