When he's not crowdfunding for action movie-style campaign ads, right-wing Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas urges his constituents and supporters to ignore reality.
At least, that's the sense people are getting from a recent tweet responding to Democrats' efforts at passing voting rights legislation, hoping to offset voter suppression laws passed by a host of Republican state legislatures in the past year alone—even if it means carving out or abolishing the Senate filibuster to do so.
In a tweet this week, Crenshaw absurdly claimed that "voter suppression is not happening."
Voter suppression is, in fact, happening—and it's been an eternal obstacle to democracy in the United States, but even more so in the wake of recent developments.
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key component of the Voting Rights Act, ruling that states with a history of racist voter discrimination no longer had to get federal approval to change their election laws. After the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump's smear campaign against the validity of American elections and his fantasies of widespread election fraud, gave Republican legislatures the cover needed to pass voter suppression laws in the name of "election security."
Last year, 19 states passed voter suppression laws. Senate Bill 1 in Texas—which was signed into law last September by Republican Governor Greg Abbott—enhances restrictions for helping citizens with language barriers or disabilities from filling out their ballots, bans drive-thru voting, limits poll workers' protections from partisan poll watcher abuse, and enshrines a host of other limitations.
In Georgia—which went blue for the first time since 1992 in the last presidential election—Republican governor Brian Kemp signed into law last August a bill shrinking the time window for requesting absentee ballots, enhances voter identification laws, all but eradicates ballot drop boxes, and the state is still considering additional legislation before the midterms.
Another tool in the voter suppression arsenal is the largely conservative practice of gerrymandering: the drawing of, say, congressional district boundaries in a way that virtually ensures one political party's dominance—even if these boundaries are completely contorted and illogical.
But no one had to tell Crenshaw about gerrymandering—they simply showed him a picture of his district.
People were amazed at Crenshaw's denial of reality.
So far, Democrats at the federal level have made no progress in protecting voter rights, largely thanks to the Senate filibuster.