Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

General Discussion

Showing Original Post only (View all)


(51,496 posts)
Mon May 24, 2021, 12:06 PM May 2021

If Democracy Is Dying, Why Are Democrats So Complacent? [View all]


If you’ve followed recent Democratic messaging, you’ll have heard that American democracy is under serious attack by the Republican Party, representing an existential threat to the country. If you’ve followed Democratic lawmaking, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the threat is actually a rather piddling one. The disconnect, in this case, isn’t attributable to Democratic embellishment, but to inexcusable complacency.

In his first address to Congress, last month, President Joe Biden established three basic themes—each one invoked in a language of crisis and political urgency: “The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” When it came to the third, Biden was both pointed and emphatic, tying the events of January 6 and the broader effort to delegitimize November’s election to a wider crisis of democracy. “Congress,” he declared, “should pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and send them to my desk right away.”

Biden is far from the only Democratic leader to have made the connection. In urging the Senate to pass H.R. 1, which would improve voter access and election security, Senator Chuck Schumer (hardly anyone’s idea of a firebrand) said in March that state voter-restriction laws “smack of Jim Crow rearing its ugly head once again.” He went as far as warning that “if we don’t stop these vicious and often racist actions, Third World autocracy will be on its way.” Schumer hasn’t been shy about naming an antagonist, either, citing a “concerted, nationwide effort to limit the rights of citizens to vote” and even declaring that “we won’t let [Republican-controlled legislatures] create a dictatorship in America.”

Granting some room for hyperbole, these dire pronouncements aren’t entirely misplaced. As of March 24, researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice had logged some 361 bills containing provisions that seek to restrict voting—a 43 percent increase from about the same time in February. Many involve the usual suite of suppression methods introduced under the auspices of fairness and transparency (expanded ID requirements, banning same-day voter registration, limiting the use of mail-in ballots, etc.), and one in Arizona even aspires to give the state legislature the authority to override the certification of future presidential-election results by simple majority vote. A recording recently released by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, meanwhile, makes more or less explicit that Republican operatives plan to use every tool at their disposal to defeat the renewed push for expanded voting rights, despite its widespread popularity.


27 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Post removed Post removed May 2021 #1
Manchin. Sinema. FoxNewsSucks May 2021 #2
+ 1,000,000 Efilroft Sul May 2021 #3
Those two need to come under a full frontal assault. Whatever it takes, they must be forced to ... lagomorph777 May 2021 #13
Those in power don't want to rock the boat too much, even democrats. The people must be more triron May 2021 #4
The Constitution is a suicide pact if enough of us want it to be. SYFROYH May 2021 #5
Kick dalton99a May 2021 #6
I'm sure the blogosphere knows better than the Democratic Party leadership..... brooklynite May 2021 #7
No one is required to defer to Democratic Party leadership, especially when democracy is threatened friendly_iconoclast May 2021 #9
It's a fair question to ask our leaders in Washington. Boomerproud May 2021 #8
I hate this framing. I'm a Democrat and I'm not fucking complacent. Neither is any other Dem I know. LymphocyteLover May 2021 #10
The article is about lawmakers' actions versus words. lagomorph777 May 2021 #14
OK. Thanks. LymphocyteLover May 2021 #26
Well, it's been 21 years since Florida 2000, so... ananda May 2021 #11
Democrat's still believe in playing by the rules while Republican's look for ways to game the jalan48 May 2021 #12
This is what I think too. It's not that they don't care. It's that they don't know what to do. CrispyQ May 2021 #15
How does a democracy deal with a party which works toward one party rule and the elimination jalan48 May 2021 #18
This: "Democracy depends on competing interests playing by a set of agreed upon rules." CrispyQ May 2021 #27
I think the claim that American democracy is dying is just politics, i.e., hyperbole. Steelrolled May 2021 #16
January 6th, 2021 spanone May 2021 #17
History is on the side of the author, we need to learn from it so we don't repeat the bad parts uponit7771 May 2021 #22
Another Blame the Democrats for the Misdeeds of Republicans Narrative... TomCADem May 2021 #19
The article is entirely accurate in blaming *some* Democrats for their complacency... friendly_iconoclast May 2021 #20
Like the MSM they aren't alarmed by Republicans yet uponit7771 May 2021 #21
People believe it can't happen here until it does. Politicub May 2021 #23
Because Orange Bad Man gone n/t leftstreet May 2021 #24
Ugh, that word. Another "Why don't Democrats stop Republicans?" thing. betsuni May 2021 #25
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»If Democracy Is Dying, Wh...