During an appearance on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show over the weekend, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — who’s consistently been vocal amid the fight for new voting rights protections at the federal level — went directly after Republicans for (mostly) positioning themselves (with very rare exceptions) against the foundational continuance of democracy in this country. That’s what’s at stake here: the Republicans who feel fine with accepting Trump’s nonsense can push whatever excuses they like, but beneath the babbling, Trump has placed himself in opposition to the duly documented democratic process in the United States, and Republicans are right there with him. Something like January 6 could be far from the end of that as long as this keeps going.
More acutely, Republican Congresspersons have also established nearly unified opposition to voting rights initiatives that Democrats have put forward. As Clyburn pointedly laid it out:
‘I think that when you have [only] one party trying to show up and keep this democracy going, that’s a problem for us. We have two [major] parties in this country… And usually, we will have disagreements over what the policy should be, but never a disagreement over whether or not the country should continue its pursuit of perfection… And these two parties have always worked together to ensure that this democracy keeps moving toward a more perfect union. That’s not what it is today. The Democrats are carrying this alone. The Republicans; they’ve vacated any pursuit of perfection and have now turned themselves over to a cult leader… That’s the problem we’ve got.’
The filibuster incentivizes partisan obstructionism—not bipartisan compromise. It empowers the Senate minority to block most legislation and prevent substantive debate. And we cannot let this racist, procedural tool continue to block urgently needed voting rights reforms.
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 23, 2022
Notably, Clyburn also pushed for Democrats to more openly tout their accomplishments rather than entirely focusing on areas where work remains. The American Rescue Plan, for instance, gave American families with children months of additional financial support due to the expanded child tax credit — it’s something that Democrats have shown that they can get done. Spotlighting this part of the metaphorical equation could help boost campaign efforts to get more Democrats elected to Congress, so that so-called moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are less relevant, since the West Virginia Senator’s opposition has, for now, helped stop the expanded child tax credit from continuing. (The closely divided Senate means every vote is critical.) Overall, (most) Democrats are actually putting in the work. Check out Clyburn’s weekend comments on MSNBC below:
As I said on @TheSundayShow, we’re only 25% into the Biden-Harris administration. We still have 75% to go and I would hope Americans can look at the good @POTUS has accomplished, from the Infrastructure Law to the expanded Child Tax Credit, as a sign of the good to come. pic.twitter.com/0bCQwXHMbw
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) January 23, 2022