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McConnell Vows to Be 'Firewall' in Senate As Democrats Mull Eliminating Filibuster

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/mcconnell-vows-be-firewall-senate-democrats-mull-eliminating-filibuster

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I think that we should have a protracted debate of the matter based upon the scholarly text, Green Eggs & Ham!

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The filibuster has a long, complicated, and controversial history. It began by accident, but over time came to provide some protection for minority positions from what Tocqueville called “the tyranny of the majority.” Unfortunately it became at times a “tyranny of the minority.”

Democratic government has never been easy, and can never be perfect (cf. Winston Churchill on that subject). The problem today is not really whether minorities are protected or privileged, but the much wider problem of whether government should or can be democratic in any meaningful sense. In the mid-1980s Ronnie Raygun proclaimed (falsely) that government is the problem and can play no part in the solution. But since at least 1994, when Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey launched their “Contract On (sic) America,” there has been a large and growing faction in Congress (not necessarily in the nation as a whole) that blatantly opposes democracy without acknowledging it–until now.

That is what is at stake now. At the moment it looks as if the Dark Side (the money side) has cleverly out-maneuvered us, keeping us voting for “lesser evils,” with the miraculous result that we have sunk deeper and deeper into evil (cf. Donald Trump, although he is but the front man, the standard bearer).

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Should Dems gain control of the senate, and especially if Biden wins the presidency, they should ditch the filibuster to pass badly needed legislation to address the many crises we are facing and to set the tone for the long term.

If they ditch the filibuster, I guess they need to do so when they set the rules at the beginning of the session. Better this way, so they don’t waste time hemming and hawing over doing it or not.

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I should have noted: The machinations in Dick City since 1970 have resulted in a supermajority of 60 votes being required to pass most legislation in the Senate with no other stipulation (such as continuing debate until the person holding the floor gives in), a huge privilege for the minority in any close vote. The devil, as always, is in the details, which are complicated and constantly changing. Many of the changes are made for short term partisan gains with little or no consideration for their future consequences, further diluting the meaning of the terms “conservative” and “liberal” in favor of “opportunist.”

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Or maybe it’s the Senate that’s outdated and needs to be retired.

Reformed–at the very least. ~ttps://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/heres-how-fix-senate/579172/

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Lisa,
climate change the only senate issue needing ‘filibuster’ retired?

60 vote majority of 100 senators is not democracy at all.
Suggest this is agreement not to do anything at all.
If it is or was, not many candidates would ever win
an election at local, county, state or national levels.
Judges too would fail to gain 60% majority at the ballot box.

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Isn’t having 2 senators from every state regardless of population also p[pretty undemocratic?

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The Dems will never let a filibuster stand in the way of ignoring national crises. Roll, corporate money, roll!

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“… the filibuster—a tactic used by both parties to thwart minority party opposition to legislation in the U.S. Senate…”

I must be reading too much into that because what I think it says is that both parties have used the filibuster to “thwart minority party opposition to legislation,” which is far, far from the truth. The filibuster, which seems to be most effective when the Repugs are in the minority, is used precisely by the minority to thwart majority rule by requiring a supermajority to overcome it. In fact, it got so bad under Obama’s administration that all Repugs had to do was say they were going to filibuster and that was enough to cancel whatever was on the agenda. The hapless Democrats didn’t even make them go through the motion, talk about wimps. The truth is that if both parties used the filibuster to equal effect, ol’ Mitch sure as hell wouldn’t want to keep it. The only reason he wants it is because Repugs are the only ones who know how to use it. I say get rid of it…after trump, what the hell do rules matter any more?

For once McConnel has a good idea. We should line him up against a wall and fire.

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trouble is that we do not stop firing for about five years.
2020 problems in American society, rascism, poverty, politics are due
to not mentoring the next generation coming up.
This is true of Jesse Jackson, Hillary, Bush, Nancy, Clayborn, and just
about every DC scoundrel. They are there serving themselves, not
our present nor future.citizens.
Thus, we have a genuine nut as president and millions of republicans
and quite a few independents close their ears and eyes to truth,
allow him to lie and murder. Will vote for him again. Unbelievable.
Thus we have a democrat candidate who arose because one guy in
South Carolina anointed him, or was it Hillary, obama, bill, etc. Looks
like Cuomo Inc. may be next at bat. How will the governor answer his
contributions to so many deaths in NY??
It is a deplorables situations.

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Gollum and his precious, if only Americans were more like the hobbits and humans from Tolken’s middle earth, instead of being H.L. Menckin’s plain folks of the land.

on the current political scene, if there’s any republican more detestable than president pussy grabber, it’s that sickening SOB from kentucky!

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Filibuster is part of the balance of power and should not be removed for the sake of one issue or another. Were we–and I do not mean Republicans or Democrats, but the population–were in the majority in either house, we would see helpful legislation passed.

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“There has to be retribution” when you have criminals like McConnell and Trump.

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Voice of reason.

I think that we should all make a big batch of "Turtle Soup."

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McConnell’s picture could be shown alongside of Howdy Doody and Knucklehead Smith. He is that much like a marionette.

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This threat to permanently disfigure, to disfigure the Senate, as we Republicans did to stack the Supreme Court (the institution that should be the last one to be politicized) has been the latest growing drumbeat in the modern Democratic Party’s war against our governing institutions, says Mitch. His photograph should be in the dictionary under, “hypocrisy” and “shit”.