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Biden’s speech on voting rights had everything except a plan

Joe Biden came to Philadelphia yesterday to talk about voting rights, a fight that he rightly called “the most significant test” of American democracy since the Civil War.

And as he spoke, Biden did what Texas Democrats called on him to do when they came to Washington to stop a voter suppression law. He pressed for the passage of federal voting rights legislation, starting with the For The People Act.

“That bill would help end voter suppression in states, get dark money out of politics, give voice to people, create fair district maps and end partisan political gerrymandering,” Biden said.

While pressing the fight for voting rights legislation, Biden was at his best. He criticized the Supreme Court for gutting the Voting Rights Act. He called out Donald Trump’s big lie about a stolen election. He denounced Republican voter suppression laws as a Jim Crow assault and called them “the most dangerous threat to voting in the integrity of free and fair elections in our history.”

But Biden stopped short of doing the one thing he has to do if he wants to pass federal voting laws. He didn’t denounce the filibuster. It’s a move Senators can use to stop legislation they don’t like. The filibuster was invented to keep Black people from getting equal rights. And it’s used to do the same thing now.

That’s why Cliff Albright, of Black Voters Matter, tweeted, “It’s like listening to a doctor describe in the starkest terms how dire your illness is, and then saying “good luck with that” as he escorts you out the office.”

I think Albright is right, so Mr. President, I’ve got a bit of advice. If you really want to stop voter suppression and protect Black votes, don’t talk about it … be about it.

Photo: Joe Biden By. jlhervàs

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