GOP is planning a 'coup' for 2024 — and Democrats aren’t doing enough to prevent a 'constitutional crisis': reporter
Countless articles on the voter suppression bills being passed or proposed by Republicans in state legislatures all over the U.S. have focused on the ways in which they make voting more difficult, but that isn't the most sinister part of the bills — which are also putting MAGA Republicans in charge of election administration and paving the way for them to throw out election results they don't like. Reporter Ari Berman, in an article published by Mother Jones this week, warns that MAGA Republicans have a game plan for stealing the 2024 presidential election if they lose — while Democrats aren't doing nearly enough to stop that from happening.
Berman explains, "In March 2021, before the Senate held its first hearing on the For the People Act, the Democrats' sweeping democracy reform bill, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told me that her party had a 'once-in-a-century moment to protect people's right to vote.' But that historic opportunity to pass voting rights legislation is rapidly disappearing. And many Democrats and voting rights advocates are growing increasingly frustrated with the Biden Administration's lack of urgency and prioritization concerning threats to democracy, as Republicans across the country aim to consolidate their power for at least a decade."
In addition to the For the People Act, Democrats in Congress have proposed voting rights bills that include the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act — which, on October 20, was filibustered and blocked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senate Democrats would be able to narrowly pass the Freedom to Vote Act if a voting rights exception to the filibuster was created, but Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — both centrist Democrats who are adamant supporters of the filibuster — are opposed to that. And Berman believes that voting rights need to be a "bigger priority" for the Biden Administration.
Berman observes, "What is clear is that the administration has not lobbied Manchin, Sinema, or other members of Congress to support voting rights legislation or used the bully pulpit with the same urgency and intensity they've devoted to issues like the infrastructure bill, (the) Build Back Better Act, and raising the debt ceiling…. There's also no evidence that Manchin or Sinema will ever change their positions on the filibuster."
Following the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump and his lawyers showed how much they had in common with authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán when they tried to overturn the election results. The United States' check and balances held up, but Berman fears that they won't in 2024 unless Democrats find a way to get a voting rights bill passed and sent to President Joe Biden's desk for signature.
"Democrats breathed a sigh of relief when Biden was inaugurated, but Trump and his allies were just getting started with their efforts to undermine democracy," Berman stresses. "Just because the first coup failed doesn't mean the next attempt won't succeed. This has all the makings of a constitutional crisis, but Democrats have done nothing to stop it."
Berman continues, "The Freedom to Vote Act would counter many of the GOP's anti-democratic tactics by expanding voting access through policies like automatic and Election Day registration, two weeks of early voting, and no-excuse absentee voting nationwide; banning partisan gerrymandering; and protecting the right to have your ballot counted. But voting rights advocates are now shouting from the rooftops that time is running out to pass it — and if they don't do so soon, Republicans will do everything they can to rig the political system in their favor. And Democrats will likely lose their majorities as a result, becoming powerless to reverse the extreme gerrymandering, voter suppression and election subversion."
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