A most-disheartening slip of events this morning in DC — just a tiny time space after the House passed voting-rights legislation, and thus, sending it to the Senate, and shortly before Joe Biden was at arrive on Capitol Hill for a push on the measure’s passage, nefarious nit-twit Kyrsten Sinema blew the shit all over America’s future and popped maybe democracy’s balloon.
And was an asshole about it, too:
Sinema is disappointed that the Republicans responsible for voting restrictions don't support curtailing voting restrictions https://t.co/QPWT8Vih8e
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 13, 2022
She holier-than-thou escaped any pretense of irony (NYT): ‘“These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not fully address the disease itself,” Ms. Sinema said. “And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.”‘
Nutshell of the shit-spatter via Martin Pengelly at the Guardian‘s live blog:
Kyrsten Sinema has indicated — or simply confirmed — that Democrats’ push to change Senate rules to allow for the passage of voting rights legislation is indeed doomed.
In a speech on the Senate floor delivered shortly before Joe Biden was scheduled to arrive on Capitol Hill to attempt to force the issue, the Arizona senator said: “While I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.”
Those separate actions would involve abolishing or modifying the filibuster, the rule which empowers the minority by setting a 60-vote threshold for most legislation.
The Senate is split 50-50 and controlled by Democrats via the vice-president, Kamala Harris. Democratic senators represent vastly more voters than Republican senators, a point often made by supporters of filibuster reform.
Democrats who favour change also point out that federal legislation is needed to counter Republican attempts to restrict voting among minorities which tend to favour Democrats, by means of restrictive laws at the state level.
Voter suppression laws are also at issue, as Republicans who support Donald Trump’s big lie about electoral fraud seek to instal allies in key posts and to make it easier to overturn election results.
Nonetheless, Sinema and her fellow moderate Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, have remained steadfastly against filibuster reform — even though both support some form of federal voting rights protection.
They fear the ramifications of filibuster reform if and when Republicans take back the chamber, which could well happen later this year.
Some observers suggest that is naive, as Republicans under Mitch McConnell, a man who has made constitutional hardball an art form, may well dynamite the filibuster themselves.
Either way, without Sinema and Manchin, all efforts on the issue by Biden and the majority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, are doomed to fail.
Although there’s a good chance to Democrats (and democracy) could come out ahead at the mid-terms later this year, the whole shebang could go down in flames.
And Joe was a little hangdog:
President Biden: "I hope we can get this done, but I'm not sure." pic.twitter.com/N7csgdbmjG
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 13, 2022
He didn’t sound too upbeat (CNN): ‘“I hope we can get this done. The honest to god answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done … I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure. But one thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along if we miss the first time we can come back and try a second time.”‘
What can you say? When do you come back? JM and KS will be around a while, and shit don’t change colors in a few months.
Maybe once again, here we are…