Democrats May Only Have One Chance to Stop America From Becoming a One-Party State

Feb 3, 2021
In The News

Democrats right now control the presidency and Congress by a very thin margin — just one vote in the Senate. Republicans are plotting to win back control of Congress not by getting more votes, but by cheating. If Democrats do not exercise their power now to pass, at a minimum, protections for voting rights, requirements for fair congressional districts, and statehood for Washington, D.C., Republicans will in all likelihood succeed in turning America into a one-party state.… In short, Republicans have been signaling ever-more loudly that they believe only their party can legitimately hold power, and that they will use any tool at their disposal to stop Democrats from winning elections, including open fraud and violence. And if they do, they can and will use that power to try to make it impossible for Democrats to win ever again. So what should Democrats do? The most obvious immediate solution is to ban gerrymandering, pass new protections for voting rights, and add new states to somewhat un-rig the Senate. There are already bills drawn up to do this: The For the People Act would put district boundary-drawing in the hands of nonpartisan commissions, and add sweeping new protections for voting rights and election integrity, while the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act would overturn the Supreme Court decision gutting the original Voting Right Act. D.C. statehood has been drawn up as well — which would not only make the Senate somewhat more fair, but also would give D.C. residents their rightful representation in Congress and allow the D.C. government to use its National Guard to protect the Capitol, as Trump allegedly prevented for a time during the Capitol putsch.... Unfortunately, to pass any of the above reforms, Democrats would have to reform or abolish the Senate filibuster. So far the key votes, Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have ruled it out. But that may change when more details are known about the Capitol putsch, and popular bills expanding voting rights are blocked by Republicans. If either of them want to have a fair chance to win reelection in 2024, they will pass laws to protect American democracy.