It takes a lot of gall to leave the state of Texas in order to avoid doing the job you were elected to do. It’s a whole different level of gall, however, to compare yourself to civil rights protesters in the 1960s for doing so.
Yet, the Texas Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., to avoid voting on an election integrity bill have other Democrats reinforcing their delusions — including Vice President Kamala Harris. It’s gotten bad enough that GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is mocking the veep and everyone else trying to compare the officials to the men and women who fought for equal rights.
On Wednesday, Harris praised the Texas House Democrats who left the state on party buses and private jets to deny a quorum on the election integrity bill, which would require an ID for a mail-in ballot, ban drive-in voting and stop politicians from mailing out unrequested ballots by mail.
Opposing this, according to Harris, was on par with marching against segregation and de jure racism in the 1960s, back when civil rights marchers were staring down the likes of Bull Connor.
“They took bold, courageous action in line with the legacy of everyone from Frederick Douglass … to that legacy that includes all those women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue for women’s right to vote, to all of those folks who shed their blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to make sure that we would, in 1965, pass the Voting Rights Act,” Harris said, according to Fox News.
“And now, we have in 2021, the Texas Legislature,” she added. “Many of them traveling to Washington, D.C., at great sacrifice — both personally and political — to stand up for Americans’ right to vote, unencumbered.”
VP Kamala Harris compares Texas Democrats to those in America’s history like Frederick Douglass to women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to other civil rights heroes who stood up for the “right to vote, unencumbered.” pic.twitter.com/Oor1dKGXZi
— The Recount (@therecount) July 14, 2021
Cruz, however, told Fox News this rhetoric was “actually pretty ridiculous.”
“Last I checked, the heroic civil rights protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge were not in a private chartered jet, they didn’t have a case of Miller Lite next to them,” Cruz said.
The Texas senator was referencing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where authorities assaulted civil rights marchers in 1965 on what became known as Bloody Sunday. It looked significantly different than the party bus that Texas Democrats left on with the case of Miller Lite beer:
Smiling House Dems fly off to DC on a private jet with a case of Miller Lite, breaking House quorum, abandoning their constituents, while the Senate still works. It’s my hope that Senate Dems report tomorrow to do what they were elected to do. We will vote on #SB1. #txlege pic.twitter.com/5Kcc4emNFg
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) July 12, 2021
After the party bus, it was onto private jets:
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC
— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
“Look, these are partisan Democrats playing a political stunt and they’re desperate for media attention. They’re getting it,” Cruz said.
“The Biden administration wants to play politics, and so they’re doing that. But this is going to fail. They’re going to eventually have to come home. And when they come home, the governor has rightly said he will continue to call special sessions until Texas passes voter integrity law to protect the integrity of elections.
“And if these House Democrats continue pulling this stunt, they’re going to be arrested — and the Texas Constitution gives ample authority to arrest legislators who are trying to shut down the operation of government and to forcibly make them present on the House floor so that the wheels of government can continue to turn,” he continued. “So when their stunt is over, the legislature will do its job.”
GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott similarly told Fox News on Monday that “once [the legislators] step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business” and voting on the bill, adding he would continue calling special sessions until the legislation was passed.
“We have special sessions that last 30 days,” Abbott said. “And the governor calls them, and I will continue calling special session after special session because over time it is going to continue until they step up to vote.”
“If they do not return to work, they are risking losing their jobs as state representatives for not showing up,” Abbott told KVUE-TV. “What the House of Representatives can do, the speaker can do, is issue a call to have these members arrested.”
In short, this has little to do with the civil rights movement or the suffragettes. The only reason the Texas Democrats will be arrested will be to force them to vote. After that, they’ll be free to go — and drink all the Miller Lite they want.
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