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Why are Democrats so willing to pretend this isn't happening?

If you're modestly cynical, it's because voters don't really care about it. If you're really cynical, it's because of they don't really believe it's happening.

For the former, there's no indication that voters - even Democratic voters - are especially worked up about 'protecting democracy.' And it's hard for Democratic enthusiasm for the issue, because as much as the Democrats use terms like "Jim Crow 2.0," the Republicans haven't really done anything that makes for an easy-to-understand attack on voting rights. That's why Democrats end up falling back on references to how many voting law changes have been adopted (they proposed "X" laws and passed them in "Y" states), rather than castigating the GOP for doing any particular specific thing.

For the latter, the Democratic officials may deep down believe that although all of these changes will affect voting participation a bit on the margins, they're not really threats to Democracy as an institution. We've always had gerrymandering. We've always had things that make it more or less convenient to vote. It's almost certainly vastly easier, in almost every state, to cast a ballot in a federal election than it was 20 years ago - when things like no-excuse absentee ballots and early voting were much rarer. There's very little empirical evidence that imposing restrictions on ballot access like ID requirements or requiring people to request absentee ballot applications or mail voting generally actually affects turnout or election outcomes generally. It may simply be that most Democrats know that the changes the GOP have made to election laws are not at all likely to result in one-party dominance by the GOP, and are making the strategic decision that the GOP's likely crushing them at the ballot box based on polling on economic issues right now is far more important to counter than their voting issues.

Claiming that the GOP is fascist and wants to kill democracy forever and ever is a useful political argument - but the way Democratic officials are acting may be a better indication of how much credence they really put in that.

Albaby
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