Go figure, from the left it’s racist as is everything today and from the right it’s a stop gap from a one party take over of the government.
Lengthy post, so are the articles but worth the time I think if you want to be informed and make a common sense decision, in my opinion.
From the left a good article from VOX with a misrepresentation of history if you care to research the history for yourself and come to your own conclusion. Missing from the “History” is Senator Robert Byrd, “He filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights.”
Hears some excerpts from the article, it’s actually a interesting read I thought.
“The question of what to do about the filibuster — the once-arcane Senate rule that creates a de facto 60-vote threshold for major legislation — is arguably the most important topic in Washington, DC, right now.
It is the main thing blocking Senate Democrats from approving President Joe Biden’s sweeping policy agenda on party lines; as such, it has become a subject of fierce partisan (and intraparty) dispute.”
“Prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),have argued that the filibuster has been a tool used by racists to protect white supremacy. In a Tuesday floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denied this entirely — accusing Democrats of lying about history for political purposes.
“These talking points are an effort to use the terrible history of racism to justify a partisan power grab in the present,” McConnell said.”
“In 1917, the Senate finally decided to reform the filibuster, adding a provision that would allow two-thirds of senators to vote on a “cloture” motion that would end debate — interrupting an individual senator who won’t stop talking.
This provision, called Rule 22, was designed to make filibustering harder. But it actually had the opposite effect: It was now possible for a minority of senators to block bills by voting down cloture motions. This is how the filibuster works today (albeit with a three-fifths threshold for cloture rather than the original two-thirds, thanks to a 1975 reform).
The defenders of Jim Crow pioneered this new filibuster, successfully deploying it again and again to block civil rights bills. Richard Russell, a leading filibuster practitioner and staunch segregationist, said in 1949 that “nobody mentions any other legislation in connection with it.”
Two political scientists, Sarah Binder and Steven Smith, identified every bill between 1917 and 1994 that they believe died purely because of the filibuster. Among these, half were civil rights bills, including anti-lynching bills proposed in 1922 and 1935.”
Why the debate over the filibuster matters
“It’s fair to wonder why any of this matters. The mere fact that the filibuster as we know it is a “Jim Crow relic,” as Obama once put it, doesn’t necessarily say anything about whether it’s desirable to keep around today.
To understand why the history of the filibuster matters, let’s take a closer look at the arguments in favor of keeping the 60-vote threshold. Of these, the most prominent by far is that the filibuster is necessary to protect minority rights. National Review’s Dan McLaughlin made this point clearly in a recent essay:” ( Read the rest of the article here, it’s actually a interesting read.)The filibuster’s racist history, explained
Now from Mitch McConnell: 03.23.21 U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the legislative filibuster:
‘If our Democratic colleagues really believe what they’re saying, did they themselves use a racist tool against Senator Scott’s police reform bill last year? Did they use a racist relic when they delayed the CARES Act or blocked legislation to protect unborn babies who can feel pain? […] Or is our colleagues’ story that the filibuster was not an offensive relic as recently as last summer, but magically became an offensive relic the instant Democrats came to have a majority?’
“While House Democrats try to overturn a certified election result from last November, some Senate Democrats are agitating to break Senate rules to ram through a partisan rewrite of all 50 states’ election laws.
“The 60-vote threshold is the reason why huge pillars of domestic policy don’t oscillate back and forth every time a different party wins the majority.
“Think of something like the Mexico City Policy, the executive-branch policy about funding overseas abortions. It has flipped back and forth every single time the White House has changed party since the 1980s. Republican presidents issue the memo. Democratic presidents retract it.
“The legislative filibuster is what keeps the entirety of federal law from working that way.”
“For a long time, Senators on both sides have recognized the Senate and the country are better off with some stability. Both sides have understood there are no permanent majorities in American politics, so a system that gives both sides a voice benefits everyone in the long run.
“That’s what 33 of our Democratic colleagues said just a few years ago, when they all signed a joint letter insisting that rules protecting debate on legislation be preserved.
“That’s what President Biden believed consistently throughout his long Senate tenure. About 15 years ago, then-Senator Biden said killing the filibuster would be, quote, ‘an example of the arrogance of power.’ He restated his long-held position during the campaign just last year.“
“Here’s what my colleague the Democratic Leader said in 2017.
“The ‘legislative filibuster’ is ‘the most important distinction between the Senate and the House… Let’s find a way to further protect the 60-vote rule for legislation.’ End quote.
“The Democratic Leader, less than four years ago.
“And Democrats didn’t just spend the last four years supporting the filibuster; they spent four years using it!
“We could have had federal legislation on the books since last summer putting more body cameras on police officers, requiring fuller incident reporting to the FBI, and finally making lynching a federal crime. Among other things. But Democrats stopped it.
“A few months before, they used the filibuster to briefly turn the bipartisan sprint toward the CARES Act into a partisan standoff. The press marveled that Senate Democrats had the gall to block relief — a tactic that helped tank the markets — in order to demand further changes.“
“And back in early 2018, Senate Democrats used the filibuster to block government funding and force a brief government shutdown over immigration. One of the Democratic Leader’s first major acts as the leader of his conference was to wield the filibuster to shut down the entire government.
“So the Democratic side just spent four years defending and happily using the same Senate rule that many of our colleagues now attack.
“About a year ago, former President Obama launched a new, coordinated, and very obvious campaign to get liberals repeating the claim that the Senate rules are a relic of racism and bigotry.
“That came just a month after Democrats had used the filibuster to kill Senator Tim Scott’s police reform and anti-lynching bill.
“These talking points are an effort to use the terrible history of racism to justify a partisan power grab in the present. It’s not unlike what we saw last summer when some protest mobs ended up defacing statues of people who actually crusaded for justice — like Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and the abolitionist Mathias Baldwin.
“Mistakenly damaging good institutions because of our troubled past.
“Multiple fact-checkers have torn into this simplistic notion that the rules of the Senate are rooted in racism. ( Read the rest of his remarks here, Democrats’ Filibuster Threats Aren’t About Principle, Just Raw Power
Another good read from The Hill
“On September 30, 1788, Pennsylvania became the first state to elect its United States senators, one of whom was William Maclay. In his 1789 journal Senator Maclay wrote, “I gave my opinion in plain language that the confidence of the people was departing from us, owing to our unreasonable delays. The design of the Virginians and of the South Carolina gentlemen was to talk away the time, so that we could not get the bill passed.”
“Our Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a continuing body that allows for open and unlimited debate and the protection of minority rights. Senators have understood this since the Senate first convened.
In his notes of the Constitutional Convention on June 26, 1787, James Madison recorded that the ends to be served by the Senate were “first, to protect the people against their rulers, secondly, to protect the people against the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led… They themselves, as well as a numerous body of Representatives, were liable to err also, from fickleness and passion. A necessary fence against this danger would be to select a portion of enlightened citizens, whose limited number, and firmness might seasonably interpose against impetuous councils.” That “fence” was the United States Senate.“
During this 111th Congress in particular the minority has threatened to filibuster almost every matter proposed for Senate consideration. I find this tactic contrary to each Senator’s duty to act in good faith.
I share the profound frustration of my constituents and colleagues as we confront this situation. The challenges before our nation are far too grave, and too numerous, for the Senate to be rendered impotent to address them, and yet be derided for inaction by those causing the delay.
There are many suggestions as to what we should do. I know what we must not do.
We must never, ever, tear down the only wall – the necessary fence – this nation has against the excesses of the Executive Branch and the resultant haste and tyranny of the majority.
The path to solving our problem lies in our thoroughly understanding it. Does the difficulty reside in the construct of our rules or in the ease of circumventing them? ( Read the rest of the article here, The filibuster and its consequences (Sen. Robert Byrd)
God Bless America and you.