October 21, 2021

Compulsively bipartisan Sen. Joe Manchin must be feeling a lot like Charlie Brown this morning, with the elusive football of Republican support nowhere to be found for the compromise voting rights bill he wrote, insisting he could get ten Republicans to vote for it. You all know how this ended, right? Via The Guardian:

The vote was 49-51 along party lines (Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, switched to vote no at the last minute in a procedural maneuver that will allow him to bring up the bill again for a vote). Because the filibuster requires 60 votes to proceed, Republicans succeeded in blocking the measure.

The bill, the Freedom to Vote Act, would impose significant new guardrails on the American democratic process and amount to the most significant overhaul of US elections in a generation. It would require every state to automatically register voters at motor vehicle agencies, offer 15 consecutive days of early voting and allow anyone to request a mail-in ballot. It would also set new standards to ensure voters are not wrongfully removed from the voter rolls, protect election officials against partisan interference, and set out clear alternatives people who lack ID to vote can use at the polls.

Speaking on the Senate floor after the vote, the majority leader, Chuck Schumer, criticized Republicans for opposing the measure and strongly hinted Democrats would move to change the filibuster rules around voting rights. The right to vote, Schumer said, was unlike other issues the Senate deals with. “It isn’t about regular old politics,” he said.

This TOTALLY PREDICTABLE outcome puts major pressure on Manchin, who insisted he could bring Republican support to his compromise version and thus protect his beloved Jim Crow filibuster. Okay, Joe, give it your best shot! Since Dems needed his vote, they patiently went along with his non-reality based plan.

Oh noes! Looks like that sucked!

Now Democrats will push Manchin to accept a carve-out for the talking filibuster proposed by Norm Ornstein and Al Franken, who both seem confident he'll accept it. But will the Goth Queen of Arizona go along, too? Stay tuned!

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