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Are Democrats Superheroes Now? CNN Wants Them to Save Democracy

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Only Democrats can save democracy. Hadn’t you heard? Yahoo News national correspondent Brittany Shepherd joined Tuesday’s CNN Newsroom to discuss just how the party plans to do that. And no, she’s not a DNC employee. It just sounds that way. Shepherd noted that Republicans are too scared to do anything on the matter, “so now it is squarely on Democrats.”  

Host Jim Sciutto, citing the portion of former President Obama’s interview Anderson Cooper where the two discussed how Republicans are undermining democracy, wondered:

Obama is not alone in describing the current environment as a threat to the nation’s democratic system. President Biden has done the same, as have other Democratic lawmakers, by the way, some Republican lawmakers as well. I just wonder in your view who given the severity of those warnings among Democrats is providing the leadership to respond to that. I mean, if it that is the true crisis and challenge to this democracy in effect what are Democrats doing about it? Who’s leading the way? 

Shepherd began by expressing frustration that Republicans refuse go along with the premise that democracy itself is at stake:

Well, clearly, Jim, that leadership is not coming from the Republican Party. When you talk to Republican sources, staffers, you say well, ‘Democrats are levying pretty serious allegations against you. You’re a coward, no backbone, letting democracy slip by, by not speaking up.’ They say look what happened to Liz Cheney, look what happened to Brian Kemp over the weekend. He gets booed out of his own constituency and they say they fear for not just 2020 but for the political careers writ large. 

According to Shepherd, the White House concurs with this assessment, “So the White House realizes there is nothing Republicans are going to do until the midterm elections to fix this mess, frankly and so now it is squarely on Democrats and they’re thinking in the same terms that Obama and Anderson is talking about, voting rights, the ballot box is the only way to maybe turn what happened in Congress by electing more Democrats.”

As the minority party, Republicans also want to focus on Biden’s agenda and 2022, so of course they’re not interested in playing the media’s game of talking non-stop about 2020, especially when they say the fate of democracy depends on whether Democrats are successful in ramming through their agenda.

This segment was sponsored by Lexus.

Here is a transcript for the June 8 show:

CNN

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

10:06 AM ET

JIM SCIUTTO: Obama is not alone in describing the current environment as a threat to the nation’s democratic system. President Biden has done the same, as have other Democratic lawmakers, by the way, some Republican lawmakers as well. I just wonder in your view who given the severity of those warnings among Democrats is providing the leadership to respond to that. I mean, if it that is the true crisis and challenge to this democracy in effect what are Democrats doing about it? Who’s leading the way? 

BRITTANY SHEPHERD: Well, clearly, Jim, that leadership is not coming from the Republican Party. When you talk to Republican sources, staffers, you say well, “Democrats are levying pretty serious allegations against you. You’re a coward, no backbone, letting democracy slip by, by not speaking up.” They say look what happened to Liz Cheney, look what happened to Brian Kemp over the weekend. He gets booed out of his own constituency and they say they fear for not just 2020 but for the political careers writ large. So the White House realizes there is nothing Republicans are going to do until the midterm elections to fix this mess, frankly and so now it is squarely on Democrats and they’re thinking in the same terms that Obama and Anderson is talking about, voting rights, the ballot box is the only way to maybe turn what happened in Congress by electing more Democrats. And that’s why on the ground Democrats and progressives, not just at Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema but at the White House for not putting their foot down because they believe this is the only way to essentially circumvent a problem they feel is pressing. Because Obama said in that interview, you know, he feels he lives in different world than Trump. And that’s certainly true. But in this reality, 73 million people voted for Trump. I believe the figure is about 60% of Republicans believe that Trump was shorted in some way for the election. That is reality. That’s not a bug of what is happening now. So it really has to happen in legislation, at least that’s how the White House is thinking about it. 

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