After mostly staying out of the debate over the filibuster, President Joe Biden has publicly come out in support of altering Senate rules in order to pass the Democrats’ voting rights legislation. While it is still doubtful the Democrats will succeed in subverting the filibuster, the president’s remarks portend the notion that the left will be making “voting rights” a central component of their campaign strategy leading up to the midterm elections in November.
Biden gave the speech after visiting Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor. He also placed a wreath at the crypt of the civil rights leader and his wife, Coretta Scott King. His remarks come after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a threat to Senate Republicans: Vote to pass Democrats’ voting legislation or he would look at revising rules related to the filibuster.
Predictably, Biden brought up the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, calling it “one of those before and after moments in American history,” and said it was an “insurrection on the citadel of our democracy.”
In even more dramatic fashion, the president said “a dagger was literally held to the throat of democracy” and that “the battle for the soul of America is not over,” and that the Jan. 6 riot should not be the “end of democracy” but the “beginning.”
Biden also said the Supreme Court “weakened the Voting Rights Act,” a contention Democrats have made ad nauseum over the past 12 months. He also invoked the Jim Crow trope by saying: “Jim Crow 2.0 is about two things: voter suppression and election subversion.”
Then, Biden made his case for altering the filibuster rules:
“Today, I’m making it clear to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights. When it comes to protecting majority rule in America, the majority should rule in the United States Senate.”
The filibuster rules are the Democrats’ primary obstacle when it comes to ramming through their voting legislation, which would result in a federal takeover of elections. All throughout 2021, Democrats have been pushing to do away with the filibuster to make it easier for them to pass critical legislation.
From The Associated Press:
Filibuster rules require 60 votes to advance most legislation — a threshold Senate Democrats can’t meet on their own with their thin, 50-50 Senate majority. Republicans unanimously oppose the voting rights measures, and not all Democrats are fully on board with changing the filibuster.
Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams declined to attend the event in what was seen as a snub of the Biden administration. However, her team claimed her absence was the result of a scheduling conflict. However, some have speculated that Abrams is hesitant about appearing on a stage with President Biden given his sagging approval ratings.
MSNBC media activist Joe Scarborough on Tuesday pointed out that this would have been “an event custom-made for Abrams” and that “she obviously doesn’t want to be on the same stage as Joe Biden.”
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Stacey Abrams not attending Biden's event in Georgia: “comment on the political standing of Joe Biden … politicians don't show up with presidents when their approval ratings may be in the 30s in a state” pic.twitter.com/mMFJ43Lhuz
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 11, 2022
Democrats have been pushing the voting rights issue since Republican states passed election integrity measures early last year. High-profile leftists went on the warpath, claiming, without evidence, that these new laws constitute “Jim Crow 2.0” and would prevent black Americans from casting their votes despite the fact that much of these measures would simply rescind the allowances that were made last year over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AP noted:
Congressional Democrats, for their part, have written voting legislation that would usher in the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections in a generation by striking down hurdles to voting enacted in the name of election security, reducing the influence of big money in politics and limiting partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts.
In order to pass the bills, Democrats would need 60 votes and Republicans have already told them to pound sand. This is why they want so desperately for the filibuster to be abolished. Unfortunately for Biden and his merry band of Democrats, it is highly unlikely they will succeed in this endeavor.
The reason why they will fail to get rid of the filibuster is because of Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who have repeatedly stated they will not vote to end it. The left has pulled out all the stops to pressure the two lawmakers to reconsider their stance, but they have remained steadfast.
If the Democrats want to pass voting rights legislation, they will need to get at least some Republicans on board with the idea. But given the fact that this is merely a brazen attempt to seize authority from the states, GOP lawmakers will echo Hall & Oates when they say they “can’t go for that.” Given that this is an issue that Democrats seek to make a central topic in the upcoming midterms, this does not bode well for their chances of maintaining control of Congress.