Joe Manchin and a few other Democratic senators hold the future of our democracy in their hands. They appear to be oblivious to how close to the edge our nation is. Without the remarkable bravery of the Capitol Police Officers, we would already be sitting in Donald Trump’s dictatorship instead of under the calming influence of President Joe Biden’s democracy. The Senate could change all that in just minutes but for Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Kristin Sinema (D-AZ). This is why.
Democrats in the House have passed two vital bills to repair and improve our voting rights. They were For the People Act and an update to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, aka the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Republicans under the Grim Reaper, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have filibustered one and have announced they will filibuster the other one. A new poll showed that Americans want the bills in a major way.
Yet, the errant Democrats refused to budge. Why? Good question. When the Texas state Democrats flew to D.C. to urge the senators to pass these bills, Manchin flew to Houston for a fundraiser. Maybe, that said something. And maybe, President Joe Biden should tell them that he will primary them with more a workable Democrat. It works for Donald Trump. After all, the ex-president’s big lie that the election was stolen kicked off all of this mess.
The filibuster occurred when one Republican simply called in his disapproval (filibuster). That gave McConnell a 41 percent majority compared to the Democrats 48 percent, which is just wrong. The states have been acting out a slow-motion coup by passing a rash of state bills to halt free and fair elections. They range from giving people who have stood in lines for hours and hours a bottle of water to closing down advance voting.
In a new series of NBC’s polls, a significant majority of voters in seven states said they supported new legislation that would eliminate the filibuster-proof majority, which is 60 votes. That was responsible for how the Republicans got their 41 percent majority.
The voting rights group Fair Fight commission hired Public Policy Polling to execute polls in these states: Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. From 54 percent to 64 percent of the voters in each state queried supported a simple majority to pass bills, 50 votes for a simple win instead of the 60 now required by Senate filibuster rules.
Thousands of Democrats and Independents joined the March On Fair Voting Rights on Saturday to express their strong disagreement, according to NPR.
Fair Fight CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo said she hoped the surveys would sharpen the senators’ obligation, according to NBC News:
‘We want them to understand where their constituents are. Our mission is this is about voters and we make it about voters by showing them polling numbers.’
‘At the end of the day, most Americans beyond a small faction support these bills that strengthen our democracy. Even after all that disinformation, there are large majorities in these different states that support these bills.’
However, voters were split on passing bills without the Republican bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the Grim Reaper will never let that happen under his iron grip. The reason was the not-so-Grand Old Party cannot win without cheating such as gerrymandering bizarrely-shaped districts and these new state election laws.
In Manchin’s West Virginia, only 46 percent of voters thought that the Democrats should pass the bills when no Republicans supported them. The question would then be do they realize that the Grim made that impossible? Sinema’s Arizona backed a single-party simple majority vote by 60 percent.
In all these states, the portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 known as preclearance received:
‘[A] minimum of 64 percent of voters support] allowing the Department of Justice to review state laws before they go into effect to make sure that they do not discriminate against voters based on race.’
The six to three conservative majority in Supreme Court Justices have been making legislation, which they have not be tasked to do, and taken much of the bite out of the existing voting rights bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Manchin have been in negotiations for a limited bill rather than a defunct filibuster. The filibuster has been called a Joe McCarthy rule that was never fair.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.