They’re trying to save democracy by walking out on it.
Texas state lawmakers, enacting an intricately plotted escape, left their posts and the Lone Star state itself and took flight to Washington on Monday on an extraordinary mission to halt Republican restrictive voting bills built on former President Donald Trump’s fraud lies.
After stepping off two chartered jets, they insisted they planned to stay until a highly unlikely scenario unfolds in which moderate Democratic senators kill filibuster rules used by the GOP to block voting rights reform.
“We are coming to DC to put pressure on them to act, because this isn’t just Texas,” Texas Democratic state Rep. John Bucy III told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday.
“All over the South and in Republican states, we are seeing voter suppression bills. We need Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” said Bucy, who unlike his colleagues set off the long drive from Texas to the US capital.
The spectacle is the latest stunning example of how the US political system is on the edge of meltdown as a result of turmoil triggered by Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, which are now taken as fact by millions of Republican voters. The move also represents the growing desperation of Democrats who believe that their chances of winning future elections, including in 2022 and 2024, are being undermined by orchestrated assaults on the voting system by the GOP.