American democracy finds itself in an abusive (and adversarial) relationship with the Republican Party. That is a monumental problem. The first step in solving a problem is to realize that it exists. I spent ten years on the Board of an organization that helped people deal with abusive relationships. The key to solving that issue is also straight forward.
Despite all the right wing rhetoric about alleged massive voter fraud in the 2020 election (supposedly only involving the vote for president) every Republican Senator voted to filibuster S 2093, the Senate version of HR 1, which is a voting reform measure. The current bill died Tuesday afternoon in a 50-50 vote divided exactly along party lines. Like any legislation it very possibly could have been improved by debate and amendments. By filibustering the bill, the Republicans stopped either from happening.
Basically, what the Republicans are saying is that there is a problem but we don’t want to talk about it. Massive voter fraud that affects the results in American elections is close to non-existent. The only recent example was in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District and that was perpetrated by a long time Republican operative. It was also caught prior to certification of the election. In other words, the cheaters were the Republicans and the system worked.
At the state level in Republican controlled states they are proceeding full speed ahead with voter suppression and in many cases voter intimidation and/or nullification legislation. The Republicans refuse to amend their stances to the point that they can win the contest of ideas in a “fair fight”; instead they are relying on rigging the system in their favor. In many cases their individual political survival and with it the Party’s near-term viability is at stake.
The right wing has no interest in free and fair elections and that includes several members of the Supreme Court! Most Democrats have realized that the problem exists. Hopefully this vote will convince a few holdouts that the Republicans are interested only in position and power and therefore are not now, nor in the foreseeable future, willing to negotiate in good faith. Their current idea of negotiation is only as a tactic to run out the clock.
Assuming the few “stragglers” recognize reality, the next step is to extricate themselves from the problem – in this case wasting time negotiating with Republicans who aren’t going to change their votes anyway. We saw this movie before with Obamacare; no amount of compromise will win any Republican votes and certainly not the ten in the Senate needed to overcome a filibuster.
For “voter guide” purposes here are the fifty anti-democracy Senators: John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of Missouri, John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama along with Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
How do you handle an abusive relationship? Get out of it!
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