Friday, January 14, 2022

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema Deals Death Blow to Democrats' Craven, Cynical Attempts at 'Filibuster Reform' (VIDEO)

I used to criticize this woman. I really don't have much criticism now, except to say she's in the wrong party. 

The speech is a freakin' stem-winder! 

At the New York Times, "Sinema Rejects Changing Filibuster, Dealing Biden a Setback":

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s campaign to push new voting rights protections through Congress appeared all but dead on Thursday, after it became clear that he had failed to unite his own party behind his drive to overhaul Senate rules to enact the legislation over Republican opposition.

In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances.

The announcement by Ms. Sinema, who had long opposed changing Senate rules, left Mr. Biden and Democrats without an avenue for winning enactment of the voting rights measures, which they have characterized as vital to preserve democracy in the face of a Republican-led drive in states around the country to limit access to the ballot box.

It came two days after the president had put his reputation on the line to make the case for enacting the legislation by any means necessary — including scrapping the famed filibuster — with a major speech in Atlanta that compared opponents of the voting rights measures to racist figures of the Civil War era and segregationists who thwarted civil rights initiatives in the 1960s.

And it raised the question of what Mr. Biden would do next, given that Republicans are all but certain to use a filibuster a fifth time to block the voting rights measures, and that Democrats lack the unanimous support needed in their party to change the rules to enable them to muscle the bills through themselves.

“Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we come back and try it a second time,” Mr. Biden said after emerging empty-handed from his session with Senate Democrats. “We missed this time.” But his visit to the Capitol was reminiscent of his experience last fall, when he twice made the trip up Pennsylvania Avenue to appeal to House Democrats to quickly unite behind the two major elements of his domestic agenda — a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a roughly $2 trillion social safety net and climate package — only to be rebuffed both times. He eventually won passage of the public works bill, but the other measure remains in limbo because of objections from Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, who like Ms. Sinema reiterated his opposition on Thursday to doing away with the filibuster to push through the voting rights legislation.

It was a disappointing turn of events for a president who has emphasized his long experience as a senator and his knowledge of how to get things done on Capitol Hill.

In a last-ditch effort to bring the two on board, Mr. Biden met with Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin at the White House on Thursday night to discuss the voting rights measures, though neither of them had appeared to leave room in their statements for compromising on Senate rules.

Late Thursday night, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, announced that because of health and weather threats, the Senate would put off its consideration of the voting bill until at least Tuesday.

His announcement meant that the Senate would miss his self-imposed deadline of acting by Martin Luther King’s Birthday on Monday. But he said he intended to proceed despite the setbacks...