The mechanisms of American institutions, which barely survived Trump’s attempt to remain in power illegally, are still being manipulated by Republicans to make the country less democratic. The efforts of the GOP to stack the electoral lists are astonishingly broad. From Georgia to Arizona and Florida and many other states, Republicans are mobilizing efforts to shorten polling times, crack down on early and postal votes, and discard legitimate ballots – all under the banner of electoral security.
While Trump may be banned from Twitter, he is sending daily statements pulsing with lies and incitement leaked among followers on social media. The planned resumption of the ex-president’s rallies next month will bring this anti-democratic stream of falsehood to a wider audience.
And in the US Senate, Republicans will use filibuster rules – which critics see as the antithesis of democracy – to thwart democratic laws designed to counter all these efforts.
But time is of the essence to undo Democratic rollbacks by Republicans who are already raising fears that GOP officials could overturn future elections if their candidates are rejected in a majority vote. Trump was trying to do just that with his unsuccessful pressure on local officials to steal Georgia’s 2020 elections. The GOP’s capture of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections could turn such a stolen election scenario into a real threat in 2024.
“Until we get to the 2024 elections, I fear that the elections will be sent to the House of Representatives to decide whether there are controversial voters,” says Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard professor and co-author of the book How Democracies Die said CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead.
“One can very well imagine a situation in which the January 2020 and 2021 crisis was a dress rehearsal for what will come in 2024.”
Difficult way for new laws
As the Democrats seek to prevent this from happening, the Senate will shortly consider sweeping voting laws aimed at setting national standards on issues such as early elections and restoring the protection for black voters removed by the Supreme Court and GOP legislators.
A preview of this battle in Washington is currently unfolding in statehouses across the country, most recently in Texas.
Lone Star State Democratic MPs left their chamber over the weekend to deprive their Republican counterparts of a quorum needed to pass a restrictive voting bill based on Trump’s big lie of electoral fraud.
But Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, promises to call the legislature back in a special session to pass the bill and threatens to suspend their pay over the strike. He received his reward on Tuesday with a re-election confirmation from the former president.
The US Senate’s two voting laws face a hopeless future as Republicans vow to stop what they call the democratic seizure of power. Several Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, would have to drop their staunch opposition to the abolition or amendment of the filibuster rules for the super majority for the laws to pass.
For the second time within a week on Tuesday, Biden – who preaches national unity and non-partisanship and has treated Manchin with kid gloves – showed irritation at the boundaries of stuck Washington politics. Last week, he held up a list of GOP senators who voted against his Covid-19 bailout bill but enforced some of its provisions among their constituents. In Tulsa, the president took an obvious blow at Sinema and Manchin.
“I hear all the people on TV say, ‘Why can’t Biden do this?’ Well, because Biden only has an effective majority of four votes in the House of Representatives and a tie in the Senate, with two more Senate members voting with my Republican friends, ”he said.
‘A hell of a lot of work’
It is not clear how exactly Harris can turn back the tide of challenges to democracy in the face of these seemingly cemented political realities. It could give the matter more visibility and perhaps help organize popular resistance to restrictive voting laws. And it could be a powerful driving force behind the Democratic turnout in 2022, which could put an end to some new laws.
But the deadlocked reality of republican power in many states and the obstructive Senate mechanism make progress difficult. Harris may be able to test the feasibility of revising bills like the For the People Act to gain support from other lawmakers. But even some Democrats have concerns that the legislation is too broad, including rules on campaign funding. It is highly unlikely that she can convince Republicans to vote for a measure that undermines many efforts at the state level to bolster their chances against the demographic change that places white, conservative, religious Americans in permanent minority status threatens.
In a statement first aired on CNN, Harris said she would “work with voting organizations, community organizations and the private sector to strengthen and promote voting efforts nationwide. And we will also work with members of Congress to promote this ”. Bills.”
A second bill – the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, also passed by the House of Representatives – is awaiting action from the Senate. The measure would restore an obligation for states with a record of racial discrimination in elections to submit amendments to electoral laws to the federal government for review. The protection was gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for a number of current efforts to undermine the rights of minority voters.
A disturbing coup allusion
As the GOP tries to overturn the elections, some of its members are pushing for a whitewash of the 2020 competition.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who has stepped up growing denial about Trump’s January 6th uprising in the Capitol, says he is conducting his own investigation into “an accurate historical record” after opposing a bipartisan, independent investigation the indignation that would have been caused was just that.
The Republican filibuster blockade against the Commission was a transparent attempt to protect Trump from further harmful revelations after the ex-president nearly ordered GOP leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives to fight back.
But the attempt to pervert America’s democratic freedoms is not confined to elected Republicans. Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pointed out over the weekend that the US needed a coup like the one in Myanmar.
The Southeast Asian nation has been ruled by a paranoid and brutal military junta for the past 60 years. Its most recent coup sought to thwart a preliminary path to full democracy and the military opened fire on hundreds of peaceful protesters and detained many more in inhumane prisons where torture is widespread.
Flynn later attempted to reject his comments, but the lack of condemnation of his actions by senior Republican figures reflects a party that tolerates extremism and is therefore growing.
When asked how concerned he was about American democracy, Ziblatt answered “eight” on a scale from 1 to 10, pointing out that Trump was never supported by a majority of Americans. But he also explained to Tapper why the current anti-democratic actions by Republicans in US institutions are so worrying.
“As long as the majority can speak, democracy is safe,” said Ziblatt.
“I think we have to worry that the institutions are being manipulated into trying to create a much more uneven playing field and that would be very dangerous.”
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