Democrats who don’t see the need for voter ID requirements are either “so dumb, you lose your place during sex” or they “want to cheat,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Tuesday night.
Kennedy told Fox News’ “Hannity” that while he was “sorry” that at least six Texas lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C., last week to hold up a controversial election reform bill had tested positive for the coronavirus, they were “playing the victim” over the legislation “when they have no basis to play the victim.”
“They fit in just fine here in Washington, D.C., because in Washington, D.C., if it weren’t for double standards, there wouldn’t be any standards at all,” Kennedy told host Sean Hannity. “This place, as you know, is a lot like high school except no one ever graduates.”
At least 51 Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives and at least nine members of the Texas state Senate flew to Washington last week to prevent the legislature from reaching a quorum during the 30-day special session that began July 13. The Texas Senate passed its version of the election reform legislation last week, but the measure is stalled due to there not being enough members of the House present to move forward.
Republicans say the bill — which outlaws drive-thru and 24-hour polling places, bans ballot drop boxes, adds voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots, and empowers partisan poll watchers — are designed to ensure the integrity of the vote by preventing voter fraud. Democrats say the legislation would make it harder for poor people and minorities to cast ballots.
“It doesn’t suppress anybody’s vote,” Kennedy said Tuesday. “It allows for very generous early voting, very generous absentee voting. Yes, it does require voter ID. It does require the people of Texas to prove they are who they say they are when they go to vote. The American people support that. The American people want that.
“And I say gently to my Democratic friends from Texas,” the senator went on, “if you don’t see the need for that, then there are one of two circumstances here. Either you’re so dumb, you lose your place during sex or you want to cheat. And those are your two choices.”
Republicans in states like Georgia and Florida have rushed to enact similar “voter integrity” laws since the 2020 presidential election, which saw unprecedented loosening of voting rules in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats, led by President Biden, have decried those efforts as an attempt, in the president’s words, to implement “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
“I don’t care what your opinion is about the results of the last election, no fair-minded person can deny that it was anything other than a goat rodeo,” Kennedy argued. “I mean, we had ballots flying around like confetti. Various states sent out 44 million ballots unsolicited. We had poll watchers being interfered with. We had ballot harvesting out the wazoo. We had state executive branch officials unilaterally changing the voting laws without conferring with the legislature in their state, which the Constitution says has the final say.
“Some of this, I understand, might have been necessary,” the lawmaker added. “We had to make some changes to accommodate the coronavirus and people’s public safety. But … no fair-minded person can point, process-wise, to the last election and say it was a model of efficiency. So that’s what most of these bills are doing.”