Here is Robert Reich’s take on the threats to our democracy:
Without Manchin, then, the For the People Act is probably dead, unless Biden can convince one Republican senator to join Senate Democrats in supporting it – like, say, Utah’s Mitt Romney, who has publicly rebuked Trump for lying about the 2020 election and has something of a reputation for being an institutionalist who cares about American democracy.
Yet given Trump’s continuing hold over the shrinking Republican Party, any Republican senator who joined with the Democrats in supporting the For the People Act would probably be ending their political career. Profiles in courage make good copy for political obituaries and memorials.
I’m afraid history will show that, in this shameful era, Republican senators were more united in their opposition to voting rights than Democratic senators were in their support for them.
The future of American democracy needs better odds.
Here we have two values in conflict: the right to vote, and the evil of partisan voting laws. Manchin claims the first to be “fundamental,” but if he is unwilling to violate the second value to secure it, then it clearly isn’t.
Lee Drutman argues the GOP has become an antidemocratic party:
The Republican party of 2021, and especially its leaders, have now abandoned those principles. At a national level, they have refused to accept the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, and encouraged or condoned violence. At a state level, they have abused their power to change the rules in ways that restrict voting rights. Though these anti-democratic sentiments have been building within the ranks of the party for years, the events of 2021 mark the transformation of the Republican party into a genuinely illiberal party, and a grave threat to the continuation of American democracy as we’ve known it.
And on a final note, don’t miss George Packer’s analysis at The Atlantic on our fractured country:
The 1970s ended postwar, bipartisan, middle-class America, and with it the two relatively stable narratives of getting ahead and the fair shake. In their place, four rival narratives have emerged, four accounts of America’s moral identity. They have roots in history, but they are shaped by new ways of thinking and living. They reflect schisms on both sides of the divide that has made us two countries, extending and deepening the lines of fracture. Over the past four decades, the four narratives have taken turns exercising influence. They overlap, morph into one another, attract and repel one another. None can be understood apart from the others, because all four emerge from the same whole.
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