My PJ Media colleague Rick Moran recently wrote about how the Biden administration has pivoted to “voting rights” in their attempts to secure some sort of progressive victory before the midterm elections.
“Joe Biden has begun to listen to that little voice in his head that tells him his legacy will be tarnished unless he does something really, really, really big,” Rick wrote. “So Biden is turning his attention to other issues that would have a huge impact on the nation.”
Part of the president’s efforts to push his ridiculous legislation that would federalize elections and make it easier for Democrats to game the system and lock in their power for generations to come included holding an event on Tuesday in Atlanta with Vice President Kamala Harris. The president and vice president were scheduled to speak at the Atlanta University Center Consortium and lay a wreath at the tombs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
It sounds like the perfect way to make your point on the issue of “voting rights” would be to visit some of the country’s highest-profile black colleges and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s grave the week before the holiday honoring his birthday, right?
Not so fast, because there are tons of problems with the event that expose it as mere political theater.
First of all, there’s the timing of the event. Sure, the week before MLK Day sounds brilliant, but there’s a much larger event that took place Monday that affected the people of Georgia: the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The Georgia Bulldogs’ victory is dominating local headlines (and a loss would have done the same).
“No one is going to remember what happens today other than the hangover and celebration,” wrote Erick Erickson on Tuesday morning.
Add to this the fact that the event — including motorcade-related road closures — was scheduled to take place precisely when Georgia fans who had driven back from Indianapolis after the game would be arriving to drive through Atlanta. That’s not exactly the way to endear yourself to Georgia fans and Atlanta commuters of any political persuasion.
There’s also a lack of support among key Democrats for the event. Georiga’s imaginary governor Stacey Abrams declined to take part in the event, citing a “conflict.” There’s no word on what that conflict was — a hair appointment, a root canal, a meeting with pretend governors from other states — but the absence of the current progressive darling is far from a ringing endorsement of the Biden-Harris “voting rights” agenda.
Other civil rights groups were hesitant to attend as well.
But a number of voting rights activists have declined to attend Biden’s speech, which the White House has underscored as evidence of the president’s commitment to reforming the nation’s voting laws following the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection and in advance of the 2022 midterm elections.
“We’re beyond speeches. We’re beyond events,” Black Voters Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown told Atlanta’s NPR station. “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action,” former Georgia NAACP President James Woodall told The New York Times.
Most notably, members of the King family expressed their hesitancy about taking part in the day, even though part of the festivities were to center on Dr. King and his legacy.
Martin Luther King III and his wife Arndrea Waters King acknowledged Tuesday that it was a “difficult decision” for them to attend President Joe Biden’s upcoming speech on voting rights, an event several high-profile activists are skipping because of what they view as the White House’s inaction on the issue.
“We certainly understand the frustration of our local partners here in Georgia,” Arndrea Waters King told MSNBC in an interview. “It’s been a long year of a lot of things not being done, and we stand and we share that frustration.”
Don’t forget that Georgia was a lightning rod of controversy for “voting rights” last year when the state passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021, which politicians like Biden and Abrams likened to Jim Crow laws. The state proved the left wrong when voter turnout actually increased under the new law. So coming to Georgia to push for “voting rights” legislation is a bad look all the way around.
In Georgia, the president’s numbers are underwater. Civiqs has Biden’s approval ratings at -28 points in the Peach State, with a fairly large sample. A whopping 59% of registered voters disapprove of the job he’s doing, while only 31% approve. If the Biden agenda has a mandate, it’s not in Georgia.
The conservative voter integrity organization Honest Elections Project Action took notice of Biden’s Atlanta plans and purchased a mobile billboard to drive around the event locations.
“So we just wanted to make sure that there were some, from the perspective of the president, inconvenient facts that can’t be ignored, like the fact that Georgia has twice as many early voting days as his own home state of Delaware,” [Honest Elections Project Action executive director Jason] Snead continued, noting that Georgia has been engaged in early voting “for a lot longer than Delaware.”
Taking all of these factors into account — and knowing that, barring a miracle, the Democrats’ “voting rights” measures are dead in the water — it’s painfully obvious that the Biden-Harris Atlanta event on Tuesday is nothing more than political theater, designed to placate a base that’s not entirely convinced that the administration is totally on board with the agenda.
But let’s face it: these days, political theater is about all the administration has to fall back on.