Democrats are rejoicing that Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s re-election ensures their party will hold its majority in the U.S. Senate. Cortez Masto is the 50th Democratic Senator, which effectively means that Democrats will be able to hold any vote so long as no one breaks from party lines.
Despite some members of the mainstream media sharing variations of the sentiment that “Democrats don’t even need Georgia” anymore because Cortez Mastro won, that line of thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth. What happened in Nevada hardly reduces the significance of the Georgia Senate runoff between Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
Georgia voters are being encouraged to stay focused and reject notions that their votes and runoff election participation are inconsequential since Democrats have already secured their majority in the U.S. Senate.
President Joe Biden told the Associated Press that having 51 Democratic U.S. Senators is “simply better” than having 50, but tilting the Senate further in favor of Democrats carries much deeper implications than it just being a good thing for the party.
A Senate supermajority is insurance
Lest we forget about the tendency of so-called moderate Democrat senators who have made it a habit to break party lines and vote in favor of Republican interests. Far too many times West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have played the spoilers when Democrats try, and fail, to advance key legislation, like proposals for criminal justice reform and voting rights. Having an extra liberal-leaning vote in the Senate could come in handy depending on how one or both of those Democrat senators vote. It could also prevent the Republicans from further weaponizing the filibuster, a relic of Jim Crow that has been repeatedly employed to prevent Democrats from advancing legislation.
There’s also the fact that even if one or two Democrat Senators are forced to miss a vote, the party leadership can rely on Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
Democrats can pack committees
Having a senate majority also has implications for Senate committees, including and especially the Senate Judicial Committee, which confirms federal judges. A majority of Democrats can ensure that the liberal judges Biden keeps nominating can be confirmed with Republicans blocking those efforts.
Also, not to be minimized: With the aforementioned frequent Democratic-voting defectors in place, their likely continued breaking of party lines will not be as consequential as it has been and could reduce the leverage they’ve been wielding over their fellow party members.
Herschel Walker is not fit to be a U.S. Senator
The main reason why critics say the Georgia senate runoff still very much matters is because of Herschel Walker’s candidacy and how close he is to becoming a U.S. Senator. Evidence shows that Walker has proven himself to be a hypocrite who lies in order to curry political gain. Even more, his actions suggest he is a willing puppet of Republican leaders who tapped him as a candidate in the hopes of employing identity politics in a race that has centered on allegations involving baby mamas and domestic violence.
If Walker gets elected, there is a valid indication that the type of actions he’s displayed on the campaign trail would continue.
Oh, and did we mention Herschel Walker has no business being in the Senate?
The Georgia senate runoff is slated for Dec. 6, a shorter time period than previous runoffs, thanks to the enactment of a new Republican election law.
In addition, state law forbids any voting during part of the early voting period on the Saturday following Thanksgiving “because GA still honors the Confederacy, as Hillary Holley, Executive Director of Care in Action, put it.
The General Assembly passed the law restricting Saturday voting after holidays in 2016, but it wasn’t an issue in previous runoffs because at the time, they took place nine weeks after Election Day, long after Thanksgiving and the State Holiday.
The holiday in question was originally meant to observe the birthday of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It is now just called “State Holiday” but still observed on the same day — the day after Thanksgiving.
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