The Nation is fairly progressive in the Bizarro World of political discourse, and this attack has been building for a while now.
On Sunday, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin published a 1,000-word op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail to explain why he was knifing Black Americans in the back and voting against the For the People Act, which is aimed at stopping Republicans from disenfranchising Black and brown voters. Manchin also used the space to defend his refusal to reform the filibuster. And he made his now de rigueur calls for bipartisanship, while again offering no theories or plans for how to achieve it beyond wishing for 10 Republicans to magically transubstantiate into moral beings.
The op-ed in question:
Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.
I just began John Boehner’s memoir which just came out. He spoke of the House Bank scandal of 1991. He and some other n00bs were hated by the old timers for airing dirty laundry. JB got dumped on and threatened by both sides, but went ahead and did what was right because it was what was right. This seems to ring similar. Manchin is doing the right and difficult thing…imo natch.
It has been said by much wiser people than me that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well, what I’ve seen during my time in Washington is that every party in power will always want to exercise absolute power, absolutely. Our founders were wise to see the temptation of absolute power and built in specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy. The Senate, its processes and rules, have evolved over time to make absolute power difficult while still delivering solutions to the issues facing our country and I believe that’s the Senate’s best quality.
Boehner had a lot to say about power as well. A lot.
I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.
American democracy is something special, it is bigger than one party, or the tweet-filled partisan attack politics of the moment. It is my sincere hope that all of us, especially those who are privileged to serve, remember our responsibility to do more to unite this country before it is too late.
I’m with him until this last bit. It’s not too late. There’s no war against American democracy. That is a bullshit media trope created by people who don’t pump their own gas.