Folks need to realize conservatives infiltrated the Democratic Party long ago and have kept the filibuster intact for decades. The damn filibuster is THE TOOL conservatives inside the Democratic and Republican parties have used to block meaningful legislation for the middle class/poor and have used to block civil rights/equality bills for decades.
Even long time senior Democratic Senator Dick Durbin once said ending the filibuster, “…would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers.”
That is a GOP LIE. The filibuster has never been part of our Constitution.
Traditional old GOP lies about the filibuster have been passed around Congress like a single bottle of Mad Dog wine being passed around a group of drunken alcoholics.
James Madison and our Founding Fathers debated the filibuster and soundly rejected the notion of a filibuster requiring a supermajority of three-fifths or two-thirds of the Senate to stop a filibuster.
They were extremely clear that the Senate should be a MAJORITY RULE (51 votes) BODY. The Senate WAS a majority rule body for more than 200 years of its existence.
There’s no getting around the filibuster, other than 51 Democratic Senators voting to eliminate the filibuster. No Republican Senator will ever vote to eliminate the filibuster.
I estimate there are at least ten moderate Democrat Senators who also will not vote to eliminate the filibuster.
A partial list begins with:
Sen. Patrick Leahy shared Schumer’s position, addressing rumors that Republicans were considering a strategy to abolish nomination filibusters. “When you have a slim majority,” Leahy said, “and are willing to use parliamentary brute force . . . you can. It does not make it right. It makes it wrong.” He said using a parliamentary gimmick to eliminate the filibuster would be “an abuse of power to advance a power grab” and to “undercut the checks and balances of the Senate.”
In April 2017, 61 senators from both parties wrote a letter to then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and then-Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D., N.Y.) asking them “to join us in opposing any effort to curtail the existing rights and prerogatives of Senators to engage in full, robust, and extended debate as we consider legislation before this body in the future.”
(signatures of 61 Senators)
Senators Collins and Coons’ letter was signed by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Luther Strange (R-AL), Richard Burr (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Thune (R-SD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Todd Young (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
THEN (March, 2019): declines to offer a statement on altering the filibuster while exploring a presidential run, saying “I haven’t really put a lot of thought into it yet, sorry.”
NOW (October, 2020): tells the Atlantic: “We’ve got to eliminate the filibuster. I don’t know if it has unanimity, but I’ve not talked to anybody that says ‘I don’t want to do it.’”
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)
THEN (February, 2017): “When you look at the past, when Democrats were in charge, we were concerned, well, what if Republicans are in charge, let’s keep that 60-vote threshold in place,” Klobuchar explained. “And it has been a long-standing precedent both the President’s nominee, Obama’s nominees, got over 60 votes. And that is the threshold.”
NOW (March, 2021): tells Mother Jones that she “would get rid of the filibuster” for Democrat election-bill H.R. 1 and has “favored filibuster reform for a long time.”
Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.)
THEN (January, 2019): “We should not be doing anything to mess with the strength of the filibuster. It’s one of the distinguishing factors of this body,” Booker said. “And I think it is good to have the power of the filibuster.”
“If Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump for the last two years had complete sway they wouldn’t have just changed policy, which is nice, they would have hurt people in my community,” he further elaborated in a Pod Save America appearance.
NOW (March, 2021): argues that “for the sake of our vulnerable populations . . . the filibuster has to be reformed.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.)
THEN (January, 2019): also joins Pod Save America for a Q&A amid her own middling 2020 presidential campaign and shoots down nuking the filibuster in the name of bipartisanship — “If you don’t have 60 votes yet, it just means you haven’t done enough advocacy and you need to work a lot harder.”
NOW (January, 2021): “I’m of the view that we should eliminate the filibuster despite all the risks,” she explains, putting the onus on Republicans “to see if they’re willing to negotiate in good faith and willing to not hold common-sense things up and not have lots of party line votes. If that’s possible, then maybe we can govern with the filibuster.”
Senator Bob Casey (D., Pa.)
THEN (June, 2016): joins Democrats to filibuster the GOP majority into voting on gun control.
NOW (March, 2021): admits that “major changes to the filibuster for someone like me would not have been on the agenda, even a few years ago. But the Senate does not work like it used to.” Casey has not said when, exactly, the Senate stopped working.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.)
THEN (March 18, 2021): reveals to National Review that she had not even “gone that far in my thinking” in weighing how the actions of Senate Republicans could change her mind. “I just know that votes aren’t there to do it,” she said.
NOW: (March 19, 2021): reverses her position one day later, saying in a statement that if “Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster by requiring cloture votes, I’m open to changing the way the Senate filibuster rules are used.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.)
THEN (March, 2018): releases a statement touting her use of the filibuster to block the ADA Education and Reform Act, after successfully corralling fellow Democrats — “We will strongly object to any time agreement or unanimous consent request with respect to consideration of H.R. 620, or any similar legislation that seeks to weaken Federal protections for an entire protected class of Americans.”
NOW (February, 2021): warns that if Republicans are “going to be obstructionist and not allow us to get those priorities that I listed out the door to help the American people, then everything is on the table as far as I’m concerned.”
Senator Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii)
THEN (November, 2017): says the filibuster helps prevent “rushed garbage legislation.”
NOW (February, 2021): says the 60-vote threshold is “stupid and paralyzing.”
Senator Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii)
THEN (October, 2020): acknowledges her signing of the 2017 letter, explaining that “the filibuster is supposed to protect the voices of the minorities.”
“We’re in the minority. I don’t think our voices are being protected, so I’m open to that discussion, but it won’t happen unless the Democrats take back the Senate,” she said in a press conference.
NOW (March, 2021): now that Democrats have a razor-thin majority, thanks to Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, Hirono is ready for a conversation about changing the filibuster.
Senator John Tester (D., Mont.)
THEN (November, 2019): asked by National Review’s John McCormack: “Could you see any circumstances that would make you change your mind [on the legislative filibuster]?” Tester responds, “Nope.”
NOW (September, 2020): caught in a bind after signaling a willingness to change the filibuster, he backpedals “if there’s a lot of stonewalling that goes on, it doesn’t leave me a lot of choice.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.)
THEN (January, 2018): while he did not sign the 2017 letter, he appeared on television one year later — amid Trump’s urging McConnell to get rid of the filibuster — to caution that ending the filibuster “would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers.”
NOW (March, 2021): as second-highest-ranking Democrat in the chamber, Durbin says that “if enough members in the Senate agree, we’ll change the rules.”
Durbin cited McConnell’s actions as the motivation for his shifting stance, but failed to mention that McConnell had not used the filibuster once in the previous three years.
Democrats need to pick up several Senate seat in the mid-terms to make up for the current set of Democrat protectors of the filibuster.
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Many professors and scholars believe America is already one election away from actual tyranny, in the form of another Trump-minded sociopath in the White House along with GOP control of the House or Senate. Trump is so angry from losing and so demented from natural and unnatural causes, if Trump were to regain power he would be a much worse version of himself and take the full advice of all the QANON nutballs like Michael Flynn, literally shoving America into fascism, civil unrest and God knows what else.
America has been suffering the tyranny of the minority for a long time.
Both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party has used the “tyranny of the minority” to hold or eliminate party positions on issues.
Our Founding Fathers did not want political parties in government nor did they believe in party politics. I wonder what our Founding Fathers would say if they knew in the year 2021, America would suffer one party who manages to pass election laws which gives that same party electoral advantage over the other party; in fact, what GOP election laws do is not only give the GOP advantage over the will of the people of their state, but actually gives the GOP ultimate control of who their state selects for U.S. Congress or the White House.
I say these collective and individual acts by state legislators do constitute a criminal constitutional violation, for which the President and/or the U.S. Attorney General should take legal action against the criminals. Pres. Biden and AG Merrick Garland owe voters a duty to protect democracy from criminals conspiring and acting together to suppress the right to free and fair elections in America. What are they waiting for? Waiting until Democrats lose the mid-terms due to GOP criminality? I believe most moderate Democrats are just fine with most of the conservative agenda.
If Congress cannot fix a severe and extreme problem ailing the U.S. government, what do you think our Founding Fathers expected a President to do at that juncture? Nothing? Sit on his hands while Rome burns? NO! el Presidente Biden must take decisive clear lawful action against the persons actively stealing our democracy before our very eyes, stealing democracy under the guise of good faith and bi-partisanship.
DEAR JOE BIDEN AND AG GARLAND: OPEN A DOJ INVESTIGATION INTO THESE 400 UNCONSTITUTIONAL GOP VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS NOW! STRIKE DOWN THE GOP CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE VOTERS’ CONST. RIGHT TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS!