Good morning friends. Here we go with a another week of trying to work out in which way the GOP are going to obstruct. The focus seems to me to be in two areas. Voter suppression is moving ahead at pace at state level, making it even more imperative that HR1 is passed, to deal with 43 states that clearly want to put their finger on the electoral scale. Georgia this week is pressing on before the legislature goes into recess at the end of the month. Whilst it would appear that they have now backed down on the issue of Sunday voting, this is just a minor concession against a background of sweeping changes to make it harder for minority communities to cast their vote. I have said it before and will say it again, unless these state laws are nullified by federal voting protection, there is a real possibility that the Dems may lose the Senate if not not both houses in 2022.
The big issue in play is the filibuster. Unless it is scrapped or at the very least reformed, it will forever be an obstacle to effective governance. Mitch McConnell's 'scorched earth' threat is a measure of how critical it is the the GOP to be able to leverage the power of the filibuster to obstruct the administration's policy agenda. Whilst the American Rescue plan was able to pass thanks to budget reconciliation, the Dems can't rely on this method to continue to press forward with their policy objectives. If the filibuster is not addressed, McConnell will be able to use the same strategy he did to block everything Obama tried to do. It seems to be a complete waste of time to expend energy trying to get Republicans to play a part in Biden's legislative program. They have absolutely no interest in supporting anything that will result in a win for the Democrats. Given that this is the GOP default position, the Dems would be much better served investing their time in rebalancing democracy in the Senate. by removing the filibuster altogether. Having said that, I just can't see how they can get the votes and as a result, voter rights hang in the balance.
If Dems can't get HR1 through the Senate, then that places a HUGE strain on the likes of Stacey Abrams and her ground game team, to take on the challenge of countering the measures being imposed by state legislatures. It will prove a massive challenge to re-register voters purged from the rolls and assure compliance with new voter laws designed to preclude Dem supporters.
While all this I gong on, rest assured the Republicans will be attacking Biden on immigration, as things continue to deteriorate a the southern border. McConnell and his friends know that the public are not interested in the story that Trump dismantled the system over 4 years. All they see is the here and now and the GOP will be selling it as an 'open borders policy', which of course it is not. Biden must get systems in place to address the crisis. I even think it may be time to deploy the army to create short term facilities to help ease the pressure.
There are certainly challenges ahead and most of them are fraught with political danger.