Experts at the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight, as well as Las Vegas oddsmakers, all predict Republicans will win control of the House in the 2022 midterms.
Get ready for Benghazi-style, televised hearings with Republicans shrieking about Hunter Biden’s laptops.
If you think Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) and Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertRepublicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (R-Colo.) are explosive now, wait until you see them elbowing to the front of an extremist, Trump-endorsed House majority.
All-out extremism will be full blast because moderate House Republicans are being driven out.
Earlier this month, Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezEx-Trump aide sues Grisham over abuse allegations Juan Williams: GOP's assault on voting rights is the real fraud The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP MORE (R-Ohio) announced his retirement. The 37-year-old, two-term congressman was one of ten House Republicans to vote in favor of then-President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE’s second impeachment for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol that tried to nullify the last presidential election.
Gonzalez was almost certain to lose his GOP primary to a pro-Trump Republican. He and his family were the target of death threats.
Oh, and did you see that even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (R-Ky.), with his record of hard-right politics, is being targeted by Trump?
Trump told The Wall Street Journal that McConnell is “very bad for the Republican Party,” and deserves to be thrown out of leadership if the GOP gets control of the Senate.
The odds for a Republican takeover of Congress in 2022 have increased because GOP governors and state legislators are repeating Trump’s “Big Lie” about voter fraud. The point is to sow doubt and use it to enact new laws making it harder for Democratic voters to get to the polls. Even as Trump’s Arizona’s audit officially failed last week, he successfully pushed for a new audit in Texas, a state he won.
Also, with Republicans controlling most state legislatures, they are in position to redraw 187 Congressional districts to increase the odds that a Republican will win them. Democratic-controlled legislatures will draw only 75.
That’s why Republicans might be in position to take control of the House before the voting begins. They could easily gain five seats just from gerrymandering schemes and voter suppression.
“Having lost the White House and the Senate last year, Republicans appear intent on rigging the game in their favor before the midterms,” the New York Times editorial board wrote last week.
“Protecting the integrity of America’s electoral system and the voting rights of its citizens should be priority No. 1 — not because it helps Democrats, but because it helps preserve democracy,” the editors wrote.
And they asked: “Are Democrats going to do a darn thing about it?”
So far, the answer is no.
The House passed a bill to stop voter suppression back in March. But the Senate has not acted. Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Democrats want to bolster working women, but face tortuous choices Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock MORE (D-W.Va.) has introduced a bill to roll back the GOP’s war on voting rights but it lacks the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. And Democrats are not ready to end the filibuster.
The Democrats have public support to act.
NBC News recently reported on a poll that found protecting voting rights is popular with Americans. Most “voters in seven states support elements of Democrats' voting legislation and passing such legislation without a filibuster-proof majority, according to a series of new state-level surveys,” NBC’s Jane C. Timm wrote. The polls were conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, and commissioned by a voting rights group, Fair Fight.
But the GOP cares only about power, not the right to vote.
As Reuters reported last week, there are 15 Republicans running to become Secretary of State in five battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Among them “ten…have either declared that the 2020 election was stolen or called for their state’s results to be invalidated or further investigated. Only two of the nine candidates Reuters interviewed said that Biden won the election.”
According to a report from the Brennan Center for Law and Justice, “Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.”
In the 1980s I wrote “Eyes on the Prize,” a book about the painfully long struggle to achieve voting rights for Black Americans.
As 2021 draws to a close, I fear that President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) are in danger of taking their eyes off the prize: protecting the very same voting rights the mid-20th century civil rights movement worked so hard to secure.
Yes, there are other priorities, such as passing the infrastructure and reconciliation bills. But the protection of voting rights is the one issue that undergirds them all.
No less than the survival of democracy is at stake.
As we approach Halloween, the most frightening political scenario is the dark night in November 2022 when election results show the incoming House under control of anti-democracy, pro-Trump Republicans because Democrats failed to stop Republicans from twisting the election.
Democrats need to keep their eyes on the prize. It is time to roll the credits on the current GOP slasher-flick attack on the most cherished American right, the right to vote.
Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.