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No. of Recommendations: 9
Here's what I don't entirely understand about the argument in favor of carving out voting rights from the filibuster so that the Democrats can pass their bill:

The premise is that the actions that the GOP is taking to regulate election procedures at the state level are an existential threat to democracy, and are intended to replace fair elections that either party could win with a system that only the GOP can win. Therefore, the Democrats need to adopt voting rules at the federal level to stop them from implementing those state-by-state rules, to preserve democracy.

However, if you amend the filibuster to allow voting legislation to be adopted on a simple majority, eventually the Republicans will get the chance to adopt their own federal voting legislation. The Democrats won't be in power forever. Eventually the GOP will have its own trifecta, and they'll get to write the voting laws that they want without the Democrats being able to filibuster. By removing the filibuster from voting legislation, the Democrats will - eventually - be giving the GOP the power to re-write voting rules not just in Red States, but in Blue States as well. Democrats won't just be getting the chance to run the next few election cycles under the rules that they want - they'll be ensuring that at some point, we'll be running a few election cycles in all states under the rules that the GOP wants.

Given the premises, how is that a better outcome than the status quo? Right now, the GOP does not have - and likely will never have - the ability to write federal voting legislation. While they have the ability to abuse their power in writing voting rules in Red States, they have no say in the voting rules in purple or Blue States. They can't adopt the rules of Georgia or Texas nationwide as long as the filibuster is in place. But that changes if the filibuster no longer applies. They'll get to hold the pen at some point - and if the premise is that they will write the rules to end democracy, they'll have far greater power to do that without the filibuster than with it.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 11
“ Given the premises, how is that a better outcome than the status quo?”

You question assumes that republicans would respect the status quo once the took full control. As I see it, either way they win. Keep the filibuster and the degradation of democracy proceeds at pace in the states until republicans take full reigns and make those laws federal, or kill the filibuster and the republicans do the same once they get power.

The other thing to consider is that the passage of federal voting rights legislation actually works. Allowing democrats electoral majorities to translate into political power. This may be the last chance to act in defense of voting rights.

You are assuming that this isn’t an inflection point in American politics. It is. The Republicans are engaged in the last line of defense for a party whose survival strategy in the face of a great demographic shift is racist retrenchment of white power. Voter suppression is that last line of defense, hence the necessity for this legislation.

Fascism is at hand. An army of proud boys and 3%ers are donning their shirts, and the republicans are falling into line in defense of Trump’s brownshirts. The days of polite disagreements among patriotic Americans of differing parties is over. Your views are quaint, but, like Chamberlain’s, they are dangerous.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
You are assuming that this isn’t an inflection point in American politics.

I'm not assuming anything of the sort. Starting from the assumption that the GOP has decided that it wants to fix the election rules so that Democrats can never win, is this a good idea?

The premise is that Democrats will adopt federal rules that are fair - that allow either party to win federal elections. That means there is a a fairly strong chance that the GOP will win control of the federal government at some point in the future. So they'll then have the opportunity to repeal all of the rules that the Democrats have adopted, and replace them with federal rules that they want. If the filibuster is in place, Democrats can stop them from doing that. If it's gone, then Republicans get to re-write the election rulebook the same way that the Democrats are doing now.

That might be a smart idea if the Democrats were themselves planning on writing the rules in a way that ensured that the GOP never won an election again. Between two authoritarian parties, the first to write the rules wins power forever. But that's explicitly not what the Democrats are proposing to do. In a country that's pretty evenly split, like the U.S., any fair system of election rules is going to make it possible - indeed very likely - that the Republicans will win control of the federal government. Perhaps even as early as 2024, if there's an economic downturn.

My question is this - assuming that the GOP is all about voter suppression these days, does giving them the ability to impose voter suppression rules at the federal level make any sense at all? I get the feeling that advocates of making these changes have given very little thought to what the GOP will do when its their turn to exercise this new-found legislative freedom to re-write the federal rulebook....

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 3
albaby1: "Here's what I don't entirely understand about the argument in favor of carving out voting rights from the filibuster so that the Democrats can pass their bill:

The premise is that the actions that the GOP is taking to regulate election procedures at the state level are an existential threat to democracy, and are intended to replace fair elections that either party could win with a system that only the GOP can win. Therefore, the Democrats need to adopt voting rules at the federal level to stop them from implementing those state-by-state rules, to preserve democracy.

However, if you amend the filibuster to allow voting legislation to be adopted on a simple majority, eventually the Republicans will get the chance to adopt their own federal voting legislation. The Democrats won't be in power forever. Eventually the GOP will have its own trifecta, and they'll get to write the voting laws that they want without the Democrats being able to filibuster. By removing the filibuster from voting legislation, the Democrats will - eventually - be giving the GOP the power to re-write voting rules not just in Red States, but in Blue States as well. Democrats won't just be getting the chance to run the next few election cycles under the rules that they want - they'll be ensuring that at some point, we'll be running a few election cycles in all states under the rules that the GOP wants.

Given the premises, how is that a better outcome than the status quo? Right now, the GOP does not have - and likely will never have - the ability to write federal voting legislation. While they have the ability to abuse their power in writing voting rules in Red States, they have no say in the voting rules in purple or Blue States. They can't adopt the rules of Georgia or Texas nationwide as long as the filibuster is in place. But that changes if the filibuster no longer applies. They'll get to hold the pen at some point - and if the premise is that they will write the rules to end democracy, they'll have far greater power to do that without the filibuster than with it."


I agree on this line of argument.

See TN Senators whining about 6th Circuit nominee and "blue slips" when the R's changed the rules in 2016.

Regards, JAFO
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No. of Recommendations: 5
My question is this - assuming that the GOP is all about voter suppression these days, does giving them the ability to impose voter suppression rules at the federal level make any sense at all? I get the feeling that advocates of making these changes have given very little thought to what the GOP will do when its their turn to exercise this new-found legislative freedom to re-write the federal rulebook....

Your question assumes that republicans would respect the status quo and protect the filibuster once they took full control, which is a likely outcome if their voter suppression initiatives are left standing. As I see it, either way the republicans win. Keep the filibuster and the degradation of democracy proceeds at pace through republican voter suppression initiatives, or kill the filibuster and the republicans do the same once they get power (if they get power).

Let me ask you a question. Where are the democratic initiatives to suppress white suburban and rural votes? Why are all of the initiatives to reduce access to the vote coming exclusively from the republican party and target it a urban and minority voters? Why is expanding access to the vote perceived as an existential threat by republicans?
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No. of Recommendations: 11
The Republicans would end the filibuster in a heartbeat if they were in power and saw an advantage in ending it. There is no downside to the democrats ending the filibuster. Leaving it on place wouldn't make it more likely the Republicans will leave it in place.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
As I see it, either way the republicans win. Keep the filibuster and the degradation of democracy proceeds at pace through republican voter suppression initiatives, or kill the filibuster and the republicans do the same once they get power (if they get power).

That's not a certainty. I don't think it's even likely. They didn't kill the filibuster when they held a trifecta during the first two years of the Trump administration - even though Trump was pushing for it, and even though it vastly complicated their efforts to repeal the ACA, forcing them proceed with a hodge-podge skinny repeal that ultimately failed. I don't think McConnell had or has the votes to kill the filibuster, any more than Schumer does. If the Democrats fail to kill the filibuster (as seems likely), McConnell isn't likely to step in and do their work for them.

Where are the democratic initiatives to suppress white suburban and rural votes? Why are all of the initiatives to reduce access to the vote coming exclusively from the republican party and target it a urban and minority voters? Why is expanding access to the vote perceived as an existential threat by republicans?

Democrats aren't trying to suppress those voters, and the GOP initiatives are moving forward because they believe it is to their political advantage to adopt them (and also because Trump is pressing the issue). I'm not defending those measures. They are bad. Which is why the Democrats absolutely don't want the GOP to be able to adopt them at the federal level.

If we proceed from the assumption that the GOP is actively changing voting laws in order to the suppress the vote, is it smart to change the rules at the federal level so that the minority can no longer stop new federal voting laws? The GOP will eventually win control of the federal government again, at some point. What kind of federal voting law do you think they will adopt when they do get that control, if they're not encumbered by the filibuster?

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 3
The Republicans would end the filibuster in a heartbeat if they were in power and saw an advantage in ending it.

Except they didn't do that. They were in power from 2017-2018, and could have ended the filibuster - and didn't do it. Even though it caused them all kinds of problems in their efforts to repeal the ACA, and even though Trump was pressing them to do the same.

I don't believe that McConnell ever had the votes to end the filibuster, if even he ever wanted to do it. It's unlikely that he (or his successor) will have them the next time the GOP takes over the Senate. Whoever the centermost Republicans are (last time it was Collins, McCain, and Murkowski) will not want to kill the filibuster, just like the most conservative Democrats today.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 4
If we proceed from the assumption that the GOP is actively changing voting laws in order to the suppress the vote, is it smart to change the rules at the federal level so that the minority can no longer stop new federal voting laws? <\i>

If you believe the republicans can win without suppressing the vote and extreme gerrymandering, then maybe you’re right. If republican survival depends on voter suppression then this may be the last opportunity to stop them from cementing their power.

Republicans have won more votes than democrats in presidential elections just once in the past 30 years but won the presidency three of those times. Since 1996 the republicans have consistently won 3-7% more seats in congress than votes tallied (excepting Obama’s first term), with the gap growing as republicans fine tune their voter suppression and gerrymandering tools. For 30 years now republicans have ruled, when they’ve ruled, as a minority party.

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/vitalst...

Tell me, what is the Republican path to governance without voter suppression and gerrymandering?
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Tell me, what is the Republican path to governance without voter suppression and gerrymandering?

A favorable voting cycle.

It's wishful thinking on the part of Democrats to believe that there's no way that Republicans can ever win a free and fair election. GOP governors regularly win elections, even in Blue states where Democrats can (and do) set the voting rules and there is no gerrymandering in their races. In the 2020 election, Trump (even Trump!) took 47% of the popular vote and GOP House candidates took 48% of the popular vote. The GOP is currently leading the generic Congressional ballot polling. Those are not overwhelming Democratic margins - they are a country that is pretty evenly split between supporting the two major parties.

They may have trouble winning an 'even' voting cycle, relying on suppression and gerrymandering (and the 'natural' advantages from Democrats clumping in urban areas). But when you get a favorable voting cycle for Republicans, like the 2010 midterms or what 2022 is shaping up to be, the GOP will be able to rack up a fairly sizable margins that will get them control even without voter suppression and gerrymandering. The GOP didn't control the House after 2010 as a 'minority' party - they won the House popular vote by nearly seven points in those midterms.

It's wishful thinking to believe that Democrats have achieved some sort of permanent insurmountable electoral majority that can never be beaten in a fair election, and that the only explanation for GOP victories anywhere and anytime is through suppression or cheating. The parties are just too close for that to be the case.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/2022-generic-...

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Well nearly 70% of registered voters are white, so the fight’n whities still have a chance in free and fair elections…but not for much longer. The republicans are not blind to the changing tide, hence the voter suppression strategy.

The republicans would be much better served by taking their conservatism to black and Latino churches, to immigrant entrepreneurs, and build a multiracial conservative majority, but that would involve severing their ties to the politics of white grievance and risking alienating the trump base.

Given that the party has been doubling down on white grievance politics for 40 years, it’s clear that vote rigging is their only political path forward. Given the Trumpian capture of the party, and their sense of entitlement to power, it would seem like another putsch is in the offer should vote rigging not work.

Explain to me how the patriot McConnell is working to defend senatorial institutions from his own beer hall patriots? Seems like his head is on the chopping block.
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No. of Recommendations: 7
The Republicans would end the filibuster in a heartbeat if they were in power and saw an advantage in ending it.

Except they didn't do that. They were in power from 2017-2018


With the likely 2022 turnover in the GOP Reps and Sens, the past GOP sensibilities, or what remained of them, are as good as gone.

The 'McConnells' will be replaced by ignorant ideological hybrids of MTG/Gaetz/Jordan, people who interpret the constitution as loosely as christians interpret the bible.

Cafeteria christians and cafeteria constitutionalists, all backed by a lying RWNJ SCOTUS majority installed by political chicanery.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
The GOP will eventually win control of the federal government again, at some point. What kind of federal voting law do you think they will adopt when they do get that control, if they're not encumbered by the filibuster?

Refer to the Weimar Republic for your answer.

It's closer than you fear.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Well nearly 70% of registered voters are white, so the fight’n whities still have a chance in free and fair elections…but not for much longer. The republicans are not blind to the changing tide, hence the voter suppression strategy.

The republicans would be much better served by taking their conservatism to black and Latino churches, to immigrant entrepreneurs, and build a multiracial conservative majority, but that would involve severing their ties to the politics of white grievance and risking alienating the trump base.


Maybe not. One of the surprises in the 2020 election results was the Republicans' stronger-than-expected showing among Latino voters, both for Trump and down-ballot (it was a pretty good election for down-ballot Republicans).

In last year’s election, a significant number of Latino voters swung toward the GOP — not a majority, but enough to bolster former President Trump‘s margins in Florida and Texas and to narrow President Biden‘s victory in states from Nevada to Wisconsin.

For Democrats, that swing was deeply ominous: Their chance to hold on to power rests on the ability to keep together an alliance of white liberals and overwhelming majorities of Black, Latino and Asian voters — the sort of multiracial coalition that gave Democrats their current narrow control of the Senate by delivering them twin victories in Georgia 11 months ago.


https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2021-12-17/econo...

Part of that was due to 2020-specific issues (COVID and closures). But part of it is due to the increasing "Diploma Divide," where educational attainment and specifically college degrees are becoming an much larger determinant and predictor of voting behavior. As the Democrats become increasingly the party of college-educated voters, and reflect the values of college-educated liberals, you're starting to see non-college voters of color are ever-so-slightly starting to vote like white non-college voters:

A similar process may be beginning to unfold among Hispanic voters. The 2020 election was probably the first presidential contest in which the Democratic candidate fared better among voters of color who graduated from college than among those without a degree. Mr. Trump made large gains among voters of color without degrees, especially Latino ones. The causes of his surge are still being debated, but one leading theory is that he was aided by a backlash against the ideas and language of the college-educated left, including activist calls to “defund the police.”

For some Republicans, Mr. Trump’s gains have raised the possibility that it may be easier to appeal to working-class voters of color.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/us/politics/how-college-g...

So, no. Demographics isn't destiny, and the GOP is not anathema to Latino voters merely because of the politics of white grievance (and bear in mind that the overwhelming majority of Latino voters are white). Democrats need to think long and hard about what changes to the filibuster mean when the GOP takes control of Congress, because no matter what election reforms the Democrats might adopt if they break the filibuster, the GOP will almost certainly win control over the federal government at some point even under those new rules. And then they get to write their own federal voting rules, if the minority can't stop them.....

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 0
With the likely 2022 turnover in the GOP Reps and Sens, the past GOP sensibilities, or what remained of them, are as good as gone.

The 'McConnells' will be replaced by ignorant ideological hybrids of MTG/Gaetz/Jordan, people who interpret the constitution as loosely as christians interpret the bible.


That's pretty unlikely to affect the filibuster calculus.

As a minor point, Trump's had relatively little success in fostering any real opposition to McConnell - whether among existing Senators or the candidates for 2022. That doesn't mean that the GOP isn't moving more towards the right-wing populist/nationalist bent that we've seen blossom in Europe, of course. The 'business wing' in the GOP has lost a lot of its clout, that's for sure - and that will shape the overall agenda of the party.

But getting the votes for the filibuster takes place at the margins. Whether McConnell (or Thune or whoever his successor is) can nuke the filibuster depends on the preferences of the Senators on the leftward margin of the caucus, not the general center of gravity of the party. Those Senators are highly unlikely to support killing the filibuster.

We see that today with the Democrats. There's been a very real leftward/progressive shift in the Democratic party over the last several years, with the party picking up its own super-steadfast ideological leaders in AOC/Jayapal/Bush/Bowman. But that hasn't move the politics of the marginal Senator, Joe Manchin. It doesn't matter how vehemently Chuck Schumer wants the filibuster to go, and it wouldn't matter if the Senate Majority Leader were Sanders, or even AOC, instead of Schumer.

The same is almost certainly going to be true of the GOP. You'll see more "America First" types take seats in deep Red States, but ultimately the decision whether to nuke the filibuster will come down to the most liberal/moderate Senators in the caucus. Whoever they are, and whatever their views, they're almost certainly going to regard the status quo with the filibuster as better for them and their policy preferences than getting rid of it.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Refer to the Weimar Republic for your answer.

It's closer than you fear.


Then my question still stands - why make it easier for them, if that's what you think will happen? The filibuster empowers the legislative minority, together with the least extreme members of the majority caucus, to thwart the will of the legislative majority. Why weaken it, if the idea is that the GOP will misuse what federal power it gains when next it takes the majority?

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
It's a hail-mary, but historically once you give people something it is very difficult to take it away. If we open-up voting (to all legal citizens), make it easier, and more secure, it would be politically unpopular to say "nope, nevermind...you can't play anymore".

Might not work. But it may be the only thing we could try at this point.

I agree that the Repugs will remove the filibuster whenever it is convenient for them. They couldn't do it a few years ago, but if they seize control again (which is likely), they will probably have more support. Unless the Trumpie supporters within government suddenly self-destruct. Which could happen, but the trend seems to be going the other way.

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Speaking of the filibuster, I notice that the Senate Dims just used it to block a bill by Ted Cruz.

Dems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/589636-dems-block-cruzs-...
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked legislation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to slap sanctions on businesses tied to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a win for the Biden administration, which believes such sanctions could damage relations with Germany. Senators voted 55-44 on Cruz’s legislation....

DB2
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No. of Recommendations: 0
It's a hail-mary, but historically once you give people something it is very difficult to take it away. If we open-up voting (to all legal citizens), make it easier, and more secure, it would be politically unpopular to say "nope, nevermind...you can't play anymore".

Apparently not. After all, the GOP is restricting voting channels in a host of states (though their voter-facing restrictions aren't massive changes from what was in place in 2018) - but there's no real expectation that they'll face a backlash from it.

I agree that the Repugs will remove the filibuster whenever it is convenient for them. They couldn't do it a few years ago, but if they seize control again (which is likely), they will probably have more support.

Again, I see absolutely no support for this proposition. The Senators that would have been against removing the filibuster in 2018 are no more likely to support removing the filibuster now. They'd almost certainly be less likely to support removing the filibuster, knowing that the Democrats weren't able to do it so there's less risk that they might get 'sandbagged' by the Democrats moving first. I can't see either Collins, Murkowski, or Romney going along with it at all - and I don't think that vocal filibuster supporter Jon Thune would change his tune, either. They're not going to give the Democrats that power.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
“ part of it is due to the increasing "Diploma Divide," where educational attainment and specifically college degrees are becoming an much larger determinant and predictor of voting behavior. As the Democrats become increasingly the party of college-educated voters, and reflect the values of college-educated liberals, you're starting to see non-college voters of color are ever-so-slightly starting to vote like white non-college voters”

And circle closed. Yes, the clintonite Democratic Party has been captured by corporate interests located on the coasts (finance, high tech, the culture industry) and has focused on policies that serve these industries (repeal glass-steagall, the telecommunications act, the Obama bank bailout). The abandonment of the working class beginning with Clinton is a principal factor in Republican longevity in the face of these demographic trends. Name one policy initiative the centrists are offering to improve the economic and social wellbeing of less well educated working class Americans?
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No. of Recommendations: 0
The abandonment of the working class beginning with Clinton is a principal factor in Republican longevity in the face of these demographic trends.

That's certainly been a huge factor, though one can make an argument that the Democrats have been abandoning the working class both economically and culturally. As noted in the linked articles, it's not just economic issues that have driven the working class away from Democrats. But labeling it "Clintonite" or attributing it solely to economic choices and not cultural ones doesn't make it go away.

Which is the point that's relevant to this discussion, on the wisdom of abandoning the filibuster in order to pass a voting bill. Democrats cannot assume that if they pass their preferred voting rights measures that the GOP will never win control of the federal government again. That's not reality. The GOP hasn't devolved into a rump party - they have very consistent support up and down the ballot in the high-40's on average, which means that when there's a very unfavorable electoral environment for Democratic incumbents (like 2010), they will win power. The GOP will get their turn to hold the pen and rewrite whatever voting laws the Democrats pass with voting laws of their own.

If you have two parties, one of which will rewrite federal election laws to be more fair and the other one which will rewrite federal election laws to be fascist and cement themselves in power, it doesn't seem to make sense to adopt a measure that will make it easier to rewrite federal election laws. Even if you get to start off with the good party first, eventually the bad party will get their chance.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
a) I don't believe in the filibuster
b) It would still have had to get through the House, and then the POTUS would have to sign it. That's how the process is supposed to work, and I don't favor something that short-circuits that. Even if I would have been against the pipeline also.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
“ Then my question still stands - why make it easier for them, if that's what you think will happen? The filibuster empowers the legislative minority, together with the least extreme members of the majority caucus, to thwart the will of the legislative majority. Why weaken it, if the idea is that the GOP will misuse what federal power it gains when next it takes the majority?”

Your question really depends on the answer to another, unasked, question. Is the Republican Party already lost to the trumpian wing? If so, then preserving the filibuster in the event that the republicans take power again is an act of self-delusion. If it hasn’t, then your optimism may not be unreasonable. It all depends on how you view the struggle within the Republican Party. Of course the evidence is against optimism given that 142 republicans supported the trump putsch and anyone refusing to goose step with Trump is targeted for purging.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
How many senators (from both parties) will be retiring in the next few years? The old-school senators are almost completely gone now. The new-school Repugs can't even acknowledge that the Insurrection should be investigated. They, and the progressive Dems, have one thing in common: they don't like the filibuster getting in their way.

It will come down. It's just a matter of time.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Your question really depends on the answer to another, unasked, question. Is the Republican Party already lost to the trumpian wing?

I'm not sure why that matters. On this question, I don't think it makes a difference if the GOP continues trending towards the right-wing populism that Trump promotes (and which has grown in conservative parties across Europe), or whether it reverts back to the Reagan-era "tripod" of Big Business, Foreign Policy Hawks, and Religious Conservatives.

Either way, the GOP is unlikely to ever have the votes in the Senate to eliminate the filibuster. As I mentioned in one of the other threads, it doesn't really matter where the overall party is on various issues. To nuke the filibuster, you need the agreement of the marginal Senators - the most liberal Republicans (whoever they are at the time, whatever that means at the time) or the most conservative Democrats. The fact that progressives have vastly increased their power within the Democratic coalition doesn't change the politics of Joe Manchin; the fact that Trumpies might vastly increase their power within the GOP coalition won't change the politics of Susan Collins or Mitt Romney. It doesn't matter if you replace the Portmans and Toomeys of the world with more Trumpers - until you get all the way to the very edges of the caucus, those marginal Senators can block filibuster changes.

Just as it wouldn't matter if Bernie Sanders were Majority Leader right now instead of Schumer (the Democrats wouldn't have the votes to nuke the filibuster), it wouldn't matter if the new Majority Leader were Josh Hawley instead of Mitch McConnell - the GOP is unlikely to have the votes to nuke the filibuster.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 0
How many senators (from both parties) will be retiring in the next few years? The old-school senators are almost completely gone now.

It doesn't matter. Partially because we're making new "old-school" Senators all the time. The Senate runs on seniority, and no one wields much power there until they've been there a few decades. As the old guard retires, there will be 'middle-aged' Senators that age into being the new old guard.

But mostly because it doesn't matter where the parties are politically when it comes to procedural rules like the filibuster. The filibuster keeps both parties from adopting legislation that changes the country much from the status quo. No matter where the GOP is in terms of its political agenda, there will always be a handful of Senators that are further from the base and closer towards the middle. Those Senators will be reluctant to nuke the filibuster, regardless of whether they are "old school" or not.

Sinema's one of the newest Senators in the chamber, after all. She's not opposing killing the filibuster because she's enmeshed in the hoary traditions of the Senate - she's opposing killing it because it is in her political interests to do so.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
“ As I mentioned in one of the other threads, it doesn't really matter where the overall party is on various issues. To nuke the filibuster, you need the agreement of the marginal Senators”.

Where would this argument be if the democrats won the two seats they were expected to win in Maine and North Carolina? The margins you’re clinging to are quite small. A ten seat republican majority suddenly makes collins, murkowski, and Romney irrelevant. The Republican voter suppression movement makes it more likely that they can get to that kind of senate majority as senators in states like Georgia and Arizona are picked off (we’ll never mind Arizona, they have the seat already).
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I live in AZ. It very much depends on who is running against Kelly and Sinema. Through a quirk of fate, both of them defeated McSally (two years apart). If McSally runs again, she will almost certainly lose. She's just a horrible candidate who says really stupid things.

Someone like Ducey? I despise him, but he would have a credible chance of winning. There are some others, too.

Kelly is probably most vulnerable because he's the more liberal of the two senators.
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Where would this argument be if the democrats won the two seats they were expected to win in Maine and North Carolina? The margins you’re clinging to are quite small.

Probably in the same place. As noted by Politico the other day, it's not just Manchin and Sinema that are reluctant to nuke the filibuster:

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/10/democrats-filibuste...

Some of those (like Tester) are hesitant likely for the same reason Manchin is - he's from a more conservative state and holds more conservative views than the caucus as a whole, which means that the filibuster keeps national legislative policy closer to where he wants it to be.

Some of those (like Coons) are hesitant because they were hugely vocal defenders of the filibuster in 2017 - they were leading the Democratic charge against the Republicans nuking the filibuster to let Trump pass his agenda. So not only are they keenly aware of the dangers that an unrestrained majority in the other party can pose, but they're also very much on record as highlighting the importance of the filibuster in protecting Democratic priorities from those dangers.

It's certainly true that the more Senators you have in your majority, the easier it is to count to 50. But Schumer isn't already at 48 just lacking two votes - he's probably closer to 45 votes, with several Senators hiding behind Manchin and Sinema. Which is one reason why Schumer might force a vote on the filibuster despite knowing he's going to lose. If he can get Tester and Coons and Shaheen and Lee and others on the record as a yes when they know it won't be decisive (and so it's safer for them to take a vote for an outcome they really would rather not happen), he can then just concentrate on Manchin and Sinema for the next year.

Albaby
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PhoolishPhilip: "Republicans have won more votes than democrats in presidential elections just once in the past 30 years but won the presidency three of those times."

Structural to the electoral college (and rules regarding two Senators per State), and baked into the Constitution.

It also does not help that U.S. has generally been at 435 since 1911 and fixed at that number in 1929 (except for a brief period in the late 1950's - early 60's). I am not sure sure a larger number would necessarily change things because I have not done the math. See, e.g., https://www.thegreenpapers.com/Census10/FedRep.phtml?sort=Ho... for data regarding population per house district.

"There have been occasional proposals to add more seats to the House to reflect population growth. One is the so-called “Wyoming Rule,” which would make the population of the smallest state (currently Wyoming) the basis for the representation ratio. Depending on which variant of that rule were adopted, the House would have had 545 to 547 members following the 2010 census." https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/31/u-s-populat...

Winning blue states by large margins tilts the popular vote and does nothing to change the electoral vote. And with a handful of exceptions (Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, Utah), what red states are likely to tempt many D voters to choose to move there.

Regards, JAFO
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I live in AZ. It very much depends on who is running against Kelly and Sinema. Through a quirk of fate, both of them defeated McSally (two years apart). If McSally runs again, she will almost certainly lose. She's just a horrible candidate who says really stupid things.

Someone like Ducey? I despise him, but he would have a credible chance of winning. There are some others, too.


It will be interesting to see if Sinema ends up getting a serious primary opponent, especially Gallego:

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/14/sinema-speech-prima...

Progressives are super mad at her right now, and that will translate into some fundraising juice. Curious whether that's enough to draw Gallego or another serious challenger into a primary.

Albaby
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Maryland is maybe the bluest state in the union. Get yer fax straight, hun.
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PhoolishPhilip: "Maryland is maybe the bluest state in the union."

I misread some scribbled notes.

"Get yer fax straight, hun."

Who you calling hun, you misogynistic dyk.

JAFO
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No. of Recommendations: 15
And circle closed. Yes, the clintonite Democratic Party has been captured by corporate interests located on the coasts (finance, high tech, the culture industry) and has focused on policies that serve these industries (repeal glass-steagall, the telecommunications act, the Obama bank bailout). The abandonment of the working class beginning with Clinton is a principal factor in Republican longevity in the face of these demographic trends. Name one policy initiative the centrists are offering to improve the economic and social wellbeing of less well educated working class Americans?

The monolithic ‘working class” vote hasn’t been in the Democrats’ column since Roosevelt. JFK had a lot of them because of history, but they began moving to the Republicans in numbers with Nixon, largely because of social issues and the Democrats belated realization that Vietnam was a mistake. They moved more with Reagan, so blaming it on Clinton is about 20 years off.

And I’m sure those Republican voters are motivated less by Glass-Steagall or telecommunications act than they are about social issues like gay marriage and Black Lives Matter. I’m not sure how Democrats overcome that except by abandoning their (current day) principals. You’ll recall that when they had the blue collars they were also about 30% racist and swept the South in virtually every election.

Heck, Democratic policies are *far* better for working class than Republican priorities (minimum wage, health care, child care, progressive taxation, and so on) but it’s been demonstrated time and again that you can’t buy them with goodies; they only respond to religion, guns, and ultra conservative social policies.
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"The monolithic ‘working class” vote hasn’t been in the Democrats’ column since Roosevelt. JFK had a lot of them because of history, but they began moving to the Republicans in numbers with Nixon, largely because of social issues and the Democrats belated realization that Vietnam was a mistake. They moved more with Reagan, so blaming it on Clinton is about 20 years off."

I never said the working class was monolithic. I said the democrats abandoned the working class under Clinton. The republican strategy of cleaving off white working class voters from the democrats, beginning with Goldwater and taking off with Nixon's southern strategy, bore fruit in 1968 (in no small part because of the Vietnam war and Civil Rights legislation) and was brought home with Reagan in 1979, with his racist assaults on "young bucks" and "welfare queens". The republicans very effectively exploited white resentment of the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s and 70s. Once they won enough white working class voters through these "social issues", they proceeded to dismantle working class institutions and the social safety net that benefitted working class people. Reagan's obliteration of the Patco union was the starter flag for open season on union busting.

The brilliance of the republican strategy throughout this period is that they recognized that the beating heart of the democratic party was the trade union movement, which provided much of their financial backing and most of the boots on the ground for political organizing. By attacking unions and the right to organize, they broke the back of the democratic party. The democrats stood by throughout the 1970's and 80's as unions were weakened or destroyed, and by the time Dukakis tried to return unions to the center of the democratic party ticket it was too late. The Dukakis loss, and continued republican assaults on unions, opened the door to the new democrats under Clinton's leadership. Clinton's challenge was how to revive the party, only without its beating heart.

The collapse of unions was a crisis for the democratic party. Where would they get their financial support now that unions have been disabled? Where would they get their boots on the ground? The answer was provided by Clinton and the new democrats with their turn to coastal corporate elites (the republicans are not wrong in this criticism). Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the media industry. All provided financial support for the party, and the well educated and well paid workers in these industries became strong supporters of the democratic party. Without a connection to the old union base, the new democratic party could embrace some of the "social conservatism" (really racism) of the republicans and target the "super predators" and junkies wrecking havoc on America, and end the "hand out" society that sustained "welfare queens" by passing workfare and ending the entitlements for children not to live in poverty. Of course trying to be as republican as republicans was not a great strategy of differentiation. Struggling to beat the republicans on "social issues" is playing into their hands. While this strategy played in black churches, where fears of crime and social dissolution were tangibly felt, and in the white suburbs, it offered nothing to the defeated white working class. Into this vacuum entered Trump.

What is the one issue republicans cannot compete on? Building working class institutions and working class communities, and it is the issue that progressive democrats are winning if the democratic national committee would let them win it. Unions are actually on the rise again, despite an organizing environment on par with the jazz age. The democratic party needs to go all in on support for the working class against the oligarchy that currently reigns in both parties. Unionization is associated with higher voter participation rates, higher minimum wages, progressive tax rates, and stronger social wage supports. The failure of the democrats to defend unions from corporate assaults and eventual dissolution is what has led to the current identity crisis. Returning to its working class new deal roots is the answer to its current identity crisis.

While some point to the need to run candidates, like Manchin, who are moderate on "social issues", in conservative states, this is a mistake. First, it cedes the states to republicans by assuming that they are a priori "conservative". Democrats need to field candidates who can speak to progressive issues at the local level directly to these putative conservative voters. Progressives can win in rural areas if the democrats are willing to find and field strong progressive candidates.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/11/what-prog...

Second, by continuing to support "conservative" democrats like Manchin we are preventing democrats from being able to advance policies that will strengthen the party both nationally and locally. In the case of Manchin, for example, he can't even stand with the UMWA on the Build Back Better bill. Even the leaders of mineworkers in West Virginia see the future, and it's one without coal or coal jobs. They are trying to do what is right for their membership and their communities by passing legislation that will pave a way forward, but they need representatives willing to fight for the working class. Manchin is not that representative, and only new democrats fears of losing the party stand in the way of running fully supported progressives in states like West Virginia. Are you telling me there isn't a miner in the state worthy of running for the senate? Manchin is the best democrats have to offer? No wonder voters choose republicans when all the democrats have to offer are paler versions of republicans.

The truth is that Manchin represents in microcosm the problem of the new democrats. He is a new deal democrat dependent on coal for his personal wealth, and he is unable to break with the source of his personal wealth to better serve the interests he claims to represent. The new democrats are unable to break with the corporate wealth that made them, and that replaced the union financial support they lost under the great republican assault. Until they are willing to quit corporate heroin, the democrats under clintonite control will continue to try to kill off the progressives. The progressive wing represents a commitment to the working class in the great history of class struggle in American politics, and that can only be taken but so far in a party that is still dependent on private and corporate wealth for its sustenance.

PP
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Yes, the clintonite Democratic Party has been captured… the Obama bank bailout… Clinton is a principal factor in Republican longevity…

Bill Clinton was a winner. What makes you hate winners?

You seem to consider Obama as in thrall to Bill Clinton. That’s quite the theory ya got there.

You'd prefer Dems nominate Adlai Stevenson, George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, and Michael Dukakis I guess. Or that other guy from their generation: Bernie Sanders.

They all felt the burn at election time.
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“ Bill Clinton was a winner. What makes you hate winners?”

If you call dismantling the new deal social safety net, banking protections, and media anti-trust rules winning then he’s a winner. Oh, and let’s not forget handing over our industrial base to “free trade”. Clinton was the greatest republican president since Lincoln.


“You seem to consider Obama as in thrall to Bill Clinton. That’s quite the theory ya got there.”

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=985939...

It was Clinton admin version 2.0. “Let’s see, we can save the banks and keep homeowners in their houses through mortgage relief or we can save the banks through direct aid. Which should I choose?” Obama was weak tea when we needed something far bolder.
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Heck, Democratic policies are *far* better for working class than Republican priorities (minimum wage, health care, child care, progressive taxation, and so on) but it’s been demonstrated time and again that you can’t buy them with goodies; they only respond to religion, guns, and ultra conservative social policies.

Why? Why?

culcha
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Heck, Democratic policies are *far* better for working class than Republican priorities (minimum wage, health care, child care, progressive taxation, and so on) but it’s been demonstrated time and again that you can’t buy them with goodies; they only respond to religion, guns, and ultra conservative social policies.

Why? Why?


I expect it's because those types of issues speak directly to identity and values, in a way that pocketbook matters cannot.

It's hard to imagine modern progressives being willing to support a candidate that combined all their pocketbook desires (single-payer healthcare, stronger unions, high minimum wage, tax reform) with conservative social policies (outlawing abortion, prohibiting gay marriage, aggressive policing/open gun ownership, etc.). The right position on fiscal policy speaks to a voter's self-interest or conception of what makes an economy strong; but the right position on social matters speaks to a voter's sense of self, what kind of person they are, what kind of nation they want to live in, what kind of party they want to join.

A large portion of the working class fall within the 'faith and flag' segment of the GOP. They have strong feelings about religion and its role in shaping not just personal but public life. They have strong feelings about patriotism, pushing well into nationalist/jingoistic territory wrapped up into cultural idolization. They also have retrograde opinions on masculinity, femininity, and family structure - some of which stem from their religious beliefs and some of which are just cultural attitudes.

So a lot of them would rather have a candidate that supports the kind of society and culture that they want to see America look like than a candidate that supports an economic framework that advantages them. There's a very large number of blue-collar voters that would prefer not to make that choice - they'd love a fiscally liberal/socially conservative party (which is why right-wing populist parties, which handwave in that direction, have enjoyed recent success). But when forced to choose, they'll pick values over their pocketbook.

Albaby
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The right position on fiscal policy speaks to a voter's self-interest or conception of what makes an economy strong; but the right position on social matters speaks to a voter's sense of self, what kind of person they are, what kind of nation they want to live in, what kind of party they want to join.

A large portion of the working class fall within the 'faith and flag' segment of the GOP. They have strong feelings about religion and its role in shaping not just personal but public life. They have strong feelings about patriotism, pushing well into nationalist/jingoistic territory wrapped up into cultural idolization. They also have retrograde opinions on masculinity, femininity, and family structure - some of which stem from their religious beliefs and some of which are just cultural attitudes.


This is only true for white voters. Black Christian voters are far more liberal on the issues you cite as “social matters” than white Christian evangelicals. You cannot ignore the racist and mysogynistic subtext of social conservatism. Which raises the question of why black Christians tend not to share the retrograde values you’re assigning to the working class? Since blacks are far more likely to be working class on average than whites, there must be something else going on here.

One potential explanation is that we are conflating white evangelicals with the working class in general. Why do black Christians not share evangelical views on social values?
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"Except they didn't do that."

They did do that where they saw an advantage in ending it. They ended it regarding supreme court justices and stacked the court.
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They did do that where they saw an advantage in ending it. They ended it regarding supreme court justices and stacked the court.

But not for legislation. Even after they removed the exclusion for SCOTUS nominees, they still continued to be bound by the legislative filibuster for the entirety of the first two years of Trump's term, when they held a trifecta. Even though he pushed constantly for them to nuke it, and even though it hamstrung their efforts to come up with an ACA repeal bill, which ended up being crippled by the reconciliation process and Byrd rule and ultimately so broken it couldn't pass.

Once the Democrats eliminated the filibuster for every other judicial appointment, there was no credible argument that the filibuster for SCOTUS appointments would be preserved. So it was relatively easy for McConnell to find the votes to do it. But the experience of 2017-2018 also shows that the GOP didn't have the votes to scrap, or even 'carve out,' the filibuster for legislative items. Presumably the Senators were confident that the Democrats wouldn't nuke the filibuster for legislation when they next had a turn with a trifecta - and now that that confidence has been borne out, it's even less likely that the GOP will nuke it when they have control of the government again.

Albaby
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“ Even after they removed the exclusion for SCOTUS nominees, they still continued to be bound by the legislative filibuster for the entirety of the first two years of Trump's term, when they held a trifecta.”

You’re expressing a lot of faith for someone posting on the atheist board. Without Collins, Murkowski, and Romney he didn’t have the votes. Otherwise McConnell would have done it in a heartbeat. His hypocrisy knows no bounds. At 54 seats, the filibuster is gone no matter who has those 54 seats. Your margins are shrinking. I think McConnell was one vote short. Who else were among the resisters?
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You’re expressing a lot of faith for someone posting on the atheist board. Without Collins, Murkowski, and Romney he didn’t have the votes. Otherwise McConnell would have done it in a heartbeat. His hypocrisy knows no bounds. At 54 seats, the filibuster is gone no matter who has those 54 seats. Your margins are shrinking. I think McConnell was one vote short. Who else were among the resisters?

As a quibble, it was McCain, not Romney - the latter wasn't elected until after the GOP lost the majority in the House.

I think today it's at least Collins, Romney, Murkowski, Thune, and Lee (after all, Lee was the only GOP Senator who voted against McConnell's rule change to cut debate time on Trump nominees - so he's way about preserving existing rules to preserve the minority's influence in the Senate). There are probably more. After all, 28 GOP Senators were willing to sign the 2017 letter to McConnell advocating that the filibuster be retained:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/senators-urge-save-fi...

While such declarations of the importance of the filibuster are common when a party is in the minority, they're rarer when your party holds total control, as the GOP did when those Senators signed that letter back in the day. I don't think McConnell came anywhere close to being one vote short (any more than Schumer is within two votes today).

If the GOP got a Senate majority in the high 50's? Possible, but it's been a hundred years since they had a Senate majority that high, and it's hard to see that happening in the modern polarized climate. There will always be at least a handful of GOP Senators who would rather keep the Democrats in check than liberate the far-right base of the party.

Albaby
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