Democrats have everything they need right now to flex their muscles
and wield the power the people gave them — the White House, the
U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
policies are popular, with the $1.9 trillion COVID-19
economic relief plan
enjoying 76% support, including 60% of Republicans, and a majority in
favor of doubling the minimum
from $7.25 to $15.
is only one thing standing in the way of a President
agenda and Democratic Party success — and that would be scared
Democrats lacking a backbone and not wanting to make Republicans
folks and others did not organize through the virus, go to the polls
en masse and put it all on the line for this foolishness.
President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck
and House Speaker Nancy
to realize this, they must understand that they have an opportunity
to make change for the people if they do not stand in their own way.
Clinging on to a fiction of bipartisanship that has not existed in
decades, if ever, some apparently are holding out for Republican
support — white nationalist support — that will never
a slim majority in the Senate and Vice President
as the tiebreaker, if the Democrats do not eliminate the filibuster
requiring 60 votes to pass laws, they will lose everything.
the father of the Confederacy who owned slaves and called slavery a
rather than an evil, developed the filibuster. White conservatives
used the filibuster
during slavery and Jim Crow segregation to maintain white minority
rule, block civil rights, voting rights and anti-lynching laws for
success of the Biden agenda hinges on the passage of COVID-19 relief,
voting rights, minimum wage and other issues. Republicans will have
none of it, even if these issues are popular with their own voters
and will benefit them. The GOP will do everything it can to block
GOP plays to win and destroy their opponents, while the Dems want to
play fair. Republicans bring guns to a knife fight, Democrats bring
cream cheese. If Democrats keep the filibuster, they will provide
their adversaries with the very weapons used in their own
decapitation, and they will deserve every bit of it.
are like — no they are — the Southern segregationists who
the all-white swimming pools
acid in the water
rather than integrate them and allow Black people to dirty
up the pool.
learned this lesson the hard way but took far too long to learn it.
He extended an olive branch to the GOP, who vowed to make him a
one-term president and blocked anything and everything he attempted
to do, including the Affordable
Obama lowballed and watered down legislation as a compromise for
Republicans that never came to the table. The Republicans blocked his
judicial nominees, and when Donald
was elected, they rammed through unqualified
law school graduates,
frat boys with legitimate allegations of sexual
on the court.
some of the enemies of change exist within the Democratic Party.
Senators such as Joe
of West Virginia and Kyrsten
of Arizona oppose
raising the minimum wage,
scrapping the filibuster and other measures that would deliver to the
people and help Democrats at the same time.
Luther King Jr.
warned us of these white
our greatest stumbling block to freedom, who are “more devoted
to ‘order’ than to justice” and will make us wait
until a “more convenient season” to get that change.
over half a million people dead from the coronavirus, and millions
living in economic devastation, facing unemployment, poverty,
homelessness, hunger and despair, the need for relief is greater than
ever. There is no place for baby steps or a gradual transition,
because the need is urgent, and the time for action is now.
will Jim Crow their way back to power if the Democrats allow them.
Now, white nationalists in the GOP are engaged in voter
even laws to overturn
that will allow them to hold onto power even without majority
support. In 43 states, there are over 250
bills to restrict voting.
Georgia — where Black and Brown voters elected Joe Biden and
sent a Black man and a Jewish man to the U.S. Senate — white
nationalists in the state legislature have embarked on sweeping
legislation to restrict absentee, early and weekend voting.
their Jim Crow ancestors who blocked the Black vote to “restore
confidence…restore honesty and purity to the ballot-box,”
these 21st-century segregationists also claim they want to “restore
confidence in our voting system.”
This, as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to further attack the
by greenlighting voter restrictions in Arizona.
can solve this right now if they pass H.R.
the For the People Act — which expands ballot access and
reduces the influence of big money in politics — and the John
R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
— which prohibits racial
in voting by strengthening the Voting Rights Act. Throw in federal
for good measure.
of this is possible through attempted compromise with
insurrectionists. Theft and armed rebellion are the only way
Republicans can win, but Democrats must stop playing and start using
the power they have if they don’t want to be left empty-handed.
This commentary was originally published by The Grio