Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is up for election this year.
That may be a big part of why he just caved to the pressure from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanding that all Democrats get in line to do away with the filibuster to pass their election bills. Kelly likely thinks he’s going to lose folks on the left in the Democratic base if he continues to stand on principle to protect the filibuster. But what’s going to happen now is that the Republicans are going to paint him as an extremist and/or a coward – and rightfully so – for caving to the leftist push — and that’s going to hurt him with the folks in the middle.
Kelly said that he would agree to a limited carve-out for “voting rights,” meaning he would agree to a “talking filibuster.”
Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York announced his intent to create an exception to the filibuster for the bills with a “talking filibuster” to hold the floor after Republicans block the advancement of the bills. The move would effectively allow for a simple majority vote instead of the current 60-vote threshold.
“If campaign finance and voting rights reforms are blocked again this week, I will support the proposed changes to pass them with a majority vote. Protecting the vote-by-mail system used by a majority of Arizonans and getting dark money out of our elections is too important to let fall victim to Washington dysfunction,” Kelly said in a statement to The Republic.
The problem is that that’s the coward’s way out. If you are principled about the filibuster, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), you uphold it all. If you are agreeing to a carve-out for something, you’re throwing it under the bus for something you want. As Manchin noted, speaking against the problem of carve-outs, “Anytime there’s a carve-out, you eat the whole turkey.”.
These bills aren’t a priority for most Americans. Indeed most Americans think the Democrats are ignoring their priorities. That’s one of the reasons that Joe Biden’s numbers are in the toilet. Americans are looking at this and seeing all the lies about “voting rights” that the Democrats are pushing. Wanting voter ID isn’t “Jim Crow” or racist. Most Americans support it. Even CNN’s Erin Burnett ripped apart the bull that Joe Biden was pushing about the various election security bills/laws being considered or having passed in a variety of states.
The problem of course is Democrats don’t want election security, and they want to essentially federalize elections so they can control everything. That’s another reason that Kelly is caving. Because Schumer is saying that without them controlling things,, a lot of Democrats are likely to lose, come the election.
Instead of respecting the opinions of their members, like Manchin and Sinema, who have made their opposition to killing the filibuster very clear, the Democrats have done all they can to paint a target on their backs for harassment,to pressure them, and demonize them. Emily’s List said they wouldn’t be endorsing anyone who wouldn’t cave to the narrative. So, Sinema continuing to stand up for the filibuster in the face of that is real courage. Unlike Mark Kelly.
Unfortunately, Mark Kelly doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude of his Arizona Senate colleague, who has already said that she isn’t budging.