The Biden/Harris ticket won election by a relatively-slim margin. Had outgoing president Donald Trump not clumsily interfered in the Georgia senate runoff election, Republicans would probably have a majority in the U.S. Senate today, forcing President Joe Biden to govern more from the center which is where most Americans find their comfort level. The close election was by no means a mandate for radical change and more of a mandate for the parties to work together. It was, in any event, not a mandate to extend the long reach of the federal government to exercise further control over the lives of Americans who traditionally have been protective of individual rights.

Mr. Biden ran as a uniter but thus far, a quarter of the way through his term, he has failed to unite even his own party and his policies and mandates have further divided an already deeply divided nation. Instead of governing from the center as his recent Democrat predecessors had, he moved further left to appease the vocal progressives in his splintered party whose support he needed not only to get elected, but to implement his agenda.

Following his bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, the crisis he created at the southern border by his abrupt reversal of the border enforcement and asylum policies of Donald Trump without a plan in place to deal with the resulting chaos, the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline completion, further restrictions on drilling and fracking, failure to control inflation and the epidemic of crime in the cities, he failed to get his Build Back Better Bill, the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, passed. The administration then made its voting rights bill its top priority. But the bill’s sweeping measures to revise election procedures doesn’t pass constitutional muster because they impinge upon the constitutional rights of the individual states to determine election procedures.

These rights may not be popular with progressives in the densely-populated Democrat metropolises who may wish that the United States was a more monolithic nation run by the executive branch in Washington. But that was not what the founders had in mind when they formed this “more perfect union” of states which retained certain rights as a condition for joining this perfect union. Congress can, of course, enact legislation designed to improve election procedures, but it must pass constitutional muster which does not include taking over the process.

Mr. Biden’s recent speech in Georgia criticizing the wave of voting legislation passed by the various states, tarred them all with the same brush. It was, in my view, a new low point in his presidency. He compared those who opposed the Democrats’ voting bill to segregationists and implied that the 2022 midterm elections would now be suspect because of the changes made by the states. Is the President of the United States actually comparing a majority of the senators, including two of his own party, and at least half of all Americans with segregationists because they disagree with him on the voting rights bill? I thought we had reached the lowest depths of the presidential talent pool when Donald Trump was nominated but I was wrong.

The president falsely charged many of the states with making it more difficult for people to vote. In Georgia, these changes, contrary to what Mr. Biden implied, preserved voting by mail, made permanent the ballot drop boxes which were used as a temporary measure in 2020 and required that election officials could only be removed if malfeasance or gross negligence were proved. Its voting rules are, in fact, considerably more lenient and accommodating than those of Mr. Biden’s home state of Delaware or in Democrat strongholds like New York and Massachusetts. In Georgia, anyone can vote by mail for any reason. In New Hampshire, with perhaps the strictest voting laws, the turnout percentage in 2020 was higher than in California with perhaps the loosest. Where were the media fact checkers?

Democrats have threatened to pass their voting rights bill by changing Senate rules to enable it to pass by a simple majority instead of the 60% needed to pass most legislation other than budget reconciliation-related items. This would involve eliminating the filibuster. To pass a rule change in a Senate evenly divided at 50-50, all 50 Democrat votes plus Vice-president Kamala Harris’ tie-breaker would be needed because all 50 Republican senators are opposed. But Senators Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have clearly stated their opposition to eliminating the filibuster, dooming the Democrats’ voting bill to the defeat it deserves. The 60-vote super majority requirement exists to prevent what is sometimes referred to as the tyranny of the majority. A simple majority by as little as, say, one vote should not determine whether or not important legislation like, say, a major tax increase passes.

Sen. Sinema, in expressing her opposition to eliminating the filibuster, said that although she supports the voting rights bill, she would not support measures that “worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country”. She should be commended for having the courage to vote her conscience rather than what her party demands in order to avoid being compared with segregationists.

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