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.
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 never vote to eliminate the filibuster. At partial list begins with:
9) Sen. Jacky Rosen; (Nevada)
10) Sen. Patrick Leahy; (Vermont) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) 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.
Do you have any idea how long it will take for the Democrat Party to reach 60 Democrat Senators voting to eliminate the filibuster?
It will take YEARS of progressive Democrats being elected to Congress to get rid of the filibuster; ONLY, ONLY ONLY PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WILL GET RID OF THE FILIBUSTER.
Moderate Democrats will never, ever vote to eliminate the filibuster – just like conservative Democrat Joe Manchin.
The only good thing as of late re: the filibuster is, NOW Americans see how deeply embedded the filibuster really is in our racist, classist Congress.
I estimate it will take at least (10) that’s TEN PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS being elected to the U.S. Senate to REPLACE at least ten moderate conservative Democrats before the Democrat party will have enough votes to eliminate the filibuster. I make this estimate also based on my estimation there are at least ten moderate Democrats who quietly support the filibuster but won’t tell anyone yet because they don’t have to make an up or down vote on the filibuster.
This is HOW the bi-partisan crimewave in Washington has prevented significant change in America and continues to STOP PROGRESSIVE CHANGE IN AMERICA.
Let me say it again: WHITE CONSERVATIVES IN BOTH PARTIES are the roadblock preventing real change from taking place in Congress and America.
Recently a reporter asked Vice-President Kamala Harris, Is America racist? Harris waited a while then answered, “No, America is not racist.”
YES KAMALA HARRIS, WE DO LIVE IN A RACIST AMERICA! So racist in fact moderate Democrats have a black woman singing conservative talking points!
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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!
Ending the filibuster will only come on the heels of electing more progressive Democrats to office.
The Democrat Party needs 51 votes to end the filibuster.
Republicans will never vote to end the filibuster.
Moderate Democrats will never vote to end the filibuster.
Only electing more progressive Democrat Senators to office will end the filibuster.
How many progressive Democrats are needed to win in 2022 to meet the 51 vote threshhold to defeat the filibuster?
No one knows for certain, because moderate democrats
No where in politics illustrates how conservatism has infected the Democrat Party more than the moderate Democrats who refuse to end the filibuster and vote to keep the filibuster in place.
Moderate democrats believe conservatism has a place in Democrat Party policy and bi-partisan legislation.
Moderate Democrats repeat conservative talking points in their quest to keep conservatism alive and well inside the Democrat Party.
Moderate Democrats preach bi-partisanship in their opposition to progressive Democrat policies, claiming we must represent all Americans in the promulgation of Democrat Party policy.
The filibuster has a dark history of being the weapon of choice for racist Congressmen who used the filibuster to block civil rights bills for decades.
The filibuster is not in the Constitution. It is a centuries-old Senate practice whereupon Senators in the minority could take the floor and talk endlessly, never agreeing to formally end debate so the majority could vote. They’d talk the legislation to death, in the process shutting down all other Senate business. The House never permitted it, always allowing a simple majority to shut down debate.
In the Senate, the idea was to make sure the minority was heard. But over the years, the rule was exploited to actually stop legislation altogether.
Southern Democrats used it to block anti-lynching legislation in the 1930s and civil-rights laws in the 1950s. Not until June 10, 1964, were anti-segregationists able to muster enough votes under Senate rules to cut off a filibuster on a major civil-rights bill — after a staggering 60 days of debate.
Then in 1975, the Senate modified the filibuster. Senators could now close debate and bring legislation to the floor if they had 60 votes to do it. Since then, the minority doesn’t have to monopolize the floor and debate endlessly, shutting down all business. Threatening to do so is enough to hold up a bill.
Call it a fake filibuster.
In recent years, Republicans have benefited from the 60-vote rule. During President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the Republican Senate minority used it to kill pro-union legislation, the Dream Act, gun control and a federal minimum-wage hike.
Minutes after Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee, Schumer proclaimed that “on a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination,” there have to be 60 votes to move forward.
That’s politics. But DC insiders talk about the 60-vote rule as if it were sacrosanct, the holy grail of democracy. “It’s the way our founding fathers set it up,” says Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
Sorry. That’s not the case.
The framers designated five circumstances requiring a supermajority: convicting an impeached president or other high officer, amending the Constitution, ratifying a treaty, overturning a presidential veto or expelling a member of Congress. That’s the whole list, and passing laws and confirming nominees aren’t on it.
At the Constitutional Convention, the framers considered requiring a supermajority in the Senate to pass laws, but repeatedly rejected the idea.
James Madison explained in Federalist No. 58 that it would give the minority control over the majority. The “principle of free government would be reversed.” Requiring laws to pass two houses of Congress and giving the president a veto were better ways to promote wise lawmaking.
Alexander Hamilton warned that a supermajority requirement would cause “tedious delays,” as it had under the failed Articles of Confederation. Just what we’re facing now.
Meanwhile, McConnell, a Senate lifer first elected in 1984, defends the 60-vote rule, telling colleagues not to “act as if we’re going to be in the majority forever.”
NYU law professor Burt Neuborne deplores these “rules that scratch my back today and yours tomorrow.” They protect career politicians more than the public: The 60-vote threshold dashes voters’ hopes that an election can produce real change.
Some call dropping the filibuster “going nuclear.” Actually, it would be a return to what the framers envisioned — “going original.”