White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has once again earned the wrath of online commenters after telling Americans frustrated by the Democrats' failure to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act to do some aggressive cardio and have a drink.
To be fair to Ms Psaki, she also told Americans to keep fighting after they took some time off for some self-care.
“My advice to everyone out there who's frustrated, sad, angry, pissed off, feel those emotions, go to a kickboxing class, have a margarita, do whatever you need to do this weekend, and then wake up on Monday morning, we gotta keep fighting,” she said during an appearance on The View.
The bill, aimed to counter restrictive voting rights legislation passed in Republican states in the months following the 2020 election, failed after Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin refused to side with their Democratic colleagues.
Frustrated liberals and progressives pushed back on the seemingly good natured advice, pointing out that rank and file Democrats did their job – voting Joe Biden into office – and saying that it was time that lawmakers stepped up to do their jobs.
"How about if Biden does some fighting instead? We did our part," one user, going by the handle MoveUsLeft, said.
“‘Hey guys, I know you voted us in to get the work done but peep this we're gonna need you to do more work for us first’,” another user, going by whatsahani, said.
Others pointed out that many Americans – especially those who will be disfranchised by the various Republican restrictive voting bills – likely don't have the extra money to afford an expensive drink or a kickboxing class.
“Just take a kickboxing class or sip on a marg said the stenographer of the ruling class in the richest country in the world,” user t0mack wrote alongside a screenshot of an article explaining that 53 per cent of Americans could not cover a $1,000 emergency using their savings.
After the bill failed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed for vote to change the Senate's rules to institute a “talking filibuster,” which would require opponents of voting legislation to speak continuously in order to hold the floor long enough to stop a bill.
Ms Sinema and Mr Manchin once again voted against their colleagues and killed that tactic as well.
While the bill is dead for now, Mr Biden has hinted that the bill could return in an altered form.
“One thing's for certain,” Mr Biden said on Thursday. “Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time.”
Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia also said that Democrats would continue fighting to get the bill passed, though it is unclear how they would manage to do so without the support of Ms Sinema and Mr Manchin.
“We're going to keep fighting for voting rights and it is important for us to move forward,” he said. “This is a defining moment. I think everybody has to be heard on the record. And we'll keep talking to our colleagues and we'll see what happens.”
It's likely in the mean time that the fight for voter rights will move to the state level, where legislatures will battle to overturn or modify existing legislation to make voting more accessible.
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