Biden says his opponents are racist.
Written by William Stroock, observer, author of military fiction
On January 11th, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris travelled to Georgia to campaign for SB-1, a voting bill that would essentially federalize elections. The Constitution decrees that elections for federal office be handled at the state level, its rules and laws determined by the legislatures. SB-1 would be a radical departure from more than two centuries of precedent and may well be unconstitutional.
Every Senate Republican opposes SB-1. As noted again and again in this space, in order to pass the bill, all 50 senate Democrats would have to vote to abolish the filibuster, whereby 60 votes are needed to advance a bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Senator Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Joe Manchin (D-Virginia) have said for over a year that they won’t vote to abolish or change the filibuster. It is widely believed in Washington that a handful of other Democrat senators from red/purple states feel the same.
Which didn’t stop Joe Biden from slamming Sinema, Manchin and Republicans. In his Georgia speech Biden called on the Senate to change filibuster rules and all but called those opposed racist. “I ask every elected official in America,’ the president said ‘Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?’ George Wallace was the governor of Georgia during the Civil Rights era and pledged ‘segregation forever.’ Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederacy. Who does the White House think Biden is persuading with this incendiary language? On Thursday Senator Sinema took the senate floor to once again reiterate her support for the filibuster.
Republicans delight in pointing out that the Democrat’s position on the filibuster has, shall we say, evolved. During the previous congress, Senate Democrats filibustered a police reform bill introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R, South Carolina). This week Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) took to the Senate floor and read the words of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), ‘Bottom line is very simple: The ideologues in the Senate want to turn what the Founding Fathers called ‘the cooling saucer of democracy’ into the rubber stamp of dictatorship. We will not let them,’ Cotton quoted. Schumer spoke those words in 2005, when Senate Republicans wanted to get rid of the filibuster for judicial appointments, which Schumer had used for years to hold up President Bush’s nominees. President Trump repeatedly urged Senator Mitch McConnell (R, Kentucky) to nuke the filibuster when the GOP held the majority. McConnell refused, citing important constitutional principles.
The White House’s political timing could not have been worse. The night before Biden’s speech, the University of Georgia Bulldogs defeated the University of Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 to win the NCAA college football championship. For foreign readers, college football is the most popular sport in Georgia and the American South. Nobody in Georgia was thinking about politics when Biden spoke. Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia after her failed 2018 attempt, declined to appear on the stump with Biden. Which is probably sound politics.
The president’s poll numbers are in freefall. In the latest Quinnipiac survey, only 33 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s overall job performance, down three points from their survey last November. There is little good news for Biden within the poll. A mere 34% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. Just 39% approve of Biden’s Covid performance. Only 35% approve of Biden’s foreign policy. Among Democrats, Biden’s job approval has dropped from 87 percent last November to 75% today. Among independent voters Biden’s Job approval stands at 25%. To be fair, Biden has a higher approval rating in other surveys. In an Economist/YouGov poll Biden’s approval is 46%. But in the Real Clear Politics poll of polls Biden’s approval rating stands at 42%. Vice President Harris’ approval numbers are no better than Biden’s. She’s at 39% in the Real Clear Politics poll of polls
In America it’s never too early to talk about the next presidential election. Biden will be 82 in 2024 and Harris isn’t exactly setting the political world afire. Democrats are worried. Right now there’s a boomlet among the Democrat base for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose primary qualification is his intersectional credentials. Buttigieg is gay. This week two Democrats (pollster Doug Schon and former Manhattan borough president Andrew Stein) published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal describing the Democrat’s dilemma and offering a solution: Hillary Clinton. Go ahead and laugh. Prognosticators laughed at Richard Nixon when he ran for president again in 1968, and few thought a white man like Biden could even win the Democrat nomination in 2020. The Clintons have been national political figures for 30 years and have built their own powerful political machine. Nobody should underestimate them, or doubt they got the WSJ piece published.
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