Complaining that “the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized,” Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) published an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail yesterday saying that he would vote against S1, the For the People Act, arguing that protecting the right to vote should “never be done in a partisan manner.” Because Republicans do not support federal voting rights, he says, passing such a measure would “all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.”
Yesterday, here in Texas, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Socialism is unconstitutional". I'd like a lesson on what socialism is versus what it is not. It is not communism, for instance, which seems to be the fear that is trying to be provoked here. Doesn't the Constitution state one of its purposes is to "promote the General Welfare"? Wouldn't one rather live in Norway or Sweden rather than Russia or North Korea? I'm an advocate for measuring the country via a Well-Being Index at least on a par with GNP. All legislation would have to prove it improves the well-being of the People, all of them!
Senatorial village idiot Manchin should realize that the For The People Act DOES have bipartisan support - Republicans, Democrats and Independents all overwhelmingly support the bill nationally. In fact, while national support is 68%, in West Virginia, according to a recent poll, support is 79%, broken down to 81% of Democrats, 76% support of Independents and - get this! - 72% of REPUBLICANS! You can't get much more bipartisan than that.
The only place where a majority of Republicans are opposed are the office holders who spinelessly support The Great Traitor Trump.
Pull your head out of your ass where you normally keep it, Senator, and get a breath of fresh bipartisan air. Take a trip back home and spend 5 minutes with the average voter, be he or she Democrat, Republican or Independent.
At what point did guaranteeing the right to vote for all citizens become a "partisan" issue?
Knowing that it was a useless exercise, I nevertheless wrote a letter to Manchin on his website yesterday morning. The man clearly wants to be the Earl of Warwick in this combination of revenge tragedy and inept farce. He seems to be enjoying his notoriety a wee bit too much. The fact that the Dems are frozen by the puerile stubbornness of a single individual from a state that has been more or less gutted by decades of Repugnican policies--its beautiful mountains strip mined, its waterways polluted by the same kind of mining, its population destroyed by black lung--simply demonstrates how incapable the Democratic Party is of leading and promoting policies that are designed to improve the welfare of all Americans. It is obvious that Democratic policies are popular with a large portion of the populace of every political stripe except the most extreme on both the Left and the Right. But they are apparently utterly incapable of finding a way to remove the obstructions and get on with it. This vain search for 10 humane and rational Republicans is akin to Diogenes looking for an honest man.
Thank you for that summation, Professor Richardson.
However, as much speculation about how Senator Manchin will vote may be thought-provoking, waiting for him to act is a bit like wondering which rose petal a ladybug will light upon. Frankly, I’d rather watch ladybugs – at least there is some certainty they will eventually eat the pests that plague my garden.
But there was something in your Letter today that caught my eye and brought a smile:
“… in a March 2021 article in the New Yorker, Jane Mayer, who is simply a crackerjack investigative reporter, broke the story that Republicans were privately dismayed at how overwhelmingly popular the For the People Act is.”
I haven’t heard the word “crackerjack” used as an adjective for ages, and when reading it in your Letter, I could almost hear you saying it … crisply delivered with, perhaps, a slight nod of the head.
Thanks for that.
Professor, I am stunned when people who are elected to be representatives in our Representative Democracy do not act to represent the people who elected them. Manchin and most Republicans are prime examples. As you wrote in your letter, "One of the things at stake here might be that, as a Democrat in a strongly Republican state, Manchin likes that the filibuster protects him from having to vote on Democratic bills that Republicans hate." We need to claw back several more seats in 2022.
"But what’s interesting about that declaration is that those measures are all actually popular among voters."
This has become a tiresome phrase attached to too many analyses where GOP intransigence is cited. It's also incongruous that these same GOP legislators are returned to office despite the apparent disconnect between constituent preferences and Congressional Republican voting. The filibuster is not merely a Senate "procedure" but a gun to the head of the democratic process.
This baffles me. It seems their strategy is to begin to obstruct after being elected, knowing they're in no immediate danger. As elections approach they moderate their tone, suggesting they're "concerned" and they might break from leadership, all the while counting on voters to have forgotten about their representatives' anti democratic efforts during their tenure.
Those few, and generally familiar, people on the fringes of their caucus (see Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Flake (ret), Manchin, and now Sinema) mostly regress to the mean on the most Issues. The breathtaking thumbs down to prevent repealing the ACA by John McCain in 2017 stands out as the last act of defiance against the minoritarian madness perpetrated by Mitch McConnell. Even those who voted in favor of Trump's second impeachment have stepped back from the precipice when it's come time to enact laws that reflect the Constitutional principles they've sworn to uphold.
These may not be the worst of times but they're presaging the demise of the American experiment, at least as described by Thomas Jefferson: "I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master."
I believe it is important to point out the bipartisan nature of the S1 legislation. It is comprised of redistricting, voting, elections, ethics, and political contributions provisions that would apply to all without regard to their political party. Despite protestations to the contrary by Republicans it does not seek to advantage or disadvantage either political party. Rather it focuses on the protection of the rights of all, without regard to party, and apply uniform standards of ethical conduct to all, while defending our democracy.
What is in fact partisan are the voter suppression measures being passed by Republican majority legislatures on strict party line votes and the Republican efforts to block national election, voting, and ethical standards.
A recent survey of WEST VIRGINIA voters found that 70% favored the For the People Act. This included high levels of approval among Dems, independents and Republicans.
How does this square with Manchin saying part of the reason he opposes For the People and changing the filibuster is because he represents the people of West Virginia?
Email sent yesterday to my Senator & Congressman: Subject:
Subject line: When your majority becomes the minority!
Dear Senator Whitehouse & Congressman Cicilline:
> First, as always, thank you for your tireless efforts to fight for legislation to preserve the rights of all Americans!
> I’m writing today because it’s becoming alarmingly apparent that our Democratic Party is being forced into allowing the minority party to kill all vital legislation. This strengthens their reputation and weakens the Dems’ reputation. This transpires into Democrats feeling WHY BOTHER VOTING; we lose we lose and, even if, we win we lose!
> Senators Manchin & Sinema have given the XPresident’s GOP an ongoing majority in the senate. It seems we all know this but it’s not being reported.
> Does the Biden administration get this? What’s so unclear about Mitch McConnell bragging that “100% of our focus is on stopping Biden’s administration”? To me this means NEGOTIATING IS NOT EVER HAPPENING!!
> Most elected Republicans have repudiated the violence of the Capitol riot, but they share the belief, of the rank and file, that the rioters’ hearts were in the right place! (awwww, bless their hearts...REALLY!!??)
> State-by-state voting suppression is being blatantly, IN-YOUR-FACE, passed.
> Carrying concealed weapons, military caliber, without a permit are being enacted. “An AK-assault weapon is just like a Swiss Army knife.” REALLY!!??
> It’s become apparent that the XPresident’s Party Of No is debating on whether or not the best way to OVERTURN DEMOCRAT VICTORIES is through enacting laws to control partisan elections’ administration or whether it will become necessary to incite another, more serious, violent insurrection!
> “Democrats remain a racially and ideologically diverse coalition, THEY LACK their rivals’ unity of action. The mostly white party can be ruthless, but it does not represent a majority; the diverse party represents a majority, but COALITION POLITICS PREVENT it from becoming ruthless.”
This editorial in The Atlantic is an eye opener with some insightful supporting links. Worth your time.
> Please tell me we’ve got a strong plan to stifle Manchin & Sinema. Are they receiving dark GOP money?
Sincerely losing hope- Susan
Sen Manchin made it clear on his tv ad, “My only responsibility is to defend the voters of West Virginia”, while he disparages the Federal government. Frankly, when you’re a white, male, millionaire, gun owning, moderate, who lives in the bubble of white privilege, you don’t much need a Democracy. That’s why, rather than fighting for Democracy, Joe Manchin is “hoping” for it. When Republicans finally do kill it, R.I.P.D., maybe Sen. Manchin will send Democrats his “thoughts and prayers”, too.
ICYMI, this is an interesting development: https://twitter.com/revdrbarber/status/1401920177105772545?s=21
Wringing hands over Joe Manchin won’t bring him around. He has unequivocally staked his ground.
My question is; where are Republican senators such as Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney? Their silence has been deafening, thunderous; especially Romney. Is support of voting rights worse than voting to impeach the former president? If even one Republican Senator voiced support for SB 1, would that be bipartisan enough for Manchin?
Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! To add to the collection re the Manchin perspective, Greg Sargent's Plum Line article makes what I consider a valid argument. He writes: "...how does Manchin continue arguing that Democrats must do nothing, on the grounds that voting rules changes cannot be partisan, when this will allow partisan Republican rules changes to proceed undisturbed in a way that Manchin himself declares a threat to freedom?" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/07/how-joe-manchins-awful-new-stance-could-blow-up-his-face/
Voter suppression laws, the push-back in Florida, Georgia and Texas: "The League of Women Voters of Florida, Black Voters Matter Fund, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and several individual voters sued Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, state Attorney General Ashley Moody and local supervisors of elections in federal court nine minutes after the bill’s signing, decrying SB 90 as a 'voter suppression bill.'" https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/05/06/civil-rights-groups-sue-florida-moments-after-desantis-signs-voter-suppression-bill-into-law/?sh=54193fd43d94
"The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and law firms Wilmer Hale and Davis Wright Tremaine brought the case on behalf of the Sixth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Georgia Muslim Voter Project, Women Watch Afrika, Latino Community Fund Georgia, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The law being challenged is S.B. 202..." https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/civil-rights-groups-sue-georgia-over-new-sweeping-voter-suppression-law
The NAACP: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/05/naacp-pledges-immediate-lawsuit-over-texas-voter-suppression-bill/
I'm tired of hearing/reading about Manchin. He's dug his hole and isn't about to climb out. Lt's stop giving him air. Same with the obstructionist McTurtleneck. Instead of fighting them, let's look to the lawmakers working on our behalf. Thank you, Amy Klobuchar!
What did you think of the DOJ decision to stick with trump’s defense team the E Jean Carroll case? I’m literally fuming. WTH is going on?!