It’s been 48 hours since President Joe Biden gave a train wreck of a speech in Georgia and told the American people that if you don’t agree with changing the Senate rules on the filibuster and/or federalizing elections, you are no better than prominent racist Democrats of the past including Bull Connor, George Wallace, and Jefferson Davis.
For those who believed Biden’s campaign promises of being a “uniter in chief,” it was a shocking moment, a dramatic turning point in his presidency. For the rest of us who have long been familiar with Joe Biden’s history of fanning the flames of racism for political gain including trying to sabotage the SCOTUS confirmation of Clarence Thomas, it was further evidence that Joe Biden is who we’ve always said he is: one of the most ruthless, cutthroat people in politics when he doesn’t get his way.
What’s happened in that 48 hours since Biden went full-metal woke in front of that Georgia crowd? He’s been roundly criticized, not just by the right but by some on the left as well, including the Senate’s second in command Dick Durbin. Much worse than that for him, though, the Supreme Court just blocked him on the private workplace vaccine mandate.
On top of that, Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema took to the Senate floor earlier today to let Biden know in so many words that his smear tactics from Tuesday will not work on her, and that she is still committed to preserving the filibuster, which pretty much guarantees his agenda will be nuked.
After Sinema’s speech, fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin endorsed her statement, saying that “I think it’s the points that I’ve been making for an awful long time and she has, too.”
With one loss after another piling up on Biden after his failed attempt at strong-arming his political opposition, he appeared before the cameras a couple of hours ago after a private meeting with Senate Democratic leaders (Sinema gave her speech a few minutes prior to that meeting), and the signs of defeat were there. Gone was the “we will get this done” attitude we’ve heard and seen from him in the past. In its place? A visibly flustered Biden, who acknowledged that he didn’t know if “we can get it done”:
“If we miss this time and the state legislative bodies continue to change the law not as to who can vote but who gets to count the vote, count the vote, count the vote — it’s about election subversion, not just whether or not people get to vote,” the president said, his voice rising with passion.
“Who counts the vote? That’s what this is about, that’s what makes this so different from anything else we’ve ever done,” he added.
“I don’t know that we can get it done but I know one thing, as long as I have a breath in me, as long as I am in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures [are] moving,” he told reporters before stepping away from a microphone without taking follow-up questions.
Biden, appearing to admit defeat on ending the filibuster & nationalizing elections, randomly starts shouting: States’ voter reform laws are “about who gets to count the votes! Count the vote! Count the vote!” pic.twitter.com/66LpGL1ckQ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 13, 2022
That’s the look and sound of someone who knows he’s lost the argument, and who realizes that he screwed the pooch with his bitterly divisive speech Tuesday in which the man who has zero political capital one year into his presidency tried to “persuade” holdouts by playing the raaaacism card. It backfired – big time.
Any hope that Manchin or Sinema will change their minds on the filibuster going forward appears lost now, although privately White House aides are reportedly saying “never say never.”
As I said in response to his Georgia remarks, Joe Biden told us – and Sens. Manchin and Sinema – who he really was in his Tuesday speech. Both Democrat Senators responded accordingly today. Voters should do their part, too, in November 2022 and 2024.
Related: Joe Biden Gets More Bad News From House Democrats as the Failures Pile Up