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Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:32 PM

Mitch, GOP, fearing voters, hide behind filibuster

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

This really needs saying: If Democrats blow up Senate rules, millions of Americans will cease to have a voice in the Senate. Entire states would be shut out. Top Dems have floated breaking the rules for years now. This isn’t about new voting laws. It’s about silencing voters who inconvenience Democrats.

OK, maybe I should have put quotation marks around the words that followed “saying,” because they’re not mine, they’re Mitch “I’m not a hypocrite, you are” McConnell’s, tweeting about Democrats’ desire to modify filibuster rules to allow a vote on ensuring fair elections for all voters. It needs saying so everyone understands his mendacious hypocrisy.

McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and Senate minority leader, wrote that, after silencing voters who elected President Obama when it came to his ability to appoint a Supreme Court justice. Who circumvented the filibuster to pack the court with rightwing ideologues intent upon silencing most American voices on women’s health choices, environmental regulations, and more; and who, by gutting the Voting Rights Act, allowed the silencing of minority voters around the country. Challenging belief in divine agency, Malignant Mitch wasn’t immolated as he fingered his screen.

Even without the filibuster, current Senate makeup allows the silencing of a large majority of voters, as the Republican half represents over 40 million fewer Americans than the Democratic half. But it’s worse than that: the two Dakotas, for example, have a combined population of less than 2 million, yet they have four senators; all of them Republicans. California, with more than 40 million people, has two, both Democrats. It’s unlikely our mostly wise founders foresaw that level of inequity.


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