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End the filibuster?

lpetrich

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As the Georgia Runoffs Arrive, a New Book Says the Senate Is Broken - The New York Times by Adam Jentleson
Jentleson explains how “the world’s greatest deliberative body” has come to carry out its work without much greatness or even deliberation, serving instead as a place where ambitious legislation goes to die.

... “The filibuster,” he writes, “has mainly served to empower a minority of predominantly white conservatives to override our democratic system when they found themselves outnumbered.”

...
Republicans eager to preserve the filibuster have talked about it with such reverence that it’s easy to forget it only appeared after all of the Constitution’s framers had died. Long-held norms against “superfluous debate” meant that even after the Senate got rid of a rule that limited debate in 1806, it was several decades before John C. Calhoun deigned to wield extended speechifying as a political tool, making high-minded appeals to the principle of minority rights.

Not just any minority, though. “Calhoun deployed his concern for the underdog only to help the overdog,” Jentleson writes. The South Carolina senator’s soaring rhetoric about minority rights revolved around protecting the interests of wealthy slavers in the South and their vision of white supremacy. It’s not for nothing that the historian Richard Hofstadter called Calhoun “the Marx of the Master Class.”
Whining about "the tyranny of the majority" as a way of defending the tyranny of their favorite minorities.
“In the 87 years between the end of Reconstruction and 1964,” Jentleson writes, “the only bills that were stopped by filibusters were civil rights bills.” No other issue seemed to motivate obstructionists in quite the same way. The story after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been different, Jentleson says, but no less detrimental to progressive causes. The modern Senate has become so efficient (in one sense of the word) and the filibuster so streamlined that senators seeking to block or delay legislation don’t have to bother with an actual speech; they can silently filibuster a bill, and as if that weren’t enough of an oxymoron, there’s even a “hotline” to do it.

“All you have to do is call the cloakroom, tell them the senator you work for intends to place a hold on the bill, and the bill is filibustered,” Jentleson writes. “One phone call, one objection, and the threshold on any bill or nomination goes from a majority to a supermajority.”
Just like that fake war in "A Taste of Armageddon".
Under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans tried to block President Obama’s nominees “with unprecedented frequency,” Jentleson writes, and he offers the numbers to prove it. “All other presidents combined had endured a total of 82 filibusters against their nominees. But from 2009 to 2013, President Obama alone faced 86.”

In “Kill Switch,” McConnell is expressly portrayed as a 21st-century version of Calhoun — infinitely blander, less extravagantly fanatical but more coldly efficient.
This is someone who laughed when he recounted his success in obstructing the confirmation of President Obama's Supreme-Court pick Merrick Garland.

Peter Morley on Twitter: "WATCH: Mitch McConnell has the CREEPIEST laugh after he GLOATS about blocking President Obama's federal court nominees in the last two years of his presidency.

WOW. McConnell is so openly hypocritical. ENJOY it while it LASTS #MoscowMitch 😡💔 https://t.co/R0lqjhePJc" / Twitter


Mitch McConnell laughs at criticism over Congress Covid relief failure | US elections 2020 | The Guardian
 

ideologyhunter

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It seems crazy to me that, in a country that is so nearly evenly divided, with close Presidential elections being the norm, that we would think that 60 vote margins are a reasonable standard for legislative success. Hope I'm phrasing that coherently.
 

Jayjay

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With such a narrow majority in the senate, I don't think abolishing the filibuster entirely is realistic. Unfortunately.
 

ZiprHead

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The Republican senators ended the filibuster for SC judges and since then the picks have been lackluster to full blown nuts.
 

lpetrich

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When Democrats filibustered some of George Bush II's judicial nominees, the Republicans threatened the "nuclear option", essentially abolishing the filibuster. The Democrats backed down.

Then during Obama's Presidency, the Republicans filibustered like crazy, and in 2014, the Democrats decided to abolish it for all appointees other than Supreme Court Justices. Then when Trump became President, the Republicans abolished it for Supreme Count Justices also. The filibuster only remains for legislation, and if the Republicans filibuster enough there, it may fall for that also.

I'd like to see "holds" abolished and a return to the old days of talking and talking and talking and talking and talking.
 

blastula

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Manchin would not be down with it.
 

Jayjay

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When Democrats filibustered some of George Bush II's judicial nominees, the Republicans threatened the "nuclear option", essentially abolishing the filibuster. The Democrats backed down.

Then during Obama's Presidency, the Republicans filibustered like crazy, and in 2014, the Democrats decided to abolish it for all appointees other than Supreme Court Justices. Then when Trump became President, the Republicans abolished it for Supreme Count Justices also. The filibuster only remains for legislation, and if the Republicans filibuster enough there, it may fall for that also.

I'd like to see "holds" abolished and a return to the old days of talking and talking and talking and talking and talking.

... and pissing in a bottle behind the podium, and talking, and talking...
 

Metaphor

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I hope Democrats do end it. They now have a majority in the Senate, and the House, and they hold the Presidency.

And if Democrats don't fucking end it when they have this opportunity, I never, ever want to hear any apologia again about not having 'total control' supermajorities.

And actual filibustering - endless talking on the Senate floor - is what needs to be ended, not just the threat of it. Democracy should not hinge on the physical stamina of loners.
 

blastula

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I hope Democrats do end it. They now have a majority in the Senate, and the House, and they hold the Presidency.

And if Democrats don't fucking end it when they have this opportunity, I never, ever want to hear any apologia again about not having 'total control' supermajorities.

And actual filibustering - endless talking on the Senate floor - is what needs to be ended, not just the threat of it. Democracy should not hinge on the physical stamina of loners.

See.

Manchin would not be down with it.
 

Metaphor

Zarobljenik u hrastu
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I hope Democrats do end it. They now have a majority in the Senate, and the House, and they hold the Presidency.

And if Democrats don't fucking end it when they have this opportunity, I never, ever want to hear any apologia again about not having 'total control' supermajorities.

And actual filibustering - endless talking on the Senate floor - is what needs to be ended, not just the threat of it. Democracy should not hinge on the physical stamina of loners.

See.

Manchin would not be down with it.

So: they're not going to end it, and the endless bullshit will go on.
 
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