Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, January 22, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is making clear that he intends to hold President Joe Biden's nominees and legislative agenda hostage until Democrats agree to cede some of their power. His demand? That Democrats promise not to get rid of the filibuster later, which would lower the threshold from 60 votes to 51 to pass all legislation.



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Well, that didn't take long, did it? But don't despair progressives, here's some good news if it holds:

So far, Democrats have not taken kindly to the hostage-taking.

"It's an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request," Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted. "We won the Senate. We get the gavels."

Accordingly, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, firmly dismissed McConnell's demand.

"Unfortunately we're not going to give him what he wishes," he told reporters on Thursday. "If you did that then there would be just unbridled use of it. I mean nothing holding him back."

McConnell's power grab leaves Democrats in a difficult position. They don't want to capitulate to such a request in the very first days of Biden's administration or to lose the power of the nuclear option threat down the line. But they also don't want McConnell to drag the fight out, leaving Republicans in charge of key committees and blocking Biden's nominees in the meanwhile.

Baked into that bet is the assumption that Democrats will fail to rally their conservative members " Sens. Joe Manchin (R-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), etc. " who have in the past expressed opposition to getting rid of the filibuster.

But if he's wrong, if he's overstepped, he may have provided the push those Democrats need to get on board.

[T]he filibuster is not even an actual Senate tradition. It was only in the last two decades that the upper chamber began imposing a 60-vote threshold on all major bills, rather than reserving the filibuster for exceptionally divisive fights. The filibuster's defenders insist that the rule facilitates cooperation and bipartisanship. Yet the era of the 60-vote threshold has also been one of the least bipartisan and most dysfunctional periods in the Senate's entire history.

There's already the fact that the 50 Democrat Senators represent 40+ million more Americans than do their 50 GOP counterparts, and now Mitch McConnell is demanding that the Dems simply give up their power for the sake of allowing him to stymie whatever policies Schumer and the Democrats may try to implement that many won their seats by advocating.

Reality is this: if the Democrats allow the Republicans to neuter their policies the GOP will again take over the Senate in 2022. If the Democrats do not do all that they can do in the time that they have they will have no one to blame for their failure but for themselves.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-01-21 06:49 PM | Reply

Easy one. Promise not to do it, then do it anyway. Mitch would understand.

#2 | Posted by REDIAL at 2021-01-21 07:01 PM | Reply | Funny: 2 | Newsworthy 10

If conservative Dems won't agree to axe the filibuster entirely, maybe they'll go along with requiring "talking filibusters" again, like in days of yore?

At least that way it'll require a bit more participation from those who want to harm the nation, instead of letting them silently kill legislation from afar.

#3 | Posted by censored at 2021-01-21 07:21 PM | Reply

Even Democrats who fiercely oppose eliminating the filibuster are standing with Schumer amid the dispute, maintaining that he is owed deference because of his position as majority leader.

"Chuck has the right to do what he's doing. He has the right to use that to leverage in whatever he wants to do. I'm not worried about that at all," centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters on Wednesday.

Now as I read this, Manchin is not saying that he'll vote to abolish the legislative filibuster, he's saying that he doesn't agree with McConnell trying to extort a promise from Schumer over something that isn't a direct part of the Senate negotiations which denies the Democrats their rightful and electorally-won positions of leadership as his leverage.

Here's hoping that Mitch overplays his hand here and forces the Democrats to realize that he intends to do the same thing to Biden that he did to Obama, even though such a realization should be obvious to anyone living through the last decade plus.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-01-21 08:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I'd make Micth a counter-offer: We can discuss whatever it is you want to discuss only after Ted Cruz and the rest of the insurrectionists are removed from the Senate.

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-01-21 09:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I wouldn't trust Mitch McConnell as far as I could throw him. I'm not clairvoyant, but I know what's inside him. Just like every other non-idiot does.

He does not have my best interests at heart.

#6 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-01-22 06:50 AM | Reply

Democrats hold the majority which will be useless if the Republicans can just filibuster any bill the Democrats propose. Find some courage, axe the filibuster and use the majority we hold to enact the legislation that Republicans will always oppose. If McConnell loses the filibuster he loses his power in the Senate and, if I could only do one thing in my life, I would choose to take away Moscow Mitch's power. He is an evil piece of crap, I don't know how the voters of his state continue to vote for such a horrible person. He isn't exactly doing anything for his constituents unless they happen to be billionaires.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2021-01-22 08:54 AM | Reply

Easy one. Promise not to do it, then do it anyway. Mitch would understand.


Of course he would. And at the same time the Democrats can blame the Republicans for forcing them to eliminate the filibuster because they refused to allow the passage of the very legislation that Biden promised and got 81 million votes from Americans to institute.

IOW, the Dems hate to break with tradition, but the recalcitrant GOP senators left them with no alternative because they refuse to be bipartisan.

#8 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-01-22 09:16 AM | Reply

"the recalcitrant GOP senators"

had to look that word up.

Good word....applies to me very fittingly more recently at work.

#9 | Posted by eberly at 2021-01-22 09:47 AM | Reply

I did not vote for obstructionism
I voted for getting the things I consider important implemented.
Neuter McConnell immediately.

#10 | Posted by Docman at 2021-01-22 11:52 AM | Reply

The #2

Nailed it!!

Mic drop.

Then GOP Bastages blocked and obstructed everything. And them farging ice holes are still obstructing in any way they can.

After playing scorched earth politics for 5 years they suddenly want the Dems to play nice.

I really wish we wouldn't.

#11 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-01-22 12:04 PM | Reply

If dems don't nuke the fillibuster, add new states, and stack the court, they're not doing what repubs would do in their position.

Mitch's rules are - anything goes to gain power.

If dems don't play by those rules, they'll lose, and a small minority of morons will succeed in preventing a solid majority from fixing anything in the country.

#12 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-01-22 12:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What ever it takes. Show no mercy. I'm sick of republcl0wns.

#13 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2021-01-22 02:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If dems don't play by those rules, they'll lose, and a small minority of morons will succeed in preventing a solid majority from fixing anything in the country.

Their going to lose anyways. REpublicans are quite adept at spinning ANY Dem lead policy as "SOCIALISM!" or "anti-American!" no matter how bi-partisan or crucial for the country the policy is.

They need to take a page out of the Republicans play book and shut out the opponent for 2 years, tell the voters "We're making these changes because you gave us the power, so suck it up!" and do what they think is best. Republicans have been doing exactly that since at least 2012 (it seems like), so it's time to turn the tables.

If the Dems don't, they go right back to the spineless bastards that I've witnessed growing up. Nothing ever changes with these people, not even the people themselves (term limits anyone?).

#14 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2021-01-22 02:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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