Mitch says “Jim Crow,” everyone in the Republican conference jumps accordingly:
Senate Republicans banded together Tuesday to block a sweeping Democratic bill that would revamp the architecture of American democracy, dealing a grave blow to efforts to federally override dozens of GOP-passed state voting laws.
The test vote, which would have cleared the way to start debate on voting legislation, failed 50-50 on straight party lines — 10 votes short of the supermajority needed to advance legislation in the Senate.
It came after Democrat after Democrat delivered warnings about the dire state of American democracy, blaming former president Donald Trump for undermining its foundations by challenging the 2020 election results, which, in turn, prompted his supporters in numerous state legislatures to pass new laws rolling back ballot access.
“Are we going to let reactionary state legislatures drag us back into the muck of voter suppression? Are we going to let the most dishonest president in history continue to poison our democracy from the inside?” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said before the vote. “Or will we stand up to defend what generations of Americans have organized, marched, fought and died for — the sacred, sacred right to vote?”
The arguments being made by Republicans — including the Reasonable, Moderate Susan Collins — against the bill would be equally applicable against the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and for that matter the 14th and 15th Amendments:
Collins (R-ME): "S. 1 would take away the rights of people in each of the 50 states to determine which election rules work best for their citizens." pic.twitter.com/5RSEydFrsd— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) June 22, 2021
It’s also ahistorical bullshit — even the Constitution of 1787 gives Congress the explicit authority to “at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations.” There is no state “right” to disenfranchise voters free of federal supervision.
Note as well that this wasn’t a vote on the merits, but a vote on whether to allow debate to proceed. The idea still being advanced by Democrats like Sinema and Manchin that the filibuster promotes deliberation and compromise is farcical, and ultimately as ahistorical as Collins’s neoconfederate bullshit:
If Republicans have policies they can pass with majorities in both chambers, then they should pass them. If those policies attract broad public legitimacy, they will stay in place. If they are as repellant as Sinema fears, they will be repealed when Democrats have their turn in power. There’s simply no reason why preventing Republicans from trying out their preferred policies is so vital that it justifies handicapping Democrats in the same fashion.
The Republican argument for a filibuster is perfectly coherent. Republicans understand full well that they stand to lose over both the short and long run by a system that enables parties in power to make change. The Democratic case for the filibuster is a sloppy mess, which is why advocates like Sinema rely on stating “facts” that simply aren’t true.
A former member of the Green Party making illogical and ahistorical arguments with the effect of making her a cat’s paw of the Republican Party — what are the odds?