According to President Joe Biden, Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is now on the side of George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis.
Why? Because Sinema said Thursday she opposes nuking the Senate filibuster so Democrats can ram through a bill to federalize elections. In Biden’s book, that puts Sinema on the side of slavery and Jim Crow.
“Every official in America,” Biden said in a widely mocked speech Tuesday in Georgia, has to choose: “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. [Martin Luther] 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?”
I guess Sinema chose the Confederacy.
Such is the absurdity of the position Biden and Democrat leaders have put themselves in. By staking their midterm election prospects on the passage of a “voting rights” bill no one asked for and that has no chance of passing the Senate, they have been reduced to hurling juvenile insults and spinning abject lies to make their case for reshaping America’s elections.
The insults are as predictable as they are disgusting. Echoing Biden’s farcical accusations of racism against anyone who disagrees with him about the filibuster, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic caucus, on Wednesday wagged his finger and declared that the filibuster “is dripping in racist history, in defense of slavery and Jim Crow.”
That’s the explicit line now, in all its bone-crushing idiocy: the filibuster is racist. You don’t want to be on the side of racism, do you? Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has used the suddenly racist filibuster hundreds of times in his long Senate career, somehow claims it now stands in the way of preserving democracy itself.
As thousands of people have pointed out this week, this is rank hypocrisy. Schumer has long defended and lauded the filibuster. In 2003 he said it was “embodied in the spirit and rule of the Constitution.” Biden himself said in a 2005 speech that getting rid of the filibuster would be “an assault on the American people and many of the things we hold dear,” and “the tyranny of the majority personified.”
Say what you will about social media, but it makes these kinds of cynical, blatant reversals easy to call out. A video of Republican Sen. Tom Cotton giving a speech on the Senate floor this week went viral because the speech was composed entirely of previous statements by Schumer passionately defending the filibuster. It was a good troll.
The darker side to all this is that Democrats are trying to tie passage of their voting reform to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, arguing that benign GOP-led election reforms at the state level are somehow inspired by the Jan. 6 rioters and will, if left unchecked, lead to the end of democracy.
That’s another outlandish accusation, but it’s far more dangerous than calling everyone a racist. By suggesting their political opponents have common cause with “insurrectionists,” Democrats and the Biden administration are in effect arguing that Republican lawmakers are enemies of democracy who must be stopped at all costs.
That means using House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan Jan. 6 committee as a political weapon. It means flooding local election offices with hundreds of millions in private funding to turn out Democratic votes. It means appealing, as Biden did this week, directly to Big Tech and corporate media to “deal with misinformation and disinformation,” in what was an unconcealed demand that Big Tech censor conservative voices even more.
It’s easy to laugh at Schumer and Biden, but what they’re trying to do out of desperation isn’t funny, it’s dangerous — and it will get worse the more it becomes apparent their agenda has totally stalled. The Build Back Better welfare and climate change spending bill is all but dead. Without Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, nuking the filibuster to pass voting reform is also dead. On Thursday, the Supreme Court smacked down Biden’s unconstitutional attempt to use OSHA to impose a Covid vaccine mandate on private employers, dealing the White House yet another setback.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Democratic Party policies are associated with a host of negative developments: the worst inflation in 40 years, depressed wages, rising crime, and unwarranted school closures many blame on Democrat-allied teachers’ unions. All of this is taking a toll on Biden, whose approval rating fell to an abysmal 33 percent in one recent poll.
Democrats know they’re losing the confidence and patience of the American people. They know they are failing, and failing badly. If things keep getting worse for them as the midterms loom, they will lash out in ever more extreme ways, and the least their opponents will have to worry about is being called racist.