Monday, June 7, 2021

Shocked-shocked there is partisanship going on in this legislature

Strip by Brian McFadden/Kos.

Senator Joe Manchin, "Why I'm Voting Against the For The People Act", Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6 June 2021:

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

His grammar kind of fell off the back of the truck there—he was starting to write "Least of all should it be done in a partisan manner", but as he was clarifying that he is in theory for protecting the right to vote (as if to say "I just said it was fundamental to democracy but I want you to know I'm in favor of it anyhow"), he lost track of the structure and turned it into logical roadkill ("least of all should it never be done the way I'm telling you not to do it").

But we know what he means, and that, after all, is bad enough: this is a supremely important thing to do and therefore we shouldn't do it. Or we should only protect the right to vote in a way that's compatible with our opponents' desire to take it away. Or voting rights are sacred, so you shouldn't spoil them by fighting for them. The more important a thing is, the more important it is not to be too eager about it. Nutrition is vital to human life, so you shouldn't be eating stuff when your thinking is all distorted by hunger. 

But healthcare isn't fundamental, so it's OK to pass that in a partisan manner?

Bad writing can be a technique of hiding from one's own thoughts, as we've seen over the years with David Brooks. Joe Manchin actually doesn't care at all about protecting the right to vote, or thinks West Virginians are generally against it, which comes down to the same thing, I suppose. They care about affordable health care (suggesting they may actually be smarter than people in a lot of Southern and Midwestern states, or maybe it's just that they're historically so deprived that they're aware of it), and they care about infrastructure (which is why I still expect Manchin to vote for the huge reconciliation package later this year). His donors care about keeping the minimum wage at rock bottom, and truly low-income people don't vote much. But the right to vote? Not even their own, perhaps (at 57.6% of the voting-eligible population, the state's voter turnout in last year's record high election statistics came in at 48th of the 50 states plus DC).

Lot more from Steve, on the same subject. 

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