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Tue Mar 2, 2021, 08:59 AM

The filibuster hurts only Senate Democrats -- and Mitch McConnell knows that. The numbers don't lie.

My own add - Sinema wants a 60 vote threshold on EVERY legislative action!. Not joking.



https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/filibuster-hurts-only-senate-democrats-mitch-mcconnell-knows-n1255787

snip

Cutting off debate in the Senate so legislation can be voted on is done through a procedure called "cloture," which requires three-fifths of the Senate — or 60 votes — to pass. I went through the Senate's cloture votes for the last dozen years from the 109th Congress until now, tracking how many of them failed because they didn't hit 60 votes. It's not a perfect method of tracking filibusters, but it's as close as we can get. It's clear that Republicans have been much more willing — and able — to tangle up the Senate's proceedings than Democrats. More important, the filibuster was almost no impediment to Republican goals in the Senate during the Trump administration. Until 2007, the number of cloture votes taken every year was relatively low, as the Senate's use of unanimous consent agreements skipped the need to round up supporters. While a lot of the cloture motions did fail, it was still rare to jump that hurdle at all — and even then, a lot of the motions were still agreed to through unanimous consent. That changed when Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 and McConnell first became minority leader. The number of cloture motions filed doubled compared to the previous year, from 68 to 139.

Things only got more dire as the Obama administration kicked off in 2009, with Democrats in control of the House, the Senate and the White House. Of the 91 cloture votes taken during the first two years of President Barack Obama's first term, 28 — or 30 percent — failed. All but three failed despite having majority support. The next Congress was much worse after the GOP took control of the House: McConnell's minority blocked 43 percent of all cloture votes taken from passing. Things were looking to be on the same course at the start of Obama's second term. By November 2013, 27 percent of cloture votes had failed even though they had majority support. After months of simmering outrage over blocked nominees grew, Senate Democrats triggered the so-called nuclear option, dropping the number of votes needed for cloture to a majority for most presidential nominees, including Cabinet positions and judgeships. The next year, Republicans took over the Senate with Obama still in office. By pure numbers, the use of the filibuster rules skyrocketed under the Democratic minority: 63 of 123 cloture votes failed, or 51 percent. But there's a catch: Nothing that was being voted on was covered by the new filibuster rules. McConnell had almost entirely stopped bringing Obama's judicial nominees to the floor, including Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

McConnell defended the filibuster on the Senate floor last week, reminding his counterparts of their dependence on it during President Donald Trump's term. "Democrats used it constantly, as they had every right to," he said. "They were happy to insist on a 60-vote threshold for practically every measure or bill I took up." Except, if anything, use of the filibuster plummeted those four years. There are two main reasons: First, and foremost, the amount of in-party squabbling during the Trump years prevented any sort of coordinated legislative push from materializing. Second, there wasn't actually all that much the Republicans wanted that needed to get past the filibuster in its reduced state after the 2013 rule change. McConnell's strategy of withholding federal judgeships from Obama nominees paid off in spades, letting him spend four years stuffing the courts with conservatives. And when Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was filibustered, McConnell didn't hesitate to change the rules again. Trump's more controversial nominees also sailed to confirmation without any Democratic votes. Legislatively, there were only two things Republicans really wanted: tax cuts and repeal of Obamacare. The Trump tax cuts they managed through budget reconciliation, a process that allows budget bills to pass through the Senate with just a majority vote.

Republicans tried to do the same for health care in 2017 to avoid the filibuster, failing only during the final vote, when Sen. John McCain's "no" vote denied them a majority. The repeal wouldn't have gone through even if the filibuster had already been in the grave. As a result, the number of successful filibusters plummeted: Over the last four years, an average of 7 percent of all cloture motions failed. In the last Congress, 298 cloture votes were taken, a record. Only 26 failed. Almost all of the votes that passed were on nominees to the federal bench or the executive branch. In fact, if you stripped out the nominations considered in the first two years of Trump's term, the rate of failure would be closer to 15 percent — but on only 70 total votes. There just wasn't all that much for Democrats to get in the way of with the filibuster, which is why we didn't hear much complaining from Republicans. Today's Democrats aren't in the same boat. Almost all of the big-ticket items President Joe Biden wants to move forward require both houses of Congress to agree. And given McConnell's previous success in smothering Obama's agenda for political gain, his warnings about the lack of "concern and comity" that Democrats are trying to usher in ring hollow. In actuality, his warnings of "wait until you're in the minority again" shouldn't inspire concern from Democrats. So long as it applies only to legislation, the filibuster is a Republicans-only weapon. There's nothing left, it seems, for the GOP to fear from it — aside from its eventual demise.

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Reply The filibuster hurts only Senate Democrats -- and Mitch McConnell knows that. The numbers don't lie. (Original post)
Celerity Mar 2021 OP
dalton99a Mar 2021 #1
Celerity Mar 2021 #5
Demsrule86 Mar 2021 #12
Shell_Seas Mar 2021 #2
Pobeka Mar 2021 #3
Fiendish Thingy Mar 2021 #8
Demsrule86 Mar 2021 #10
Fiendish Thingy Mar 2021 #14
Demsrule86 Mar 2021 #15
Demsrule86 Mar 2021 #9
Demsrule86 Mar 2021 #11
Wounded Bear Mar 2021 #4
MerryBlooms Mar 2021 #6
dsc Mar 2021 #7
jalan48 Mar 2021 #13
Celerity Mar 2021 #16
BradAllison Mar 2021 #17

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:01 AM

1. Kill the filibuster, or live in fear of Republicans forever.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:22 AM

5. Two of the biggest bullshit memes are

1. This insane drive for bipartisanship with a quickly transforming 'white power neo nazi, lets rape everything that moves in every way possible on every level' Republican Party/Death Cult. They literally, at taproot level, want to kill us and we, maddeningly, think we can compromise them back to sanity. We also stick to old, hidebound rules that destroy us, which is just suicidal. The new breed Rethugs WOULD NEVER do it. Nope.

2. Because of capitulation to these cave-ins, a suicidal insistence to play by rules now DESIGNED TO FUCK US, and an obsession with fake bipartisanship, those pink, purple faint blue districts and swing states often NEVER SEE OR GET a lot of what we COULD PASS. The voters often mainly see many failures/perceived broken promises, or dodgy shite like ex post facto chopping of who gets cheques and who now is magically going to get assed out of them (after getting TWO under that fucker Trump, how tone deaf is THAT??). Shit like all that allows those very reachable voters to buy into the big lies of the Rethugs, with their rotten scare tactics about 'socialism' (as if it was passed they would soon see it was NOT socialism at all and certianly not a bad thing for their daily lives), plus it makes us look weak AF. Look how popular Obamacare became, after being HATED by so many. The same thing can happen with so much of our agenda, but we never get the chance because of the factors I just listed.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:39 AM

12. I would love to kill the filibuster but where will we get the votes...to hear folk on this site talk

one would think we had a huge majority. We don't. And we do not have the ability to pressure Sinema or Manchin.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:28 AM

2. I'm reading a book right now called Kill Switch by Adam Jentleson

It's about the history of the filibuster, how it went against everything the founding fathers and the federalist papers intended, and how Conservatives have used it, ultimately breaking the senate. I'm about halfway through.

It's really good so far. I would recommend it.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:33 AM

3. It's time for a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Sinema, Manchin

There is maybe a 10 month window left to get federal voting rights protection legislation thru at the federal level. The GOP *right now* is actively legislating at the state level to guarantee DEMs will never win another federal senate seat or POTUS, and the power to place federal judges that comes along with it.

Destruction of anything that looks like fair employment, health care and yes even a planet to live on becomes a foregone conclusion after that point.

There is nothing, nothing to "save your powder for" if voting rights protection doesn't pass and be enforced at the federal level. Thus the "Come to Jesus" meeting wth Sinema & Manchin. Kill the filibuster. Protect the right to vote. *Now*.

Using the analogy of battles and wars:
We may have won POTUS and the senate in 2020, but it was a battle, and a critical battle in the war for humanity. The war is not over, and the GOP is already fighting what may be the decisive battle. We cannot afford to lose voting rights, we only win by slim margins now.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:28 AM

8. You are absolutely correct- without the voting rights bill, Dems will lose their majorities

For a decade or longer.

Too many on DU don’t want to hear it, but it’s the stone cold truth.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:35 AM

10. I don't know what to tell you...this all began with but her emails and Hillary that gave the GOP

a great deal of time and a big majority. You know what I am wrong. It began with message voting with Obama and losing legislatures and governors in 10 and 14...elections have consequences. And we are in big trouble no doubt. But we have no leverage either with Sinema or with Manchin. My only suggestion is we put every ounce of energy into saving the house and expanding our majority in 22 and 24.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:56 PM

14. Without the VRA, gerrymandering will flip 6 house seats before a single vote is cast

So, “putting every ounce of energy into saving the house” won’t work- it will be too late.

The VRA is the only way to prevent the GOP from establishing minority rule for the next decade.

That’s why Dems have nothing to lose by going scorched earth now with Manchin and Sinema- waiting until 2022 will be too late. They aren’t going to flip to the GOP, as that would end their careers in 2024, so bringing maximum pressure to bear on them has little to no downside.

Regardless of what Biden and Schumer do with them, progressive groups aren’t waiting- they are organizing constituents to first pressure, then punish Manchin and Sinema if they continue to sabotage Biden’s agenda and put the future of American Democracy at risk.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 01:06 PM

15. I don't disagree with you. But I don't see a way out. We got in this situation by getting rid of

the conservadems who held office in 08 when Obama arrived and losing badly in 10. Given our form of government and the GOP's success in individual states, we can't hold a majority without moderates and conservatives as part of a big tent.

We sent a message alright in 10. We punished Obama because he couldn't get a public option...even though it was an impossible demand. I see the same sort of thing on a smaller scale now. We need to hold the Senate at least it means judges and really work hard to save the house. I don't see anyway to get the votes we need to get rid of the filibuster before 22...it may take longer for the GOP to get all the voter suppression tactics in place...lets hope. In the meantime, we need to work really hard in 22 and win both the Congress and Senate.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:31 AM

9. You can't pressure either of them. We have a 50 50 Senate...try to get more people in 22 and 24...

we also have to hold the house. We might negotiate with them...say agree not to pack the courts but to allow certain things not to be filibustered as judicial nominees are not filibustered now...but that is it. We have McConnell back in charge if either switches sides and at the very least, we get judges now.

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:37 AM

11. And here is the truth. We have no way of doing it. We don't have leverage with Sinema or

Manchin in a 50 50 Senate. We are not saving our powder. We don't have any powder and we won't unless we win in 22 and 24.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:41 AM

4. Requiring super majorities to pass legislation is not democratic...

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:31 AM

6. r&k

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:38 AM

7. I have said this for years

but there is an even worse problem. It literally makes democracy impossible. If it is nearly impossible, if not outright impossible, for a majority of voters to ever get their preference then we can use voting to discipline politicians in any meaningful way. We won both houses of Congress and the Presidency by non trivial numbers of votes, yet we can't so much as name a post office without 20% of the GOP members of the Senate.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:39 AM

13. Which makes you wonder why any Democrat still supports it.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 02:29 PM

16. It is a very valid question.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 09:10 AM

17. She's more Evan Meechum than John McCain

But she has multi colored hair!!!

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