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Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

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Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Yes
24
60%
No
7
18%
Not sure
9
23%
 
Total votes: 40

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El Guapo
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by El Guapo »

noxiousdog wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:11 am
malchior wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:18 pm There aren't too many examples of a political system that broke down this badly that just 'healed itself'.
Ours, on multiple occasions. It wasn't a decade before early US politicians were writing Alien and Sedition acts to throw their political opponents in jail.
Plus, like, we had a whole civil war.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by noxiousdog »

And the gilded age, McCarthy, Nixon, and Vietnam.

My point is that political disfunction started as soon as Washington retired.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by stessier »

Yeah, theory is great. It all falls apart when people get involved.
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El Guapo
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by El Guapo »

noxiousdog wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:19 am And the gilded age, McCarthy, Nixon, and Vietnam.

My point is that political disfunction started as soon as Washington retired.
I'd be more optimistic about the ability of our political system to muddle through if it wasn't for the Senate. It currently gives 30% of the population as much power as 70%, and that imbalance is only going to get worse. Plus fixing the problem (which stems from equal representation of the states in the Senate regardless of population) is specifically prohibited by the constitutional amendment provision of the Constitution (no amendment can change that without the consent of the affected states, which will never happen).

So we're left with a broken Senate structure that essentially can't be fixed through ordinary legal means.
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malchior
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by malchior »

El Guapo wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:17 am
noxiousdog wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:11 am
malchior wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:18 pm There aren't too many examples of a political system that broke down this badly that just 'healed itself'.
Ours, on multiple occasions. It wasn't a decade before early US politicians were writing Alien and Sedition acts to throw their political opponents in jail.
Plus, like, we had a whole civil war.
The Alien and Sedition thing is a bad example in my opinion. All political systems have their problems but the Civil War is an example of a system blowing apart versus healing itself IMO. There was some sort of continuity of government for sure. But only after a hugely devastating internal conflict. It shouldn't be seen as some sort of success that our system has held it together as it lurched from generational problem to generational problem until it started shaking itself to pieces recently.

What I'm getting at is that systems when they get this dysfunctional don't return to a 'normal' state. They end in civil wars, radical changes in government structure, etc. The US Government before the Civil War was very, very different from the one after it.

Edit:
El Guapo wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:24 am
noxiousdog wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:19 am And the gilded age, McCarthy, Nixon, and Vietnam.

My point is that political disfunction started as soon as Washington retired.
I'd be more optimistic about the ability of our political system to muddle through if it wasn't for the Senate. It currently gives 30% of the population as much power as 70%, and that imbalance is only going to get worse. Plus fixing the problem (which stems from equal representation of the states in the Senate regardless of population) is specifically prohibited by the constitutional amendment provision of the Constitution (no amendment can change that without the consent of the affected states, which will never happen).

So we're left with a broken Senate structure that essentially can't be fixed through ordinary legal means.
The Senate has become the current problem but I definitely subscribe to the idea that the core problem is the way they divided up the 'traditional powers' and how we select our President. Having elections for Congress every 2 years and elections for President every 4 years leads to a messy misallocation of 'political capital'.

I'm not saying it ever was perfect but the problem has really reared it's head. Any new modern President rushes to get things done because about a year into their term the air starts to come out of the balloon because of the upcoming midterms. Then their party inevitably loses seats in that midterm and the other side claims they have the ball. Then a year later the next Presidential election comes along...rinse repeat. The whole thing was supposed to provide stability but we can see that it doesn't work.

This wasn't that bad when you mostly had some level of cooperation about the 'big picture' but now that we're polarized to extremes we see the wheels come off the bus. President's fall back to rule by EO locked inside a set of rules that can't be changed because Congress would need to act. The Judiciary at times steps in to release pressure on the system but I think we'll see the opposite going forward.

And just like in the run up to the Civil War we have ended with a system that can't solve big picture problems. It really appears this experiment was fundamentally poorly designed. And like you said elsewhere that makes sense since it was a first try at a modern democracy. However, much of the Western hemisphere took up our model and it has led to little more than misery. It's too bad because I think autocracy is going to win again eventually and we really missed an opportunity to succeed at this.
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Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Carpet_pissr »

noxiousdog wrote:
malchior wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:18 pm There aren't too many examples of a political system that broke down this badly that just 'healed itself'.
Ours, on multiple occasions. It wasn't a decade before early US politicians were writing Alien and Sedition acts to throw their political opponents in jail.
Yeah, I’m trying hard to keep in mind just how bad things have been in the more distant past (say 50 years + ago).

When I read books that deal with specific periods in American history in depth, I’m continually amazed by some of the outrageous shit.

It SOMEwhat grounds me in terms of our current issues, and at least makes me pause to wonder if things are really bad as they seem to be. I THINK though, as bad as some individual branches/leaders/laws, etc were in the past, the current “unpleasantness” seems more systemic.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by noxiousdog »

I bet we don't know half the outrageous stuff that went on. The press was limited and no radio... let alone internet.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Kraken »

The Guardian persuaded me to change my vote from Not sure to Yes, if I could.

Nut graf:
the filibuster rules allowing 41 senators to halt legislation effectively empower a group of Republican senators representing just 22% percent of the population to gridlock the government. Again, considering that it only takes 50% of the vote to get elected, the filibuster means that about 11% of the voting-age population has successfully elected Republican senators who can theoretically block anything that polls show the overwhelming majority of the country might want.
It's worth reading if you like numbers and logic. The gist is that the Senate inherently empowers the minority and the filibuster can superempower them. (The author was Bernie Sanders' campaign speechwriter, so he might have an agenda.)
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by LordMortis »

Kraken wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:06 pm The Guardian persuaded me to change my vote from Not sure to Yes, if I could.

Nut graf:
the filibuster rules allowing 41 senators to halt legislation effectively empower a group of Republican senators representing just 22% percent of the population to gridlock the government. Again, considering that it only takes 50% of the vote to get elected, the filibuster means that about 11% of the voting-age population has successfully elected Republican senators who can theoretically block anything that polls show the overwhelming majority of the country might want.
It's worth reading if you like numbers and logic. The gist is that the Senate inherently empowers the minority and the filibuster can superempower them. (The author was Bernie Sanders' campaign speechwriter, so he might have an agenda.)
Tyranny of the minority. I have a desire to keep that check but at the same time, as is, it's too powerful. I don't know the right answer.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Blackhawk »

Answer? Anything that get filibustered gets a vote. At 50 votes it goes up for a nationwide simple majority vote by the public. Now the 41 representing 11% pf the populace that are blocking the popular proposal have motivation to work across the aisle, as otherwise it's getting passed without their input.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Smoove_B »


Partial list of Biden agenda items that are toast in the Senate if the filibuster remains:

• $15 minimum wage
• Universal gun background checks
• Dream Act
• “For The People” Act
• John Lewis voting rights act
• ACA public option
• Equality Act
• George Floyd police bill
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Alefroth »

I'd like to see what Manchin campaigned on.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by malchior »

Alefroth wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:05 pm I'd like to see what Manchin campaigned on.
I can say I doubt he ran on a platform that included his the defense of his daughter after she price gouged people on epipens.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Smoove_B »

I'm sure the (D) holdouts will take this into consideration:
Over 350 scholars, historians and political scientists urge Congress to take action on filibuster reform in a new letter first obtained by TPM, arguing that the Framers never intended for the Senate to rely on supermajorities to pass even routine, bipartisan legislation.

...

Today, they wrote, the filibuster has all but stopped legislative activity, thereby giving the executive branch outsized power and worsening partisan divides. And perhaps most worryingly of all, they added, is the damage it’s doing to democracy.

They cited statistics that nearly 80 percent of the bills blocked by the filibuster in the past 30 years were bipartisan, and that nearly a quarter of the filibustered bills in the last 16 Congresses were supported by senators representing over 60 percent of the U.S. population.

“This dynamic is untenable for a democracy,” they warned. “A government unable to produce results that significant majorities of the public elect their representatives to deliver is no longer a representative government.”
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Little Raven »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that the Republicans have employed the filibuster even once this session.

The problem that the Democrats have is not getting to 60 - it's getting to 50.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Blackhawk »

Yep. The decisions concerning the future of the entire nation are hinging around what will get one man reelected.
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El Guapo
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by El Guapo »

Little Raven wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:22 pm Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that the Republicans have employed the filibuster even once this session.

The problem that the Democrats have is not getting to 60 - it's getting to 50.
They don't need to actually employ it (which presumably would mean voting on cloture) for the most part, but it's very much still a key constraint. Once it's apparent that a bill is subject to the filibuster (e.g., not a reconciliation bill, judge, etc.), and once it's apparent that it won't get to 60 votes (which is true for essentially everything these days) then the bill gets abandoned because it's obvious that it's never going to pass.

If and when the filibuster is eliminated, then people will start working to 50 on more bills, because that will become the necessary votes to pass bills (instead of 60).
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by ImLawBoy »

That's kind of like saying that nuclear weapons weren't really a concern during the Cold War because no one was using them. It's the knowledge that they're there and the threat of the use that has a significant impact.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Remus West »

ImLawBoy wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:26 am That's kind of like saying that nuclear weapons weren't really a concern during the Cold War because no one was using them. It's the knowledge that they're there and the threat of the use that has a significant impact.
The filibuster gives cover to the Republicans by allowing them not to go on record voting against popular bills. The threat of the filibuster is being used by borderline Ds, like M and S to allow them to bad mouth popular bills and ideas instead of being put under the press themselves to get to 50.
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Re: Should the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?

Post by Carpet_pissr »

I think it's time to change the thread title to something more realistic, like "CAN the Democrats get rid of the filibuster?"

"Should" implies they are able, but merely need to decide which way to go.
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