'Stop accepting the debate on Republican terms': Former GOP lawmaker says Dems must take stronger voting rights stand
David Jolly

Speaking with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace and John Heilemann on Thursday, former Republican Rep. David Jolly explained that Democrats are failing in their efforts to rally Americans around the cause of voting rights.

During the conversation, Jolly gave Democrats advice for making their language around voting more sensible and significantly more compelling.

After talking about the Democrats' priorities about COVID and infrastructure, Jolly asked, "is anything greater than fundamental voting and civil rights?" He explained that under President Johnson bringing the 1963 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of 1964, he knew had to be broken into two pieces to achieve incremental reform

"Look at it as success of your party down the road," Jolly explained. "Because, I promise you this, Republicans are doing this to elections not for a debate over civil rights. Republicans know that the more American voters who turn out, the more elections Republicans lose. They are doing this to deflate and reduce turnout. Democrats, if you don't want to approach this as a constitutional issue, approach it as a strictly partisan political one."

Wallace agreed, not understanding why Democrats are willing to "save their own asses." She specifically cited moderates in red states that she thinks will be blocked from voting. That includes states like West Virginia and Arizona, where Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will be more likely to lose their jobs as a result of their refusal to support voting rights protections for their own people.

John Heilemann also agreed, but said that gerrymandering should be a big issue for moderates like Manchin and Sinema because it isn't liberals who get gerrymandered out of their districts, it's the moderate Democrats. So, they are only hurting themselves and their own movement of bipartisanship by making both parties more extreme.

"It gets to whether or not the Democrats can tell a story about a lie that led to a deadly insurrection, four officers died by suicide, others by bodily harm and led to the largest disenfranchise of a campaign in modern history," said Wallace. "That's out of our hand and up to be Democrats."

"Look," Jolly continued, "Democrats deserve a lot of credit for what they're trying to do, but to your point, you have to say, this is the Voting Rights Act that we saw in the '60s. We're now approaching this issue as fundamentally passing a civil rights and the voting rights reform act of this generation. This is not about — and this is critical, a fatal flaw — and this is what John Heilemann referred to it. Stop accepting the debate on Republican terms. Right?"

He cited the Texas bill that says 24-hour voting can't happen because it can't be secured.

"What they were doing is targeting the third-largest county in the country that tried 24-hour voting last cycle," Jolly said, referring to Houston's ballot drop-boxes. "Democrats, how about take the approach that we need to secure 24-hour voting. Don't just say Republicans are bad. This will disenfranchise people. Lead on securing greater access to the ballot box. The way a Democrat can take control of this argument. We're also having a debate over technology that's existed 60 years in voting. We've moved billions of dollars a day on our phones. Why are we talking about expanding access to the younger generation and disparate populations to be able to vote electronically or digitally? I'm not a technology person. If we can secure billions a day we can secure a single vote of somebody who can't get to the polls allowing them to do it digitally or on their phone. That's the way you approach this. Stop accepting the way Republicans are framing this, ultimately you're losing the debates."

See the video below:


Ex-REpublican tells Democrats how to frame voting bills so they stop losing www.youtube.com