Joe Biden launched an emotional attack on the racist voting laws sweeping America, warning that “the 21st century attack on Jim Crow is real” and calling on Republicans: “Aren’t you ashamed?”
But the president faced immediate criticism from progressives for failing in his 20-minute speech to mention stalling, a Senate procedural rule that has frustrated efforts to protect democracy.
With the right to vote blocked by Republican-controlled state legislatures, Biden on Tuesday delivered his harshest statement yet on the issue, directly condemning his predecessor Donald Trump’s “big lie” about the stolen elections.
He noted that 17 states have enacted 28 laws that make it difficult to vote, with 400 bills pending. It is likely to have a disproportionate effect on people of color. Citing legal segregation in America’s past, the president warned: “The Jim Crow offensive in the twenty-first century is real, relentless, and we will challenge it vigorously.”
He delivered a blunt message to Republicans: “Stand up for God’s sake and help prevent this concerted effort to undermine our election and our sacred right to vote. Aren’t you ashamed? Whether it’s stopping foreign interference in our elections as misinformation spreads from within, we have to work together.”
The president has been praised for ignoring Trump’s attacks and insults in an apparent attempt to restore civility to Washington. But speaking at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, he took off his gloves over Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, which culminated in a deadly attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
Biden said more people voted than ever before, and local election officials, state legislatures and more than 80 judges declined to challenge the result. Recounts were conducted in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia and did not change the outcome.
“It is clear to those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the elections that no other elections have been held under such scrutiny and these standards. The big lie is just that: a big lie.”
The crowd applauded enthusiastically. In an apparent criticism of Trump’s refusal to accept defeat, Biden continued: “In America, if you lose, you accept the results. You follow the Constitution. You try again. Don’t call the facts “false” and then try to bring down the American experience just because you’re unhappy. statesmanship.This is selfish.
This is not democracy, it is a denial of the right to vote. It suppresses, subjugates, the denial of full, free, and fair elections, which is the most un-American thing any of us can imagine, and the most undemocratic and unpatriotic thing.”
Biden noted that the rest of the world is watching, noting that he had just returned from the G7 and NATO meetings in Europe.
They ask me, ‘Are you going to be okay?’ The castle of democracy in the world. “Are you going to be alright?”
He warned, “So hear me out clearly. There is an attack unfolding in America today, an attempt to suppress and sabotage the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on freedom, an assault on who we are, and who we are as Americans. But make no mistake, the bullies and the fear-mongers, the sellers.” Roamers of lies threaten the foundation of our country.”
Biden, who is now 78, said he had never expected to utter such words.
We are facing the most important test of our democracy since the Civil War, and that is no exaggeration. since the Civil War. At the time, the Confederates did not breach the Capitol as the rebels did on January 6. I’m not saying this to worry you. I’m saying this because you should be concerned.”
The president faced pressure from activists to use his “bully pulpit” and do more to raise awareness of the assault on voting rights. Last week, he and Kamala Harris, the vice president who is leading efforts on the issue, hosted civil rights leaders.
On Tuesday, Biden promised that the Department of Justice would use its power to defy the “ongoing onslaught of state laws” that undermine voting rights in both old and new ways. The division of voting rights will double in size.
Biden called it a “national duty” for Congress to pass a bill for the people to fight voter suppression, extract dark money from politics and end partisan manipulation. But he noted that last month Republicans refused to even discuss the matter.
He also promoted the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but no bill stands a realistic prospect of getting into his office while Republicans hold 50 seats in the Senate and can deploy the stall, which would require a 60-seat majority in the 100-seat chamber. But Biden did not address this issue.
Some prominent Democrats, including James Cleburne, a Biden ally, who belongs to a majority in the House of Representatives, have called Disabled truncation creation To allow the passage of voting rights bills. Biden did not mention this workaround.
Some observers expressed frustration. Ezra Levine, co-executive director of the Indivisible People’s Movement, tweeted: “We’ve waited over six months for the president to give a speech on democracy. And what did they come up with?”
He added, “You can’t defeat the GOP’s attack on democracy just by educating voters before 2022. You’re going to lose. We’re going to lose. Our democracy is going to lose. Stop getting past the responsibility and focus on passing the damn bill.”