The president of the United States is in a bombastic mood. Unlike his predecessor, he does not run his administration from his Twitter account, but he does run it from the podium, with texts laden with exclamation marks and exclamation marks.
Earlier this week, we discussed the President’s announcement, last Friday, of an initiative to save American capitalism from itself, by increasing its competitiveness. The right, which considers itself the natural protector of capitalism, responded with a gnashing of teeth. Critics on the right attribute the Biden initiative to his desire to increase government intervention in economic activity, to the detriment of capitalism and to the detriment of competitiveness.
Only four days passed, and the president opened another front. He appeared Tuesday at the Philadelphia Constitution Hall, where the U.S. Constitution was written 234 years ago, and announced that he was at war with “the greatest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.”
He was referring to changes to the Republican Party’s election law in 19 U.S. states. Republicans, who have a majority in those states’ legislatures, say they want to ensure the vote is correct. Minorities, poor and weak who tend to vote for Democrats.
“I swore to God”
The president sounded and looked particularly annoyed, with loud noises, tones, body movements. “Never in my career did I think I would say these things,” he said, “but I swore allegiance to you, and to God, to uphold the constitution, to preserve it and to protect it … to protect America from the threats of external and internal enemies.”
The crowd erupted in stormy applause when the word “internal” was heard. This moment, when the opposition was downgraded to the level of “internal enemies”, made clear the drama of the class and its far-reaching potential.
It could be argued that on Tuesday Joe Biden declared war on the Republican Party. The low probability in the first place that Republicans will do business with Democrats has now diminished to a minimum. While the president reiterated the usual recommendations, which underscored the need to cooperate beyond party dividing lines, he called on Republicans “in the name of God” not to “disrupt our election process and the sacred right to vote.” After the applause died down he added to the Republicans, “Don’t you have any shame?”
“Listen and listen to me,” the president said (in a non-literal translation), “an attack is taking place in America today – an attempt to suppress and undermine the right to vote in free and fair elections; an attack on democracy, an attack on liberty, an attack on our very identity as Americans.”
All Democrats fled Texas
It could be argued that the president had no choice. He had to counter-attack not only because of the laws the Republicans legislated, but in the face of Donald Trump’s relentless attempt to question the legitimacy of American democracy.
At the end of last month, he appeared, not by chance, on the troubled U.S. border with Mexico, in the company of the Texas governor … This one, with a slight change (phony election), and declared that America is a “sick country”.
Trump made those words in the midst of a Republican attempt to change the election laws in Texas itself. The party holds all positions of power in Texas, including the governor’s office and the two legislatures. But the voting rules in the state House of Representatives require a quorum, that is, a minimum of attendees. Democrats may not win the vote, but they can boycott the House, and prevent a quorum. That’s exactly what they did last month, and that’s what they’re doing again this week.
All Democratic deputies in the Texas House of Representatives fled to Washington, D.C. Last month, the governor announced he would avoid paying the salaries of the boycotting Democrats. This week he ordered the Texas police to stop any Democratic axis on which it could lay its hands. But the Texas police jurisdiction ends at the Texas border. It cannot kidnap Democrats fleeing across the border, nor can it seek their extradition.
“The Big Lie”
Clearly wrong were those who thought the November election drama would subside spontaneously, after all the courts rejected Trump’s appeals of the results. Those who thought that the disgrace of Trump supporters’ invasion of Capitol Hill on January 6 would drop the ground beneath what Democrats call the “big lie” were wrong.
After a very short period of calm, following the change of presidents, Trump’s momentum within the Republican Party has resumed. He rules it almost without Egypt. He is in the midst of a campaign to clear the party ranks of any hint of criticism or disloyalty. The attack on the integrity of the elections in which Hobbes is is the central motif of his proliferating public speeches and of his interviews in sympathetic media.
Election laws have already been amended, or are about to be amended, in swing states, where Biden’s victory difference was a few thousand votes, or a few tens of thousands at most. Although there are no flaws in the voting process in these states, Republicans are adopting laws that will make it difficult for some eligible voters to vote.
The November election had a record turnout, the largest (in percent) in a hundred years or more. It was largely due to the ease with which the corona plague was required, such as early ballot boxes, collection boxes, voting by mail, transportation to the polls, and so on.
Jim Crowe’s Laws
Republican states are withdrawing, at least to some extent, from these reliefs. Demographic analysis shows that a disproportionate proportion of beneficiaries of the relief were blacks and Hispanics, whose share among Democrat voters was much larger than that of most other segments of the population.
Democrats are comparing the new laws to the “Crow Laws,” which were in effect in the southern states for 90 years after the Civil War. Although those laws were not explicitly racist, they restricted blacks’ access to the polls to such an extent that no more than a handful of blacks could vote or be elected.
President Biden and other Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to re-establish the political system that resulted in racial segregation, which ended only 60 years ago or less, with the Equal Rights Act. This is a difficult comparison, which infuriates Republicans and contributes to a climate of polarization and resentment.
When the president accuses the opposition of plotting to destroy American suffrage while “the whole world is watching”; While the former president, and the de facto leader of the opposition, describes the US as a “false and sick democracy”; when the two parties are unable to cooperate on almost any issue; it is inevitable to ask where exactly America is going. Democracy is based on majority rule, but America must not be the only democracy failing in this task, but it is certainly the most important failing democracy.This is a cause for concern.
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