Saturday Morning Open Thread: Democrats Are Pro-Voters; Repubs Are Not

The Washington Post, paper of record in the company town where national politics is the monopoly industry, has a good explainer:

The House approved a far-reaching elections and ethics bill Friday — one that would change the way congressional elections are funded, impose new voter-access mandates on states and, in one of several provisions targeting President Trump, force disclosure of presidential candidates’ tax returns.

Democrats dubbed the bill H.R. 1, a designation meant to signal its place as a centerpiece of their congressional agenda. The measure, which has more than 500 pages, contains dozens of provisions favored by liberal advocacy groups, labor unions and other Democratic allies.

“It’s a power grab, a power grab on behalf of the people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at an event on the Capitol steps ahead of the planned vote.

The bill is headed for a brick wall in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made clear it will not get a vote. However, Democrats and their allies said the bill’s passage would build momentum for action in coming years if and when Democrats solidify control in Washington.

“If Mitch McConnell is the immovable object, H.R. 1 is the unstoppable force,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the lead author of the bill. “We’ll keep pushing on it.”…

Read the whole thing for a full list of the bill’s (excellent!) provisions.

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag:

Aside from its scope, what’s most remarkable about HR1 is that every single House Democrat voted for it… And every Republicans voted against it, which means the GOP is determined to use barriers to full participation in elections — along with related abuses like partisan gerrymandering and unregulated campaign spending — to maintain its competitive position, regardless of public opinion….

The vote on HR1 should also provide something of a counterargument to all the recent “Democrats in disarray” story lines stemming from intraparty debates over socialism or Israel. No, the bill won’t even get a hearing in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell has denounced it as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.” Mitch has a point: It might well help Democrats in the long run, for the rather honorable reason that they are defending rather than resisting the full expression of the popular will.

30 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    HR1 isn’t going any where so the House passing it is meaningless. Bah humbug,

  2. 2
    gene108 says:

    I would be more enthused by the symbolic gesture, but I remember after evidence of voter disenfranchisement emerged from Florida, after the 2000 election, many conservatives basically saying “good, it helped our guy win and kept the horrible Democrat out”.

    I see this as something to rally the base, rather than an actual wedge issue. Republican voters are all too happy, with unfair voting rules, if it helps them win.

  3. 3
    gene108 says:


    How’s the grandson?

  4. 4
    raven says:

    It’s better than doing nothing.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @gene108: He’s great. It’s amazing how you can ignore what is going on in the political climate, and just focus on an one month old. They have been waking baby boy after four or five hours at night to feed him, but since he has gained so much weight they no longer have to do that. That falls into the category of things not to brag about to other parents of infants. lol

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @raven: True. In today’s climate, it won’t receive much coverage though nationally.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Meh, both parties are the same.

    People always say Democrats need to make clear what they stand for, and when they do, all we get are complaints that it’s symbolic. As a wise man says in the morning, blech.

  8. 8

    @Baud: What are we supposed to do, focus on the real enemy?

  9. 9

    the GOP is determined to use barriers to full participation in elections — along with related abuses like partisan gerrymandering and unregulated campaign spending — to maintain its competitive position, regardless of public opinion…

    Funny how if you screw with voter rights, you don’t have to worry about how people might vote.

    OT: I’ll be at the Wauconda library from 11-2 for a local authors fair. If you’re in the area, stop by and have a mini-mini-meetup

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Hey, you’re up early. We missed you yesterday when we were talking about Warren’s tech plan. I expressed skepticism, but I don’t work in the tech industry. Interested in your take.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    I read that as the Wakanda library, and was seriously impressed.

  12. 12

    @Baud: It’s pronounced pretty much the same way. The first time someone mentioned the town to me, I thought they were kidding.

  13. 13

    @Baud: She doesn’t really touch on the tricky, tech-specific issues, although I guess “platform as a utility” is an innovation. See next post.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I just saw that post. Thank you.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Now I’m wondering if the town motto is “Wauconda Forever!”

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄 😄

  17. 17

    @Amir Khalid: I’ll have to look around and see if it’s on the sign when you cross the city line.

  18. 18
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    HR1 isn’t going any where so the House passing it is meaningless.

    First, an ecumenical “blech” and “good morning” to all!

    Actually, putting forward legislation that clearly states your policy stances, even if it won’t get passed this time around, is GREAT strategy. It lets people know who you are and what you stand for AND it sets the table for when you come back into power. I’m seeing the value of that strategy here in New Mexico, where good legislation was stymied for eight fucking years under a horrible Republican governor (but I repeat myself). Now that we have majorities in the legislature and won the executive, a lot of good bills were passed quickly because they had been teed up in prior years. Plus, the stymied good legislation helped show the bad guys for who they are and aided our 2018 victories.

  19. 19
    Percysowner says:

    NOTHING, I repeat nothing will stop the “Democrats in disarray” motif. The press latched onto that and they are never letting go. It’s not true, but it will be the way the Democrats are depicted for years, even if the entire party stays united.

    With that out of the way, this is a great piece of legislation. It won’t go anywhere because of the Republicans in the Senate, but it is laying out a map for the Democrats to follow in upcoming years.

  20. 20
    Just Chuck says:

    How is this even remotely a fucking democracy when one fucking person has the power to decide whether a bill is even considered in the Senate?

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Heads up, O. Felix…NM trip coming up at the end of the month!

  22. 22
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Miss Bianca: Standing by for your visit!

  23. 23
    donnah says:

    McConnell can go f*ck himself. He’s the big reason our democracy is being shredded.

    As for the HR-1, I’m glad to see it proposed and passed by the House. Symbolic gesture or not, it provides a framework and references for necessary changes and it’s passing by Democrats shows that we are thinking ahead. It also puts Republicans on record as voting against sensible and needed legislature.

    I also think it helps establish that the Democrats can do more than one thing at a time. They figured out how to deal with some Republican and Democratic issues and they can also conduct extensive investigations into the Trump organization.

    I’m taking this as a win.

  24. 24
    West of the Rockies says:

    Please forgive me for going dark on a Saturday morning, but I wish that chinless, bloated fat-sack McConnell would expire immediately. How can something so full of rancor and hatred keep surviving?

  25. 25
    J R in WV says:

    I don’t suppose anyone else thinks passing a bill with an overwhelmingly united Democratic party vote, and a similarly united but opposed Republican criminal partie vote will make the election more defined???

    Also: Harder to sell the divided Democrats falsehood when the party votes united time after time, innit?

    i got to go to town, we’re getting low on doggie milkbonez…so sad. Also out of cream for coffee, ham for sandwiches, asparagus, etc, etc.

  26. 26
    Ruff the Dog says:

    C’mon, Mitch, teach the controversy!

  27. 27
    West of the Rockies says:

    @J R in WV:

    Also annoying is that the B Bros will just tut-tut that both parties are the same.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @J R in WV: It’s good to see that you have your priorities straight.

    Stuff humans want

  29. 29
    J R in WV says:


    Just want the puppy to be happy. She misses her companion dawg who passed away in late January. We have lined up an adoptable mother dawg at a friend’s farm, and probably also one of the new puppies. So the puppy population will be growing in a month or so, when Mom weans the puppies.

    We haven’t had a young puppy in probably 20 years now. So really looking forward to it. Mom is reported to be very social, only needs to be told “NO” once, etc. Lives with dairy goats and chickens right now, so a real farm dog, probably already knows not to run too far on the ridge tops.

    So we do have the priorities straight!

    I also got 6 bottles of wine, raw oysters, salmon, and fresh cooled shrimp, which we’re having for dinner in a few minutes, with baked potatoes. Salmon tomorrow, oysters the next day. Fried. With sparkling wine.

  30. 30
    louc says:

    Here’s the stupidity of the Democratic party though: A friend of mine works for a left-leaning organization that lobbies for getting cleaning up campaign contributions.

    Her group, as well as others, went to rally for HR1 in front of the Dem leaders announcing it. Capitol police kept them 100s of feet away. Why didn’t the Dem leadership do something about this? No Republican would let “security” concerns rule the day if they were getting the message out.

    So the pictures didn’t show the large crowds cheering for this because they were too far away.

    This is how Dems snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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