With a new President comes new hopes. The hope that the President will make wise decisions in the face of amazing pressure. The hope the President does what’s best for the American people. And, in this case, the hope the President doesn’t nod off during a state dinner.
But the hopes don’t end with the President. Leftists are now hoping to do away with a tool the Senate has used for centuries, the filibuster. And they’re doing it in the only way they know how: using a hashtag, #EndtheFilibuster. Although Leftists have used the filibuster in the past (see Wendy Davis), they now think it’s outlived its usefulness.
As with most things, the Left hasn’t thought this out, as we’ll soon see.
What the Left thinks it means – a movement to get rid of an antiquated process that prevents progress
What it really means – a movement to remove the voice of the minority in the Senate
Now, for a quick history/civics lesson before we get into the meat of the issue. Senate rules allow for members to delay or stop legislation from passing by getting up and speaking until the controversy is resolved. Usually, this is done by members of the minority party in the Senate to block legislation, but it can be used to make a statement. Namely, some politicians love the sound of their own voices. This bit of political theater is known as a filibuster, and it’s a mixed bag as far as effectiveness. These days, the threat of a filibuster is enough to get politicians to back down.
Now that Democrats control the Senate, they want to take that option away from Republicans due to allegations of the GOP abusing it. Whether they actually did is a matter of opinion, but it’s interesting to note the timing of this desire to do away with the filibuster. I mean, this isn’t something the Left has made a focal point last year when they were campaigning to taking back the Senate. As soon as they got the votes and won the two open seats they needed, the filibuster became Leftist Enemy Number 1. (Excluding Donald Trump, of course.)
Maybe it’s me, but I seem to remember the Left wanting to silence conservative voices for, oh, the past decade or so, and it makes me wonder if the removal of the filibuster is in line with that philosophy. But I’m sure no one could be that petty, right?
Sorry. I forgot we were dealing with Leftists here. They hold grudges like Atlas holds up the globe.
Regardless, this current move to eliminate the filibuster is a bad idea that assumes far too much and leaves it open for others to use it against the Left down the line. Say what you will about Mitch McConnell, but he has a working understanding of Senate rules and traditions that is unmatched by his Democrat/Leftist detractors. That makes it easier for him to get what he wants by letting his opponents do all the work for him. Just ask Harry Reid about how the “nuclear option” on judicial nominees worked out for him. (Spoiler Alert: it’s how Donald Trump got his Supreme Court nominees through so quickly.)
This same kind of short-sighted strategy is in play here. The Left loves to think once they get into power they won’t ever be unseated. Politics doesn’t work that way. For every swing in one direction there will be a swing in the other direction eventually. Assuming permanence without evidence and without considering the long-term effects if things go south is like buying a Ferrari assuming you’re going to hit a slot jackpot at Uncle Cheater’s Casino and Pawn Shop. It works great if your plans come to fruition, but it’s a nightmare if it doesn’t. And when it comes to politics, the Left has been playing a lot of slots while avoiding the calls from the Ferrari dealership about when they can expect payment.
On the other side of the coin, the Left can’t call for unity while silencing the Right. I mean, they’ll try, but they will have a hard time convincing the public they’re serious about it. Although most people don’t know about Parler or Gab, they know about fairness. If one party consistently tries to curtail the other’s ability to do business, voters and potential voters may start feeling sympathy towards the injured party, which can swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. With the next election cycle being the midterm elections in 2022 and with the historical tendency for voters to create a divided government, this spells trouble for the Left.
So, naturally, they want to keep pulling the slot machine lever and taking their chances.
Although ending the filibuster is a bad idea, I do think the practice needs to be modified by requiring a personal stake in the outcome. If you threaten a filibuster on a bill, get your comfy shoes on because you will be speaking upright for quite some time. If you threaten a filibuster and don’t follow through, you should be punished financially for it and deserve to be mocked mercilessly. Either way, the parties will either have to learn to work together to come up with bipartisan legislation or they get mocked and have to pay out of pocket for it. That’s a win-win in my book!
Although #EndtheFilibuster has all the sexiness of Ernest Borgnine in a burlap teddy, it’s gaining traction with Leftists who want to exercise absolute power in the Senate because…reasons. Yet, it’s such a monumentally bad idea that shows the Left hasn’t learned their lesson from the previous times in recent history they’ve tried to pull the same kind of power trip only to have it blow up in their faces within an election cycle or two.
At least they’re consistent with their insanity.