Today in Toxic Narcissism

President Biden’s campaign to push new voting rights protections through Congress appeared all but dead on Thursday, after it became clear that he had failed to unite his own party behind his drive to overhaul Senate rules to enact the legislation over Republican opposition.

In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances.

The announcement by Ms. Sinema, who had long opposed changing Senate rules, left Mr. Biden and Democrats without an avenue for winning enactment of the voting rights measures, which they have characterized as vital to preserve democracy in the face of a Republican-led drive in states around the country to limit access to the ballot box.

It came two days after the president had put his reputation on the line to make the case for enacting the legislation by any means necessary — including scrapping the famed filibuster — with a major speech in Atlanta that compared opponents of the voting rights measures to racist figures of the Civil War era and segregationists who thwarted civil rights initiatives in the 1960s.

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Her action left many of her Democratic colleagues privately fuming, with some saying it was a dagger delivered to the president in a way that would draw maximum attention to Ms. Sinema. Some said her arguments were weak, particularly her insistence that Democrats should have done more to bring Republicans on board, when they have tried but failed to do so for months. And others groused that Ms. Sinema seemed glued to her phone during much of the meeting with the president.

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