Democrats Are Running Out of Time to Deliver for the American People

This week we witnessed another example of how much the republican party hates democracy.

On Wednesday, Senate republicans blocked debate on S.2747, “The Freedom to Vote Act,” the Senate’s version of the “For the People Act” that passed the House of Representatives in March with no republican support and only one Democrat opposing.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer–who actually voted “no” in order to enact a procedural maneuver that will allow him to present the bill on the Senate floor again in the future–said:

“Let there be no mistake, Senate Republicans blocking debate yesterday was their implicit endorsement of the horrid new voter suppression and election subversion laws passed in conservative states across the country. When they wouldn’t debate, they said these horrid new laws that suppress voters—that subvert our elections—are okay.”

And it’s all because of a racist anachronism invented to placate a once slave-holding South–namely, the filibuster.

Georgia Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock, The Freedom to Vote Act‘s co-author, asserted:

“I have long maintained that voting rights is more important than preserving any Senate procedural rule. As crushing voter suppression proposals sweep across the nation, undermining access to the ballot for countless Americans, Congress cannot stand idly by and allow the reckless obstruction of some to stand in the way of securing voting rights for the many.”

The filibuster would have likely already been gone if it weren’t for Democrats-in-name-only (DINO) West Va. Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

As Vox’s 

“Even if Democrats lined up the votes to abolish the filibuster somehow, Manchin has said he’s inclined to oppose any party-line effort to overhaul voting in the country. If Manchin holds firm on this, the For the People Act is essentially dead.”

So would be our last chance to preserve democracy.

That’s not hyperbole when we consider recent bills in republican-majority states sowing the seeds of future victories by preventing the record 2020 voter turnout from ever happening again.

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) is tracking hundreds of bills republican-led states are pushing to change ballot measure processes, restrict voting, criminalize peaceful protest, revoke authority from state courts and local election boards, and discard votes that aren’t for them.

In her Daily Kos piece “It’s the filibuster or democracy. We can’t have both,” Joan McCarter wrote:

 “This was the third attempt by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass voting rights in the Senate, the third effort to prove to Manchin (and his partner in obstruction, Kyrsten Sinema) that there are not 10 Republicans who give a good goddamn about ‘bipartisanship’ when it comes to the most critical issues of the day: that Republicans have permanent rule by the minority in sight, and aren’t going to let it go voluntarily.”

She added:

“How many doomed votes is Schumer going to have before the tactic loses all utility, before it becomes rote and no longer outrageous that Republicans would obstruct voting rights? We’re nearly there, and when that happens, when it’s business as usual for Republicans to openly plot the theft of our elections, pretty much everything is lost.”

Indivisible Project director of democracy policy, Meagan Hatcher-Mays, added:

“Like clockwork, you can always count on Senate Republicans to filibuster any attempt to make our democracy functional.”

Stand Up America executive director Christina Harvey, warned:

“There is no compromise voting rights bill that will appease Senate Republicans, and today’s filibuster made that clear. Senator Manchin tried. It didn’t work. Now, we’re out of time. The only way to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation and safeguard our freedom to vote is to end the Jim Crow filibuster.”

But this isn’t the only hill on which Democrats appear to be losing ground.

They are considering scrapping two integral components to President Biden’s “Build Back Better Act”–two years of free community college and a renewable energy plan.

Standing in their way?

Once again, Manchin and Sinema.

Senate Budget Committee Chair, Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who met with Manchin and President Biden this week warned:

 “We have been talking for a long time and I think action is—we need to move very, very quickly. So what we are trying to do is move this process along as quickly as we can.”

Yes, because right before our eyes, we are witnessing Democrats’ opportunity to transform America into a more unified, progressive nation slip away.

Despite holding the majority in the House of Representatives, a narrow majority in the Senate, and the White House, they are losing to traitorous republicans that want nothing more than to see the public’s confidence in democracy further erode.

It’s already happening. is reporting Joe Biden’s disapproval rating is now over 50 percent.

He has lost support from all groups, most notably Independents and Hispanic voters.

His approval is not as low as Donald Trump’s was at this juncture in his presidency, but Americans are growing weary of waiting for the progressive programs and policies that swept Trump from power.

Americans overwhelmingly support a single-payer national healthcare system, tuition-free college, aggressive infrastructure initiatives to rebuild the country while protecting us from climate change, paid family leave, closing tax loopholes for the rich and making pay their share of taxes, and free or affordable pre-K education and childcare.

That’s why Americans voted Biden into office by the largest margin in the nation’s history.

Instead they’re getting intra-party obstruction in addition to the obstruction republicans are creating through unconditional opposition, voter suppression, and the filibuster.

It’s not that republicans have better ideas.

The majority of the country knows republicans are dancing to the tune of fossil fuel corporation, Wall St., the weapons industry, and the ultra-wealthy.

As author and progressive radio talk show host Thom Hartmann wrote recently:

“One hundred percent of Republicans in the House and Senate are refusing to go along with any of these things, while two bought-off Democratic senators are in open revolt against President Biden and Leader Schumer.” 

Democrats are risking losing next year’s mid-term elections.

If that happens, it will be even harder to retain the presidency in 2024.

Republicans know this is their last chance.

That’s why they’re scrambling to confuse, frustrate, intimidate, obfuscate, and obviate what’s left of democracy so their fascist oligarchy will look efficient.

If they succeed, it’s game over.

Hartmann posits, “Will the Next President Be America’s Last President?

If Democrats don’t go big and bold, as they promised, it could be.

Exactly what republicans want.

Image credit: Aron Visuals via Unsplash

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.