Hillary Clinton Singles Out Senators To Save Democracy From GOP

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As the Senate prepared to deal with proposals for new federal-level protections for voting rights this week, Hillary Clinton chimed in. On Twitter, Clinton asked her followers to make their voices heard by their legislators amid the push to protect voting rights. Every Senate Democrat has expressed support for the substance of the voting rights proposals at hand, but so-called moderates including Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have simultaneously maintained their allegiance to the Senate’s filibuster rules, which are poised to block progress. The rules require that at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber agree before proceeding with most bills, including those dealing with voting rights — and with the Senate’s current party breakdown in place, that means that Republicans can block progress.

Of course, Sinema and Manchin’s allegiance to the Senate’s filibuster rules wouldn’t matter as much if Republicans were more willing to engage on these issues — so the problem isn’t just the responsibility of the Arizona and West Virginia Senators, even if they’re definitely pushing it along. Meanwhile, Clinton commented as follows on Tuesday afternoon:

‘Today’s the day for every U.S. senator to choose which side of history they are on. Make sure your legislators know you’d like them to choose the side that’s protecting our democracy and your civil rights.’

Sinema and Manchin’s stated support for the voting rights proposals that are under consideration rings hollow as long as they refuse to support taking the necessary procedural moves to actually get the initiatives passed. Meanwhile, Republicans in positions of state-level power aren’t wasting time — in GOP-led states like Texas, Georgia, and Florida, officials have enacted suppressive new restrictions on the electoral process like harsh limits on the usage of drop boxes for mail-in ballots, bans on providing items like food and water to voters waiting in long lines at polling places, and more.

Discussing proposals to change the Senate’s filibuster rules, Manchin recently insisted that “[allowing] one party to exert complete control in the Senate with only a simple majority will only pour fuel onto the fire of political whiplash and dysfunction that is tearing this nation apart” — but it’s not “political dysfunction” that is primarily responsible for currently pressing problems. Responsibility also falls on people like Donald Trump and his Republican allies in state governments — who Manchin seems unwilling to substantially confront.

President Biden recently compared those who are unwilling to get onboard with seeing voting rights proposals through to enactment to those on the side of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, and responding to those who’d criticize such a comparison, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) pointedly asked: “Is it going too far to criminalize giving somebody a bottle of water standing in line trying to vote, standing in line for 4 or 5 hours — is that going too far? Is it going too far to put in place mechanisms to nullify a vote when people have cast their votes — if you don’t like the outcome, then you’ve got the power to nullify that. Is that going too far? Everything we’ve seen coming out of Georgia violates the Constitution of the United States of America… That is what’s going too far. And so if anybody is going to focus on the speech and pay no attention to the actions, that violates Biblical principles.”