Senate

The Filibuster Will Survive Because a Few Democrats Are Smart Enough Not To Kill It

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is right: Democrats have more to lose by ending the filibuster than by putting up with it.

|

The Senate could vote later today on a sweeping overhaul of federal election rules that has been a priority for Democrats since they took control of Congress and the White House in November.

Could is the keyword, of course. Republicans are threatening to filibuster the bill—read Walter Olson for a primer on the legislation's shortcomings—and it seems unlikely that the tenuous 50-seat Democratic majority will be able to muster the necessary 60 votes to break that filibuster if it happens. That's why the For The People Act has become the latest high-stakes focal point in Washington's most beloved insider political drama, "Who Wants To Kill The Filibuster?"

This is a recurring dilemma because of a funny little detail in the Senate's rules. Even though it requires 60 votes to invoke what's called "cloture" and thereby end a filibuster, the rules also require only a simple majority to change the Senate's rules—including the rules about how many votes are necessary to invoke cloture. The filibuster persists not because it is impossible or even difficult to abolish it, in other words, but merely because each subsequent Senate majority recognizes that it won't retain control forever and will someday want to make use of the filibuster to stop the other team's agenda.

Politics seem to be becoming more short-sighted, however, and the temptation to abolish the filibuster has been growing. It has already been abolished in the name of speeding along Supreme Court nominees and other judicial appointments. The so-called "legislative filibuster" is now a target of some on the political left, who see it (not entirely incorrectly) as an anti-democratic tool that exists only to slow the passage of big legislation, like the voting rights bill the Senate might consider later today.

Democrats had not even retaken control of the federal government yet when some leading liberal voices began clamoring for the death of the filibuster. Writing at Vox last October, Ezra Klein laid out the argument for why the filibuster must go. Notably, the voting rights bill that Democrats are now using to push this debate forward was only one of several excuses (or opportunities) Klein identified for abolishing the filibuster. He wasn't arguing that the filibuster should be abolished to accomplish any specific policy goal; rather, he was arguing that it should be abolished so Democrats can accomplish all of their policy goals at once.

Democrats should be thankful that not all of their senators are willing to be so myopic.

"I do not accept a new standard by which important legislation can only pass on party-line votes—and when my party is again in the Senate minority, I will work just as hard to preserve the right to shape legislation," writes Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) in an op-ed published this week by The Washington Post. "Instability, partisanship, and tribalism continue to infect our politics. The solution, however, is not to continue weakening our democracy's guardrails. If we eliminate the Senate's 60-vote threshold, we will lose much more than we gain."

Elsewhere in the piece, Sinema correctly points out that the filibuster has been used in the past by both parties to achieve their respective goals—a silent rejoinder to the historically nonsensical argument that the filibuster is nothing more than a relic of Jim Crow-era politics. Just last year, she notes, a Democratic minority in the Senate used the threat of a filibuster to block the passage of police reform bills and a Republican-backed COVID-19 relief package.

Sinema also reminds Democrats of what could happen once the filibuster is gone. Is passing this voting rights bill worth opening the door to a future 50-seat Republican majority implementing mandatory Voter ID laws or a national ban on voting by mail with a simple party-line vote, she asks? "This question is less about the immediate results from any of these Democratic or Republican goals—it is the likelihood of repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans' confidence in our government," Sinema writes.

It's true that the filibuster doesn't do much to encourage bipartisan cooperation—as its defenders sometimes claim—but Sinema is right that it does help prevent the sort of wild policy swings that would otherwise occur after every federal election.

Sinema isn't the only Democrat to hold this view, though she is one of the few willing to come right out and say it. Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.), who has the political protection of representing a deep red state, is another. NBC News reports that several Senate Democrats are on the fence about the filibuster's future while still others are simply refusing to tell reporters where they stand. It hardly seems like a group ready to hold hands and jump together off the ledge.

Perhaps that's because some members of the Senate remember what happened the last time they eroded the filibuster. In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–Nev.) abolished the filibuster for lower-court judicial nominees, ostensibly to allow Democrats to confirm more of then-President Barack Obama's picks for the federal bench.

How did that work out in the long run? President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate installed nearly as many federal judges in four years as Trump's predecessor did in eight—causing liberals to howl about a conservative overhaul of the federal courts.

If only someone would have warned them that no one wins when you abolish the filibuster. President Joe Biden, who now tepidly supports ending the filibuster, once said that "folks who want to [abolish the filibuster] want to eliminate one of the procedural mechanisms designed for the express purpose of guaranteeing individual rights and they also, as a consequence, would undermine the protections of the minority point of view in the heat of majority excess."

Sinema will take plenty of grief for her Post op-ed, but NBC's reporting suggests that she's hardly single-handedly saving the filibuster. If the Senate's super-majority rules survive Tuesday (and the next year-and-a-half), it will be because just enough Democrats are smart enough to realize there's no such thing as a permanent majority.

NEXT: Ranked Choice Voting Gets Biggest Test Yet in New York City

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. head fake.

    1. Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
      on this page…..VISIT HERE

      1. Thú vị đó chứ bạn hiền ku777

  2. “Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is right: Democrats have more to lose by ending the filibuster than by putting up with it.”

    And that is probably the only reason she doesn’t support doing away with it !

    1. Hell, I’ll take self-interest with foresight over the usual D.C. shortsightedness.

      1. Self-interest is OK when we are talking about decisions for yourself.
        Supporting self-interest when the environment is about imposing those decisions on others is not likely to produce a a good outcome.

        1. The only choice here is self-interest.

          Self-interest where the person recognizes that at some point we *will* start shooting back is better than self-interest where they don’t recognize that.

      2. Is that like being short sighted and thinking Joe was a moderate better on issues than Trump Mikey?

    2. Suppose the presidency and the senate shifts to the gop in 2024 (2025). And the senate is still 50-50, but with a gop vp.

      If a 50-50 senate is the lone obstacle to another gop tax cut (that can’t be done through reconciliation), the filibuster will fall faster than you can say smokey robinson.

      The gop will not sit on their hands and miss an opportunity for a tax cut. They will do whatever it takes, come what may down the road. Any tax cut is banked money, regardless of some future change.

      1. If a 50-50 senate is the lone obstacle to another gop tax cut (that can’t be done through reconciliation), the filibuster will fall faster than you can say smokey robinson.

        They’ve never needed to do away with the filibuster to pass tax cuts. It’s called reconciliation. The only downside to using reconciliation to pass something is that it must be only about budgets (taxing and spending only) and will only be in effect for 10 years. (That is, whatever they implement sunsets automatically after 10 years unless Congress passes it again.)

        The Bush tax cuts of the early 2000’s were passed this way, but certain parts of those cuts were popular with enough voters that Democrats voted to extend those parts of it when they were due to expire during Obama’s second term.

        This is one of the two big reasons why Republicans love the filibuster so much. They can get around it easily enough for the things that they want to pass themselves, like tax cuts, when they do have a majority of both houses of Congress and the White House. If they are in the minority of the Senate, though, with a Democrat in the White House, they can filibuster all of the Democrat’s big agenda times that aren’t strictly about budgets. It’s totally win-win for them.

        Seriously, what do Republicans in Congress want to do that would be subject to the filibuster? Eric Boehm said that they might want to pass a national voter ID law. So what? They don’t need to. All of the states that they want voter IDs laws in, current swing states and red states that might turn purple in coming years, they can do that through state law. (The Tea Party wave of 2010 got them a bunch of swing state legislatures that they gerrymandered districts in to protect those new majorities in addition to the states they already controlled.) The whole point of conservative/libertarian “small government” ideology is to have government do less anyway. They just don’t have any ambitions plans that would subject to the filibuster under current rules.

        And Boehm wants us to forget why Democrats nuked the filibuster for judicial and executive appointments in 2013. Republicans under McConnell then were engaging in a level of obstruction of nominees that was a big escalation of previous tactics. I particularly remember the 3 vacant seats on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that they they were blocking, falsely claiming that Obama wanted to “pack” that especially important appeals court by filling empty seats.

        It was at that time that McConnell really stepped things up and started his ultimately successful plan to try and simply keep as many seats in the federal courts as possible open until a Republican was in the White House with a Republican majority in the Senate. I seriously doubt that McConnell would have refrained from nuking the judicial filibuster himself if Reid hadn’t taken the bait and done it first. Once the GOP won the majority in 2014, Obama hardly any judges confirmed at all.

        The two appeals court nominees that were confirmed in 2015 were actually nominees held over from 2014. No one he nominated to an appeals court in 2015 or 2016 was ever voted on by the whole Senate. That was a complete break with recent history, as both Reagan and Bush 43 plenty of appellate judges confirmed in their last two years with Democrats in the majority. (17 for Reagan, and 10 for George W. Bush) In fact, until the 114th Congress of Obama’s last 2 years, no Congress had confirmed fewer than 10 Circuit Court judges.

        If you want any more evidence of McConnell’s pure obstructionism, you can get it straight from his own mouth.

        1. Man, lack of edit or at least a ‘preview’ sucks. Typos:

          “big agenda items” in paragraph 3, not times.

          “would be subject” in paragraph 4.

          “Obama got hardly any judges confirmed” in paragraph 6.

          Clarification on the last fact I claimed: No Congress had confirmed fewer than 10 Circuit Court judges other than the 114th Congress since at least 1977.

    3. I think Sinema still thinks the D’s will need the filibuster if the R’s take back the house and senate but what Pelosi and the other despicable D’s know is that if they can ram through this “election integrity” bill the R’s will never win another election so the filibuster will no longer be needed.

  3. 60 votes should be the standard anyway. 50% +1 winning means 50% – 1 loses. If half the people (or their representatives) minus one thinks a particular piece of legislation is a bad idea, then it should not become law.

    1. Agreed.

    2. Imagine a simple majority to repeal a law but 2/3 to enact a new one.

      Or even better, require Congress to amend the Constitution to cede rule-making authority to an executive agency. Imagine if they had to actually vote on all of the regulations they enable through a simple majority.

      1. I should have scrolled before replying.

      2. That sounds good at the 10K ft level, but it really can’t work that well on the ground. It’s a matter of how specific rules must be in order to effectively administer the law. And I’m usually taking point against EOs, but there’s simply no way that Congress could manage. That said, the allowance for rule making is way too broad and Congress is way to cowardly to take back what they’ve ceded to administration authority simply by refusing to disallow it. The problem however, is that nobody wants to take authority away from their own guy so the block it or the president won’t sign it and reduce his power. You’d have to own both houses and have a veto proof majority. Not gonna happen.

    3. To change the rules? IMO it should be 100 votes.

      To pass anything? It should be . . . 100 votes sounds good. If you can’t get 100 people to agree on something that affects 300 million then its probably a bad idea.

      1. And return Senators to being paid by the state governments – no more being federal employees.

        1. Let’s put repeal of the 17th amendment in the mix.

      2. All laws sunset after 5 years. That takes care of repeals.

        1. Fuck that – all laws sunset at the beginning of every session of Congress.

    4. 60 votes should be the standard anyway. 50% +1 winning means 50% – 1 loses. If half the people (or their representatives) minus one thinks a particular piece of legislation is a bad idea, then it should not become law.

      Why stop there? Why not do away with reconciliation and require 60% to pass budgets and tax law changes? Why not go back and bring back the supermajority requirement for appointments? How about we add a supermajority requirement in the House? Why not require supermajorities to elect candidates to office? Why not make it 2/3 for everything, or 3/4? or 90%? After all, as long as there’s someone that doesn’t want a law, or doesn’t want someone elected to office, then they should be able to block it, right?

    5. Exactly. Which is why it is ironic and disingenuous that the Reason article is complaining about the filibuster. Plus it’s cool. Remember Mr Smith goes to Washington? I know it is just a movie, but a classic scene.

  4. Politics seem to be becoming more short-sighted

    I blame Twitter, Facebook, etc… and any idiot who uses their services.

    1. I blame the direct election of senators. The people already have a house of government: the house of representatives.

      1. That too.

        Just been on a rant on those services lately and all their customers who bitch and complain and their only solution to their problems with social media is to seek government “solutions”. Its become so tiresome to me. I’d never thought I’d yearn for the days when the only media voices heard were the Big Three and newspapers.

      2. The people already have a house of government: the house of representatives.

        Yeah! What is it with the people thinking that they get to directly decide who governs them!?! The people should only get to vote for whatever members of the political elite in the states can curry enough favor with wealthy donors to get campaign funding to get elected to state legislatures. Then, those elites will go and make backroom deals and find other elites to actually make the more serious decisions.

        This House of Representatives with their two year terms is better suited for common folk. (Hey, “House of Commons” was already taken.) With two years in between elections, they can spend most of their term fundraising and running for re-election! That leaves hardly any time to get up to any mischief like actually trying to pass laws that the people want.

        Brilliant!

        1. That leaves hardly any time to get up to any mischief like actually trying to pass laws that the people want.

          Yeah, leaving aside the fact that the current bill was started in the House, they never have time to do anything!

          What stupidity.

          1. Of course I wasn’t being literal. My whole comment was sarcastic hyperbole.

            Stupidity? What do you call it when the same people that voted for a billionaire reality TV star populist because he wasn’t part of “the establishment” want their senators picked by the establishment instead of getting to vote on them directly?

  5. Sinema’s op-ed was stupid and so is this defense of it.

    The filibuster is anti-democratic. Full stop.
    If the only defense of it is that “hey in the future you might want to use it to stop shit from happening” then you don’t have a defense. Even the examples listed — I would argue they aren’t bad outcomes.

    I opposed Trump, but he should get an up or down vote on his nominees if the Dems controlled the senate when he was in power.

    This idea that if I cant get a majority to support what I think is right, then my minority should be able to stop everything in it’s tracks is ridiculous. I don’t care if that means that when the other party is in control they get to pass things…that’s how democracy is supposed to work. You get a majority in the chamber then you should be able to do things. Being in the minority shouldn’t allow you to just gum up everything.

    The filibuster is used to prevent bills from even being debated much less passed. How is that a good thing ? Stopping all debate and discussion and preventing anyone from trying to amend legislation is not some fucking virtue.

    All the filibuster does is prevent senators from having to go on the record and vote for or against things.

    The idea that somehow throwing up as many roadblocks to anything getting done is a good thing is only believed by anti-government cranks who think gridlock for the sake of gridlock is a good thing.

    I would much rather live in a world where laws get passed and then repealed if the other party comes to power as opposed to a world where nothing ever gets done and no one has to actually take a position and defend it to their constituents.

    If you really want to keep the filibuster…fine…bring back the old ways. Talking filibusters and real effort required by the minority party. None of this bullshit where filibustering is simply a matter of voting ‘no’. You want to gum up the works, then you better be ready to work your ass off.

    1. “I would much rather live in a world where laws get passed and then repealed if the other party comes to power…”

      Seriously? First of all, laws are rarely repealed. That means people in government admitting to being wrong, and that just doesn’t happen.

      Secondly, you really want to be ruled by the whims of whichever party has a 50% + 1 majority? I don’t. If half plus one wants something then half minus one doesn’t. When power is being imposed upon people, it should be with a larger majority than that.

      1. Seriously? First of all, laws are rarely repealed. That means people in government admitting to being wrong, and that just doesn’t happen.

        But that’s what Sinema is arguing. That without the filibuster laws will get passed then repealed once the next party comes to power. So your position is that the filibuster has no bearing on this and Sinema is wrong, yes?

        Secondly, you really want to be ruled by the whims of whichever party has a 50% + 1 majority? I don’t. If half plus one wants something then half minus one doesn’t. When power is being imposed upon people, it should be with a larger majority than that.

        Yes, I dont object to democracy.

        That’s better than not being able to do anything because 40 / 100 object.

        When power is being imposed upon people, it should be with a larger majority than that.

        Why? And tell me what exactly is the right percentage?
        55 % 75 % ? 60 %?
        What makes 60 the correct number? What if they changed it to requiring 51 or 52 to invoke cloture– why would that be better or worse??

        There is nothing inherently more fair by saying you need 60 votes in the senate vs 51 (or 75 or whatever other arbitrary number you demand) . These are all arbitrary numbers because people don’t like majority rule.

        Furthermore, if as you say every law should require more than 50% + 1 then why even have a filibuster? Why not make the senate rule that all legislation requires 60 (or whatever arbitrary number you like) votes to pass ? Why do some laws get to pass 51-50 in a tied senate but others don’t?

        if the senate wants to make it so that they need more than 50% + 1 to pass things, then make that rule and force people to vote up or down. Then senators will still have to actually vote for or against things and go on record.

        But right now, some stuff passes 51-50 and other requires 60 votes just to debate it based upon the whims of the minority. It’s nonsense

        1. Robert Heinlein said it better than I can.

          “I note one proposal to make this Congress a two-house body. Excellent – the more impediments to legislation the better. But instead of following tradition, I suggest one house of legislators, another whose single duty is to repeal laws. Let the legislators pass laws only with a two-thirds majority… while the repealers are able to cancel any law through a mere one-third minority. Preposterous? Think about it. If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?”

          -Robert Heinlein, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”

          1. Huh, I though that was my original idea, but not must have got it from Heinlein. Oh, well, I have internalized a lot of Heinlein’s ideas, anyway.

            1. Lol. You’ve never had an original thought. You’re a narrative pusher.

          2. That is my favorite Heinlein book.

            Mt libertopia changed things a little. Takes 2/3 of each chamber to pass, no change. But if, at any time, 1/2 the members of any chamber sign a petition to repeal a law, it is immediately voided in its entirety. I figure you need some hysteresis in the percentages; if 1/3 can repeal it, a single member flipping would be enough, and that makes continual reverses too likely.

        2. Legislation is words that allow government force. Legislation is always enforced by violence. Laws aren’t magic. They don’t enforce themselves.

          Why are cops in places run by progressives invariably dicks? It’s because progressives pass law after law after law, and then can’t understand why the people enforcing all these petty laws end up in confrontations that result in someone being killed.

          So yeah I’m all for impediments to legislation, being that it is ultimately enforced with bullets. That doesn’t make me anti-government. It makes me someone who figures that if force is going to be used, then not only should it be pretty damn important, but a lot more than 50% + 1 should think so.

          1. So yeah I’m all for impediments to legislation, being that it is ultimately enforced with bullets. That doesn’t make me anti-government. It makes me someone who figures that if force is going to be used, then not only should it be pretty damn important, but a lot more than 50% + 1 should think so.

            That’s a whole lot of word salad to say that you want gridlock for the sake of gridlock.

            And you still are avoiding the important question…
            What is the objectively correct percentage of support something needs to be legitimate in your opinion????

            What makes 60 proper and better than 51 or 52 or 55 or 61 or 75?

            Hell why not make it so that no laws can pass without unanimous support???

            1. Why does 50% + 1 mean that the remaining 50% – 1 should have no say whatsoever, and be subjected to the tyrannical whims of the winner?

              I don’t know the magical number, but I think that above quote from Heinlein makes a good case for two thirds.

              1. If 2/3 is good for legislation, then it should be good for judicial appointments as well, right?

                Let’s see:

                Clarence Thomas (52-48)
                Stephen Breyer (87-9)
                John Roberts (78-22)
                Samuel Alito (58-42)
                Sonia Sotomayor (68-31)
                Elena Kagan (63-37)
                Neil Gorsuch (54-45)
                Brett Kavanaugh (50-48)
                Amy Coney Barrett (52-48)

                Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor would be the only ones currently on the SCOTUS that would have met that standard. Kagan had enough votes to overcome a filibuster (I don’t know if Republicans tried or not) but would have fallen short of 2/3. Democrats didn’t try and filibuster Thomas, as they wouldn’t have needed to, being in the majority in the Senate at the time. They could have pulled a McConnell if they really wanted to deny him an up or down vote. 11 Democrats ended up voting for him, 2 Republicans against him. They did try and filibuster Alito, but it failed. At least one of the 41 Democrats that voted against his confirmation didn’t join the filibuster attempt. Of course, none of Trump’s nominees would have made it by any super-majority standard.

            2. Somebody must DO something! – The Siren Song of Big Government

            3. There is no “correct” number. It’s arbitrary.

              Two-thirds, and sometimes four-fifths have been used traditionally for supermajority vote requirements.

        3. America was never a democracy. (And that’s a good thing)

          1. It’s not supposed to be anyway. This whole Democracy as virtue shtick is a bait and switch.

        4. ChicagoTom –
          Yes, I dont object to democracy.

          What does that have to do with democracy? Nothing in “democracy” states simple majority rule must be the standard. >50, 60/40, 2/3rd, 3/4 are all arbitrary and in common use because the human mind likes numbers divided along lines which are easy to remember and say.

          If you really want a pure majority rules standard, then you should be for abolishing the senate. Basically, you have a 101 people who get to vote for laws who in no way represent the same number of people. As of the 2010 census, California made up 11.91% of the population, while Wyoming only contained .17%. That breaks down to each vote by a CA Senator representing over 70 times the number of people then a vote by a WY one. So even at 50+1, you are not necessarily getting a majority rule because we elect senators based off some (at least modern day) arbitrary lines drawn by cartographers over the past 300 years or so.

          1. If you really want a pure majority rules standard, then you should be for abolishing the [equal representation for each state in the] senate.

            I, for one, would be all for that. But it will never happen. The Constitution explicitly requires that the equal representation in the Senate cannot be changed without the consent of every state that would end up with less than an equal share of members. (It doesn’t have to be completely unanimous, though, as, theoretically, a state that would gain with proportional representation could vote against such an amendment and have it still pass, as long as it met the 3/4 requirement and no smaller states say no.)

            The issue with the Senate is that it hasn’t always favored one party over the other so dramatically as it does now. What has happened in the last few decades is that the two parties have become much more split along the rural-urban divide. That means that states that have smaller populations than the median are more likely to be majority Republican, since most of them have a large proportion of their population that live in rural areas and small towns.

            The real problem is the two-party duopoly. It wouldn’t necessarily be so bad to have smaller states with extra representation for their state. But what actually happens is that Senators of the smaller states are really just representing the power bases of their national parties with that extra influence. A Senator from Wyoming really wouldn’t share a lot of interests for the people of their state with a Senator from Pennsylvania, but because they are the same party, they are virtually unified.

      2. You’re goddamn right it’s anti-democratic – democracy is mob rule and the tyranny of the majority.

        I don’t understand why a few days ago when Rand Paul spoke out against democracy there was only a minor ripple as a few pundits had an attack of the vapors that those damn dirty evil nasty Republicans are anti-democracy! There should have been a full-throated roar of approval from the GOP because this is a major fucking point about America – that we are not a democracy and there’s a good damn reason for that. To the extent that Nancy Pelosi et al want to “fundamentally transform” America and remove the undemocratic bits of the Constitution, they hate America and want to destroy her.

        1. Amen.

        2. Hear, hear! Democracy has become a dirty word for me. Take your Democracy and shove it; my rights are not up for a vote.

        3. You’re goddamn right it’s anti-democratic – democracy is mob rule and the tyranny of the majority.

          Sorry, but I call bullshit on all of this fake concern over “tyranny of the majority”. I’ve never seen any such concern shown from your side when Republicans were in control. You don’t have a principled stand against the rule of a slim majority. You just want your side to be able to say no when they don’t have the majority, and to be able to win power without actually having to get the support of a majority.

          Republicans have practically abandoned trying to convince more people to vote for them on the strength of their policies. Those that are already voting Republican are who they represent and they don’t care about trying to expand that base. Whatever it takes to allow that base to determine who is in office is what they will do now.

    2. A society suffering from policy whiplash after every minor shift in the electoral winds is not a healthy society. The founders of the United States created a bicameral legislative body and other checks and balances precisely to make the policy-making process slow and deliberative. Simple democracy is not a good system.

      And spare us the notion that anyone left-of-center actually believes in democracy. As with “free speech”, left-wing people only cite “democracy” when they think that doing so helps them get what they want.

      1. A society suffering from policy whiplash after every minor shift in the electoral winds is not a healthy society. The founders of the United States created a bicameral legislative body and other checks and balances precisely to make the policy-making process slow and deliberative. Simple democracy is not a good system.

        Why don’t you show me where the filibuster is mentioned in the constitution? What’s that? Nowhere? That;’s right because the founders were silent on that.

        The filibuster was created by the Senate — somewhat accidentally .

        The founders already had plenty of checks and balances already…requiring an arbitrary supermajority in the senate wasn’t one of them.

        Simple democracy is not a good system.
        Not sure what “simple” means….when you have to have laws passed by majority vote in 2 houses and survive a presidential veto — if that is simple democracy, then that is a good system.

        Requiring arbitrary super-majorities just to make it harder to do get things done is not a good system.

        1. Ever read the Constitution? The entire point of the document is to make it hard for government to get things done. It sets up checks and balances, defined powers, and limitations on power.

          If you oppose a system that makes it hard to get things done, then you must really hate that pesky document.

          1. Ever read the Constitution? The entire point of the document is to make it hard for government to get things done. It sets up checks and balances, defined powers, and limitations on power.

            I read it — show me where it says that super-majorities are required to pass the senate?

            It is hard to get things done already. It has to pass both houses and then survive a veto. it also can be struck down by the courts if it violates the constitution. That’s in the constitution.

            Demanding a bunch of extra arbitrary super-majorities for every piece of legislation or debate is not part of the document nor what the founders dictated.

            1. Demanding a bunch of extra arbitrary super-majorities for every piece of legislation or debate is not part of the document nor what the founders dictated.

              I never said the document nor the founders were perfect.

            2. What you’re doing is creating a strawman argument because your failed initial arguments are easily exposed.

              1. Tony would be proud. Seems like he has a protégé in this guy.

              2. What you’re doing is creating a strawman argument because your failed initial arguments are easily exposed.

                What strawmen has ChicagoTom used? I haven’t seen him say anything in this thread that isn’t accurate.

        2. I encourage you to drive around Humboldt Park with a Puerto rican flag

        3. You should smack your civics teacher. Hluse and senate are granted the ability to form their own rules. Saying “it isnt in the constitution” just proves your ignorance. Nobody is saying it is explicitly in the constitution as a mandate.

      2. “A society suffering from policy whiplash after every minor shift in the electoral winds is not a healthy society.”

        Exactly, and the filibuster or a supermajority like sarcasmic is talking about is the legislative analog of hysteresis in Physics or Electronics. Hysteresis is how you create stable systems.

        1. Hysteresis can become unstable pretty easily in control systems, it the basis of the Schmidt trigger oscillator.
          I can see your grasp of physics and electronics is as shallow as your grasp of libritarian ideas, politics, history, and current events.

          1. A bang-bang controller needs hysteresis for stability around the control point. Think of how often your water heater would cycle on and off without hysteresis. Passage of laws is about as bang-bang as it gets.

            And it’s Schmitt trigger.

            1. A water heater turning on and off due to noise sensitivity in the temp sensor/control doesn’t have anything to do with instability. The point is hysteresis does not equate to stability

              1. That’s exactly what it does. In electronics it creates a predictable reaction in a closed loop system, instead of random responses and noise or even a railed condition. I hate to agree with WK but his analogy is apt.

                1. No it isn’t, if you continue to power a temp control sensor and unit, and turn off power to the water heater the temp sensor /control will Com to a single stable value. If a circuit is unstable it will continue to turn on and off regardless of what happens to the water heater

    3. This idea that if I cant get a majority to support what I think is right, then my minority should be able to stop everything in it’s tracks is ridiculous.

      No, it’s not. We rightly put multiple roadblocks in the way of the majority being able to do whatever it wants. The rights of the individual are supposed to take precedence. If the majority decided to bring back slavery, that still wouldn’t make it somehow legitimate. If the majority decided that they wanted to demand everyone take an oath of loyalty to Donald J. Trump, it would still be wrong. We’re supposed to set a big, impenetrable wall around things that the majority is not supposed to be able to do. Because the very reason for having a government is supposed to be to protect the rights of the individual.

      The filibuster is used to prevent bills from even being debated much less passed.

      Actually, no. The filibuster itself is a rule to not stop debate on a bill with less than 60 votes. Not stopping debate is not preventing debate.

      1. Actually, no. The filibuster itself is a rule to not stop debate on a bill with less than 60 votes. Not stopping debate is not preventing debate.

        You’re right on the rule, but wrong on how it actually works. The filibuster hasn’t been used to extend “debate” over a bill in ages. It’s a purely procedural move now. It is only used as a way to stop something from getting an up or down vote by a minority that doesn’t want to lose that vote.

    4. In these discussions we should bear in mind that originally Senators weren’t supposed to be elected by popular vote but selected by the state legislatures. That was meant as a check on the process.

      1. And the Supreme Court had it right on that issue when complaints of corrupt legislators selling their office reached their ears – rather than demanding we change the rules, elect better legislators you stupid fucks.

    5. Everything that protects minority rights is ” anti-democratic. “

      1. “Minority rights” are protected directly by the Constitution, through the Bill of Rights and other provisions. A minority has no inherent or constitutional right to stop the passage of a law or appointment to an office, provided that they otherwise pass constitutional muster. The Constitution only requires super-majorities for a few things: ratifying treaties by the Senate, removing an official by conviction after impeachment, and amendments to the Constitution itself. The built-in separation of powers and checks in the rest of the structure of the federal government should be enough for ordinary legislation and executive appointments to prevent the “tyranny of the majority” that you claim to fear. It isn’t tyranny for the majority to get its way on laws that are constitutional.

        It has gotten pretty obvious why Republicans have gotten so uptight and against majority rule. They don’t want to have to actually get the support of a majority of voters in order to rule. Take advantage of the unequal representation of the Senate and the nature of the Electoral College, take advantage of the concentration of Democrat voters in urban areas that makes gerrymandering in their favor easier, and manipulate voting rules to squeeze down turn out in Democrat-heavy areas just enough to make winning without a majority of all voters possible.

    6. Don’t get pissed off just because Sinema is the one Democrat in the entire Congressional caucus that appears to have any sense of future-time orientation.

      The leftists screeching about getting rid of the filibuster are only doing so for the same reason Harry Reid got rid of it for judges–because they honestly believe they’ll be in power forever and hate having any impediments on steamrolling their agenda in place. Complaints about it being “anti-democracy” are thoroughly disingenuous and insincere, as it shows they can’t pass shit through compromise and bringing in as many people as possible.

      All the filibuster does is prevent senators from having to go on the record and vote for or against things.

      If you want to pass shit, get more people on board. Otherwise, your complaints about this being “anti-democratic” are just a rhetorical smokescreen.

      1. Sideman is Boehms justification for favoring Biden and being shown to be a complete fool.

        1. Sinema*

    7. I always love when you guys pop up. Majority rule is how shut like slavery, Jim Crow, and any other type of oppression get legitimacy.

      So thanks for showing that, once again, Democrats are the party of oppression.

      1. I always love when you guys pop up. Majority rule is how shut [sic] like slavery, Jim Crow, and any other type of oppression get legitimacy.

        As opposed to what, a minority of voters getting to be the ones oppressing the majority? Republicans aren’t afraid of the tyranny of the majority, they want to control government without having to bother getting the support of a majority.

    8. We don’t live in a democracy – we live in a republic. Full stop.

      The founders pretty clearly saw the Senate as a check on the “mob” in the house . The 17th amendment threw a monkey wrench into those works in 1913 and by 1917 or so, cloture was established to balance things out again.

      Frankly, both parties should be ashamed if they cannot create legislation that can attract at least a handful from the opposing party and the fact that a lot less legislation gets passed under filibuster rules is a feature not a bug.

    9. We aren’t a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. There are no rights in a pure democratic government. The US is set up with individual rights. Allowing rights to be overruled with a bare majority is anathema to freedom and liberty. The founding fathers understood the issues of pure democracies. Unfortunately your teachers failed you.

    10. Why does democracy require only a slim majority? Wouldn’t a supermajority be more representative of popular consensus about an issue? If you want government to reflect the popular will, surely you want something that matches what people in general want. I don’t see how a bare majority does that.

    11. “…The filibuster is anti-democratic. Full stop…”

      Good. Full stop.

    12. This idea that if I cant get a majority to support what I think is right, then my minority should be able to stop everything in it’s tracks is ridiculous.

      So, if the majority thinks you should be forced, under threat of violence, to buy 50 pounds of brocoli every day – that’s ok?

      We are not a democracy. And, frankly, democracy sucks (caveat: Everything else is worse). We have many, many, many different mechanism to ensure that the majority can’t screw over the minority.

      Otherwise, why even have Congress? Why not put all power in a – democratically elected, mind you – chief executive?

      What’s the difference between one vote and 100 here?

      1. We could just elect a king. That’s ‘democratic’.

    13. Bullshit! A simple majority keeps the rule in place, therefore it’s the Senate that chooses to keep a rule that limits itself. What’s undemocratic about that?

    14. Hello ChicagoDipshit

      The Filibuster is not anti-democratic. It’s moderating and anti-extreme. Also, have I ever told you that I think you’re a dipshit?

  6. Not surprising that Sinema would be interested in fucking both sides occasionally.

    1. Ha; see my comment below.

  7. Democrats should exercise any and every “nuclear option” they can; it always works out so well for them, right? It’s not like they’ve ever been bitten on the ass later by something they did to get what they want today.

    1. Democrats should exercise any and every “nuclear option” they can; it always works out so well for them, right? It’s not like they’ve ever been bitten on the ass later by something they did to get what they want today.

      Why are we using the standard of “did it work out for the democrats?”

      How about this…how did it work out for the country? I dont see how nuking the filibuster for judges hurt the country. In fact making it easier to fill vacancies is a net positive.

      This idea of letting judicial vacancies languish for years based on the hope that if we can run the clock out long enough we can get a different nominee is not a positive thing (especially if you are the one who has to wait for a court date because the courts have so many damn vacancies).

      1. “Why are we using the standard of “did it work out for the democrats?”

        Check the article; I believe it is the Democrats and their media catamites who are clamoring to do away with the filibuster. Just as they did with the 60 vote rule for nominations in 2013.

        And it sure as fuck did bite them on the ass.

      2. The easiest retort to you is that Texas has a bi-annual state legislature and it passes more legislation faster than any other state. Giving legislation time to breathe and not rushing into it has done well for progress in Texas.

        1. And this right here is what happens when you limit their time in session. The Constitution requires that Congress meet one day a year as a minimum. That could also serve as a maximum. There would be no bullshit bills of 500, let alone 5000 pages because if one guy on the other team requires the bill to be read out loud before voting, you’re all done for the year.

    2. I think everyone is misinterpreting their motives.

      All I know is that we always seem to be talking about these big filibuster moves right before congress is ready to go on their more official vacation in August.

      Just sayin I don’t think we are done with this this summer.

  8. How did that work out in the long run? President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate installed nearly as many federal judges in four years as Trump’s predecessor did in eight—causing liberals to howl about a conservative overhaul of the federal courts.

    They can howl all they want but this was a good outcome. The howling is quite disingenuous. Whichever side is in the minority will always complain when the majority starts doing stuff. That doesn’t mean the outcome is bad…Just that the outcome is not what he minority wanted.

    Objectively speaking, why shouldn’t Trump’s nominees get an up or down vote? Why should the Dems have been able to stop them from even being considered with only 45 senators?

    What’s the point having and winning elections if you need to hope for the good graces of the losing party to do anything?

    1. What’s the point having and winning elections if you need to hope for the good graces of the losing party to do anything?

      From the point of view of someone wielding power and imposing their views on others, absolutely nothing.

      From the point of view of those of us who are subject to that power, lots. Unless the point of government is to fuck over everyone you don’t like.

      1. From the point of view of those of us who are subject to that power, lots. Unless the point of government is to fuck over everyone you don’t like.

        Are you serious with your bullshit? Passing laws is fucking everyone over?

        Your position is that any law that passes with less than (some arbitrary number of) votes is tyranny that fucks everyone over??

        1. The danger is not so much tyranny as not being well though out/having unintended consequences.

        2. Drug laws fuck over everyone, and no that’s not hyperbole.

        3. Dont know. A law that cuts all black people off of welfare and getting an ID is not really fucking over that many. So i guess that would be a fine law.

          1. A law that cuts all black people off of welfare and getting an ID is not really fucking over that many. So i guess that would be a fine law.

            Funny how these “democracy uber alles!” goofs don’t bother to think through the logical end of their limpouts. After all, are laws that only fuck over 13.5% of the population really tyrannical if a majority passes the law?

            That’s why these appeals to democracy are thoroughly insincere and have no credibility. They don’t actually believe in it, they’re just using it as a rhetorical bludgeon because they think it will get them what they want when they start screeching “fascist!”

            1. Tried to do a regular +1 but the reason comment filter is made by sad dilettantes.

        4. Passing laws is fucking everyone over?

          Obamacare?

          Assault Weapon Ban?

          Crack/Cocaine sentencing disparity?

          Alien and Sedition laws?

          Jim Crow?

          NFA?

          Conscription?

          Japanese Internment?

          These laws all fucked over *someone*. A lot of someones.

    2. There’s a difference between barely winning and winning big. And there should be.

      1. There’s a difference between barely winning and winning big. And there should be.

        That’s what the losers say to take solace in the fact that they didnt get blown out. And apparently only in politics is this the mind set.

        1. The Democrats have no more Senate seats right bow, and at least three of the ones they have were probably acquired by voter fraud. They only have control in the Senate because of the tie breakibg vote of VP Harris, who may too have gained that office through election fraud. One Red State Dem Senator dies (My vote is for the morbidly obese Jon Tester of MT), and the Republicans take over the Senate again.

          That is not a mandate.

        2. Does your idiodic self realize the difference between a democracy and a republic? Regardless of which side wins there are (theoretically, but the whole conversation is political theory at this point) limits to what the government can force onto people, he’s a republic and not a democracy. The US was not a democracy and should not be one, if you want the best outcome for the most people then start pushing for small r republic ideals

        3. Here is the principle: if a Red State Dem Senator votes for either HR/SB-1 (designed to facilitate Dem cheating in elections) or their insane $6 Trillion Infrastructure, that defines infrastructure as anything benefiting Democrats, and squanders $Trillions on partisan idiocy, likely driving into a recession, they can kiss their Senate seat good bye. Arizonans live Sinema, but not that much, to forgive those votes, esp since it is likely that Dem cheating in her AZ gave them their 50th Senate vote, with Mark Kelly. We will probably know in a couple weeks.

          We are probably talking about a half dozen or more Dem Senators from Red or Purple states, who really, really, don’t want to risk the ire of their constituents, or Chuck Schumer and his leftist caucus. This lets them take the high ground (of taking the cautious, historical route), killing those Dem Senate seat losing bills, without opening themselves to revenge by their Senate leadership.

        4. Hey dipshit from chicago by the name of tom,

          Not only in politics is this the case. If an Athlete outcompetes another by 0.5 seconds in marathon, they get first place. For all practical purposes the general population wouldnt really disregard the 2nd place guy and say hes bad and without merit. Neither would the competitors. Or anyone with a brain.

          In politics however, democrats are happy to use this smallest of margins to disregard literally everything outside of themselves, which makes politics a rather perverse area, given that its consequences are way more important than a sports competition. (margin be real or not, depending on time of day/year or not, certainly random thoug)

          Happy to give the dipshits something to think about. No need to thank me, dipshit from chicago.

    3. What’s the point having and winning elections if you need to hope for the good graces of the losing party to do anything?

      Nothing if it’s one man one vote one time. In a world of iterative political interactions where you have to live in the same country as today’s minority? Quite a bit. It means you have to take the other side’s perspective into account and make your edicts at least palatable to some of them. When you don’t have that, you set up a system where each side’s incentive is to pursue a maximalist agenda and view the other side, not as people who disagree with you, but bitter enemies to be destroyed.

      1. Note the childish foot-stamping in the line you quoted–“Why the fuck should we bother working with the other side on anything if we have more people than them? It’s not fair!”

        Every argument from these stunted, power-thirsty sacks of shit should be rejected on general principle.

  9. Just wondering; does anyone else think a 3 way with her [and another attractive woman] would just be mind [among other things] blowing?

    1. AOC might be interested in order to bolster her intersectional credentials and you know she’d take it out on you for being part of the patriarchy.

      If you call it the Pink New Deal you might be able to make it happen.

      1. “AOC might …”

        I did say another attractive woman…though her zoomers are not bad, that dumb look she always manages to carry could only lead to a choke out.

        1. I have a theory choking is a thing for Ms. Cortez.

          1. in. the fun way not the felony.

    2. I bet Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was hot back in the day.

      1. Plus she got a degree in home economics so you know she’s handy in the kitchen.

        1. Which is more useful than AOC’s econ degree.

          1. As a fellow economics major….I cannot disagree.

            1. Considering that, with her credentials, she left a middle-class family upbringing and college education and moved to a job bartending . . . no, you can not.

              Like, we’re supposed to listen to someone who started out with her privilege and education and the best use for it she found was bartending and ‘community organizing’?

              It really should lower anyone’s opinion of the quality of our Representatives.

    3. Nope. I’m not interested in finding out what her idea of a “good time” entails and I have no interest in being tied up, having a branding iron applied to my nipples and having pineapples shoved up my ass. Which is what I suspect her idea of a good time entails.

  10. Yes, it is anti-democratic. Democracy is not an unadulterated good, it needs to be curtailed sometimes to quash half baked, anti-federalist legislation like this so-called voting rights bill.

    1. Yes, it is anti-democratic. Democracy is not an unadulterated good, it needs to be curtailed sometimes to quash half baked, anti-federalist legislation like this so-called voting rights bill.

      Democracy needs to be curtailed whenever the minority decides?

      Fuck that. You can shove that system straight up your ass. Want to make decisions?? Win a fucking majority. Then go and repeal all the half-baked shit.

      1. Federalist Papers Number 51: The tyranny of the majority:

        “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.”

        Simply put, the tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions.

        It was never intended, under a republican form a government, that a majority would have free reign to lord it over the minority. For this reason they built in checks and balances:

        “[I]n the federal republic of the United States… all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.” All of the Constitution’s checks and balances, Madison concludes, serve to preserve liberty by ensuring justice. Madison explained, “Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.”

        1. The issue is, that quote doesn’t necessarily disagree with his point that the Senate should be a simple majority. Checks and balances were built in by way of a House and Senate, the 3 branches, the power being divided between the states and federal government, and with the right guaranteed unto the people.

          With those in place, it actually makes some since to have a simple majority make the decisions.

          Unfortunately, the way it turned out is that the bottom feeding maggots who run the whole thing have learned that true power lies in getting re-elected, instead of doing anything of meaning or substance. When you have a system by, of, and for the special interests, large donors, and friendly media, the people’s choice becomes even less of an issue and limits on what they can do is all too welcome.

          1. That might have been a good point before the popular election of senators, but now we have a legislature that’s merely composed of a greater and lesser house.

      2. How’s that majority in the Chicago city council working out lmao?

      3. The American system of government is based on the idea that we avoid the tyranny by the majority. What’s the big deal in Senate following that rule? There’s nothing magical about laws laid out by majorities.

      4. You want to get shot and tossed in a dumpster by people more committed than you who are left with no polite options, Tom?
        Because this is how get shot and tossed in a dumpster by people more committed than you who are left with no polite options.

      5. Tom, we had a vote. We’re taking all your shit. Sorry, don’t like it, next time vote and win a majority.

  11. She is smart enough to want to keep the filibuster, and dumb enough to support HR1 / S1.

    The GOP would be nuts to hope a few democrats are going to save them.

    1. I suspect she and Manchin are just holding out for the bigger better deal. Let’s see what Schumer offers them.

      1. Manchin seems smart enough to realize his state went heavily for Trump. That state traditionally voted for Democrats due to union support but that union becomes pretty useless when the industry that employs all those workers gets destroyed via the Green New Deal. Those coal workers have that figured out, hence the Trump votes. Ending the filibuster is one step closer to getting the GND passed, I don’t think that’s lost on the residents of West Virginia.

        Maybe he can still be bought, but if he intends on keeping his seat in the Senate he has to be a DINO. Too much support for the Democrat’s agenda won’t go over well at home.

      2. They’re playing the same role as Collins and Murkowski. Fig leaf deniability for what is basically just pandering to the more rabid base. If they eliminate the filibuster and then pass this law, what keeps Republicans from eliminating the filibuster and wiping Obamacare off the map? (Besides John Roberts telling them it’s unconstitutional to appeal it, that is.)

        1. *repeal, not appeal

  12. The Democrats pushing for this have a larger agenda in mind: in addition to killing the filibuster, also changing the voting laws to favor them, adding states but only those which will add Democrat senators, packing the Supreme Court, and so on. It’s part of a larger plan to cement permanent one-party rule.

  13. “Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is right: Democrats have more to lose by ending the filibuster than by putting up with it.”

    There isn’t anything principled about this.

    Sinema is up for reelection in 2024, and she only won in Arizona by 2% of the vote. The Biden/Harris agenda is so far to the left, Sinema is afraid that she’ll be easy pickings in 2024 if her Republican opponent can blame her for the Biden/Harris agenda–and all those anti-Biden/Harris voters in Arizona are showing up to vote against Biden/Harris.

    Manchin, likewise, isn’t being principled at all. Trump beat Biden by 38% in West Virginia in 2020–Trump 68% to Biden’s 30%. Manchin knows that if he doesn’t appear to be the anti-Democrat, he has no future as a politician from West Virginia. The whole state has turned red underneath his feet, and if he wants to survive, he needs to make like a chameleon and turn red, too.

    Principles aren’t for elected politicians. Principles are for voters–to use against politicians to punish them at the ballot box. Politicians don’t fear principles. Politicians fear the ballot box.

    1. I think that both HR/SB-1 and the partisan “infrastructure” bill are toxic in Red, and Red-Purple states like AZ. Sinema’s AZ is Ground Zero in the election fraud dispute, with the AZ Senate report out in a couple weeks, from the rumors showing a couple hundred thousand illegal or fake votes for Biden (and Mark Kelly). Anyone in Maricopa County last fall (as I was) knows that the official election results were fraudulent – there was almost no enthusiasm for Biden, but huge excitement for Trump. Trump hats and T shirts everywhere. Rallies on street corners with signs telling motorists to honk if they supported Trump. Etc. Even Mark Kelly, who was probably elected with that fraud, probably can’t afford to vote for SB-1.

      So, she takes the high road, and pushes to maintain historical practices. And relieves at least a half dozen Red and Purple state Dem Senators from having to make career ending votes.

  14. Oooo, thank you for the headline, Eric. Might summon our most deliciously butthurt lefturds with it. Can’t wait. 🙂

  15. It seems to me that the way the filibuster issue is presented is a false choice fallacy. Either we get rid of the filibuster or we keep it exactly as it is. There is a third way: restoring the filibuster. There were two changes to the filibuster in the 1970’s that made it easier. The first was “two-track”. Previously, when there was a filibuster, nothing else could be done in the Senate until the filibuster was resolved. When two-track was enabled, now if there is a filibuster, you just move on to something else. This made it politically easier to do. The second change was eliminating the “talking filibuster” and enabling the “virtual filibuster”. This made a filibuster a lot easier. Get rid of the virtual filibuster and two-track. Restore it to the way it was when there weren’t a lot of filibusters.

    1. I second that. We currently have virtual filibusters that can drag on through an entire session, inconveniencing no one but those that want to vote on the one bill in question. I’d like to see them restored to what they were in 1964: done only for very important reasons, and so rare that voters will remember them when the Senators involved come up for re-election, even if it’s 5-1/2 years later.

      Restore the 2/3 majority for cloture, which will almost always require several Senators from the minority party as well as the entire majority party, but also once again make the filibuster a great pain for the filibusterers as well as any Senator interested in passing other legislation. That is, return it to requiring someone to stand in the Senate and keep talking 24 hours a day – reading the phone book or something (_War and Peace_ or _Atlas Shrugged_?) and peeing in a bottle – with the additional feature that now this entire performance will be streamed on live video. And return it to the main chamber, so no other bill may be voted on until the filibuster is over. This puts pressure on the entire Senate to find a compromise to satisfy everyone, drop the bill for now, or get both sides together for a 2/3 vote.

  16. Sinema is a dope. While the Democrats have a 51-50 advantage in the Senate, they can abolish the filibuster. They can always use the 2022 lame-duck session to change it back should that prove to be necessary. In fact, I’d be surprised if they didn’t use the 2022 lame-duck session to raise the threshold for avoiding a filibuster to 75%.

    1. They’re afraid they will lose the Senate in 2022.

    2. What can be done with 50+1, can be undone with 50+1. Dems give themselves an advantage when they have the 50+1, the Republicans are going to reciprocate.

  17. “the rules also require only a simple majority to change the Senate’s rules—including the rules about how many votes are necessary to invoke cloture.”

    No, actually they don’t. It requires a two thirds majority to amend the Senate’s rules. Which is why, for instance, the Senate’s rules still say that judicial nominations are subject to filibusters.

    What requires a simple majority vote is lying about what the rules say. The nuclear option.

    Step one: The Senate majority leader raises a point of order that contradicts the rules.

    Step two: The Senate parliamentarian rules that the Senate majority leader is wrong.

    Step three: The Senate, by a majority vote, overrules the parliamentarian’s ruling. Voting that the rules don’t actually mean what they damned well say, and will continue to say.

    Seriously, if you want, you can look up the Senate’s rules. They still permit judicial nominations to be filibustered, to this day. The Senate has just voted to lie about it.

    1. The Senate’s rules make for interesting reading. Especially interesting for anybody who has watched the Senate on CSPAN, who will notice that the Senate routinely and flagrantly violates them.

  18. LOL. The only people who believe “If only Harry Reid hadn’t nuked the filibuster for other appointments, Mitch McConnell would have kept it for the Supreme Court” are morons. As are all those who think that right-wing libertarians have the best interests of the Demcoratic Party at heart.

    1. Exactly this. Libertarians and Conservatives want us to forget why Democrats nuked the filibuster for judicial and executive appointments in 2013. Republicans under McConnell then were engaging in a level of obstruction of nominees that was a big escalation of previous tactics. I particularly remember the 3 vacant seats on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that they they were blocking, falsely claiming that Obama wanted to “pack” that especially important appeals court by *gasp* filling empty seats.

      It was at that time that McConnell really stepped things up and started his ultimately successful plan to simply try and keep as many seats in the federal courts as possible open until a Republican was in the White House with a Republican majority in the Senate. I seriously doubt that McConnell would have refrained from nuking the judicial filibuster himself if Reid hadn’t taken the bait and done it first. Once the GOP won the majority in 2014, Obama got hardly any judges confirmed at all.

      The two appeals court nominees that were confirmed in 2015 were actually nominees held over from 2014. No one he nominated to an appeals court in 2015 or 2016 was ever voted on by the whole Senate. That was a complete break with recent history, as both Reagan and Bush 43 plenty of appellate judges confirmed in their last two years with Democrats in the majority. (17 for Reagan, and 10 for George W. Bush) In fact, until the 114th Congress of Obama’s last 2 years, no Congress had confirmed fewer than 10 Circuit Court judges going back to at least 1977.

      1. And if you don’t belief that McConnell had all of that planned, you can get it straight from his own mouth, self-satisified, chuckle included.

        1. When you think you’re going to be in power forever, changing the rules to benefit you makes sense.

  19. If the senate was intended to take more than a simple majority, it wouldn’t have the president of the senate as a tie breaker.

  20. “Bought and paid for by dark $$ including chamber of commerce” is misspelled as “smart enough”
    Smart enough to take the cash
    Citizens have zero voice
    We live in a oligarchy

  21. I prefer the Japanese version of legislative foot dragging. Which is literal foot dragging. They call it the ‘ox walk’ where obstructionist members of the diet line up and approach the voting podium at an agonizingly slow pace. If they can stall until a certain deadline has passed, the legislation fails. It makes oddly compelling TV, America’s legislative filibuster is a big snooze.

    1. We all know you don’t care about real political procedures where the intent could be moderation and not ignoring and ostracizing groups that aren’t exactly the majority. Go back to watching Takeshi’s Castle.

      1. Legislatures all over the world work for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest of us schlubs. The wealthy and powerful are never in the majority, you can rest easy on that score.

        1. Envious, impotent, unstable, impecunious leftists are among my favorite culture war casualties.

          Sorry, I had to do it once. It’s quite the predatory trip I have to say. But you’re really whiny. If working for the wealthy/most successful ones grows the cake for everyone, trying to dismiss that with your argument is just whiny. The best/most successful are by definition never in the majority. Unless, again, you are a whiny leftist trying to rewrite nature.

          1. I still prefer the ox walk and I urge you to look into the matter. But you apparently are more interested in discussing my shortcomings.

            1. LOL Are you on the left because you have a substantial “short-coming”? Would not be an inconceivable motive. If one has it very short, they usually love to adjust everyone else so they don’t have to feel bad. Makes sense on many levels.

  22. We all know you don’t care about real political procedures where the intent could be moderation and not ignoring and ostracizing groups that aren’t exactly the majority. Go back to watching Takeshi’s Castle.

  23. It should tell you something, Reason, that only two of them are.

    1. And I bet the D’s are regretting rigging the last Senate election in Arizona.

  24. She’ll get what she deserves next election when only the votes of TrumpaLoompas and Q-Cumbers will be counted.

    Or if she does manage to squeak by, the state assembly will overturn the results based on an “audit” conducted by a clutch of snake handlers and voodoo people using beads and rattles.

  25. Politics seem to be becoming more short-sighted

    The cost of a gerontocracy of boomers. The time horizon gets shorter and shorter.

  26. Sports On Time merupakan portal berita terbaik di Indonesia

  27. Sports On Time merupakan portal berita terbaik di Indonesia dengan berita terupdate sepanjang masa

  28. Who knew that the key to Democrats’ success was for them to let Republicans dictate policy forevermore.

    I don’t know what’s libertarian about an accidental loophole in Senate rules that has been abused by segregationists and the modern Republican party for the sake of extremist, racist, nihilistic, authoritarian power grabbing.

    The House is biased in favor of rural white voters. The electoral college is biased in favor of rural white voters. The Senate is biased in favor of rural white voters in the extreme. You want to add a totally non-constitutional loophole to all of that which now creates a de facto requirement for a supermajority to vote on any bill, a situation controlled by the party of rural white voters, which already has more seats than any semblance of representation would permit.

    Rural white voters thought Donald Trump would make a good president. We’ve run this experiment long enough. They don’t have all the best ideas. They no longer have any ideas at all.

    1. “The House is biased in favor of rural white voters. The electoral college is biased in favor of rural white voters. The Senate is biased in favor of rural white voters in the extreme.”

      The BlueAnon is strong with this one.

      1. Is that another word for math?

        1. No, it’s another word for “bigotted blue racists like Tony” who think that one’s race makes one automatically biased in favor of something. (even if one is left and white which makes one biased against one’s own race.)

          Furthermore: You don’t know math.

          1. I’m just talking about lines on a map and demographics, dude. It’s not my fault the Republican party is almost 100% white.

            Why do you think that is? What is wrong with almost 100% of nonwhites that they don’t see the great opportunities in voting for the Republican party?

    2. “I don’t know what’s libertarian…”

      Agreed.

  29. Rural white voters thought Donald Trump would make a good president. We’ve run this experiment long enough. They don’t have all the best ideas. They no longer have any ideas at all.

    1. First the former President had broader support in 2016. I think much of that evaporated in 2020 and resulted in President Biden’s win. You are correct that the Republican party moved from having ideas to having none, over the course of the former administration. This likely resulted in the loss of the House, Senate, and Presidency.

      1. Actually, polling would disagree. In most demographics Trump improved between 2016 and 2020. He only really depressed in a half dozen key urban centers, coincidentally where massive Dem election fraud is alleged

        1. It couldn’t be that lots of people were motivated to vote against the guy who told people to inject bleach as half a million people died.

    2. Nuke urban areas today.

  30. The problem with the filibuster is that it purpose has been distorted and it no longer functions effectively. The idea is that 60 votes require each party to contribute and lead to by bipartisan legislation. Initiated by the majority with input from the minority creates better legislation. That process has broken down and the minority party simply refuses to contribute. At this point eliminating the filibuster might be a better choice. With no filibuster the minority would be more inclined to work with moderates in the majority to get some input. Manchin and Sinema are not going to hold the line on the filibuster if Republican don’t offer some degree of compromise, because they can force compromise either way.

    1. Just because the two stupid parties have dug in their heels on making anything passable w/ 60 votes, does not mean we should reward their antics by eliminating the filibuster. This would be letting a child get their way for bad behavior.

      60 votes should be minimum, I would be more comfortable with 70.

      Legislation rapidly changing every 2-4 years based on who has 50+1 votes is absolutely not a great idea.

      1. I agree that we now have dug in parties and eliminating the filibuster may be the best option out of this situation. This would really put moderates in both parties in the driver seat as they could now force compromise.

    2. The problem here is there really isn’t anything that the Republicans could contribute here that would be acceptable to the Democrats. This is very different from the “Infrastructure” Bill where there is a bipartisan group in the Senate talking about funding actual infrastructure, but stripping out $3-$5 Trillion of enrichment for Dem politicos, their families, cronies, and states, that has nothing to do with actual infrastructure. Is bailing out grossly excessive Blue State pensions “infrastructure”? How necessary is another $Billion for CA’s Bullet Train to Nowhere? Why are $Billions going to trackers’ unions? The reality is that it is a Christmas tree of Dem wet dreams. There’s a lot of room to negotiate.

      But the election bill is purely political. That is because most Republicans believe that the Presidency and the Senate were stolen by the Democrats in the last election through rampant election fraud. So Republican state legislatures across the country are tightening up their election laws, by, for example, requiring a photo ID to vote, cleaning up voter rolls, etc. This Senate bill was designed specifically to counter that, by preempting and negating all of the fraud prevention measures being enacted at the state law, as well as repealing previously enacted state level election integrity measures. From a Republican point of view, the sole purpose of the bill is to lock in the election fraud that enabled Biden to move into the WH and Schumer to run the Senate. Not a lot of room for compromise there.

      1. There is no doubt that S1 is flawed, likely beyond repair. That does not mean there is not room for compromise and that is where Senator Manchin is trying to move. Republican would get voter ID and clean-up of voter rolls in exchange for more access to polls through more early voting and mail-in voting.

        The Republican actions at the state levels are more about limiting access and controlling the process than about the integrity of the vote.

      2. This Senate bill was designed specifically to counter that, by preempting and negating all of the fraud prevention measures being enacted at the state law…

        Right, “fraud prevention”. It was “fraud prevention” when the Texas GOP wanted to limit Sunday early voting to 1pm. It had absolutely nothing to do with “Soul the Polls” drives by Black communities.

        You know, I would usually expect that when someone wants to pass laws that limit people’s rights or put obstacles in the path of them exercising their rights, that they have to show with verifiable evidence that it would be stopping some sort of crime or other harm in order to justify that. But when it comes to “voter fraud”, Republicans just need to say that what they want to do is targeting fraud, and that’s supposed to be good enough. News flash: it isn’t. Not with a history in this country of suppressing the right to vote of minorities. The burden should be on them to show, again with verifiable evidence, that each measure is actually necessary to prevent fraud and is proportionate to the risk of fraud.

  31. Now for some humor: Journos (And Other Libs) Celebrate Pride Month by Waging Misogynist Hate Campaign Against LGBT Senator ‘She loves the idea of herself as somebody who can please both sides’

  32. Dispense with the hyperbole. There was never any serious contemplation of killing the filibuster, despite what the alarmist GOP prognosticators were peddling.

    What sparked the debate was two-fold, and something the GOP could have done to prevent from happening. Get rid of Mitch McConnell. He is singularly responsible for the dysfunction in the Senate, and any honest Congressional historian worthy of bipartisan accolades would readily admit as much.

    What needs to be brought back is and was always characterized as the “speaking filibuster” of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” fame. The principle idea behind the filibuster – which was never mentioned in the Constitution for you purveyors of total bullshit, was that the minority party would have an opportunity to bring national attention to a particular bill being debated in the Senate so that constituents could weigh in on whether or not they supported the legislation.

    The idea was that if the minority party could persuade enough people that said legislation was not worthy of passing through the Senate – via constituents contacting their senators and expressing opposition to the proposed bill, the majority would be forced to withdraw it from consideration and/or make amendments to the bill in order to more accurately reflect the desire of the general citizenry in America.

    But the filibuster had a high price. Making the decision to invoke that power meant that the minority party would have to gather in the Senate chambers, and depending upon the structure of the rules, a significant number of that party’s sitting senators would have to remain in the chambers around the clock. Sleeping, eating, listening, and speaking – with only brief breaks (15 minutes) by a limited number of its members (say 3 or 4) to take bathroom breaks.

    In other words, you want to make a stand? Then metaphorically stand on your freakin’ feet until either you “win” – meaning the majority relents and agrees to withdraw or modify the bill, or you lose because you tire of the process understanding the futility of remaining in the Senate chambers until hell freezes over, proverbially speaking.

    Let’s bring back the “speaking filibuster”. Does McConnell want to play his games? We are all in. Pack a lunch, Mitch. And dinner. And breakfast. Let’s see how long you last? As well as your caucus?

    Mr. Boehm, nothing is going to get killed except our democracy if we don’t have a mechanism to unlock the gridlock. The irony of it is that McConnell did away with the filibuster for the only two things he cared about; first, spending and taxes; second, judicial appointments. All other legislation – which McConnell and his mega-donors don’t give a rat’s ass about, are subject to the filibuster. But now the only “cost” is one Senator objecting. And they can do that by sending an email.

    Really, Mr. Boehm? Is this how you want our government to work? Better yet. Are you seriously suggesting that Jefferson, Madison, and the remainder of our Founding Fathers would have advocated for the present iteration of the filibuster rule? That a guy like Ted Cruz could singlehandedly shut down the government – like he did in 2013, which forced McConnell to amend the rule?

    Unless and until this “kill the filibuster” hyperbole is dispensed with, and there is some serious consideration to figuring out how to start governing again, we all take responsibility for the demise of this country.

    Now stop the bullshit and let’s talk about making men and women literally stand up for what they believe in. Or not, as the case may be when they finally throw in the towel – which is how these things usually ended.

    Standing up for one’s principles should have its own costs. Typing out a two-word email, “I object”, doesn’t amount to a thimble full of piss in the world of principle.

    Any questions?

  33. A majority of voters that fails to get the laws they vote for will STOP voting or STOP supporting democracy – music to autocrats ears!

    The cited reasons for filibuster stopping democrats agenda may be appealing but filibuster is doing REAL damage to democracy and majority rule. There is little logic in minority blocking majority rule being good for democracy.

    A minority that is allowed to block laws that majority wants will ONLY ERODE democracy and if Democracy continues to remain frustrated another form of government will takes its place.

  34. What is originalist or Libertarian about the Filibuster? It was never in our Original Constitution so why do you care about it so much?

    1. Neither was democracy, so why do you care about it so much?

      1. For my part, I care about the filibuster because its creation was a historical accident and has been abused in the last century far beyond any reasonable purpose. Any moderating influence it might have has long since been lost, with it instead becoming a partisan tool of a minority to prevent the side that won the last election from enacting what it promised voters.

        If Republicans want to block what Democrats want to do with their majority, then they should have to convince enough voters to choose them over Democrats to gain a majority for themselves.

      2. Yes and no. They wanted a Republic. The House and Senate were democracies for all intents and purposes. Majority ruled there. That changed in the 1960’s…..

  35. Situs Judi Togel Gerai4d merupakan salah satu situs judi togel terbaik dan memiliki pasaran terlengkap yang ada di Indonesia dengan minimal depo 5rb

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.