Voting Rights Bill gets “shunted”
(Photo courtesy The Hill)
Three votes may be the closest margin to passing ‘progressive legislation’ in the US Senate for a long time. Or so 46 would have us frame the negotiations’ twists and turns of passing the Reconciliation Bill.
“Here’s the deal. If, in fact, I get myself into at this moment the debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation, on the foreign policy side of the equation.”
-President Biden answering a question posed by Anderson Cooper, CNN. Town Hall, Thursday, Oct. 21 (“On voting Rights, if it is as important to you as you say, I think there’s a lot of Democrats who look at the filibuster and like to see it changed, even if it’s just on this one case, why do you oppose that?”) (1)
In an odd, self-deprecating way, 46 has made these negotiations about himself. Scratching our heads, we ask, “Who talks this way?” We just suffered the tantrums of 45 and the baby steps toward authoritarianism, to what? To tolerate a sulky teenager as President?
We seem hard put as a nation to self-govern and celebrate the rights to do same. We prefer, don’t we, to dismantle the institutions, make them relics in an effort to ‘get our piece.’ We even drown out the closest, dearest deliberation space — a school board meeting — with our vitriol and spite… ‘to get our piece.’
Voting Rights have become privatized, gerrymandered, transactional.
One can feel the threat of violence. It creeps slowly, plastered on signs like taut, screwed up faces. Bodies get in the way. Talking time gets crowded out with venting about externals: wearing a mask, getting a shot, learning about dehumanizing forces at play — about the intersection of ‘them’ and ‘us.’
Confusing transformation with transaction, we let mob rule predilections surface. This is the seamy side of ‘three votes’: objectifying deliberation which effectively represses mindfulness. It’s not right because it’s terribly wrong. In dismantling common decency of one person, one vote, we celebrate division, not cohesion.
1-Charles M. Blow, “Biden, Tepid in the Face of Catastrophe,” Oct. 25, “Opinion,” NYTimes