Republicans Remind Us What A Friend We Have In The Filibuster

Republicans took to the Senate floor Wednesday to praise the noble filibuster and bury Democratic hopes for passing voting rights legislation. True to form, they lied a lot. Joni Ernst from Iowa said Democrats should “cool it” like George Washington and then she put on shades like she was a hip youth pastor.

Just watch:

She loves the filibuster so much she’s willing to look like an asshole. That’s conviction. Ernst, by the way, was referring to what Washington told fellow human being owner Thomas Jefferson about why the framers created the Senate: “We pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.” However, he meant that the Senate tempers congressional legislation rather than simply kills it dead. Otherwise, he would’ve said, “We pour our legislation into the chamber pot with our piss.” That’s Mitch McConnell’s Senate — one giant bed pan.

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But we’ve already spent more time thinking about this than Joni Ernst does about anything. Let’s move on to the great white “moderate” hope, Mitt Romney. He was quite the Cassandra about filibuster reform.

There is also a reasonable chance Republicans will win both houses in Congress, and that Donald Trump himself could once again be elected president in 2024. Have Democrats thought what it would mean for them — for the Democrat minority — to have no power whatsoever?

The filibuster doesn’t actually protect “minority” rights — certainly not actual minorities. The Senate already empowers white rural rule. The filibuster is just the icing on democracy's tombstone. But the majority can overcome a filibuster with 60 votes and there’s no requirement that those votes include the minority party. The Affordable Care Act was fully “partisan” and only exists because for a brief, shining moment, Democrats had 60 seats. There was still rigorous debate among liberal, moderate, and conservative Democrats. It was Republicans who refused to even acknowledge Obama’s victory (he’d campaigned on health care reform) and negotiate in good faith, as David Frum had suggested before he was banished from rightwing media.

Romney isn’t fooling us with his Br'er Rabbit impression. McConnell’s no fool. If Democrats were walking into a rake with filibuster reform, McConnell would gladly stand and watch. He wouldn’t pitch a fit. He knows the Democrat Face Puncher 5000 is an invaluable tool for obstructing popular legislation and demoralizing liberal voters. The Senate’s most useless Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema, has warned about all the evil Republicans would inflict without the filibuster, but if there was something they really wanted beyond Federalist Society centerfold judges and tax cuts, they’d kill the filibuster without hesitation.

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Notice that Romney casually invokes the nightmare scenario of another Donald Trump administration, which the very voting rights legislation he opposes would help prevent! Romney should probably commit himself to preventing a Trump comeback rather than assuming it’s inevitable, like Marsha Blackburn being terrible.

ROMNEY: Consider how different the Senate would be without the filibuster. Whenever one party replaced the other as majority, tax and spending priorities would change, safety net programs would change, national security policy could change.

Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! Why, it’s almost like ... democracy. You’ll recall that Romney ran for president a decade ago and probably had more ambitious plans than sitting with his feet up on the Oval Office desk and whispering contentedly, “Ahh, bipartisanship!”

Romney seems horrified at the thought that domestic and national security policies might alter when parties change power. That’s the whole reason we have elections! Otherwise, you might as well shut down American government like Wally World. The filibuster is the moose out front telling you the park’s closed.

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Republicans Remind Us What A Friend We Have In The Filibuster