You are America. Unconstrained by habit and convention. Unencumbered by what is, ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, there is new ground to cover, there are more bridges to be crossed. America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We The People.’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ‘Yes We Can.’ That word is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.PRESIDENT OBAMA, 2015
I thought on this Selma anniversary, it was good to hear from Pres. Obama.
Near-fatal beating of John Lewis, Bloody Sunday, Selma, today 1965: pic.twitter.com/rbyZYit0QI
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) March 7, 2021
The legacy of Selma is that while nothing can stop free people from exercising their most sacred power as citizens, there are those who will do anything they can to take that power away. As we reflect on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we must stay focused on the work ahead. pic.twitter.com/DDn1LFfqmi
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 7, 2021
History is not forgotten. 56 years after #BloodySunday, we are still marching in Selma to fight for our voting rights. Let us honor the memory of John Lewis and those who marched alongside him. Congress – let’s pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. #Selma56 pic.twitter.com/cKbC5LIg7K
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) March 7, 2021
Dan Rather has thoughts: Do Republicans Believe in Democracy
Susan Rice exorcising Stephen Miller’s old office. It may not be enough.
If this congress does not pass the Lewis act, democracy is done.
As to Mr Rather’s question: Absolutely not.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@TaMara (HFG): An actual exorcist might be called for
@TaMara (HFG): I hope she had all the walls washed and had new furniture brought in.
Biden’s Executive Order promoting access to voting today. (I posted the whole thing downstairs if you don’t want to get out of the boat.)
Of course the first reply is to accuse her of cultural appropriation. ?
Love that design for the library wall!
I hope Miller sees that tweet and all those black people up on his wall!
@BruceFromOhio: Many, if not all, FOX, OANN,etc. consumers will do anything to maintain status. They are drawn to their fear based media like adrenaline addicts or moths to flame. They fail to see the war that is being stoked. At some time we will be required to tackle the libertarian structures of tech. It’s a slippery slope as is is our slide towards fascism in defense of rigid status. Is there a middle ground between total control and reckless “freedom”?
Damned good essay. And Rather correctly puts the responsibility on reporters to ask hard questions of Republican politicians who clearly have had enough of democracy.
And I also liked this:
I don’t know if producers of pundit shows are afraid that they will not be able to fill time if they keep allowing lying politicians and guests to come on to these shows. And it seems stupid to say that they are allowing all points of view if they put these dopes on. Nobody seriously believes that proponents of the flat Earth theory deserve air time.
@TaMara (HFG): Anyone know the name of the artist?
Some of these red states really rely on federal funds. Perhaps some threats of – you ain’t going to get anything from us unless you play ball. They’ll yell about states rights, but we can just shrug and tell em you have to right to refuse, and we have the right not to give you funds.
Not that I would advocate actually doing it, but maybe it’s time for a game of chicken. We already know they are fucking cowards.
Producers are worried about audience and so they need to do both sides in order to garner friction. So bringing the Big Lie gets people to sit and watch the show and watch the ads. Everything is about watching ads of the sponsors. So that’s the big issue here – we need to break that cycle – that’s the biggest issue with all 24 hour news.
@Another Scott: My initial thought when I saw your comment downstairs was that The American Rescue Act is now mostly complete, so he is moving on to the next thing: Voting Rights.
But no, the timing of this being today is because of this anniversary. Of course it is.
@cain: Dunno. A couple or three things.
I’m not a fan of the tautology that “Fighting them makes them stronger!! / Not fighting them makes them stronger!!”. People are complicated, politics is complicated, and progress is incremental. Carrots and (at least the threat of) Sticks are probably both needed.
How’s that for a wishy-washy path forward?!!
@Catherine D.: Is Reynald Joseph. Someone gave link in the comments. Can’t supply on this clunky device. I like, too. Similar to Lawrence or Motley in some ways, but of his own.
@Brachiator: Our media community (village? work in progress?band of bubkis?) and our political community have not yet learned the lesson that their “air time” be diddly in the scheme of things.
A true, significant story that comes from or is vetted by the orthodox media is a great thing. Such stories, and many other non-orthodox ones, ripple out it ways that Walter Cronkite could never have foreseen. But the corporate news seal of approval is no longer critical.
Politically, we face a familiar scene today in our particular version of the Plutocracy vs. Republic saga. It has played out since at least the days of post-Punic Rome. Team Latin knocked out their foreign competition (too bad for you Hannibal) but bankrupted their own middle class.
It was Roman Exceptionalism at its peak. We can probably top it, if only because American Exceptionalism is the best. Or we might eke out a win.
We are living out our version of the story in a cyber punk Cosmopolis where “air time” is but one of countless influences and ubiquitous knowledge is an awesome wild card. Fascinating stuff, but nerve-wracking.
As I noted downstairs, Sen. John Barrasso, completely unrebutted by Chuck Todd, (ETA: natch), referred to Biden’s Covid strategy as “Operation Warp Speed”.
@prostratedragon: Thanks! I found some of his paintings online, and they’re actually affordable …
Another sight to make Steven sad:
It’s a funny way of saying “all politics are local” :D
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@cain:I think the GOP picked another stupid fight with Voting access. Mail in voting is really popular with their own base. Democrats for making it easy for you to vote, Republicans want to make it impossible is easy to understand.
Manchin says he’s open to a speaking filibuster.
I have no problem with reforming it to a speaking filibuster. In some ways, I think that’s better than abolishing it entirely because it allows the minority to draw attention to what the majority is doing. If Dems believe they are on the side of public opinion, then whether they or the GOP are exercising such a filibuster should help them by drawing attention to support or opposition to something the public likes.
Anyone heard from Sinema on this? After her minimum wage thumbs down stunt I no longer have much hope there. Manchin can be annoying but I have a much better understanding of what he’s trying to accomplish than I do with Sinema.
@TaMara (HFG): It’s a stupid question. Republicans have never believed in Democracy. Within their own ranks, sure, but not outside of it.
Google’s failing me. What other kinds of filibusters are there?
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: I think you just identified the problem. Mail-in voting is very popular with the Republican base – for THEM. For people of un-whiteness, not so much.
@Another Scott: Agreed. Also, it seems to me that the governors who most need a good thwacking (DeSatan, Kemp, Abbott, Noam, etc.) simply do not give a shit about the majority of the people in their states. It doesn’t even register with them that it’s something a governor would worry about. Hell, they really don’t even care about their party or their donors. As long as they themselves hold power and are living comfortably, then they’ve done their jobs, as far as they can tell.
So, how does a POTUS make life terrible, personally, for a state’s governor? I have no suggestions that don’t look awfully close to what Nixon would do.
It’s practical political issues like these that make me quite hopeful and expectant that these voting bills will pass, and pass soon.
The universal, #1 Rule in politics is to win reelection.
Still doesn’t explain that flouncing vote.
@Martin: I’d like a speaking filibuster that requires 40 votes to continue rather than 60 votes to stop.
@debbie: The filibuster is simply a way for the minority to slow a bill down. Its original primary function is to force the majority to give the minority time to debate the bill. Essentially “No, we won’t be voting on this now, we have things to say about and we’re going to force you to give us time on the floor to say them”. It used to be you could delay the vote so long as you held the floor – you stood there and made your case. And if there were 60 votes (used to be 67) then they could override your debate and cause the vote to happen immediately. But because nobody could stand there indefinitely, you couldn’t prevent a bill from getting a 51 majority vote – you could only delay it. Somewhere along the way that changed where one senator could simply object to the vote, and do nothing indefinitely. It went from a delay of ~1 day to a veto.
So we put it back to being a delay. Filibusters are rare and a spectacle so they get media coverage, which is good. If Dems are trying to pass popular legislation and the media focus more on the bill during a GOP filibuster, that’s good. If the GOP are trying to pass unpopular legislation and the media focus more on the bill during a Dem filibuster, that’s also good.
There have also been rules that you holding the floor also required you staying on topic, with Senators able to object as soon as you went off-topic with a vote of present members, and ending the filibuster. That rule is also good because it helps prevent someone speaking to an empty room for a day. Holding the floor therefore requires that your members be present to listen to you.
TPM reports that Sinema is also good with a speaking filibuster. So this whole thing seems like a charade now. Lots of Dem senators call for ending the filibuster (also popular with Dem voters) which creates a threat to the filibuster – it needs to be ‘saved’ from this threat. The reform is the saving of it, and Manchin/Sinema get to be the savior of it rather than the GOP. Dems not only get the change they want, they also get credit for both being willing to kill it and also not killing it.
This looks like a done deal to me. And I’m willing to bet some variation on HR1 gets passed as a result, as well as HR51.
Producers believe that it is easy to play to and build on the audience you have. This is laziness. They don’t think about viewers they may have lost or new viewers they might gain if they did a better job.
Also, politicians have been trained by strategists to stick to the lie no matter what. Producers don’t see that pandering to these liars undermines the integrity of real journalism.
And it’s not even about “both sides.” You have an increasing audience of conservative viewers who want to hear lies.
And as you note, the big problem here is that news operations are profit centers going for bigger ratings. Numbers count, even if large numbers of viewers are people who want to be lied to.
Thanks. Didn’t Nancy Pelosi once speak for 9 hours? I remember everyone being impressed with her being able to stand in high heels the entire time.
@Wapiti: It’s 60% of the members present, so I don’t think it matters – either way you need to outpopulate the members present.
@debbie: No, she was never in the Senate. Wendy Davis had an impressive filibuster in the Texas legislature, but she wore very stylish sneakers.
No female has taken up a lengthy filibuster in the US Senate. Strom Thurmond has the record for a bit over 24 hours holding up the Civil Rights act.
@debbie: True. Maybe she was drunk at the time.
I suspect she’ll vote the right way when the time comes. Unfortunately, the time may not come until she’s on-board…
With any luck, we’ll get this passed soon.
J R in WV
Currently all a Senator needs to do is announce they are filibustering a bill, and at that time the bill goes to sleep forever, no talking needed.
In the distant past a Senator engaging in a filibuster had to remain on the floor speaking, whether reading the phone-book (really!) or denouncing the bill they appear to hate. Once they take a break, filibuster ends.
I think when Senator NutjobA surrenders the floor it passes to a member of the other party?
But it took 60 votes to end a filibuster at one time… However, I am NOT a parliamentarian of any flavor!
Fillybuster: cowboy specializing in taming mares.
I can remember as a much younger man searching out what I could find about the Civil Rights movement, watching every video I could.
Now I find I can’t watch any of it without getting irrationally angry and sad.
On this day in 1983 Marvin Gaye gave us the greatest National Anthem we’ve ever heard.
Oh, and I’ve been too lazy to look it up, but what is the parliamentarian and what are their duties?
We are going to take away the money that keeps the folks you are oppressing from starving is not the genius liberal take that some people think it is.
Southern politics is the way it is because of a lot of voter suppression that has gone on longer than I have existed on this planet.
@HumboldtBlue: Wikipedia has info on the parliamentarian. Short version, she knows all the Senate’s rules and advises the presiding officer on them.
Thanks, I went-a-searchin’.
J R in WV
My Wife knows Roberts Rules pretty well from being a Union Officer, and from covering bigger unions that use Robert’s in their conventions. Not the same as Senate Rules, of course, but quite similar in many ways.
“A Motion to Adjourn is always in order” for example; if there’s a second, there must be a vote…
FOR TA MARA https://imgur.com/t/aww/6vO6pLA
I’m sure that Barack Obama’s presidential library will be an uplifting place. I have been trying to imagine what Trump’s presidential library might look like – Stormy Daniels’ porn videos on loops in tacky faux gold displays? Testimonials and torn clothing from the 18 women he has sexually assaulted? Diplomas from the now-defunct and utterly worthless Trump University? Trump never writes a damn thing, except putting his idiotic, EKG-like signature on his stupid, racist executive orders, so what sort of library can you create from that drivel. since most of that shit has already been rescinded by Biden?