You hear a lot in certain circles about the UniParty. That’s short for the idea that there often does not seem to be much difference between the policies of establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats. They spend a lot of time posturing, but at the end of the day they seem to be more closely aligned than they want you to believe.
This phenomenon is on full display in the state of Pennsylvania right now. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party are taking action to intervene in litigation brought by a county election official. That litigation seeks to have Act 77, the bill that created mail-in voting in Pennsylvania, declared unconstitutional under the state constitution, which according to plaintiffs, requires changes to voting to be an amendment to the state’s constitution.
Here’s the kicker. Act 77 was passed by a Republican-controlled state legislature. It was, in fact, rammed through both houses by the Republican leadership. So, this bill, which the Republican establishment in Pennsylvania so desperately wanted is now to be defended by the Democratic Party.
The Democratic National Committee is riding to the rescue of the Republican establishment to protect it from a lawsuit brought by members of the Patriot base. The Democrats have arrived to save the ‘country club’ Harrisburg set from the rank and file of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania.
How did we get here?
In 2019 the Republican establishment in Pennsylvania decided that Donald Trump was a liability. They believed he would drag down the whole ticket in the 2020 elections. At that time Pennsylvania still had a system whereby you could cast a straight party vote. You could simply vote for all Republicans or all Democrats.
The boys in the backrooms in the state capital believed that Donald Trump was so unpopular people would show up and simply vote against all Republicans. They wanted to get rid of straight party voting and require everyone to go office by office choosing whom to vote for individually. They believed – in this way – they could insulate their down-ballot candidates from the “taint” of association with the sitting Republican President.
The party bosses wanted to cut away Donald Trump.
So, they engaged in some good old-fashioned political horse trading. In exchange for Democratic support for ending straight party voting, the Republican establishment gave the Democrats mail-in voting. Never mind that every person on the planet who had ever studied mail-in voting said it would be a disaster and an open invitation to electoral fraud. The important thing was to get clear of Donald Trump.
Act 77 was passed. The establishment got what it wanted. The Democratic Party got what it had always wanted, the ability to steal elections.
Republican Senate President Jake Corman was ecstatic. “Compromise has given Pennsylvanians a modernized election code that preserves the integrity of the ballot box and makes it easier for voters to choose the people who represent them.”
Republican Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler was equally jubilant. “This bill was not written to benefit one party or the other, or any one candidate or single election. It was developed over a multi-year period with input of people from different backgrounds and regions in Pennsylvania. It serves to preserve the integrity of every election and lift the voice of every voter.”
The Republican base in Pennsylvania has been white hot on this topic ever since. A lot of patronizing comments have come out of Harrisburg. The same political hacks like Corman and Cutler that gave us mail-in voting have tried to convince us that they are now horrified by the results of the election and planning to do something about it.
There will be an audit. There will be an investigation. Somebody, someday will get to the bottom of what happened in November 2020.
None of that is true. It is not just a lie – it is a stupid, transparent lie. Nothing is going to happen. The guys and gals who created this mess have no intention of investigating the disaster they created.
The establishment wants you to forget. They want you to move on. They want you to lose interest.
Unfortunately, for them, they have miscalculated. The base is furious. The base is done listening to snake oil salesman and carnival barkers. They don’t just want action. They are demanding action, and the lawsuit filed to have Act 77 declared unconstitutional was born of that sentiment.
Oral arguments took place weeks ago. All indications are that the Commonwealth Court may in fact rule for the plaintiffs and throw out Act 77. The house of cards is collapsing. The Republican establishment is watching powerless as this unfolds.
And, so, now their good friends in the UniParty have arrived in a last-minute attempt to save the day.
“The DNC is taking action to ensure that all eligible Pennsylvania voters are given an equal opportunity to participate in our elections, and we stand ready to step in to defend the freedom to vote wherever partisan lawsuits are brought to attack voters’ ability to cast a ballot,” said DNC Chair Jaime Harrison.
“It is more important than ever that we keep up the fight for stronger participation in our democracy, and we are proud to stand with our partners to defend the voices of everyday Pennsylvanians,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills.
The UniParty is alive and well and taking care of its own in Pennsylvania. They continue to believe they can game the system. Time for the base to let them know the game is over. Time for a reckoning.