Alcindor Ready for NBC Gig: GOP Voting Reform ‘A Slow January 6th’

On her Thursday afternoon show, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell wailed that Republican voting reform legislation in states across the country was aimed “towards nullifying voting,” as she bitterly complained that Democrats had failed to enact a federal takeover of all elections. Minutes later, current PBS White House correspondent and incoming NBC News reporter Yamiche Alcindor ranted that new electoral GOP laws represented “a slow January 6th.”

“And the ‘what ifs’ are only more likely if they don’t do anything on voting rights because of all of these moves in the states, Kristen, towards nullifying voting,” Mitchell fretted to White House correspondent Kristen Welker early in the 12:00 p.m. ET hour. The host continued her conspiratorial fearmongering: “Not just suppressing the vote, making it harder to vote, but actually changing the secretaries of state and the officials who would be choosing, you know, who decides the elections, the state elections, we saw what could happen in Georgia, and also the presidential election, the electors.”

Welker promptly agreed with the nasty attack on Republicans: “And you’re right about Georgia, that’s obviously something the Democrats have front in center with some of the toughest laws passed restricting voting in Georgia and making it difficult to vote there.”

After noting that NAACP President Derrick Johnson and “other leaders” like fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton had called up Democratic senators to lobby for rigging elections at the national level, Mitchell sympathetically declared: “…we heard this passionate appeal from, of course, Senator Warnock….he said, you know, to Rachael Maddow that it was a real moral dilemma for him, to vote for the debt ceiling and do that [filibuster] work around, yet they can’t do it to save the democracy and save minority voting.”

In response, Alcindor channeled radical left-wing activists crying racism:

I’m hearing from Democratic activists who say they don’t see enough urgency in the Democratic Party for voting rights. And they say, look, this is not just about sort if voting rights overall, let’s also remember that there are states, including North Carolina, that were accused of targeting African-American voters, in particular, with surgical precision.     

Moments later, the reporter fondly recalled a March White House press conference when she urged the President to end the Senate filibuster in order to force through his radical agenda: “Because at the beginning of his presidency, I pressed him at his first press conference, saying, why not change the filibuster to at least cut out civil rights issues? And he, at that point, was really against it.”

Alcindor went on to parrot far-left MSNBC host Joy Reid by wildly claiming that reasonable voting reforms passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures were the equivalent of the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol: “We’ve seen so many GOP lawmakers across the country moving to changing the voting laws in this country. It’s something that people say is really a slow January 6th, sort of wiping away and chipping away at the democratic norms in this country.”

This coming from a supposed “journalist” who is demanding Democrats do away with the filibuster in order to shove through legislation that would unconstitutionally federalize state and local elections nationwide. It’s no wonder why NBC was eager to hire Alcindor.

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Here is a transcript of the December 16 exchange:

12:03 PM ET

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ANDREA MITCHELL: And the “what ifs” are only more likely if they don’t do anything on voting rights because of all of these moves in the states, Kristen, towards nullifying voting. Not just suppressing the vote, making it harder to vote, but actually changing the secretaries of state and the officials who would be choosing, you know, who decides the elections, the state elections, we saw what could happen in Georgia, and also the presidential election, the electors. Kristen, what is the White House saying about all this, about the move towards voting rights?  

KRISTEN WELKER: And you’re right about Georgia, that’s obviously something the Democrats have front in center with some of the toughest laws passed restricting voting in Georgia and making it difficult to vote there.

The White House publicly is striking a very different tone than they are in private. President Biden was asked about this yesterday, he said there’s nothing more important than getting voting rights passed. But privately, administration officials are scratching their heads and pointing to exactly what Garrett [Haake] was just talking about, how on Earth do you get Joe Manchin to change his mind on this issue and how does this ultimately get Build Back Better passed and the broader agenda?

Because of course, in the new year, the focus will start to shift from policy to politics with the midterms looming very large. And so I think there’s some concern within the administration that this pivot to voting rights, while it’s obviously one of the President’s key campaign promises, something that he wants to see passed, will it actually happen and could it slow down the process of getting Build Back Better done in the new year?  

MITCHELL: Yamiche Alcindor, now you had the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, and other leaders on a virtual call, Reverend Al Sharpton, yesterday, with key members of the Senate. Because they believe – and we heard this passionate appeal from, of course, Senator Warnock the other night – that if you could change it for the debt ceiling, which is important, which he voted for. But he said, you know, to Rachael Maddow that it was a real moral dilemma for him, to vote for the debt ceiling and do that work around, yet they can’t do it to save the democracy and save minority voting.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: That’s right and what you see here at the White House, really is, as Kristen said, this public-facing sort of underscoring of just how important voting rights is. But then, of course, you have officials who are also facing private pressure from civil rights organizations, the NAACP president, others, saying, “Okay, President Biden, if you think voting is the most urgent thing domestically in this country,” which is what he said yesterday, “you should be acting more like it.”

I’m hearing from Democratic activists who say they don’t see enough urgency in the Democratic Party for voting rights. And they say, look, this is not just about sort if voting rights overall, let’s also remember that there are states, including North Carolina, that were accused of targeting African-American voters, in particular, with surgical precision. So you also hear a tone from African-Americans in this country, African-Americans who of course are critical to the Democratic base, saying this is a party that needs to have our back, this is a party that needs to take this more seriously, along with infrastructure and all of the other things that the President has been very vocal about pushing through.

The problem, of course, comes back to what Garrett [Haake] was talking about. How do they actually get this done? And it really comes down to the idea that Joe Manchin and Senator Sinema, they are two senators that have just not been open to changing the filibuster. And I should say that it’s been interesting to watch how President Biden has sort of dealt with this. Because at the beginning of his presidency, I pressed him at his first press conference, saying, why not change the filibuster to at least cut out civil rights issues? And he, at that point, was really against it. He pushed back on that idea.

We’ve now seen sort of a slow shift on the President’s side, sort of hinting at the idea that yes, voting rights can be something that is cut out and that it is a loop[hole] in the filibuster. That’s also of course echoing what Jim Clyburn has been saying for a very long time, the number three of course in the Democratic House, saying we need to at least be able to figure out how to deal with voting rights and civil rights.

But it is a conundrum for this White House, but it’s also a conundrum for the Democrats, who are going to go to the poles asking people to vote for them, but also facing a base that’s looking at them saying, what more could you have done to protect our voting rights?

MITCHELL: And if I’m – if my memory serves, the President’s going to South Carolina for Jim Clyburn tomorrow. And who many people would say owes him the nomination given the turning point that Jim Clyburn’s endorsement was. So he’s clearly going to be hearing from Jim Clyburn tomorrow, Yamiche.

ALCINDOR: He absolutely is going to be hearing from him. And Jim Clyburn, again, has been saying for months – not weeks, but months – “You need to figure out a loophole, you need to figure out a carve out for civil rights and voting rights.” The President had been hesitant to do that. But Jim Clyburn is really – he is the voice for so many in the Democratic base who are saying this is a Democratic Party that needs to understand that voting rights is the top issue. We’ve seen so many GOP lawmakers across the country moving to changing the voting laws in this country. It’s something that people say is really a slow January 6th, sort of wiping away and chipping away at the democratic norms in this country. So of course when he goes to South Carolina tomorrow, the President, I’m sure is going to be hearing an earful, and I’ve been hearing an earful from Democratic activists who say they want to see more done.

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