Showing posts with label john lewis voting rights act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john lewis voting rights act. Show all posts

Friday, February 18, 2022

The National Hunger Strike

Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.   

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Hunger is the best pickle." -Benjamin Franklin

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

The national hunger strike has ended, the filibuster fuss still festers, and neither the Freedom to Vote Act nor the John Lewis Voting Rights Act has been enacted. 


{Wait-wait-wait. What national hunger strike?} 

Well, it didn't exactly "go viral," but I'm still ashamed to admit that I wasn't even aware of it till a story about 40 "youth activists" hunger striking to get the bills passed caught my eye relatively recently. Turns out this was their second hunger strike, that I had completely missed the first one, and that...

{I repeat, what national hunger strike?}

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

As I said, I only recently heard about the National Hunger Strike. The first one started/ended and/or was temporarily suspended after 15 days back in December when Uncle Joe promised to make voting rights a priority in 2022. 

According to Fox News, UnPAC (who pay "youth activists" $15/hr.) cofounder Shana Gallegher said that the strikers had experienced dangerously low blood pressure, unbearable headaches, and upwards of ten pounds in weight loss. 

All fifty of the Republican Senators were/are opposed to both bills. All fifty of the Democratic Senators were/are for both bills, and would like to see 'em passed. 

(Since the teams are tied, Vice President Kamala Harris, who plays for the Democrats, was prepared to dash back to the Swamp from the Mexican border — Uncle Joe has placed her in charge of the mass importation of likely Democratic voters undocumented noncitizens  — to vote yea if either measure comes up for a vote.)

Big BUT, the filibuster kerfuffle continues apace. 

{I don't get it. Were the hunger strikers caught eating nutrition bars?}


{Aren't Filibusters like Nutri-Grain bars?}


A filibuster ("talking a bill to death" -Wikipedia) traditionally refers to a legislator or legislators keeping a bill from passing by keeping the debate going to stall or block its passage, like in that classic movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

{I don't watch black and white movies.}

In our Republic, in the House of Representatives, only party leaders can try to talk a bill to death but any given Senator has that power. However, the Swamp being the Swamp... it's complicated.

Sixty senators can vote to end a filibuster. The filibuster isn't in the Constitution, it's part of the rules of the Senate, and the Senate can vote to change the rules whenever they feel like it. They can do away with the filibuster permanently, or temporarily, any time they want.

Another big BUT: It takes 60 votes to change the rules.

Fun Fact: The distinguished men/women/others of the United States Senate don't actually have to spend their valuable time talking a bill to death. Nowadays they can just play the filibuster card. If the senators on the other team don't have 60 votes to stop them everyone agrees to disagree and the Senate moves on to other important matters... like camera opps, or going to lunch.

{What's so complicated about that?} 

Listen, not being a lawyer, a politician, or a parliamentarian, and having a relatively small but relatively enjoyable life, I'm not, as they say (in fact I refuse) gonna go there. There are all sorts of procedural manipulations available to get around the 60 vote problem, you can look them up yourself if you like.

Suffice it to say it's possible for either party to get their way via a simple majority vote if they successfully invoke one of them and if they have 51 votes.  

A third big BUT: Captain Chuck (Schumer) couldn't get fellow teammates Joe (Manchin) and Krysten (Sinema) to go along. Some crap about wanting to preserve a 187-year-old rule/tradition that's helped to keep America from degenerating from a republic into just another mere fragile democracy. 

{Hunger strikers?}

Oh, yeah. 

On day 6 of the second Hunger Strike, in January, 29 hungry and pissed-off young idealists got tired of being ignored and sat down on the steps of the Capitol Building and were busted by the man for "...crossing a police line, and crowding/obstruction/incommoding" said Ms. Gallagher, according to

Two days later they gave up, "We ended the strike because we lost, and it is really infuriating that nothing we did over the past year … was enough," said Shana Gallagher. By day eight they were "delirious" and "uncomfortable" and "tired." 

I suspect that Mr. Smith/Jimmy Stewart wouldn't agree with their politics but would be proud of them regardless. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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