Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has made news yet again by stating her desire to get rid of the Senate filibuster rule that requires most bills in that chamber to pass by at least 60 votes.
The presidential candidate recently told journalists that all options should be on the table in regards to changing Senate rules to allow bills to pass with a majority vote. At this point, it’s hard to determine if she is really interested in changing the rules, or is simply looking for ways to set herself apart from other hard left 2020 Democratic contenders. However, the proposal has the full backing of ultra-liberal activists who view the 60-vote rule as an obstacle to their socialist agenda.
Naturally, the liberal media is offering its undying support.
New York Mag journalist Eric Levitz savagely attacked the filibuster rule recently, stating that it is not only completely outdated and undemocratic but also an unacceptable obstacle to Democrats who want to pass sweeping new laws such as the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and free public college.
Jordan Weissman at Slate agreed, noting that the filibuster would effectively prevent a single-payer healthcare system, gun control bills and other reforms. Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin made the point best when he stated that all progressive plans are nothing more than empty promises unless the filibuster rule is laid to rest. The simple reason for this is the fact that Democrats are unlikely to gain the 60-seat majority they need in the Senate to bypass the filibuster. Even if they did regain such a majority by chance, it would have to be regained at a time when the Democrats also control both the House of Representatives and the White House.
While it is clear that Democrats can’t count on simple democracy alone to put their plans in place, even many socialist-leaning Democratic presidential candidates are unwilling to publicly agree with Sen. Warren’s call to abandon the filibuster. Perhaps they remember when former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got rid of the filibuster rule for most appointments. While the move allowed the then-Democrat controlled Senate to appoint a host of Obama-approved judicial nominees, it also gave current Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the pretext needed to ditch the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.
Alternatively, it would seem that others are concerned that calling for an end to the filibuster now would encourage Sen. McConnell to “go nuclear” if President Trump wins re-election in 2020 and the GOP regains control over the House at the same time. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has categorically stated that he is in favor of keeping the filibuster rule in place. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Mazie Hirono have all said the same thing while Sen. Bernie Sanders has stated that debate about the rule is premature because Democrats need to take back power first.
As the 2020 elections get closer, far-left Democrats are clearly beginning to worry that they will never be able to implement their far-reaching agenda. Rather than attempt to persuade the electorate of the value of their favorite pet programs, they are considering tinkering with existing Senate rules in order to push their agenda.
The filibuster rule in the Senate was put in place to ensure that any bills that were passed were approved by states throughout the nation, not just a few states with large populations. It is intended to make parties work together. Unfortunately, like bipartisan cooperation in general, it is in danger of falling victim to a single party’s desire for unchecked power.
~ Liberty Planet