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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, July 31, 2020

Former President Barack Obama's eulogy for the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was a powerful and poignant goodbye to an American hero. Unexpectedly, it also made some news, the significance of which is likely to reverberate for a while. Obama raised some eyebrows [when he said]: "[I]f all this takes eliminating the filibuster -- another Jim Crow relic -- in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that's what we should do."

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To be sure, this didn't come out of nowhere. For Obama, Republican procedural abuses were instrumental in stymieing some of his key priorities, especially in his first two years in the White House. There was some chatter in Democratic circles at the time about overhauling the chamber's rules and returning the Senate to a majority-rule institution.

That discussion has grown considerably louder, especially as Democrats consider the possibility of having control of the presidency and Congress in 2021. The Hill reported last month, "Democrats are stepping up talks about reforming or abolishing the filibuster if they win back the Senate and White House in November."

This conversation is necessary, and by any fair measure, unavoidable.

For those who've been away from the debate for a while, I'd recommend this piece from Vox's Ian Millhiser, who explained yesterday that the Senate filibuster is "a historical accident that became a tool of white supremacy."

Steve Benen

As much as Trump has abandoned his dogwhistle and replaced it with a bullhorn, anyone paying attention should have read the tea leaves - particularly now that Trump and the GOP have dumped this nation into its greatest across-the-board crisis since the Depression and WWII - and realized that if the Democrats do win control of all three branches of government, neither their recovery agenda nor the nation's well-being - as those elected defined it in their campaigns - can be effectively actuated unless Republican obstinance and recalcitrance is stifled.

Ergo, the filibuster is gonzo for good.

For those who don't know, please visit the link posted above for a recitation of the filibuster's role in maintaining a white supremacist agenda without the Senators actually having to leave overly visible fingerprints on their crimes in maintaining intentional racial injustices directed toward minority sectors of Americans.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-31 08:55 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I am concerned about there being no power of filibuster. Obamacare would have been gone the first month of Trump's presidency without it.

#2 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-07-31 02:46 PM | Reply

We need Jim Crow relics because of like our heritage or something.

#3 | Posted by LostAngeles at 2020-07-31 03:22 PM | Reply

That would be a great store name:

Jim Crow's Relics & Antiques

#4 | Posted by LostAngeles at 2020-07-31 03:23 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

I am concerned about there being no power of filibuster. Obamacare would have been gone the first month of Trump's presidency without it.

No it wouldn't have. The GOP tried to kill ACA through reconciliation which only required simple majority votes. That's why McCain's vote was so key in stopping the "skinny" plan.

The GOP never could get a majority vote in the Senate because of Murkowski, Collins, and then McCain.

#5 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-31 03:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Adding on to TonyRoma's comment, we probably could have passed universal healthcare five or six times in the last 70 years if the filibuster wasn't used to block it.

#6 | Posted by censored at 2020-07-31 03:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

TR: They may not be able to do it now, but bet your bottom dollar at some point in the next 20 years the GOP will have the WH and all of Congress for at least a two year window. I dread to think what could happen in such an event.

#7 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-07-31 04:01 PM | Reply

#7

It's the Faustian bargain that cannot be avoided any longer. I'm waiting for someone to write the first article noting that if Joe Biden is elected he will preside over the worst crisis this nation has ever faced in history. In 1918, even though a World War was still raging, there was not an economic hole like the one we're facing.

After 8 years of Obama and 4 more of Trump - two of which the GOP had full control of government - they have proven that they cannot govern whatsoever and they will use the filibuster to stop the Democrats from governing, and at this moment there is no alternative to eliminating their recalcitrance from the equation.

Even this second, they will not support the taxpayers in their greatest moment of need but they have no compunction throwing trillions into the markets so the financial markets stay afloat.

I loathe that the Democrats simply do not message like the GOP does, and their lack of messaging shows in polls because the people are easily mislead by the GOP's sleight of hand. At this critical moment, every Democrat should be talking about "direct economic stimulus incentives" that will inject $X trillion of needed money into our cratered economy instead of fighting over unemployment boosts. Paint the GOP into the Grinch corner that they deserve, except this time the Grinch isn't merely killing Christmas, he's threatening to kill millions of Americans who cannot survive without support from the government they always support with their tax contributions.

Now is not the time to take money out of our consumer economy when doing so will cause a death spiral of debt defaults, evictions, lower occupancy in the rental and real estate markets, all of these eventually leading to another financial meltdown as debt service across the board goes wanting.

The GOP cannot be trusted to do what's best for America so they have to be sidelined for the nation's survival right now. Though I share and fear what you rightly forecast, we cannot worry about tomorrow unless we survive right now in order to get there. And to do that, the GOP has got to be moved out of the way if they will not be honest brokers willing to compromise without obstructing needed changes.

#8 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-31 04:34 PM | Reply

They may not be able to do it now, but bet your bottom dollar at some point in the next 20 years the GOP will have the WH and all of Congress for at least a two year window. I dread to think what could happen in such an event. #7 | Posted by moder8

Elections have consequences. People should vote in each and every election like their future depends upon it, instead of sitting on their butts and relying upon extra-constitutional, counter-majoritarian procedural rules to theoretically protect the status quo. I say "theoretically" because the GOP has already broken those norms whenever they saw fit, such as by stealing the Supreme Court and blocking Dem appointments to the lower courts. Indeed, Cruz said he'd have no problem keeping a SCOTUS seat empty for four years if Hillary had won.

No point relying upon the decency of an opponent who has already amply demonstrated that they have none.

The GOP has pretty much all the marbles now. It's time for the Dems to play hardball and accomplish what change they can when the opportunity presents itself.

#9 | Posted by censored at 2020-07-31 04:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Why not just get rid of the Senate altogether. It's very existence is somewhat redundant. Just make the house the only body in congress. What does the Senate even do but water down the Democratic process because the "founders", were so afraid of the "mob" running the show to the detriment of the rich and connected.

A one body legislature would be far more Democratic and would remove the tyranny of the wide open spaces over the cities.

#10 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-07-31 06:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

A one body legislature would be far more Democratic and would remove the tyranny of the wide open spaces over the cities. #10 | Posted by Effeteposer

Sure, but we're the United States of America, not the United People of America. It goes back to the founding of our country with competing theories regarding representation. The Virginia Plan based representation on population while the New Jersey Plan split representation with each state having equal representation.

A compromise was reached by creating a bicameral legislature. The House is based on population while the Senate is equally split amongst the states. In addition, the House has a more majoritarian bent by being elected biannually. The idea was having a peaceful and bloodless revolution fairly quickly in the event the government ever went haywire. The House also controls the purse strings since all revenue bills must originate in the House. That way the House can put a stop to the other branches by cutting funding.

Lots of pros and cons with all of this, of course. But that's the way compromises work.

#11 | Posted by censored at 2020-07-31 10:11 PM | Reply

o' ummer is a moron

#12 | Posted by Sniper at 2020-08-01 12:56 PM | Reply

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