Unlike the other senator from Arizona, Mark Kelly supports doing what it takes to protect democracy

What will it take for Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema to actually act like a Democrat and protect her constituents? In fact, it”;s not only her constituents at risk–;it”;s voting rights for the entire nation. As Daily Kos has covered, Sinema and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin are the remaining holdouts for supporting a rule change in order to protect voting rights. Both have faced backlash from their constituents as well as progressive groups like Emily”;s List and some of their colleagues, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Most recently, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, also of Arizona, made it clear he is willing to act on the 60-vote filibuster, as reported by CNN. This is a pointed contrast to Sinema, who has made it clear she … simply isn”;t. It”;s also highlighted by the fact that Kelly is up for reelection, making him theoretically quite vulnerable. Basically: If he can do it, Sinema, why can”;t you?

“;If campaign finance and voting rights reforms are blocked again this week,”; Kelly said in a statement. “;I will support the proposed changes to pass them with a majority vote. Protecting the vote-by-mail system used by a majority of Arizonans and getting dark money out of our elections is too important to let fall victim to Washington dysfunction.”;

“;As an astronaut and a combat veteran,”; he continued. “;I can tell you that if NASA or the Navy functioned like the United States Senate, we would never get the rocket off the launchpad and in combat we”;d never complete the mission.”;

Luckily, there are a number of progressives working hard to protect our right to vote and have free, fair, and safe elections. For example, as highlighted by my colleague Joan McCarter, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley recently said, “;The talking filibuster says you have leverage and you can slow things down, but you have an incentive to negotiate because you”;re doing the painful work of being on the floor. And the majority has an incentive to negotiate because they”;re in the painful situation of floor-time being eaten up by the minority–;and that”;s the most valuable thing we have.”;

Merkley has been working on this for more than a decade; certainly not all Democrats have to agree, but it”;s worth remembering that this isn”;t some wild, out-of-nowhere move but rather an ongoing effort to literally protect our democratic processes. We know that Republicans are actively working to make it harder for people to vote in general–;especially people of color, as well as unhoused people and Native folks. It”;s absolutely unacceptable for any Democrats to shrug their shoulders and fret about procedural rules when the literal foundation of our democracy is at stake.

Hopefully the pressure gets people moving in the right direction, but there simply isn”;t much time left for them to act.

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Written by mettablog

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