Conservatives are in panic mode over HR1, the House bill that would make it easier for all Americans to vote

On Friday, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed a hefty, but badly needed, omnibus bill aimed at restoring American democracy after the beating it’s taken lately from big money and authoritarian interests. HR1, also called the “For the People Act,” has a series of provisions aimed at protecting the right to vote, muting the impact of big money spending on politics and strengthening ethics requirements for political candidates.

This bill’s aims are broadly popular with Americans. Its provisions to make voter registration essentially automatic — you can opt out, but you won’t have to opt in — are supported by 65 percent of Americans. Provisions to make voting easier enjoy similarly high levels of support. Campaign finance reform is also wildly popular, with healthy majorities supporting it. And when it comes to the power of lobbyists, well, they come last in polls where Americans ranks professions by ethical standards.

But while the public very much likes the provisions in this bill, Republican politicians and conservative activists very much don’t. The reason is simple: Conservatives know they’re not likely to win a fair fight, and so they want a system that makes it easy for them to cheat.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been aggressively demonizing this bill, characterizing it as a “radical, half-baked socialist proposal” — which is peculiar, since it doesn’t address economic issues at all — and “a political power grab”.

“One senator said this is a power grab,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D,-Calif, in a Friday morning press conference, without mentioning the majority leader’s name. “Yes it is. It’s a power grab for the American people.”

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