They are being portrayed as heroes for furtively leaving their states.
If ever there was a storyokay, a non-Trump storythat dramatized how the political press takes sides, it is the spectacle of Texas Democratic lawmakers blocking action by high-tailing it out of the Lone Star State.
Now you may think these Democrats are yellow-bellied cowards, or you may think theyre taking a principled stance to stop the GOP from passing what they view as a devastating set of voting restrictions. Thats a legitimate subject for debate.
But the Republicans have the votes to push the measure through, so the Dems are denying them a quorum, for now, by refusing to show up.
In other words, theyre foiling the democratic process while telling the world theyre trying to save democracy.
Imagine, for a moment, that Republicans in a liberal state such as New York left the state en masse to prevent the Democrats from enacting a strong voting rights bill. Wouldnt they be depicted as obstructionists? Wouldnt their tactics be described as desperate? Wouldnt their approach be dismissed as foul play?
Instead, the Washington Post ran this headline yesterday: “Inside the Secret Plan for the Texas Democratic Exodus: A Phone Tree, a Scramble to Pack and a Politically Perilous Trip.”
I mean, the paper made it sound like commandos on a secret CIA mission.
Heres the lead: “They activated the plan with a phone tree late Sunday: Pack your bags and make sure they weigh no more than 45 pounds. Be ready to leave Austin at noon tomorrow. Well tell you then where were going.”
Their goal: “to block what they described as a full-on assault on democracy meant to make it harder for people who tend to vote Democratic to cast their ballots. It was just a question of when.”
A day earlier, the New York Times: Texas Democrats Flee State to Highlight G.O.P. Voting Restrictions, 
“The hastily arranged departure added a cinematic element to the partisan wrangling in a state with a colorful political history.” 
Again, I dont think renegade Republicans would be hailed for bringing Hollywood entertainment to a “colorful” state. The coverage would be more along the lines of suppressing people of color.
Not that there isnt grandstanding on both sides. Are Gov. Greg Abbott and his Republicans really going to follow through on their threat to have the Democrats arrested? Will the Democrats, who met with Kamala Harris yesterday, really stay in D.C. until the special session expires on Aug. 7? As the Texas Tribune put it, “On its face, its ridiculous to everyone but the politicians themselves. In any other workplace, that kind of manufactured drama and stress would be ominous.”
And yet the Dems-on-the-run are getting sympathetic interviews on CNN and MSNBC and profiled as to their means of transportation (ranging from a flight to a Dulles airport presser to the lawmaker who packed his family into a Jeep for the 23-hour drive.
The Texas melodrama played out against the backdrop of President Joe Biden making an impassioned speech for his partys voting rights legislation. Yet a striking number of Democrats and liberal commentators say the oratory about Jim Crow and the big lie does nothing to break the Hill stalemate. “Biden didnt offer much in the way of a plan,” said MSNBCs Joy Reid. 
The coverage here too is sympathetic to the Democratic side, except for Bidens failure to embrace the lifting of the filibuster to ram through the sweeping For the People bill with 50 Senate votes. That would mean the Democrats would change the rules to achieve their end, which is fine, in this view, because the filibuster is anti-democratic (except when theyre in the minority and employ it vigorously).
But that political science debate doesnt matter, because Biden doesnt have 50 votes to suspend the filibuster, thanks to Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., and Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz.
So with their path pretty firmly blocked, Hill Democrats will have plenty of time to shoot the breeze with their visiting pals from Texas.

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