To defend American democracy from fierce attack, President BidenJoe BidenHouse votes to raise debt ceiling On The Money — House kicks debt ceiling standoff to December Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — Progressives: Medicare benefit expansions ‘not negotiable’ MORE should unite Democrats and oppose filibusters strongly, clearly, unequivocally, and soon.
Biden should provide a code red alert to Democrats and the nation about the paramount cause of defending our democracy and countering the historic, unprecedented and aggressive attacks of voter suppression and hyper-partisan gerrymandering that are now well underway.
Biden should champion, with crystal clarity, the code red urgency of powerfully countering those who attempted a coup d’etat against the results of the 2020 presidential election, make apologies and excuses for a criminal attack against our Capitol in January, are working to corrupt the way votes are counted in states and districts. And counter those that are trying to achieve a decade of Republican control of Congress by gerrymandering to achieve their goals in the midterm election by depressing and devaluing the votes of Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, seniors, young Americans and disabled voters.
To this end Biden should champion a powerful unity of all Democrats behind these noble goals. If he leads this fight, he can win it.
From former President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to raise debt ceiling Georgia reporter says state will ‘continue to be a premier battleground’ Elections administrator in Texas county Trump won resigns after campaign to oust her MORE to Republican leaders in the House and Senate, there is a concerted and aggressive three-pronged attack against democracy.
First, in countless states there are multiple actions of voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering to rig the rules of electoral politics in favor of Trump Republicans.
Second, there is the aggressive abuse of filibusters by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to raise debt ceiling On The Money — House kicks debt ceiling standoff to December Pelosi says proposal to take debt ceiling authority away from Congress ‘has merit’ MORE (R-Ky.) who would completely destroy the fact of Democrats winning control of the Senate in elections, to rig the rules of the Senate and create a tyranny of the minority on issue after issue, vote after vote, year after year, through nonstop filibusters.
Critical national issues of democracy should be carved out from filibusters. Talking filibusters may work sometimes, but will not stop filibusters used as partisan Republican attacks against democracy.
McConnell, who is now the most unpopular leader in decades of either party in Washington at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, threatens again to filibuster against the next debt ceiling vote, as he attempted during the last debt ceiling vote.
In what may be the most irresponsible action of any leader of any party since the Civil War, McConnell is willing to risk a global economic collapse, a financial market crash, a punishing rise in joblessness, and the destruction of the full faith and credit of the United States to achieve what he thinks — incorrectly — is a short-term partisan gain for Republicans.
Third, the Trump Republican attack against democracy includes a (temporarily) successful attempt to pack the United States Supreme Court to support ardent, and in some cases, extreme conservatives. Trump campaigned on the promise of packing the court. McConnell campaigned on the promise of packing the court. Trump and McConnell promised to pack the court in GOP fundraisers.
My hope is that the Supreme Court does not make extreme decisions. But the recent decision in the Texas abortion statute case was so horrendous even some conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts, to his credit, oppose it. This is ominous and raises the danger that settled law of Roe v. Wade will be summarily reversed — which would deeply divide America and grievously harm the Supreme Court’s reputation for balance and justice with large swaths of the American people.
This multifaceted attack against American democracy, to rig the right to vote, rig the way votes are counted, rig the way congressional districts are created, rig the way the Senate votes to prevent legislation from passing even by 59-41 votes, and rig the way the Supreme Court upholds or rejects state and national legislation and lower court decisions poses grave, extreme and imminent dangers to our democracy.
Biden has an extraordinary opportunity to unite Democrats, a majority of political independents and even some principled Republicans by opposing filibusters and defending democracy. If he leads, an army of good and decent people will march behind him. Champions of democracy around the world will applaud him.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.