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Analysis: Joe Biden faces challenges to democracy at home and abroad this week


With his powerful speech On the anniversary of the January 6 uprising last week, Biden appeared to design a political axis, putting his credibility first to pass new laws. back to Republican voter suppression bills and restore minority voting rights. He will travel to Atlanta, a city synonymous with the civil rights movement, on Tuesday, to try to remove the “dagger” he suggested Former President Donald Trump and his Republican Party are holding the “throat of our democracy.” But to be successful, Biden must find a way to overcome a hurdle that has hitherto… Derailment Social spending and climate agenda – opposition to Senate rules revision among moderate Democrats including Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
The Biden administration is also locked in consequential jobs abroad, with a flurry of negotiations with Russia amid US warnings that President Vladimir Putin may be ready to invade a fledgling democracy – Ukraine. The Kremlin is using its former satellite status as a pawn in a game aimed at pushing NATO away from the Eastern European democracies that had been in its Cold War orbit. US efforts to persuade Russia to refuse will have a huge impact on the geopolitical situation in Europe. And Biden’s tussle with Putin is all the more ironic because the Russian leader doesn’t just threaten democracy across the Atlantic. He was accused by US intelligence intervention in the US election to help Trump, the former President finally sought to negate the will of the voters in 2020 by trying to coup and who often bows to the Russian leader.

Negotiations in Europe, and Biden’s ability to unfold the voting rights puzzle in Washington, will be a sign of his presidential strength as he tries to recover from a political patch. difficult. The stakes on the voting rights initiative are huge, testing the Democrats’ ability to protect franchise access, especially for minority voters, which are under threat. threats from GOP-led legislatures inspired by Trump’s lies. And the push by the two-pronged administration will go a long way to determining the U.S. and international outcome of a presidency Biden has devoted to defending a global democracy that he says is being undermined. threaten.

Voting rights have often taken precedence over other items on Biden’s agenda during a first year in power dominated by the pandemic and ambitious spending proposals, including bipartisan infrastructure legislation. party was passed and the social safety net bill stalled.

But both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Atlanta to build support for the John Lewis Free Voting Act and Voting Rights Promotion Act. The first measure would make Election Day a public holiday, provide for same-day voter registration and allow all voters to request ballots by mail, among other provisions. It would also reverse the partisan takeover of election administration contained in several recent GOP laws in the states. The second bill would restore federal government oversight of state voting laws pulled by the Supreme Court in a 2013 decision since Republican opposition Freedom to vote Acting and just one of their senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in favor of the measure named for civil rights hero and late Democrat Representative John Lewis, Democrats must turn around Republicans use a 60-vote supermajority filter to pass most major bills. But Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona have grudgingly rejected the filtering rules.
Senate Democrats vowed they would pass voting rights legislation with or without Republicans.  Here's What Their Proposal Would Do

Many Democrats are begging them to quit, arguing that a series of voter suppression laws run by Republican states represent an existential threat to free and fair elections. equality that could only be reversed by federal action during the waning months of Democratic power. before the midterm elections in November.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has announced he will hold a vote on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. – a week from Monday – if Republicans don’t give in. Supporters of the act are pushing for a limited opt-out of a voting overhaul and are trying to get Manchin on the board – especially since he wrote the Freedom Act himself. vote, after Republicans opposed an earlier bill that contained more sweeping reforms.

“He put it together and they still refuse to support it, so he has all it takes to now step out and do what we need to do, and that is provide votes. 49th and I hope that the 50th vote will come along,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn said on CNN’s “Newsroom” on Saturday.

Speaking to Fox’s Bret Baier on Sunday, South Carolina Democrats increased the pressure on Manchin. He said he agreed with Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren that the Senate dispute has “deep roots in racism” and should not be allowed to strengthen minority veto power. .

Last week, Manchin dealt a blow to the hopes of voting reform advocates like Clyburn, a key figure in rescuing Biden’s protracted presidential campaign in early 2020 and a representative important message to Black voters.

“I always expect the rules to be made the way we’ve always been, two-thirds of the members vote,” Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper. He warned that removing the attack would hurt Democrats if Republicans regained control of the Senate. “The reason I say it’s a heavy lift is that once you change the rules or you have a cut – I’ve always said this – whenever there’s an engraving, you eat the whole turkey. No what about because it comes back and more,” he said.

State legislators get ready to pass a & # 39;  tidal wave & # 39;  on voting restrictions before the key midterms 2022

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday put more pressure on stubborn senators from her party, describing Republican voting laws that in many cases make voting more difficult and politicians are more likely to interfere in elections, as a “huge threat to us. democracy.”

“They’re not just suppressing the vote… they’re nullifying the elections,” the California Democrat said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” channel.

Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of threatening states’ right to run their own elections. However, many of the new state laws are justified on the grounds of “election integrity” – a codeword derived from Trump’s lies about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential vote. has been rejected many times.

Russia and China say ‘democracy days are numbered’

In his January 6 anniversary speech at the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Thursday, Biden warned that foreign adversaries are watching to see if the United States will defend its democracy from an unprecedented threat. in modern times or not.

“From China to Russia and beyond, they’re betting that democracy days are numbered,” Biden said. “They’re betting America is a place for autocrats, dictators, strongmen.”

Two of the most dangerous U.S. foreign policy challenges involve two democracies – Taiwan and Ukraine – placing their hopes of survival on American support as they exist under threat. threat from the much stronger autocracies and monopolies, China and Russia.

Biden has personally warned Putin at several virtual summits about devastating sanctions if he orders tens of thousands of Russian troops into Ukraine to spy on him. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. US officials will deliver the same message this week during talks that begin Sunday with a working dinner between Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva. Negotiations will resume on Monday. Two days later, the NATO-Russia Council will meet in Brussels. The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes Russia and the United States, will meet on Thursday.

But there is little hope of progress. The United States argues that Russia is demanding concessions that would permanently weaken NATO in Europe with calls to withdraw troops and weapons from countries outside the Warsaw Pact. Moscow also wants to ensure that Ukraine – a former Soviet state – will never be allowed to join the alliance.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Tapper in the “State of the Union” on Sunday: “It’s hard to see actual progress, as opposed to talking, in an atmosphere of escalation with a shot to the head. Ukraine”. Ryabkov was equally disappointed, saying he was “disappointed” by the signals from Washington and Brussels. “In short, they reflect a lack of understanding of what we need,” he said before presenting a wish list that the West would never accept. “We need legal guarantees, legal guarantees that NATO will not expand any further, erasing everything that the alliance has created, fueled by anti-Russian obsessions and all. including false ideas about the nature of Russian policy in the period since 1997”.

His warning sounded coldly about the late 20th century clashes between two ideologically opposing superpowers. Although talk of the Second Cold War now often refers to the US clash with China rather than Russia, there is a major difference between the period between the end of World War II and the fall of the Cold War. Berlin wall.

Back then, the challenge to American democracy came mainly from abroad. Now, it is under siege at home.

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