In Atlanta on Tuesday, President Biden spoke out against those who disrupt the exercise of the vote and the integrity of the electoral process.
He just didn’t care. Many independent organizations have found that the United States is in a dangerous slippery slope that could lead to the collapse of its democratic institutions.
The president’s passionate speech is an encouraging sign of the importance he places on this priority, but firm action is needed. Soon.
In November 2020, Republicans lost the presidency and the Senate. In a normal democracy, they will accept the judgment of the electorate and learn from their mistakes and try to do better next time.
But America is no ordinary democracy. The defeated Republican candidate refused to admit defeat, convincing the majority of his supporters, telling big lies, that the election had been stolen from them.
In many Republican-controlled states, these myths have become an excuse to brutally discriminate against election maps, set up voting barriers that discriminate against ethnic minorities, and infiltrate the process of issuing election certificates by the authorities.
The Federal Congress can fix this anti-democratic mob by legislating to prevent states from cutting off the rights of their citizens, but the formal opposition of Republicans and the Senate Byzantine rules demand full solidarity with Democrats.
In fact, the adoption of a non-budget bill in the Senate would require the consent of 60 senators to complete the debate. In practice, a minority of 41 senators can thwart any attempt by a majority.
It is possible to make exceptions to this non-democratic rule, but Democratic senators are reluctant to say that Republicans will abuse those exceptions when their turn comes (they will) anyway. They are particularly afraid to intimidate “moderate” Republican voters who dare to vote for Democrats on occasion (an endangered race).
In Atlanta, Joe Biden put these denial senators ahead of a clear choice. “How do you want it to be remembered?” […] Would you like to be with Martin Luther King or George Wallace? With John Lewis or Bull Connor? With Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? In short, are you on the side of human rights or on the side of their oppression?
The main issue of 2022
Some would say Pita is an exaggerator, but Democrats like Joe Mancin and Kirsten Cinema should compose music. Do they choose the interests of democracy or consider them as their short-term interests?
These are the same centrist senators who affected Joe Biden’s social and environmental reforms in 2021, but defending the right to vote and the integrity of elections are still fundamental issues. Manchin himself has proposed a draft electoral reform that has been ignored by Republicans, which will facilitate his reservation.
Electoral reform is the fundamental role of 2022. Without it, Democrats would be heading for a crushing defeat in the midterm legislative elections, and Biden’s presidency would be significantly weakened and American democracy would be a giant step backwards.