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Wed Jun 9, 2021, 11:37 AM

The ticking filibuster: How to stop 'minority rights' from becoming 'minority rule'

Early in the 117th Congress, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) vowed to protect the filibuster, calling it necessary to "find compromise and get things done" and to "find common ground." Perhaps this approach was worth trying at the start of the session, but that time has passed. Week by week, month by month, the 117th Congress is slipping away. And with even the most uncontroversial legislation now failing to get 60 votes, Manchin and Sinema must choose: Do they want a representative government or the filibuster? They can't have both.

In theory, the filibuster should expand the representativeness of government. By Manchin's and Sinema's lights, requiring 60 votes encourages senators to work across the aisle, bring more voices to the table, and honor the views of the most Americans possible.

But this "small-r" republicanism requires mutual commitment - a minority willing to work with the majority. If the minority can simply hold the majority hostage, representative government is subverted, not served. Elected officials only hold power for a limited time. Sacrificing the will of the many to that of the few in this brief period defeats the point of holding elections.

If Manchin and Sinema want to protect minority rights without surrendering to minority rule, the purpose behind delays must matter. Time spent building a broader consensus is not the same as time spent merely obstructing. This is where unconditional allegiance to the filibuster falls short.


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Reply The ticking filibuster: How to stop 'minority rights' from becoming 'minority rule' (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jun 9 OP
moose65 Jun 9 #1
Freddie Jun 9 #2

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 11:46 AM

1. That's the difference between the parties

I've seen posts that say something like "But the Democrats filibustered stuff during Trump's Presidency." But there are a couple of differences:

Democrats don't get the chance to filibuster very often, because the Republicans never really tried to pass much legislation. Their signature item, the tax cuts, wasn't subject to a filibuster (how convenient for them)!

Democrats did filibuster some of the Covid relief proposals, but that was only to make them better - those things eventually passed. Republicans don't care about making things better. Recall during the debate on the ACA - the Republicans were able to offer many amendments that were put into the law, and then they didn't vote for their own amendments!

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Response to moose65 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 12:23 PM

2. This is why we should STOP the "negotiations" with infrastructure!

They’re going to bargain it down and not vote for it anyway. Screw ‘em!

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