““There’s no threat to the voting rights law. It’s against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday at a weekly press conference when asked about the legislation.”

Sure. The VRA is still there. But no pre-clearance.
That means that states and localities can’t be prevented from enacting voting restrictions and the Justice Department has to use its very limited resources to sue, one case at a time. Sure the VRA still exists. But it’s two orders of magnitude harder to enforce.
And Republican administrations just won’t bring VRA cases.
I guess Joe Manchin could have tried to make a deal on this before giving up the only leverage that he or Democrats had but oh well.

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More from @pashulman

9 Jun
I haven’t tweeted much about the origins of covid question because what do I know?
But it seems that short of some unlikely definitive proof it came from a lab (an admission by someone who was there, the announcement of stored samples there matching the SARS-CoV-2 genome), we’re never going to know for sure and this will always keep the lab theory alive.
Even if it’s wrong. Or unlikely.
Read 7 tweets
6 Jun
“I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.”

Nowhere does he explain what in the bill Republicans object to, or what he does.
Is the bottom line that this is just good electoral politics for Joe Manchin in West Virginia? It’s just that, right?
Also the VRA reauthorizations with overwhelming bipartisan majorities were because few conservatives wanted to look like they were taking away voting access along a racial dimension—but the Supreme Court changed the status quo, and states have no problem being maximally partisan.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun
The contemporary fetishization of bipartisanship—esp among politicians & media—is a result of failing to come to terms with the past 40 years of ideological realignment between the parties. It’s the most fundamental structural change in our political system & it’s usually ignored
Public opinion on most (but not all!) issues hasn’t changed much. Nor has ideological identification. But sorting w/in parties has. The most liberal Republicans were once more liberal than the most conservative Democrats—no longer. Yet the structures of government remain the same
There was once a broad overlap of moderates, not to mention a pre-1993 House Republican caucus resigned to permanent minority status. There were bigger incentives to legislate in a bipartisan manner than today.
Read 4 tweets
2 Jun
I mean, Manchin and Sinema could just say “we think reconciliation could be used any number of times a year” and no other changes and it would happen. It’s the most bizarre straightjacket.
I can’t stop thinking about this. Manchin and Sinema could keep the filibuster and yet propose any number of procedural reforms that would surely get approved. Why they insist the current dysfunctional system is the only one that can be countenanced is truly, profoundly baffling.
Like, we talked about the Byrd Rule because Robert Byrd wanted to preserve the filibuster while making legislating more functional. Why don’t they come up with some Manchin-Sinema rule that governs the Senate for the next half-century?
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun
Montana used to have no fixed speed limit–only what was "reasonable and prudent." It's a big state with few people and it takes a long time to get around. So driving 80 or 90 on the interstate was common. Turns out, this didn't apply inside the Fort Belknap reservation.
I wasn't driving, but the four of us all agreed that it was fine to pass the police car up ahead. So long as we put our signal on. Going like twice its speed.
Read 5 tweets
30 May
Universities and donors alike benefit from donations, but academic freedom depends on a giant firewall between donors and hiring decisions. Good on the UNC faculty for insisting on this, and it’s a sad irony the donor could insist so much on one principle while violating another.
Wood, McPherson, and the few others so misunderstood the nature of this conflict. Nice work.

(Orders of magnitude more historians endorse the project, even if they acknowledge a few inevitable errors. Which by the way Wood, McPherson, and every historian also makes.)

Donor Hussman: White people don’t get enough credit for the Civil Rights Movement.

It’s precisely this demand of white people to be at the center of all American history that the 1619 Project was all about.
Read 8 tweets

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