While it neither commenced nor concluded last week I contend the biggest story of the week just passed was the ongoing assault on American democracy.
In their continuing effort to motivate voters via playing to their worst fears and insecurities the Republicans are in pursuit of another solution in search of a problem. Much like their bathroom bills and bans of transgender high school athletes, they are trying to solve the non-existent problems that are the basis of the Big Lie.
I will refute all three succinctly and in order. There has been one documented case of a man pretending to be a woman invading a North American women’s bathroom or locker room in “recent” history. It happened some 20 or so years ago in Toronto, which the last time I checked is in Canada, not the Untied States. I am aware of no transgender athlete winning a state championship or athletic scholarship in American history. Trump lost the 2020 election, in fact in the popular vote he got his rather generously proportioned hind end handed to him.
Every state legislature controlled by Republicans is busy passing or attempting to pass voter suppression laws under the guise of voter integrity. It just so happened that all their supposed integrity measures disproportionally negatively effect voters who normally lean Democratic. Their “rational” is based on falsehoods and right wing myths. Furthermore the “solutions” wouldn’t solve the problems even if they did exist. However, they would make it significantly more difficult for voters less likely to vote for Republicans to cast their ballots.
The headline grabbing news on this front occurred Monday evening when the vast majority of the 50 plus Texas state legislators who fled Texas in order to deny the Texas House of Representatives a quorum landed at Dulles International Airport. In denying the quorum they stalled a voter suppression bill. In Washington they have been lobbying Senators in an effort to get two stalled voter protection bills (HR1/S1 and HR4) passed.
At least one of those bills (and probably both) has no chance of getting past a Republican filibuster. Voter suppression, sold to Bubba as part of their racism/bigotry pillar, has become a core Republican self-preservation principle. The only path I see for passage of either is if the filibuster is eliminated. (Even then it is far from a done deal at this writing.)
Despite the Senate Republican Caucus on several occasions proving that they lack 10 patriotic Americans, several Democrats still refuse to move on the filibuster (and it is more than just West Virginia’s Joe Manchin although he seems to love the attention). At this point the best we can hope for is a carve out for democracy legislation similar to the carve out for Supreme Court justices. I am both sad and surprised to say that simply eliminating the filibuster is not going to happen in this session.
The understandable (because I used to hold it) misgiving on the part of the Democratic “defenders” of the filibuster is what happens when inevitably they are against in the Senate majority. That is a legitimate concern. Here is my argument against that position: If there is no action to defend the vote (the very basis of a democracy – representative democracies certainly included) you will hasten minority status and make it permanent. America is under attack by a domestic enemy and defending it is your sworn duty.
As to the Texas Democrats I compliment and thank you for your bravery! Texas Republican have proven to be incompetent managers but they are equally vindictive. I don’t know what form(s) it will take but you will personally suffer repercussions for your actions. Among other things expect incarceration and threats to professional licenses upon your return to Texas.
If democracy cannot continue in America, what hope does it have globally?
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