18 January 2022 | A Quite Pointless Exercise

A Quite Pointless Exercise

There’s lot of talk about putting pressure on Co-Presidents Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin concerning voting rights legislation. By all outward appearances, they are the two Democratic holdouts for carving out a filibuster exception for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. No Republican is going to vote for either, and face no questions or consequences about it. But all of this pressuring presupposes a feeling on the part of the targets: compassion.

That is a moral value, and in a time of amorality (notwithstanding the deeply immoral nature of The Party Formerly Known as Republican) this is waste of time. It’s like appealing to COVID to be kind, nice, or ponder the verdict of history. It simply cannot.

Sinema and Manchin are amoral people who cannot be swayed by moral pressure: it will likely have the opposite effect. If either does come around, it will be a purely strategic move, even though I don’t think they have some grand political endgame going on. It certainly will not be a moral vote, but their interns will try to pass it off as such on social media.