Democrats trying to keep Trump off ballot shocked GOP would return fire

Democrats are somehow routinely shocked when their partisan power grabs are met with GOP retaliation despite the Democratic Party coming out on the worse end of these exchanges several times in the past decade.

The GOP retaliation now is taking the form of Ohio and Alabama threatening to exclude President Joe Biden from the ballot in 2024. The later Democratic National Committee nominating convention falls after several state deadlines, which has been the case for both parties for years. Republicans in Ohio and Alabama are threatening to buck the precedent of both parties offering exemptions to each other in these scenarios in order to keep Biden off the ballot.

“This has not been something anybody has ever dealt with,” DNC member Elaine Karmarck said. “No, this has never happened before.” And sure, while this exact method of and justification for keeping a major party candidate off the ballot may not have happened before, we are just one month removed from the Supreme Court having to intervene because Democrats wanted to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in several states.

In case you need a reminder, the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine’s secretary of state both decided that Trump should be barred from the ballot despite Congress not determining that Trump had committed insurrection. In Illinois, a partisan Democratic judge overruled the State Board of Elections to ban Trump from the ballot. State legislators in New York and California’s lieutenant governor also wanted to join in on this power grab.

Should Ohio and Alabama be doing this? Of course not. But are we supposed to be surprised that Republicans would use the letter of the law to retaliate in kind for Democrats ignoring the law to keep their opponent off the ballot?

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You would think Democrats would understand this better than anyone by now. Trump was able to get three justices confirmed to the Supreme Court because Republicans nuked the judicial filibuster in response to Democrats nuking the filibuster for other nominations. House Democrats started removing Republicans from committees over partisan disputes in 2022, and so Republicans responded in kind when they took back the chamber. When Democrats break a norm to grab power, Republicans respond.

This was always going to happen, and it is why Democrats should not have allowed this to reach this point in the first place or cheered it on as it happened. This is yet another slippery slope that Democrats have pushed a political norm down, only to be surprised that Republicans would respond as they always have.

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