President Joe Biden traveled to Georgia Monday to push the Senate to blow up the filibuster and pass his “voting rights” agenda.
President Joe Biden traveled to Atlanta, Georgia Monday to speak about the “voting rights” legislation under consideration in the Senate. Biden urged the Senate to blow up the legislative filibuster to pass his agenda.
- Biden declared he was “tired of being quiet” on so-called “voter suppression” and compared politicians who disagreed with him to infamous segregationists Bull Connor and George Wallace.
- Many prominent activists attended the speech, some reluctantly. Martin Luther King III said attending was a “difficult decision” after “a long year of a lot of things not getting done, and we stand and share that frustration.”
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced plans to invoke the “nuclear option” to pass Biden’s “voting rights” legislation. You can read more about Schumer’s plans and the two bills under consideration here.
- Schumer does not currently have the votes in his own caucus to pass either rules changes or the “voting rights” bills. Two Democratic senators have already announced their opposition and others are wavering.
- The New York Times tracked Biden’s transformation from staunch defender of the filibuster to a man comparing senators to Bull Connor for holding his old position.
- Politico wrote that Biden’s decision to “discard bipartisanship” endangers passage of Electoral Count Act reform. Reforming the way Congress counts electoral votes is an idea with support in both parties. Biden did not mention the Electoral Count Act in his speech.
- The Washington Post interviewed black “voting rights” activists in the South who declared “the time for pretty speeches is over” and demanded an “action plan” from Biden.
- National Review didn’t mince words, calling Biden’s address a “garbage speech” and asking if there is “some perverse reason he likes appearing weak and ineffectual.”
- According to Fox News, Biden’s comparisons of his opponents to George Wallace rings hollow. As they pointed out, Biden has repeatedly praised and bragged about support he received from none other than… George Wallace.
- Constitutional expert Yuval Levin was interviewed on the Commentary Magazine Podcast about Biden’s “voting rights” agenda. Levin pointed out that the Democrats’ voter suppression narrative unintentionally casts doubt on Biden’s 2020 victory.
As Thomas Jefferson sings in the song “Cabinet Battle #1” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton: “You’re gonna need congressional approval and you don’t have the votes / Such a blunder sometimes it makes me wonder why I even bring the thunder.”
Jefferson was mocking Alexander Hamilton’s plan to assume state debts. Even though Hamilton had a brilliant plan, his plan didn’t have the support in Congress to make it a reality. Lacking the votes was “such a blunder” it made all the speeches and plans seem utterly pointless.
Whether it’s 1790 or 2022, the reality remains the same. Nothing a politician says matters if they don’t have the votes to pass their agenda. Eventually, Hamilton was able to pass his plan as part the Compromise of 1790 after cutting a deal with Jefferson.
If this issue is truly as important as Biden claims, he should take lessons from Hamilton. Biden needs to swallow his pride, abandon his fanciful partisan agenda, and begin work on the sort of bipartisan deal he promised during his presidential campaign.
© Dominic Moore, 2022