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The Republican Party and Minority Rule
1 year ago  ::  Jul 05, 2021 - 9:17AM #1
bertram
Posts: 17,474

Finally, somebody in the media has succinctly articulated what I have been posting for years about Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party and the abuse of the filibuster.  Joseph Zeballos of Business Insider writes:


"Congressional Democrats want to revamp the country's infrastructure, but they could run into some major potholes this summer.


Here's the issue at hand: President Joe Biden has negotiated two separate deals with Republicans and Democrats to address infrastructure and poverty. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling foul and threatening to blow up the deal with the GOP if Biden doesn't back off his deal with Democrats. Some Democrats are warning that this will play out like a 'Peanuts' cartoon, with McConnell playing Lucy to their proverbial Charlie Brown.

It's unusual because Democrats control the House, Senate, and the White House, so technically Republicans have little authority to block anything. They are a minority trying to dictate how the majority governs, and therefore what policies are enacted. This is where the filibuster and reconciliation come in.


When the Republicans were last completely shut out of power, under President Barack Obama, McConnell pioneered the use - or abuse - of the filibuster, which has come to serve as a potent block on Democratic ambitions on tackling immigration reform, gun control, and voting rights. Democrats also made use of the filibuster under the Trump administration, which has left reconciliation as the major tool both parties use to pass important legislation without a 60-vote supermajority.


Members of McConnell's caucus are backing his play. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana, one of 11 GOP sponsors of the $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal, assailed the compromise as 'a bad deal' if it is followed by a reconciliation bill.


Separately, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, another Republican sponsor, blasted 'hostage-taking' from Congressional Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in a statement to The Washington Post.


The Biden administration has devoted months to negotiating with the GOP over the objections of many Democrats, particularly progressives. They've long warned that dragging out talks with Republicans could produce a watered-down plan that won't even win GOP support in the end.


'McConnell's goal is to use the prospect of bipartisan agreement to string Dems along for as long as possible before blocking the bill,' Adam Jentleson, a former senior Democratic aide to Sen. Harry Reid, wrote on Twitter.


'The American public doesn't care about process'


Biden has long stressed the importance of bipartisanship, which may be colored by his three decades as a Delaware senator, but also may be an effort to move beyond regular filibuster use.


As he took his victory lap last week, Biden tried to assuage progressives within his party by saying he would veto the bipartisan deal if it wasn't tied to a separate reconciliation bill. This infuriated Senate Republicans and Biden backed down from his threat two days later.


While many Republicans seemed reassured by Biden's backtrack, McConnell wasn't, demanding that Biden ensure Pelosi and Schumer sever the link between the two deals. Pelosi has only doubled down since then. It raises the issue of whether Republicans actually support the bipartisan deal they reached with Biden, or if they only support it as long as Democrats drop the rest of their agenda.


'If we can get more things done with bipartisan support, we're going to go that way,' White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in a recent interview with New York Times podcast 'Sway.' 'If we can't get the bipartisan support, we're going to see what we can get done without that bipartisan support.' Some Democrats argue that voters will ultimately care about them fulfilling their promises and little else.


'I totally agree that the American public doesn't care about process, what they care is whether or not they're getting results,' Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota said in an NBC News interview. 'So bipartisanship isn't our goal, it is the means to an end, if it's a means to the end. And with this Republican Party, they're not showing that they really are interested in getting solutions.'..."



 


1 year ago  ::  Jul 05, 2021 - 9:18AM #2
bertram
Posts: 17,474

What Zeballos gets wrong is that McConnell actually began the filibuster reign of terror in January of 2007 when the Republicans lost the majority in both houses of Congress and had nothing to lose by going full obstruction.  And it worked, because the sad truth as noted in the article above is that the distracted American public cares little about legislative process.  The Republicans were able, after years of delaying and obstructing Dem legislation, to convince voters to return the House to their control in the 2010 elections after accusing Dems of "not getting anything done" and falsely promising to "put a laser focus on jobs".  That last claim was an out-and-out campaign lie from John Boehner, the 2011 Speaker of the House.  Instead of focusing on job creation, he and the GOP House majority began re-naming post offices, highways, buildings, bridges and whatever other useless and time-gobbling pursuits they could dream up until the GOP could regain control of the Senate as well.

1 year ago  ::  Jul 05, 2021 - 11:05AM #3
NW
Posts: 4,178

Were you a fan of "minority rule" in 2017 and 2018 when the Democrats blocked more legislation in 2 years than the Republicans have in the 21st Century?


The bottom line is that with a slim majority in the House, which will likely be wiped out with redistricting, and an even slimmer majority in the Senate, Democrats know better than to mess with the filibuster.  The federal government is designed to move slowly and not at the whim of slim majorities.

9 months ago  ::  Dec 02, 2021 - 9:39AM #4
bertram
Posts: 17,474

Are we headed toward another GOP government shutdown?  Will there be no end to Republican attempts to bring down the economy and the country?

9 months ago  ::  Dec 02, 2021 - 1:17PM #5
bertram
Posts: 17,474

We have allowed to happen what the founders feared...a new form of royalty and landed gentry taking over control of our nation.  This version consists of wealthy individuals and their families and powerful corporations that have grown in scope and power far beyond the fledgling forms that emerged in colonial times...along with their lobbyists and Congressional stooges.  This was avoidable, and it is on us as citizens to correct before it is too late.  As it is, this "royal" power structure is enabled by a loud, crude, bigoted, violent, gun-toting, and fractious minority that an all-too-distracted and complacent majority has ignored at our peril to the point where we now have to fear for the future of our democracy.

9 months ago  ::  Dec 02, 2021 - 1:27PM #6
prof. quiz
Posts: 10,754

The Electoral College must be allowed to expire. What made sense 200 years ago does not work today.


Granted, we are a republic, not a true democracy but even the UK eventually realized that a monarchy does not work.


One man, one vote or your N Korea.


9 months ago  ::  Dec 02, 2021 - 1:33PM #7
bertram
Posts: 17,474

Dec 2, 2021 -- 1:27PM, prof. quiz wrote:


The Electoral College must be allowed to expire. What made sense 200 years ago does not work today.


Granted, we are a republic, not a true democracy but even the UK eventually realized that a monarchy does not work.


One man, one vote or your N Korea.





Well said, prof.  We have a number of antiquated mechanisms that need revision.  And near the top of my list is the Second Amendment...

8 months ago  ::  Jan 18, 2022 - 9:02AM #8
bertram
Posts: 17,474

The obvious is staring us in the face.  We need to re-establish majority rule in the U.S. or we're effed.

8 months ago  ::  Jan 18, 2022 - 9:45AM #9
bertram
Posts: 17,474

All across the country Republicans are introducing and passing legislation designed to cement minority rule by not only disenfranchising voters but by invalidating and circumventing the authority of election officials.  In other words, GOP state lawmakers and appointees will be able to call the elections exactly as they want to call them instead of the way voters voted.

7 months ago  ::  Jan 26, 2022 - 2:30PM #10
bertram
Posts: 17,474

Dec 2, 2021 -- 1:27PM, prof. quiz wrote:


The Electoral College must be allowed to expire. What made sense 200 years ago does not work today.


Granted, we are a republic, not a true democracy but even the UK eventually realized that a monarchy does not work.


One man, one vote or your N Korea.





Will Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP caucus try to assert minority rule to mess with Biden's SCOTUS pick?

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