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Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:43 PM

538: Dems split on how much party and American Democracy itself are in danger

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-are-split-over-how-much-the-party-and-american-democracy-itself-are-in-danger/

Article splits Dems into three camps:

Camp No. 1: We are in a Democratic and democratic emergency.

I am in this group

From the article:

The people in this camp don’t agree on everything, but they foresee a nightmarish (and fairly plausible) scenario for Democrats, and they’re proposing a series of steps to avoid that calamity. Here’s the Democratic nightmare: Biden and congressional Democrats pass a few major bills over the next two years but leave the filibuster in place, preventing the passage of major reforms to America’s electoral system. A federal judiciary stacked with Trump appointees strikes down all or parts of many of the laws the Democrats do pass as well as many of Biden’s executive actions, leaving Democrats few permanent policy victories and driving down the president’s approval ratings.

Meanwhile, Republicans use their control of most state legislatures to draw state legislative and U.S. House district lines in ways that are even more favorable to the GOP than the current ones and enact laws that make it harder for liberal-leaning voting blocs to cast ballots. Combine gerrymandering, voting limitations, lackluster poll numbers for Biden and the historic trend of voters rejecting the party of the incumbent president in a midterm election, and it results in the Republicans winning control of the House and the Senate and making even more gains at the state legislative level in November 2022.

Post-2022, Republicans in Congress block everything Biden tries to do, further driving down his approval ratings. Meanwhile, Republicans use their enhanced power at the state level to continue to adopt laws that make it harder for people in liberal-leaning constituencies to vote and harder for Democrats to win in swing states. Then, these laws are upheld by lower courts and a U.S. Supreme Court still packed with Trump appointees. In 2024, Biden (or whomever the Democrats nominate) wins the popular vote but still loses the Electoral College — in part because Republicans have limited Democratic votes in some swing states. A GOP with control of the White House, Senate, House and most state governments in 2025 then effectively creates a system of “minority rule” in which Republicans can keep control of America’s government for decades even if the majority of voters favor Democrats as well as liberal and left-of-center policies.

In this scenario, the Democratic Party is in peril, but in some ways so is American democracy more broadly. So to this camp, Democrats must act aggressively and quickly over the next two years to forestall this outcome, by getting rid of the filibuster as it currently operates (most legislation requires 60 votes to pass in the Senate) and enacting an aggressive “democracy agenda.” This is a pro-democratic (small “d”) agenda in many ways, particularly in giving residents of Washington, D.C., representation in Congress and enhancing protections of the right to vote for Black Americans who live in GOP-dominated states. But it’s also clearly a pro-Democratic agenda (big “D”) in that it would, for example, add the two senators from D.C., who would almost certainly be Democrats.


Former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer says “the decision (on the filibuster) will decide the next decade” and that keeping the filibuster is effectively “a decision to return to the minority and stay there for at least a decade”.

Meagan Hatcher-May’s of Indivisible says “ Democrats have been handed this power to save it. We don’t have two years. We have a year. The window to actually get things done is really closer to 10 months.”

The other groups of Dems outlined in the article are:

Camp No. 2: Maybe there’s an emergency, maybe not; either way, just do popular stuff.

Camp No. 3: We can and should work with Republicans.
Manchin, Sinema and Feinstein fall into this camp.

Much more at link, with lots of links to supporting data.

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Reply 538: Dems split on how much party and American Democracy itself are in danger (Original post)
Fiendish Thingy Feb 2021 OP
Just_Vote_Dem Feb 2021 #1
still_one Feb 2021 #2
Salviati Feb 2021 #6
still_one Feb 2021 #7
Fiendish Thingy Feb 2021 #8
KPN Feb 2021 #3
Dawson Leery Feb 2021 #4
Hortensis Feb 2021 #5

Response to Fiendish Thingy (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:47 PM

1. I've never liked the 60 vote rule

Filibuster should be what it used to be, talk talk talk to try and hold up the vote, not this 60 vote thing which makes it difficult to pass legislation

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:51 PM

2. Actually in the third group there is oneManchin. Just look on where those three stand on the issues

Sinema and Feinstein are actually quite progressive. Manchin is not

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Response to still_one (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 02:06 PM

8. Sinema has clearly stated she opposes modifying the filibuster rules

This is not about how progressive/moderate/conservative legislators, but how each group perceives the severity of the threat is to the future of the Democratic Party and democracy itself.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:56 PM

3. There's a lot of overlap between Camps 1 and 2. It comnes down to willkingness to get rid of the

filibuster because not everything can be done via reconciliation and "just do(ing) popular stuff" as favored by Camp 2 isn't going to happen without doing so.

Get rid of the frigging filibuster and just do popular stuff. Everything else will fall in place. If we do what people want, the majority of people will vote for us! It's not rocket science.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:57 PM

4. The GOP plans on "winning" without popular mandates.

America will be an apartheid state if the GOP retakes power.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2021, 12:57 PM

5. Split is a great advance over the cluelessness of just a few years ago.

Used to be few even believed it could happen here, much less recognized that it was.

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