Sen. Mike Lee confronted Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin over the latter’s false claim that Republicans had become the party of “Jim Crow” because of their support for voter integrity laws.
Lee rejected the analogy, noting that the “reality” of Jim Crow laws had been that it was “white Democrats in the South” who had not wanted black people to vote: “Let’s not compare a voter registration law, one that makes sure dead people can’t vote, to that.”
Durbin claimed that political realignment in the 1950s put Republicans in the role of legislating racism. Lee replied angrily that Republicans “never ceased to be the party that believes in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments matter, and that the inherent dignity of the immortal human soul is such that it should never be denigrated by subjecting someone, based on their race, to a lack of civil rights.”
He added that it was inaccurate to suggest the parties had “crossed.” Republicans had never changed their alignment on that issue, even if some Southern Democrats began voting Republican.
Durbin claimed that Republicans now opposed the Voting Rights Act, which once had bipartisan support. Lee retorted that the only thing that had changed was that the Supreme Court had thrown out Section 5 of the law, requiring certain states to obtain “preclearance” from the Department of Justice before making any changes to their voting systems. That, he said, was “very different from stated opposition to the Voting Rights Act itself.” He added: “I resent that.”
Durbin spat, sarcastically and angrily, “Well, I’m sorry you resent it, Senator, but it’s a fact that we are dealing with a Voting Rights Act which used to be universal and bipartisan, and now is not. The Democrats support it, the Republicans do not.”
Lee replied that his statement “is not accurate,” and repeated the fact that the Supreme Court had singled out one section of that act as unconstitutional.
The truth is that Democrats are now and always have been the party of racism. Durbin’s claim that voter integrity laws are racist is a propagandist lie.