New York Times Helps Democrats Pursue 'Restrictive' Voting Lie | Opinion

The Democrats' insufferable "hero complex" is on display yet again, this time in Texas. And they're doing it, once again, with the help of The New York Times.

Democrat lawmakers fled the Lone Star State to stall the passage of an election overhaul and integrity bill. Without a quorum in place, Democrats could slow down what will still likely be the passage of the bill. But if you were to believe the framing of the issue by Democrats and their media enablers, it was a brave move to save democracy as we know it.

"We have to decide if we are going to stand for democracy,'' State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, organizer of the stunt, told the Times. "We want the nation to join us and we want the U.S. Senate to hear us and act."

S.B. 1, the election integrity bill, is objectively uncontroversial. Perhaps that's why it took the Times 13 paragraphs before it even explained the contents of the bill in an article that was supposed to explain it.

S.B. 1 increases criminal penalties for election workers who violate election regulations. It adds new voter identification requirements for mail-in voting. And it bans drive-through and 24-hour voting, two "innovations" introduced during the pandemic.

Earlier drafts of the bill included a limit on Sunday voting (which Republican lawmakers said was mistakenly included in an earlier draft) and a more accessible avenue for pursuing the overturning of an election. But neither of these more controversial proposals made it into the final form of the legislation.

The bill is only currently "controversial" insofar as Democrats are pushing a contrived talking point that Republicans nationwide are pursuing "restrictive" election laws to stop Democrats, particularly people of color, from voting.

This is a lie.

Republicans are undoing Democratic policies that changed voting procedures in 2020. Democrats used the pandemic to justify remarkably comprehensive election policies that certainly made it easier to vote, but at the expense of basic security and integrity.

States that never allowed large-scale mail-in voting, for example, suddenly did just that—without any of the necessary time to ensure the system was as secure as it could, or should, be. In fact, in Texas, there were considerable problems with 24-hour voting, making it challenging to get poll-watchers to come to locations that didn't shut down at all. There were also administrative problems with drive-through voting.

The New York Times Building is seen
The New York Times Building is seen in New York City on February 4, 2021. DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Rather than honestly discuss these valid concerns about election integrity, Democrats are uniformly advancing a false narrative, knowing that the media will pick it up.

The Times frames the Texas bill with Democratic talking points and presents the fleeing Democrats as heroic. The story does not even attempt to portray the legislation without partisan spin: It flatly labels it a "restrictive new voting law." It also deems the issue an urgent one, quoting White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who called the slew of recent voting legislation "the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War."

Notably, the Times disapproved of the physically-fleeing-the-state political stunt when Republicans in Oregon did the same thing.

Oregon Republicans fled the state in June 2019 to try to kill a climate change bill. The Times chided the Republicans for plunging the capital "into disarray." The Times used the episode as "the latest example of how nasty the political discourse has grown across the nation."

In February 2020, Republicans in Oregon pulled the same stunt and were again treated with the same vitriol. The headline that time wasn't framed around Republican concern over a gas tax masquerading as a climate change solution. Instead, the headline was, "Oregon Republicans Disappear for Another Climate Vote."

Note the differences in how NYT frames the very same political strategy. You can tell when they agree with the politicians behind the stunt.

— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) July 12, 2021

This disparate treatment comes from the Times' overt bias. When the Times supports the bill in question, anyone standing in its way is the enemy; when the Times loathes a bill, by contrast, it will frame its opponents as heroes. It just so happens that the Times almost always sides with Democrats and hardly ever with Republicans.

This kind of disingenuous reporting does a disservice to Times readers and the entire nation. To pretend that the Democrats' rash decision to open up voting in ways that were easy to exploit—without the necessary long-term planning that is supposed to go into such sensitive decisions—was so indisputably correct that it cannot now be challenged will undermine confidence in our elections. We should want the most secure and fair elections as possible, but the Democrats and their enablers at The New York Times seem disinterested.

Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Seattle, heard weekday afternoons. You can subscribe to his podcast here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonrantz.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.