New York Times Finds ‘Twin Threats’ to Democracy: Republicans, and Republican-appointed Judges

NYT Democracy Threat (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

The New York Times led its Saturday edition, on Constitution Day, with a front-page article identifying “twin threats” to democracy: not one from the right and one from the left, but rather 1) Republicans and 2) Republican-appointed judges.

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Leonhardt did not mention the fact that two successive Democratic administration have sought to govern by executive order rather than working through Congress; that the Department of Justice and other agencies have become politicized; that Democrats sought to undermine the previous administration with a false “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory; that Democrats back limits on free speech; or that Democrats indulged unrest across the country in 2020.

Rather, he identified the two “twin threats” to democracy as being entirely on one side of the political spectrum, as follows:

The first threat is acute: a growing movement inside one of the country’s two major parties — the Republican Party — to refuse to accept defeat in an election.

The second threat to democracy is chronic but also growing: The power to set government policy is becoming increasingly disconnected from public opinion.

The run of recent Supreme Court decisions — both sweeping and, according to polls, unpopular — highlight this disconnect. Although the Democratic Party has won the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections, a Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees seems poised to shape American politics for years, if not decades. And the court is only one of the means through which policy outcomes are becoming less closely tied to the popular will.

Leonhardt argued that the Senate filibuster is part of the latter threat, as is the drawing of congressional district maps, ostensibly to favor Republicans. Democrats joined Republicans in gerrymandering districts this year — including in Illinois, where Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker broke a promise to use an independent districting commission. Democrat maps in New York and Maryland were rejected by state judges as being too overtly partisan and violating the Constitution.

David Leonhardt New York Times (Neilson Barnard / Getty for New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 17: Editor of The Upshot, David Leonhardt speaks onstage during the New York Times Schools for Tomorrow conference at New York Times Building on September 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)

Likewise, Leonhardt echoed a Democratic Party talking point that “falsehoods can spread much more easily, through social media and a fractured news environment.” He fretted that today is “hardly a dominant Democratic age” despite the fact that Democrats have frequently won the popular vote in presidential elections; and that “Senate has a heavily pro-Republican bias.”  In a second on “Election Lies,” he ignored the “collusion” hoax, pushed by Democrats and indeed by the Times itself.

In Leonhardt’s view, the essence of the crisis is that majority rule does not prevail in the country’s constitutional structure. He backs Democratic voting reforms; granting statehood to the District of Columbia (and hence two virtually permanent Senate seats to Democrats); limiting the Supreme Court’s power; and other Democrat-friendly proposals. The constitutional role of checks-and-balances, and the Bill of Rights, in restraining the potential tyranny of a temporary majority is barely discussed.

Read the full article here.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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