Opinion: Will lawmakers in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama tell us what’s so bad about suffrage?

Martin Luther King would have been 93 on Saturday if he hadn’t been killed by a sniper’s bullet on April 23, 1968, while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis.

No doubt King, who in 1964 won the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing racial equality and social justice, would be shocked today to find that there is still a huge fight going on. for the right to vote and equality.

No doubt, too, he would be horrified to find that there is still the same kind of deep-seated racism in many that drove James Earl Ray to follow King’s movements, rent a room across from the Memphis motel, buy a rifle and binoculars and pressing the shutter as King stopped to tease Jesse Jackson about not being properly dressed for dinner.

How come our current members of Congress can’t figure out how to make it easier – not harder – for all of us to vote?

We are not talking about making it easier to buy a gun, to legalize marijuana, to get vaccinated or not. We are talking about facilitating the exercise of our constitutional right — no, the duty — to vote.

However, no Republican in the House of Representatives voted on August 24 for the freedom to vote: the John Lewis law.

Tell Us, Chuck Fleischmann and Scott DesJarlais, Representing Southeast Tennessee and More: What’s not to argue about online and automatic voter registration, at about allowing 14 days of early voting in each state, about uniform standards for voter ID and mail-in voting?

Explain to us Marjorie Taylor Green and Andrew Clyde of North Georgia: what’s wrong with making Election Day a federal holiday, protecting election officials from interference, about security funding election, about the federal congressional riding guidelines that are now established?

We Need to Know, Mo Brooks and Bob Aderholt, Representing Northeast Alabama: What can you find suspicious about prohibiting states from making certain voters in certain districts wait in excruciating lines to vote without drinking water?

To all of you:

What’s wrong with making it a federal crime to lie to voters about an election date or polling location?

Why shouldn’t people who have served time for crimes regain their right to vote?

Why shouldn’t we be able to register to vote the same day we vote and why shouldn’t late mail-in ballots be counted if they are postmarked on Election Day?

And why shouldn’t we bring back “preclearance” — a process in which states with a history of discriminating against voters of color must get Justice Department approval on changes to voting rules?

As King’s son, Martin Luther King III, said on Saturday, “The stakes couldn’t be higher” to protect and expand his father’s legacy by passing measures that strengthen voters’ rights.

His correct assertion comes as we await the next decision on these issues in the US Senate this week.

Last week, President Joe Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years, pointed out in a fiery speech in Atlanta that when the Voting Rights Act expansion passed in 2006, it received a vote 390-33 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. It required bipartisan action “with the votes of 16 Republicans currently serving in this U.S. Senate.” Now, however, these 16 stand against something as fundamental today as they were then?

Biden thundered: “I ask every elected official in America. How do you want to be remembered? … Do you want to be … on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor, do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?

Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said they remained opposed to changing the filibuster rules to push the legislation over the Republican brick wall.

What? As if the filibuster is a sacred thing that hasn’t been changed and altered and even flipped and flipped dozens of times before?

Guesses on how the Tennessee Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty will vote?

Just follow their tweets.

Hagerty, the guy who was the disgraced former president’s US ambassador to Japan, tweeted on Saturday:

“The Democrats are happy to use the filibuster on things the Republicans would like to see, but when it comes to their abject takeover of our election laws, they’re willing to call us any name in the book. and to destroy the Senate for doing so.”

And here’s Blackburn’s tweet from last Tuesday: “Joe Biden should be focused on fixing the crises he created last year rather than starting a new one. We all know it’s not about of voting rights.”

Oh yes. It is still this “taking power”. You may remember February 2020, when Blackburn blocked an attempt by Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia to pass three election security-related bills by unanimous consent — including one that would require campaigns to call the FBI if they are offered. help from a foreign power.

She called these security bills “a federal power grab.”

The only power grab here is from Republicans and two lost Democrats who fear we can’t get elected if we can all vote and be counted in states that don’t play with our freedoms.

About Joshua M. Osborne

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