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Tag: mitch mcconnell

WTF? Mitch McConnell Thinks Republicans Will Do 'Fine' With  Black Voters In 2022

In an interview with CNN, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell managed to impart one truism amid the web of fantasy he spun.

"I still say it's 50-50," McConnell said, handicapping the GOP's chances of retaking the Senate in November.

That seems close, if not a tad optimistic given the GOP’s emerging class of candidates. But other than that, McConnell said everything was going perfectly according to plan for Senate Republicans in 2022.

Donald Trump endorsing an alleged wife-beater for an open Pennsylvania Senate seat who was then forced to bow out after losing custody of his children? Perfect.

McConnell being forced to bow to Trump's wishes on endorsing alleged wife-beater and violence-prone former football star Herschel Walker? Just swell.

Trump sparring with McConnell-aligned Senate Republicans over whether he actually lost the 2020 election? No worries.

McConnell just wanted to make one minor tweak to Trump's Big Lie—which is now the central organizing feature of Trump’s entire life.

"It's important for candidates to remember we need to respect the results of our democratic process unless the court system demonstrates that some significant fraud occurred that would change the outcome," McConnell said.

Righto. All those GOP candidates running around courting Trump's endorsement by spewing election fraud lies should keep that small reframe in mind.

Asked if he was worried that the united GOP front against passing federal voting protections might hinder Republicans' appeal to Black voters, McConnell scoffed.

"I think I can pretty confidently say, we won't lose any elections over that issue, anywhere in the country," McConnell said. "I mean, the thought that a single Senate race in America would be decided over that issue strikes me as being wildly out of touch with what the American people are interested in."

Demonstrating once again that McConnell doesn't exactly consider Black Americans to be Americans.

Because there was that historic election a year ago when Georgians voted the state's first-ever Black senator, Rev. Raphael Warnock, into office. Seems like Black voters in Georgia, among others, might be interested in the voting rights issue. That's "a single Senate race in America" who could prove consequential, is it not?

Basically, the entire interview was a lesson in the fact that no one should take McConnell's proclamations about the upcoming elections and the state of the GOP too seriously. He's shoveling just as much crap as Trump.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Mitch McConnell Goes Full-Blown Jim Crow On Voting Rights (VIDEO)

While Americans were attuned to the Senate's seemingly doomed voting right's bill--failing to advance in a 48-52 vote due to fake Democrats Sinema and Manchin--Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech reminiscent of George Wallace in the old segregated south when he essentially deemed African-American voters as not "real" Americans.

In a video that has since gone viral, McConnell addresses the press about the voting rights bill, calling the “concern” about minority voters having less access to the ballot box “misplaced.”

"If you look at the statistics, African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans, "said McConnell

McConnell appears to be molding himself into a less offensive Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms, only far more calculating and savage. Either we impose term limits on these ancient old racists or we make sure they feel the pain at the ballot box. Oh wait, that was just made more difficult due to two cosplaying Democratic Senators' bizarre love affair with an outdated Senatorial procedure that a majority of voters want to be eliminated.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

'It's A Trap':Advocates Warn Of McConnell Tricks On Election  Reform

Since June, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus have filibustered three separate Democratic voting rights bills, refusing to permit even a floor debate on the legislation as GOP-led states intensify their assault on the franchise.

But with Senate Democrats gearing up for yet another attempt to strengthen federal voter protections, McConnell is signaling a willingness to cooperate with the majority party on a far more narrow reform effort—one that would entail tweaks to the obscure Electoral Count Act.

"It obviously has some flaws," McConnell said Wednesday of the 1887 statute, which sets out procedures for the counting of electoral votes and gives members of Congress the ability to dispute the results of presidential contests. Nearly 150 Republican lawmakers voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, just hours after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol last year.

Reforms to the Electoral Count Act are "worth, I think, discussing," the Kentucky Republican added.

Voting rights advocates immediately sensed danger—and urged Democrats not to play along with the GOP leader.

"It's a trap!" the progressive organization Indivisible warned in an email to supporters late Wednesday as momentum behind Electoral Count Act reform continued to build, fueled by the work of right-wing organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and Cato.

Earlier Wednesday, both Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)—whose refusal to support filibuster reform is a major reason for Democrats' failure to pass voting rights legislation—voiced support for the push to alter the Electoral Count Act.

Manchin, who is facing pressure from a McConnell-aligned dark money group to uphold the 60-vote filibuster, told Politico that nascent discussions on the 1887 law are "a good start."

At least they've got people talking now," said the West Virginia Democrat. A bipartisan group convened by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has reportedly begun discussing a plan to reform the Electoral Count Act.

A spokesperson for Sinema, meanwhile, said the Arizona senator "continues to believe bipartisan action is needed to strengthen our democracy and has been in constant contact with colleagues in both parties on this and other potential areas of common ground."

But voting rights campaigners and experts fear that growing focus on the Electoral Count Act will distract from more fundamental efforts to end voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, and other anti-democratic practices that Republicans are deploying in states across the country ahead of the pivotal 2022 midterms.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, wrote in a series of tweets earlier this week that while changes to the Electoral Count Act are worth pursuing, they would be no substitute for the passage of robust federal voter protections.

"We must not deny the truth: that voter suppression schemes create obstacles designed to frustrate voting and drive down turnout among Black, Latino, Asian American, student, and disabled voters," wrote Ifill. "It is an affront to democracy and a denial of full citizenship that must be addressed."

Indivisible co-executive director Ezra Levin expressed similar concerns in a statement Wednesday evening.

"Who on this earth believes Mitch McConnell woke up this morning and decided to start caring about democracy? Nobody," Levin said. "McConnell is working to outmaneuver Democrats."

Reforming the Electoral Count Act "would do nothing to reverse or prevent gerrymandering or voter suppression," he continued. "If McConnell can convince Manchin and Sinema to go down this path, that would successfully sideline efforts to pass the big, consequential democracy bills that combat voter suppression."

"Our message to Senate Dems is simple: Don't get distracted!" Levin added. "Pass the damn Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis [Voting Rights Advancement Act], and don't fall for McConnell's tricks."

In a new petition, Indivisible urges Senate Democrats to "add reforms to the Electoral Count Act as an amendment to the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure these reforms are passed ALONGSIDE the other bills."

Thus far, it appears that the Senate Democratic leadership does not intend to back Electoral Count Act reform as a standalone alternative to the Freedom to Vote Act and other voting rights legislation.

“The Electoral Count Act [reform] says you can rig the elections anyway you want and then we'll count it accurately," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Politico in an interview.

The Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise measure crafted after the GOP and Manchin obstructed the more sweeping For the People Act, has the support of every member of the Senate Democratic caucus.

If passed, the bill would establish Election Day as a legal public holiday, expand early and mail-in voting, prohibit partisan gerrymandering, and strengthen campaign finance regulations, among other reforms.

But because no Republicans support the bill, the legislation has failed to reach the 60-vote threshold required under the current filibuster rule.

While Schumer is vowing to pursue changes to the upper chamber's rules if Republicans filibuster the Freedom to Vote Act a second time, Manchin has declined to endorse specific filibuster reforms.

"Being open to a rules change that would create a nuclear option—it's very, very difficult," Manchin told reporters earlier this week, referring to the procedure by which Democrats could alter Senate rules without needing Republican votes.

"It's a heavy lift," he added.

Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, noted in response that "Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans reformed the filibuster to confirm three Trump Supreme Court nominees with simple majority votes."

"If 51 votes is good enough for a lifetime confirmation to the highest court in our land," Eldridge wrote on Twitter, "it should be enough to protect our freedom to vote."

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

'Titan': Former US Senate Leader Harry Reid Dies At 82

Washington (AFP) - Former US Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who rose from humble beginnings to lead the upper chamber during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has died aged 82.

"I am heartbroken to announce the passing of my husband," his wife, Landra, said in a statement released to US media, adding he died "peacefully... surrounded by our family."

Reid, who used his experience in Congress to help Obama steer his landmark Affordable Care Act through the Senate, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

Laconic and soft-spoken, Reid was born and raised in the mining town of Searchlight, Nevada on December 2, 1939, in a house with no hot water or indoor toilets.

A prize-fighter in his youth, he used his pugilistic instincts to work his way up to becoming one of the longest-serving majority leaders in the history of the US senate, and even called his memoir The Good Fight.

Current Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said Reid was "one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met."

"He never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor & middle class," Schumer said on Twitter.

'Skill And Determination'

Despite his hardscrabble upbringing, he was elected to the Senate in 1986 and became the upper chamber's Democratic leader in the 2004 elections. He served as Senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015.

Reid often referred to his working class origins -- his father was a miner, his mother a laundress, and neither parent graduated from high school.

He hitchhiked 40 miles (65 kilometers) as a teenager to attend the nearest high school, and then graduated from Utah State University and put himself through George Washington University Law School by working nights as a member of the US Capitol police.

Quixotic, he once filibustered the Republicans by himself for nine hours, by reading from the history book he wrote about his hometown of Searchlight.

Reid was more conservative than most other Democrats in the Senate. A practicing Mormon, he was staunchly against abortion rights -- a stance that sometimes found him working at cross purposes with others in his Democratic caucus.

In lieu of a statement, Obama made public a letter he had written to Reid shortly before his death, in which he said: "I wouldn't have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn't have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Reid a "titan," describing him as "a leader of immense courage and ferocious conviction who worked tirelessly to achieve historic progress for the American people."

Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, said that Reid's rise from poverty to political power was a "quintessentially American story, and it took Harry's legendary toughness, bluntness, and tenacity to make it happen."

McConnell And Other Republicans Cynically Trying To Recruit Joe Manchin

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and a number of other Republican lawmakers are urging centrist-leaning Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to part ways with the Democratic Party after months of opposition toward the political party's views and agenda.

During an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio talk show, McConnell offered his take on Manchin's views and opposition toward his party's agenda as he mulled over how things could work if he made the decision to join the GOP, per New York Daily News.

"He feels like a man alone,” McConnell said of the Democratic lawmaker. “If he were to join us, he’d be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues.”

The top-ranking Republican lawmaker also insisted that Manchin appears to be one of few Democratic lawmakers concerned about the United States' debt problem and the impact of inflation.

“I think what Manchin is discovering is there just aren’t any Democrats left in the Senate that are ... terribly concerned about debt and deficit and inflation,” McConnell said.

Other Republican lawmakers have also echoed McConnell's invitation. In a statement to Fox News, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), who also left the Democratic Party back in 2019, shared details about his experience as he also encouraged Manchin to "make the switch."

"I am not sure whether Senator Manchin will switch parties, but I have no doubt the Republican Party will welcome him with open arms, as they did with me," Van Drew told Fox News in a statement. "Personally, I hope Senator Manchin does make the switch, and speaking from experience, I can say it was one of the best decisions I ever made."

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-A) also weighed in during an interview on Fox News' The Story.

"I think it’s pretty rich when Bernie Sanders, who wasn’t even a Democrat at all until six years ago, is criticizing Joe Manchin for not being a good Democrat," Cotton said on Tuesday. "So maybe it is time for Sen. Manchin to come over, and we’d welcome him with open arms if he did."

Despite the Republican invites, Manchin has repeatedly said that he has no interest in switching parties. Doing so would require him to forfeit his position as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

An inside source also put the situation into perspective, per the New York Post. “What’s the advantage?” the source asked. “He’s now the 51st vote but he’s going to vote against them the majority of the time anyway, and he loses his committee chairmanship, and then what? Logistically, it doesn’t make sense.”

Article reprinted with permission from Altenet