Fix the Electoral Count Act if you can; worry about the rest later
Manchin, Sinema, Romney, Collins, Murkowski, etc. generally seem unwilling (to various degrees) to go along with things on grounds of scope (how big) rather than substance (the thing itself). An incrementalistic approach could plausibly get broader support and get us to where progressives think we need to go anyway, but with less social tension and more public legitimacy with the ~70% of Americans who don't pay close attention but generally trust bipartisan small steps over partisan big moves.
Plus if the alternative is getting *nothing* done, why don't progressives just go for the low hanging fruit?
Last summer the Democrats filibustered Tim Scott's police reform bill despite an open amendment process being on the table (Tim Scott and McConnell offered 20 amendments I think?) because the Democrats didn't think it was enough and thought they could get more done in a few months. Now the public energy behind police reform is gone and Republicans are being more wary of reforms to policing. I'd much rather have some kind of weak thing that the GOP was pushing then than a perpetuation of the status quo.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was preceded by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and Civil Rights Act of 1960.
As an elderly life-long Democrat, my enthusiasm for "my" party continues to decline. It seems to me that the current dominant political thread of the party is destructive, anti-liberal, and anti-democratic, leading partisans to distrust and perhaps ultimately to reject the legitimacy of elections. I hope it can regain what I thought were its core values.
I live in Virginia and the false belief that turnout would help the Democrats was unfortunately clearly overturned when the g o p took back the state house and the house in Richmond. The reality for Democrats is that they made it easier for people to vote and they voted for the Republicans instead of them. I don't know how long it will take for Democrats to finally understand that demographics is not destiny. But that people vote for who they identify with and based on emotional connection.
I think Republican attitudes on voter accessibility are more complex than Matt suggests, which might make bipartisan agreement harder to reach.
GOP elites may well believe, mistakenly, that making it harder for working-class people to vote benefits their party on net. So if you provide them with evidence disproving that claim, you may be able to persuade them that voting ought to be made easier.
But rank-and-file GOP voters see any steps in that direction as facilitating "voter fraud", and I don't see how you can disabuse them of that belief without tackling the underlying delusion that voter fraud is a real problem. Republican elites have good reason *not* to challenge the delusions of their ordinary supporters, on this issue as well as others.
As a strong democrat, the more I see of their united governance this time around the less enthusiastic I am about the future of the party. I feel like its a party run by incompetent people which is incredibly frustrating to watch from the outside. I hate the term "sister soulja moment" but Biden really needs to tell the progressive wing of the party to kick rocks or else the rest of his presidency will be a miserable slog
Bouncing on some of the comments I saw, I don't think it's just about Progressives vs. Centrists. I think it's establishment vs. Twitter.
The establishment really seems scared to be called bad names on Twitter. Am I correct here? Because, if I am, I can't quite comprehend it. Don't they know Twitter is at best a few tens of thousand of people i.e. nothing in the scope of the US population?
Just do the right fucking thing and if the Twitter mob doesn't like it and think you're just an agent of the white supremacy on par with Hitler for compromising either with the Centrists or with the Republicans on some key topics then screw them. And don't be afraid of being seen telling them to go screw themselves. Trump proved that voters aren't allergic to displays of backbone in pursuit of something your electors generally like (or will trust you on).
It seems like a common theme in M.Y.’s posts is pragmatism grounded in data. But does Congress care about pragmatism grounded in data? In the scarce attention world it seems only ideologues run and get elected, so my expectation would be that pragmatism will only decline further.
Matthew, what if anything do you think can or should actually be done to depolarize and generally “turn down the temperature?”
“The way forward here is to turn the temperature *way* down and have some people sit in a quiet room with experts and work out a list of things that everyone can agree [on]” is The Truth for pretty much everything.
I think this article does not grasp what voter ID and the Freedom To Vote Act are about. Voter ID is an act of cultural supremacy. It's telling minorities: we can't stop you voting any more, but you still aren't full citizens. That's why Republicans pull stunts like making gun IDs valid, but student IDs invalid, for voter ID purposes.
It is a trap to accept the Republican framing where voter ID is about making people stand in line or fill forms. It is a state act that purposely disproportionally harms certain groups. That's wrong.
I think voter ID is the wrong issue to fight on. It is probably the least outrageous of Republicans' attacks on democracy. Democrats should be highlighting the more straightforward efforts to overturn elections. The insurrection, the fraudulent electoral college certificates, Trump calling officials demanding they find him votes, Trump's video where he says who counts the vote is more important than who casts the votes. But it's better than not fighting at all.
I honestly have no idea what Dem leadership has been doing lately. They seem to be delighting in making members walk the plank just to show donors/activists/extremely online people that they "care".
The debt limit process was a debacle. They knew they were never getting Republican votes for a clean increase and instead made everyone vote multiple times to increase it, seemingly just so Republicans can run ads decrying that "Bob voted 15 times to raise the debt ceiling. Vote Republican and restore fiscal sanity." Then once they got the workaround rather than extend it out past Biden's first term, they just did it to get past the midterms. So they ensured they'll do the whole song and dance again only probably from they minority.
I have no idea what they hope to accomplish by forcing a vote on the filibuster other than pissing off the only Dem who is going to win in WV for the foreseeable future. I suspect there are also other Dems that don't want to get rid of the filibuster and have been happy to let Manchin and Sinema take the heat for them and don't want to have to go on the record.
But mostly if you are going to force a vote on the filibuster it needed to be immediately after they got the majority not over halfway through the term when they are going to lose the majority in a few months. At least then there would have been some upside.
Basically, everybody needs to calm down.
I think an underrated aspect of the “trap” is that a bipartisan compromise on “saving democracy” would imply that not all Republicans are out to destroy it.
Based on Biden’s recent speech that seems to be the primary (only?) Democratic messaging point headed into 2022. Bad to muddy the waters.
Yeah, I’m not sure how ECA reform is a “trap” when it’s not like any other voting reform is really on the table at this point. Though, I suppose if we don’t reform the ECA, VP Harris can throw out the electoral ballots in 2024 and declare Biden president again! Many reputable lawyers, such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, agree!
I think the Democrats shouldn't mind if their Voting Rights stuff does not pass. It gives them an easy sour grapes excuse for the future to explain why they lose an election and why the winner is illegitimate. See Stacy Abrams for an example.
The reason to support measures that at least Republicans THINK will increase turnout is to get to the point closer to the point) where campaign efforts to increase turnout of "your" party's ("white" or "non-white" identity" voters is useless. (Everyone turnout-able is already turned out). We ought to striving for campaigns in which Democrats are trying to persuade voters that a child tax credit, or higher immigration, or taxing the rich to reduce deficits, or investing in zero CO2 emitting energy production is a good idea and Republicans are trying to persuade people of the opposite.
We ought to want this not only because we think that's a better way to get to our preferred outcomes, but also it's harder to get mad at each other over substance than over symbolic issues like CRT, "replacement," or supposed hostility to Christianity.
My understanding was that the Democratic Party pays Marc to lose lawsuits and set bad precedent, not to dictate their legislative strategy.