Thursday, December 16, 2021


This story was a gut punch to a lot of people:
Kyrsten Sinema supports the elections reform bill that Democrats are considering a year-end push to pass. She doesn't support a shortcut around the filibuster to get it done.

The Arizona moderate is making clear that she intends to keep protecting the Senate’s 60-vote requirement on most legislation and she isn’t ready to entertain changing rules to pass sweeping elections or voting legislation with a simple majority....

“Senator Sinema has asked those who want to weaken or eliminate the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation which she supports if it would be good for our country to do so,” said her spokesperson John LaBombard. He warned that legislation could be “rescinded in a few years and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law, nationwide restrictions on vote-by-mail, or other voting restrictions currently passing in some states extended nationwide.”
Of course, Republicans could someday eliminate the filibuster and pass voting restrictions by a simple majority if Democrats don't eliminate or modify the filibuster now to pass voting rights legislation. Meanwhile, legislation restricting voting rights is passing in many states where Republicans control the legislature, and it's passing by simple majorities, because somehow the filibuster isn't regarded as vitally necessary to democracy in the states.

We assume that when Sinema and Joe Manchin, her partner in obstruction, express objections to social spending legislation, it's because their wealthy donors don't want to be taxed to pay for the spending. But -- to state the obvious -- these donors also don't want laws on the books preventing Republicans from restricting the votes of Democrats. Democratic voters vote for Democratic candidates. Democratic candidates generally support more spending on the have-nots and more taxation and regulation of the haves. That's not acceptable!

So Sinema isn't defending the filibuster just so it will remain in place to block other bills that upset her donors. Her donors don't want voting rights to pass, either.

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