The Right Resistance: Filibuster fight tests how long Schumer and Dems can hold their breath
As kids, I remember a game (or a competition depending on the level of enthusiasm) we
used to play in our backyard pool. The water was forty feet from end-to-end, and each contestant had to hold his or her breath and swim underwater for as many lengths of the pool as their endurance would allow.
As one might expect, the older kids tended to do better than the younger ones. I recall that my older brother was able to do five or more lengths before coming up for a breath, quite a feat for a youth of his age (considering he had to make a complete turn at each end). Or perhaps it just proved that he was full of hot air. But it also showed that people can only hold out for so long before the pressure of the moment -- or the need for oxygen -- takes over and the proverbial dam breaks, a lesson I gratefully learned early in life.
Such is the case for senate Democrats at present. The so-called “accomplishments” of senile president Joe Biden’s first one hundred days, which consisted primarily of a massively bloated COVID-19 purely partisan “relief” bill and a seemingly non-stop string of executive orders that dismantled many of the best achievements of the Donald Trump administration, have slowed to a trickle. The news media is now stuck featuring boring fluff such as Biden’s and vice president Kamala Harris’s speeches to graduating classes and visits to industrial plants.
What about an executive visit to the southern border, Joe n’ Kam? That’s another story.
I can’t say for sure, but the liberal party’s never-satisfied constituencies must be starved for more wins, the utter dismantling of what’s left of American culture and the appropriation of whatever remains of the United States’ good financial reputation hangs in the balance. In order to give the leftist groups what they want, the senate filibuster must be jettisoned first, however.
Like my backyard group holding our breath swimming under water, sooner or later the Democrats will need to come up for air. And it won’t be pretty when they do. They’re already displaying signs of discord in the otherwise contented liberal universe.
In a piece called, “Democrats set for filibuster brawl amid escalating tensions”, Jordain Carney reported at The Hill:
“Democrats are setting the stage for a massive brawl over the fate of the legislative filibuster as they face growing pressure to get rid of the roadblock.
“With Republicans waging their first successful filibuster attempt, and more fights looming on the horizon, Democrats are driving toward a tipping point on what to do about the procedural hurdle, which requires most legislation to get 60 votes to make it through the Senate. In June, a number of high-profile measures important to Democrats seem set to be blocked by the GOP’s filibuster, which supporters hope will convince wary Democrats to back ending the filibuster. The blocking of Democratic priorities will certainly enrage those liberals who already want the filibuster killed off.
“Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) signaled that he views it as a crucial test for his majority amid growing impatience about the slow pace of some behind-the-scenes negotiations.”
Wow, just when you thought you’d seen it all. Usually when the media reports on congressional Democrats, it’s in a praiseworthy tone conducive of their phony but remarkable unity and unquestionable service to the citizens -- and non-citizens, too -- in pushing legislation that purports to grant additional rights and privileges while punishing white supremacists (which is loosely defined as Americans who voted for Donald Trump), energy producers, supposed polluters, evil profit-seeking corporations, and anyone making more than a certain amount of money.
Simply put, to the media, Democrats don’t “brawl”. They don’t even squabble. They peacefully disagree with each other sometimes, like when the “Squad” members said something that some construed as negative about Nancy Pelosi way back in the early days of 2019. Madame Speaker then held a behind-closed-doors meeting with them and politely addressed their concerns. Or cussed ‘em out. Whichever the case, it must’ve worked. Now when the Squad’s anti-Semitic Israel haters spread their venom, they avoid savaging Pelosi personally and everyone goes away happy.
But not in the upper chamber, at least not for much longer, apparently. Majority Leader “Chucky” Schumer’s got a much larger challenge to work his sinister will than his House colleague does. First off, he’s got a tie, not a majority, having to count on unanimous support from each of his party members, then hope Kamala Harris isn’t too busy with her border czar duties (chuckle, chuckle) to preside over the senate and tip the balance to the liberals.
Even to most conservatives, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem like a jovial everyday-is-a-party festive kind of guy, so there’s no surprise that he hasn’t been in the mood to give “Chucky” anything he demands. And “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Undertaker” or “Murder Turtle” has done a reasonably good job of keeping his RINO turncoats in line on close fiscal issues. Some credit is due him in this regard.
McConnell has no great love for limited government, the conservative social agenda or anything else that would make the GOP grassroots look upon him favorably -- and stick a needle in the eyes of the establishment -- but he doesn’t appear to like Schumer very much, either.
So, there’s that filibuster thing.
The calendar marches on and the House’s bills are stacking up, leaving “Chucky” in a tight spot. Carney further reported, “[Schumer] is vowing to give a sweeping bill to overhaul federal elections a vote in June, as well as a paycheck bill previously filibustered by Republicans under the Obama administration. He’s also mulling bringing up a LGTBQ protection bill that previously passed the House and gun reforms amid slow-going talks that [Sen. Chris] Murphy is leading with GOP senators.”
In other words, a good chunk of what Democrats are hoping to push through is waiting for action. It’s almost like they’re holding a caucus-wide competition where each Democrat senator must swim underwater the length of the Capitol Building without pausing to take air, and the Republicans are stationing themselves about halfway through and pulling at their limbs. (Note, we didn’t do this as kids. It was a fair game back then.) “Chucky” is frustrated because no one’s calling foul on the GOP and he’s seen as the weakest link in the chain.
Whenever the filibuster is mentioned, the discussion invariably turns to the two Democrat holdouts, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. As the days and weeks go by and the Republican contingent manages to repulse every single Democrat frontal assault (envision civil war troops positioned behind a stone wall), the urgency to ditch the filibuster will intensify. Who knows whether Manchin and Sinema will capitulate.
Here’s thinking the two will be “persuaded” (maybe at gunpoint?) to accept a watered-down version of the tradition, such as the “talking filibuster.” Senators will be required to hold the floor if they choose to filibuster a bill, which likely will result in several such efforts. But if it gets really cantankerous in the normally collegial chamber, even the Republicans’ RINOs might leave their wishy-washiness behind and join the opposition to Democrat hegemony.
McConnell has vowed total war if Schumer goes back on the agreement the two made earlier this year (to allow the New Yorker to be majority leader in an equally divided senate). There are lots and lots of little rules that the minority leader can invoke to gum up the process, such as requiring unanimous consent to adjourn for lunch, and the like. If Democrats grasp that they can’t get anything done now, just wait until they burn down hundreds of years of tradition and try to go it alone with just a half-vote (Harris’s) margin.
The Democrats’ ruse of desiring to be “bipartisan” and “work with” Republicans isn’t fooling many folks these days. They demagogued practically every issue for too long, and it’s coming back to haunt them. There’s no such thing as comity in Congress any longer. It’s more like everyone for themselves. And you’d better get pretty good at holding your breath.
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