If you’re like me, Republicans’ open assault on democracy, simultaneous denials, and smug confidence that their imminent gerrymandering will steal the House, along with recent court decisions, make you highly susceptible to constant media coverage asserting Democrats are doing nothing or even oblivious. What I would like to see is President Biden and Chuck Schumer taking turns b*tch-slapping Mitch McConnell, wiping that smirk off his face, then grabbing Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema by their ears, making them go sit in the corner until they agree to abolish or reform the filibuster. This would accomplish nothing, but it would certainly make me feel better. Meanwhile, Republicans are actually hanging themselves on the issue, as evidenced by a circulating video.
After Biden had voting rights activists come to the White House last Thursday, it was announced Friday that he would deliver a major voting rights speech Tuesday, using his bully pulpit to push for congressional action. Democratic leaders are privately discussing how to proceed, with Manchin, Sinema, and Biden considering changes to the filibuster. We should continue applying pressure, keeping in mind Biden knows how to pass legislation.
Earlier Friday morning, Schumer laid down the law in a letter to Senate colleagues, warning them to be prepared to work long nights and weekends, remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August recess. To hear the media’s version, Schumer’s only concerns are infrastructure and judicial nominations, with voting rights being an afterthought, all but ignoring two important paragraphs:
“Our fight to protect voting rights has also only just begun. Last month, all fifty Senate Democrats united for the first time this Congress to move forward on a strong and comprehensive voting rights bill. Shamefully, Republicans refused to even allow a debate on voting rights legislation.”
“But I want to be very clear: last month’s vote represented the starting gun — not the finish line — in our fight to protect our democracy. Later this month, Senator Klobuchar will hold a field hearing in Georgia [July 19th] to further examine the disgraceful tactics that Republican-led state legislatures are using across the country to keep people from voting. And as Majority Leader, I reserve the right to bring back voting rights and democracy reform legislation for another vote on the Senate floor.”
Let’s stay calm and focused, as our leaders are, on protecting the sacred constitutional right to vote.