Sunday, July 11, 2021

President Biden: A Speech on Voting Rights Ain't Gonna Cut It


Watauga County Board of Elections meeting, 
2013, immediately after a Republican majority
took over following the election of
Pat McCrory.
BOE observers are standing. The Board adjourned
to a much larger room to accommodate the crowd.

The White House announced it, that President Joe Biden will be delivering "a major speech" on voting rights on Tuesday in Philadelphia, the cradle of the Constitution. I'm reminded that President Obama delivered major speeches -- often soaring masterpieces of rhetoric -- when he was otherwise dead in the water because of Mitch McConnell. Have Democratic presidents in the Age of McConnell learned nothing? Where is Schumer?

I know ... Joe Manchin and the goddamn filibuster, an unmovable object blocking the way, but Senate Democrats have got to do something, even if it's wrong (worrying they'll do something "wrong" is the everlasting terror of Democrats, but please!). Make Manchin vote in public, make him say why deep-sixing "rule by the minority" is against his religion. Force the issue on him, along with the spotlight -- his role in the greatest shrinking of the right to vote since the Civil War. Make him vote. Make him vote every week, every month, every day if necessary and keep him on the griddle. Then make the Republicans stage an actual stand-up-and-talk-the-thing-to-death filibuster. Let them explain along the way about why it's a good thing to squeeze people out of participating in their government.

The National Democratic Party -- bless its heart! -- has essentially conceded that nothing is going to happen in Congress to pass the For the People Act. Biden's given up, and he designated Vice President Kamala Harris to deliver the concession, that voting rights ain't gonna be nationalized and there'll be no salvation from state-by-state voting restrictions meant to keep Republicans in power in perpetuity. Kamala Harris was announcing a $25 million "‘I Will Vote’ initiative to address and overcome efforts across the country to make voting more difficult and burdensome." The money will go to voter education, voter protection, targeted voter registration, and technology. In other words, the strategy of the national Democrats has become "grit your teeth and learn to live with it."

$25 million. Okay, that's not nothing, but it also screams capitulation. I've always expected more from Democrats, and I've always gotten less.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I completely agree