Politics This should be the only priority for Democrats (Opinion)

03:31  12 july  2021
03:31  12 july  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Democrats' isolation puts democracy in danger

  Democrats' isolation puts democracy in danger A recent advice piece in the New York Times Magazine presented a situation in which a liberal, progressive individual was having trouble socializing with a conservative person whose “personal political views [he found] so abhorrent.” In response to this liberal’s question, the New York Times discussed the ethics and practicality of spending time and developing friendships with those who hold divergent political and ideological views. © Provided by Washington Examiner The piece rightly articulated the idea that civil society benefits when different ideas are shared among diverse groups, leading to debate and compromise.

Democrats from President Joe Biden to the most junior member of Congress must immediately make saving America's democracy their only priority. That means everything from raising the issue nonstop in the media to publicly pressuring their colleagues in the Senate to reform the filibuster to allow a vote on voting rights legislation and even threatening to withhold federal infrastructure aid to states that enact laws that restrict voting access.

a man holding a sign: Activists rally against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), calling on them to eliminate the legislative filibuster and pass the © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Activists rally against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), calling on them to eliminate the legislative filibuster and pass the "For The People" voting rights bill, outside the Supreme Court on June 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. The event was organized by a group called the Poor Peoples Campaign.

Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy. If we don't protect that sacred right, then our vote -- our voice -- on issues from climate change to criminal justice reform to everything in between will not be heard. It's not hyperbolic to say that this current battle against the GOP's efforts to suppress the vote may be the last stand for our republic.

Democrats hit crunch time in Biden spending fight

  Democrats hit crunch time in Biden spending fight Democrats are heading for a chaotic, make-or-break stretch with President Biden's signature spending plan hanging in the balance.With lawmakers starting to return to Washington on Monday, Democrats are entering crunch time as they try to move past months of haggling to an intense few weeks of summer legislating that will determine whether their top priority stalls out or if they achieve one of the party's biggest legislative victories since passing ObamaCare more than a decade ago.

Alarmingly, though, the GOP is winning its war on our democracy. Since January, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Republican-controlled state legislatures have enacted 22 new laws to make it more difficult to vote. Republicans in Texas are currently pushing to enact a sweeping voter suppression measure that will make it harder for citizens to cast a ballot despite a Texas election official testifying that the 2020 election was "smooth and secure." Even more alarming is that some of these new laws could allow GOP state officials to nullify the will of the people by making it easier to overturn the election results.

What is missing from the Democrats' discussion on protecting our democracy is what Martin Luther King Jr. famously called "the fierce urgency of now." In fact, that was the very point made by a group of civil rights leaders who met with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris last week to emphasize that time is running out to protect our democracy.

Texas Dems Are Fighting for Democracy—Why Won’t Washington’s?

  Texas Dems Are Fighting for Democracy—Why Won’t Washington’s? Everything’s bigger in Texas, including Democrats’ political courage. On Monday morning, Texas Democrats stopped playing by the GOP’s rules in a state Republicans control and threw a wrench into Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to ram through a slew of voter suppression laws. How did Democrats manage to actually stall the Republican war on voting? They stopped compromising and started fighting. Fifty-eight Democratic members of the state’s House packed their bags and fled the state on Monday afternoon, just enough to paralyze legislative business in Austin.

One of the attendees, Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, stated afterward, "We emphasized to the President that our backs are against the wall," adding, "This is the moment. There is no more time."

Marc Morial, head of the National Urban League, who also attended the meeting, warned that we cannot "leave any stone unturned to save American democracy," given there's an effort by some on the right to impose an "American apartheid." Ifill noted that she and others at the meeting implored Biden to "use his voice, use his influence, use his power" to push for a federal law to save our democracy.

Former 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, a leader in the fight against the Texas GOP's efforts to enact voter suppression legislation, expressed that very sentiment on my SiriusXM show last week. O'Rourke warned that while Republicans are "focused with everything in their system" on enacting law that threaten our democracy, Democrats are not fighting against it "with the same urgency or power that the situation really demands."

Byron York's Daily Memo: Democrats against democracy

  Byron York's Daily Memo: Democrats against democracy Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.DEMOCRATS AGAINST DEMOCRACY. They've done it again. Desperate to stop a new voting-procedures bill in Texas, Democratic lawmakers have fled the state. Since a quorum is required for a vote to be held, their absence makes it impossible for the legislature, controlled by a Republican majority, to pass the election bill, or any other bill, for that matter, until they return.

Biden has repeatedly vowed to make a national speech on voting rights, telling reporters just last week that he will be "going on the road on this issue." Great, but two things. First, it's time to make that speech. Second, Biden can't do it alone. It will take Democrats in Congress to help him.

Congressional Democrats need to raise alarm bells in the media by delivering a unified message with Biden and members of Congress flooding the airwaves. Yes, I know Democrats aren't always the best at messaging, but in this case the message is both urgent and simple: "Save our democracy!"

House Democrats in March did pass the sweeping "For The People Act" that protects voting rights in a host of ways -- but it has since languished in the Senate. Even the voting rights compromise proposed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to win bipartisan support without losing the backing of progressive Democrats is unlikely to pass the Senate because the filibuster means it needs the support of 10 Republican senators.

My hope is that if the airwaves are filled with Democrats raising red flags about the GOP's un-American war on voting, it will raise the heat on Democratic senators to carve out a filibuster exception to bills on voting rights. (This is the so-called "nuclear option" that can be deployed by a simple majority rather than the two-thirds majority needed for a broader change of Senate rules.)

Time on their side, Texas GOP waits for Democrats to return

  Time on their side, Texas GOP waits for Democrats to return AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — On Day 3 of Texas Democrats hunkering down in Washington to block tighter voting laws, Republicans back home settled into a new routine that boils down to turning the Democrats' gambit into yet another advantage for the GOP in 2022. With time and a commanding majority on their side, Texas Republicans who began the summer with a long to-do list aimed at pushing the state farther to the right were filling their sudden free time Wednesday hammering Democrats as obstructionists. Despite being unable to pass any bills, GOP lawmakers promised to keep coming to work at the Texas Capitol.

Democrats in Congress should also play hardball by threatening to withhold infrastructure funds to any state that imposes laws that make it harder to vote. As a reminder, the US Supreme Court in the 1980s upheld Congress withholding federal highway funds if states didn't increase the drinking age to 21.

Martin Luther King's famed "fierce urgency of now" line was followed by the words, "There is such a thing as being too late." That is the danger we face today when it comes to our democracy. If Democrats while in control of the White House and Congress don't immediately use every means available to save us from the GOP's authoritarian trajectory, we may never have the chance again.

Dean Obeidallah wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by CNN Dean Obeidallah

Two more Texas Democrats diagnosed with COVID-19 .
Two more Texas Democrats have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total number of afflicted members to five, according to a new report. © Provided by Washington Examiner Following reports of the first three cases on Saturday, precautionary testing revealed two additional members, both of whom were fully vaccinated, had contracted the disease, according to a press release by the Texas House Democratic Caucus. The members are "feeling good, with no symptoms or only mild symptoms," the THDC added. "This morning, I received a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen result," state Rep.

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This is interesting!