Right-wing aggression has America's democracy hanging by a thread. The Democrats control the White House and both branches of Congress. So why can't they do something about the existential threat? If it goes wrong, who will get the blame? And who will deserve that blame? Yes, the Democrats-- specifically the conservative Democrats whining about treating the Republican fascists fairly. Manchin and Sinema are the worst and the most out there, but other scumbags like Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are creeping around encouraging them without putting themselves on the line.
We remember 1/6 as the day of the failed Trumpist coup and the sacking of the Capitol by a mob of... violent insurrectionists and-- as one of their lawyers termed it-- "short bus retards" brainwashed by Trump. But 1/6 was also the day of a miracle-- Georgia voting out two Republican Trump lockstep incumbents in favor of two actual-- not Manchinesque-- Democrats. Since then, Raphael Warnock and, less predictably, Jon Ossoff have earned perfect voting records, not like Sinema's or Manchin's or Jon Tester's or Frackenlooper's... but the exact same voting record-- 100%-- as Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey, Tammy Baldwin.
The election of Warnock and Ossoff on 1/6 was nothing short of shockingly startling... unheard of. They handed the Republicans a massive defeat. And yet... because Manchin and Sinema insist on "giving the minority a voice"-- which is actually giving the minority absolute veto power-- the kind of reform of the filibuster needed to save democracy isn't going anywhere. Sinema and Manchin have vetoed it. That's what conservative Democrats are. Manchin lies flat-out and pretends he's just doing hat the founding fathers intended, perhaps unaware that the founding fathers looked closely into the filibuster and decided to exclude it from the constitution. The filibuster is just a machination to prevent change, to keep the status quo, to oppress minorities. That's all it's ever been. But Manchin and Sinema insist it stays even if their Republican buddies-- led by Trump-- use it to turn the country into an illiberal, fascist-leaning failed state.
Only Biden can "persuade" them to do the right thing for the country. But he isn't doing any such thing. Joe Biden was Joe Manchin before Manchin was even elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, when he was still working in his father's carpet and furniture store in Farmington (pop- 300). Biden fancies himself a traditionalist and he foolishly "believes" in the filibuster, rather than democracy.
A story that came out in the Texas Observer this morning explains very clearly what Biden and the other conservative Democrats are countenancing by not reforming the filibuster enough to pass S.1 with a simple majority. Alexa Url, Chris Essig and Madison Dong reported that without S.1, the Republican controlled government of Texas will be able to cut back drastically on voting in minority areas. "The number of Election Day polling places in largely Democratic parts of major Texas counties," they wrote, "would fall dramatically under a Republican proposal to change how Texas polling sites are distributed... Voting options would be curtailed most in areas with higher shares of voters of color."
Republicans are targeting blue counties only with their new scheme. These are the 5 counties in play and how they voted in the 2020 presidential election:
Harris- Biden 55.96%, Trump 42.70%
Dallas- Biden 65.10%, Trump 33.40%
Tarrant- Biden 65.10%, Trump 33.40%
Bexar- Biden 58.18%, Trump 40.04%
Travis-Biden 71.62%, Trump 26.51%
In these counties distribution of polling places under the new legislation would heavily favor voters living in Republican-- all white-- areas. Black and Latino neighborhoods would lose polling places and what parts of the county would gain them. Conservative Democrats-- Biden, Manchin and Sinema-- are allowing that to happen. And that same kind of crap is happening everywhere where Republicans have control of state legislatures. S.1 is meant to stop it. Ironically, whiny conservatives Matt Bennett and Jon Cowan who founded one of the foundational constructs of the Republican Wing of the Democratic Party-- Third Way-- were weeping at USA Today this morning about how 1/6 is the day American democracy dies. The two arch-enablers want people to contribute to their rotten PAC meant to elect more shitty conservative Democrats... or else 1/6/25-- the day the House counts the electoral votes for the 2024 election-- will be the end of American democracy.
Thanks to Matt Bennett and Jon Cowan and other corrupt corporate conservatives like them "House Republicans are now firmly in the grip of a deeply anti-democratic right-wing populism. Almost all have now essentially pledged to "support and defend" Donald Trump and Trumpism rather than the Constitution of the United States. They no longer are constrained by once inviolate norms or even by observable facts. If these radicals control the House on 1/6/25, and if a Democrat has won the Electoral College vote, it now seems completely possible that Republicans will instead confirm their own choice as president of the United States. If that happens, the world’s greatest democracy will come to an end." I agree-- and blame Bennett and Cowan and their ilk.
They are still preaching about working with Republicans to save democracy. That and what they are all about: "send us money and make us richer" while we promote toxic conservatism. "[I]t’s easy to predict," they wrote, "that a House GOP caucus that remains deeply committed to Trump and his seditionist lies would steal the presidential election if they could. That means that the House elections in 2022 and 2024 are not just battles over normal political questions, like the future of the Biden agenda or the Trump tax cuts. Rather, our democracy itself will be on the ballot. But with gerrymandering and voter suppression laws sweeping the GOP-held states, winning these races will be tougher than ever. Small-d democrats of all political stripes must be galvanized to much greater action than normal. We need nothing less than a Committee to Save the Republic: a coalition of Democrats and democracy-affirming Republicans." Like Susan Collins?
And now the big closer: send us money or everything will go to hell. "[T]he wealthy," the two charlatans wrote, "must dig deep, providing a huge well of resources to take on three essential tasks: First, we must protect at-risk House Democrats from the torrent of GOP lies that cut down so many of their colleagues in 2020. Second, we must help Republicans of good will to weaken the GOP House candidates from behind their own lines, with ads aimed at their voters and third-party challengers to spoil the bids of insurrectionist Republicans."
Their rot-gut Shield PAC calls for protecting-- as in spending money on-- conservative Democrats (corporate whores from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party), the ones, like Sinema and Manchin, who are the cause of the problem. Although... if you donate to them, the money goes to these two crooks to line their own pockets, not even to their shitty candidates. Shield PAC uses defeated one-term right-wing Democrats to front the operation-- corporate shills like Kendra Horn Blue Dog-OK), Joe Cunningham (Blue Dog-SC) and Xochitl Torres Small (Blue Dog-NM). They claim to be raising money for the worst of the Democraps still in Congress like Abigail Spanberger (Blue Dog-VA) and Cindy Axne (New Dem-IA)... cause we all need more garbage like Kyrsten Sinema with their hands on the levers of power.