Below is my column on the ongoing Democratic effort to get rid of the Senate filibuster. There are good-faith arguments against filibusters but there is a new campaign to declare the rule as racist. Once again, many in the media are ignoring both the history and hypocrisy surrounding the filibuster, including in the press conference last week with President Joe Biden. Biden was not asked in multiple questions on the filibuster about his defense of a rule that he now dismisses as a racist relic. In 2005 he stated:
The Senate ought not act rashly by changing its rules to satisfy a strong-willed majority acting in the heat of the moment…Proponents of the ‘nuclear option’ argue that their proposal is simply the latest iteration of a growing trend towards majoritarianism in the Senate. God save us from that fate, if it is true…Adopting the ‘nuclear option’ would change this fundamental understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about. Senators would start thinking about changing other rules when they became “inconvenient.” …Altering Senate rules to help in one political fight or another could become standard operating procedure, which, in my view, would be disastrous.”
President Biden has come out this week against the Senate filibuster as a “relic” of the Jim Crow era. In these times, it is a virtual mantra on Capitol Hill that the filibuster is synonymous with racism and people supporting it are presumptively racist. That very point was noted by cable news host Al Sharpton, who threatened to denounce members as racist if they support the rule. The only thing more dramatic than such historical revisionism is the political revisionism underlying this new national campaign.
The filibuster is more a “relic” of the Julius Caesar era than the Jim Crow era. In ancient Rome, the filibuster was used to force the Senate to hear dissenting voices, including an opposition of Cato the Younger to Julius Caesar returning to Rome. The foundation for the filibuster today can be traced to an argument by former Vice President Aaron Burr that led to a change in the early 1800s. The minority has used versions of the rule to block or force consensus on controversial legislation, ranging from war actions to oil mandates. It was not created in the Jim Crow era.
But Biden is correct that some of the most abusive uses of the filibuster was by segregationists in the 1950s, as embodied in Strom Thurmond, a South Carolina Democrat, who set the record with filibustering the Civil Rights Act for over 24 hours.
The filibuster was designed as a protection for the minority in what is often called “greatest deliberative body.” It is not inherently racist. If that were the case, every majority rule would be racist because all of our racist legislation was passed by majority votes, including bills that supported slavery or target minority groups.
A few years back, Democrats cried foul over the notion of eliminating the filibuster. They did not argue the rule was the embodiment of racism but rather the heart of the Senate. Biden spoke in the Senate in 2005 against ending the filibuster. So did Charles Schumer, who said it put the Senate “on the precipice” of a constitutional crisis, as “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option.” Now as Senate majority leader, Schumer decries the same filibuster as the racist rule forged by segregationists.
Other leading Democrats also denounced prior moves to end the rule as destroying any hopes for political consensus. Barack Obama condemned its elimination as an obvious effort to establish party control by shifting “the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet.” He added, “If the majority chooses to end the filibuster and if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only become worse.”
Obama served in a Senate where Republicans had a clear majority. The Senate is now divided right down the middle for a split that allows Vice President Kamala Harris to break ties. That is in effect the party control feared by Obama. Harris denounced the idea just a few years back and asked Mitch McConnell, at the time Senate majority leader, to preserve the filibuster to protect the “rules, practices, and traditions” supporting members in the minority. She opposed “any effort to curtail the existing rights and prerogatives for members to engage in robust and extended debate as we consider legislation in this body in the future.”
There was no mention about Jim Crow or the filibuster as racist. Yet it has transformed into a rule that only Bull Connor, the enforcer for segregation in Birmingham, would embrace, at least according to the perspectives by Sharpton. In reference to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who back the filibuster as a traditional rule protecting the minority, Sharpton has vowed “the pressure that we are going to put on” them is for calling the filibuster “racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism.”
So members are now on notice that the rule designed to protect minority rights in the Senate will now be viewed as trying to deny minority votes in elections. It is that simple. Yet a great irony is that this original purpose of the filibuster has never been more essential. While one can make the case against the rule on purely democratic or majority grounds, such concerns previously raised by Obama and others are magnified today.
The rule of consensus offers a vital balance to political interests opposed to working across the aisle. It hands Democrats a badly needed excuse to engage Republicans and seek middle ground. Without it, as Obama noted, “the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only become worse.” For a country with violence on both sides, that fighting is now a literal and increasing danger. It is no accident that the filibuster has played the more dominant role during our periods of greatest division. It was used to try to forge consensus despite rising lethality of political rhetoric.
Ultimately, the rule does not save us from ourselves. Caesar made it into Rome, only to be murdered by some of the men debating his arrival. Jim Crow laws were state laws but the Senate allowed that disgraceful era of discrimination to happen. In the end, our laws are no better than we are, but we are worse off when there is little need for consensus.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.
125 thoughts on “Democrats Cannot Erase The History Or Hypocrisy Of The Filibuster”
Last I heard they don’t really do it like Thurmond. they just deem it is being done and all go on another vacation at tax payer expense.
The Resurrection of Jim Crow
I apologize for the misleading title; anybody that’s paying attention knows that Jim Crow hasn’t gone anywhere. It keeps recreating itself under different titles and new management. Long before Jim Crow, there was the enslavement of Black people, then came the Black Codes right after the Civil War, which duplicated enslavement as much as the law allowed. There was the ever so brief Reconstruction period, which was only viable due to the presence of federal troops to protect the recently enslaved. After twelve short years, Democrats and Republicans conspired to end Reconstruction which ushered in Jim Crow, which has lasted ever since despite what the history books say.
There are many dates people point to when Jim Crow supposedly ended. Some looked at 1948 when President Harry Truman integrated the military. Others cited 1954 when the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education which was supposed to integrate public schools. That “With All Deliberate Speed” clause placed no timeframe on integration, and some schools in the South and New York City meet the definition of segregated schools to this date. The commonly recognized date for the end of Jim Crow is when the Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964, followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Jim Crow laws were mostly off of the books. However, if anyone was paying attention, new laws cropped up with the same mission. The Supreme Court that grudgingly gave us Brown v. Board of Education, weakened the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in the same way they weakened or found unconstitutional all such Acts throughout American history.
There are two primary areas where Jim Crow’s spirit has cropped back up, concerned only about results and not giving a damn about appearing to be exactly what it is; voter suppression and the filibuster in the US Senate. You might think I’m about to veer off into an attack on one political party. In the US’s history, both major parties have served as both instigators or been complicit in perpetuating these schemes. Neither voter suppression nor the filibuster could continue to exist without the acceptance of all involved.
Let’s start with voter suppression. When America was formed, the only ones allowed to vote were land-owning white males. Black men born in the US officially got the right to vote with the Fifteenth Amendment’s ratification in 1870. Women got their rights after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Unsurprisingly, the year women were able to vote saw the biggest surge of violence against Black citizens trying to vote seen in decades. As part of a statewide conspiracy to prevent Blacks from voting, the Black population of Ocoee, FL, was either killed or burned out in response to two Black men attempting to vote. The Black vote has been suppressed in America by violence or legal means since they got the right. Even in 2021, little has changed, just how it is to be accomplished.
As I write this, over two-hundred-fifty pieces of legislation are being considered in forty-three states to suppress votes. Georgia has already passed its bill, which began as two-pages and turned into a ninety-five-page opus banning such things as handing out water and food to those waiting in line for hours to vote. It would be easy to blame one political party for the current emphasis on voter suppression, but the other has a similar past and is currently complacent, therefore complicit. American history is replete with examples of major political parties conspiring to enrich themselves at the expense of those of color. The same people are not allowed to fully utilize the right to vote because of the barriers to impede them.
What makes all this similar to Jim Crow; no, exactly like Jim Crow. Is the blatant audacity shown in carrying these deeds out. It was the attempt to throw out votes in the last presidential election based on location. Urban cities in states where there were close elections discard those votes because that would change the result. When they suggest those votes were fraudulent, with no proof. They are really saying that those voters are fraudulent, as originally intended in America, with an attempt to make it so again, ever since.
In addition to voter suppression, one of the chambers of Congress that is supposed to protect the people’s rights has devised mechanisms to prevent them from doing so. The filibuster is a provision in the rules, nowhere in the Constitution, that allows a minority of Senators to hold not only the body but the country hostage regarding legislation they dislike. They argue the filibuster wasn’t first used in a racist manner and wasn’t designed to support Jim Crow. Yes, the very first time, it may have been used for a different purpose, but it didn’t take long to find its niche, finding a way always to do the white thing rather than the right one. The first use was long before Jim Crow, by which time it had been perfected to prevent meaningful change.
“It’s been a tool used overwhelmingly by racists.” Kevin Kruse, Historian of race and American politics at Princeton University.
“If there was any ambiguity in the antebellum era, it certainly shed that during the Jim Crow era — where it was widely taken for granted that the filibuster was directly tied to [blocking] civil rights.” Adam Jentleson
Originally introduced in 1805 by Vice-President Aaron Burr, the filibuster was supposed to be a way to hasten Senate proceedings. In 1917 a reform was made to prevent an individual Senator from hoarding the floor. Still, it allowed for the prevention of a vote to end discussion unless then sixty-six, and now sixty Senators voted to end a debate. Later it was decided a Senator didn’t need to rise and speak to hold the floor; he or she (she has never happened) can send an e-mail to their leader, anonymously, to invoke the filibuster.
Researchers Sarah Binder and Steven Smith identified every bill passed by the House of Representatives that failed in the Senate between 1917 and 1994 due to the filibuster. Half of those were civil rights bills, including two, in 1922 and 1935 designed to prevent lynching. Who can be against lynching? The body that until 1935 had only elected one white female Senator (Hattie Carraway-AR) while another white female (Rebecca Latimer Felton-GA) served for twenty-four hours in 1922. Otherwise, the body that supported lynchings and derailed civil and voting rights had been composed of white men, mostly rich and landowning, just as the founders originally intended.
The filibuster, voter suppression, and opposition to civil rights have always gone hand-in-hand. When Strom Thurmond-SC famously held his filibuster in 1957 for twenty-four hours and eighteen minutes, He was relieved by other Senators to use the bathroom and brought orange juice, diced pumpernickel, and bits of cooked hamburger to eat. . He was fortunate he was on the floor of the Senate and not in a long line in Georgia, where bringing him food and drink was just made illegal.
The filibuster was used in 1891 to block a voting rights bill. As recently as 2020, Senator Rand Paul-KY used the filibuster to attempt blocking an updated anti-lynching bill. One would reasonably ask, why do we still need anti-lynching bills in the present? Then we remember all the Black names we’ve been saying and then understand why.
Ever since we’ve had a two-party system, it’s taken the combined effort of both parties to continue allowing voter suppression, often using the filibuster to make it so. It’s also important to note that the courts’ fail-safe, which has often been used to stop the most blatantly racist maneuvers, can no longer be guaranteed. For decades the Federal courts and, to a degree, the Supreme Court have been packed with mostly white men based on their ideology rather than their knowledge of and understanding of the law. The newly enacted Georgia laws have already been challenged and will soon have their day in court. Just like the days of Jim Crow, Senators brazenly voted to approve unqualified nominees to lifetime appointments to the bench.
At this precise moment in time, voter suppression and the filibuster have reached the forefront of America’s political consciousness as all the bills to restrict the rights of minorities to vote are plowing ahead. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act has passed the House of Representatives and is ready to be taken up by the Senate. The bill would restore that which was taken away from the 1965 Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in 2013. Like the aforementioned anti-lynching bills, who could be against voting rights? You likely already know the answer. The other question is, who would be complicit in enabling those Senators to block the voting rights of minorities in America? The answer would be all those who allow the filibuster’s continued existence when they could do away with it with a majority vote.
When it comes to the filibuster, one is either with lynching and voter suppression or against them. If the means exist to do away with them legally and you don’t, your actions or lack thereof indicate which path you choose. It’s not just the 100 members of the United States Senate that must choose; it’s the voters in the fifty states that put them in office, often returning them to office, knowing full well who they are. Strom Thurmond surprised nobody when he stood up against civil rights. It’s who he was before and during his forty-eight years as a Senator and earlier as the Governor of South Carolina. He was anti-civil rights, pro lynching, and pro voter suppression during all his years of service.
“I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.” Strom Thurmond
It’s not only the Senate that needs to stand against voter suppression and the policy that allows it to exist. The American people need to take a stand as well. The politicians recognize that they are doing the will of enough of the people that supporting racist measures will likely result in their reelection. Until the rest of the people stand up and turn them out of office. There will be no change. It’s time, right now, to show support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and demand your Senator does as well.
Preserving and restoring election integrity and making our elections less prone to fraud and cheating, is NOT suppression.
“Georgia has already passed its bill, which began as two-pages and turned into a ninety-five-page opus banning such things as handing out water and food to those waiting in line for hours to vote.”
Do your fact checking, please. This statement is false. Precise words matter here. Why don’t you do some research and then come back here and tell us why what you wrote is inaccurate.
I’m sticking by everything I wrote. If you think something is wrong, prove it. https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-will-georgia-bill-make-it-crime-give-food-drinks-voters-1573917
There seems to be some dispute in news coverage as to whether the final bill was 93-pages https://truthout.org/articles/georgia-gop-jams-91-new-pages-into-voter-suppression-bill-an-hour-before-meeting/ or 98-pages gpb.org/news/2021/03/25/kemp-signs-98-page-omnibus-elections-bill 96-pages npr.org/2021/03/25/981357583/georgia-legislature-approves-election-overhaul-including-changes-to-absentee-vot
or the 95-pages I reported which came directly from the substitute bill ultimately passed and signed. legis.ga.gov/api/legislation/document/20212022/201121
Like I said, I’m good with what I wrote, all you have is to call me a liar.
The bill essentially includes the giving out of food or drinks to voters under “electioneering” which is illegal at all polling places. There is nothing outrageous about this restriction.
From your linked Newsweek article —->
“No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector,” the bill states.
Then, the section continues to specify the guidelines for the rules mentioned.
Ultimately, food and drinks cannot be given to voters “within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established, within any polling place, or within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place,” according to the bill.
“These restrictions shall not apply to conduct occurring in private offices or areas which cannot be seen or heard by such electors.”
Here is a Washington Post fact check: “The law did make some changes to early voting. But experts say the net effect was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.”
Per usual, Joe Biden is an outrageous liar:
“One could understand a flub in a news conference. But then this same claim popped up in an official presidential statement. Not a single expert we consulted who has studied the law understood why Biden made this claim, as this was the section of law that expanded early voting for many Georgians.
Somehow Biden managed to turn that expansion into a restriction aimed at working people, calling it “among the outrageous parts” of the law. There’s no evidence that is the case. The president earns Four Pinocchios.”
The above fact check is worthless.
The fact-checks are made by relatively young people and people not deeply engaged in the field they are writing about. They are there to spin the news as best as they can in one direction so it sounds believable unless one has expertise in the subject, Then a lot of holes can be found in their arguments..
I had occasion to speak to one of the fact checkers on something that she wrote about a study. She had little understanding of the basics behind studies, statistics and all the things that affect studies such as methodology and selection. Her talent was knowing how to write so she missed all those things. It was not her fault. She was trained to read and report without actually looking at the details.
Thank you. This explains the past four years of the Fake News going on overdrive with Trump’s lies, lies, lies! The Trump “fact-checks” were worthless, of course, but they sure got a lot of mileage out of it during four years of Trump.
However, in this particular fact check of Biden’s most recent outrageous lies, they are 100% correct.
“It was the attempt to throw out votes in the last presidential election based on location. Urban cities in states where there were close elections discard those votes because that would change the result.”
Was there fraud involved? Could that be the reason? Of course it is. Tossing illegal, fraudulent ballots is not suppression. It’s called election integrity.
What was the specific fraud since you claim to have knowledge not supported by any legal action?
What is the evidence you have that suggests otherwise?
Now I know when they talk about the “Big Lie,” who it is that believed it. Your answer provides as much proof as Trump ever did.
Stop with the Big Lie propaganda. If votes likes those cast via new arrangements like drive-thru voting stations are being challenged as illegal or unconstituional, then that’s a fair challeng. What would you call what Nancy Pelosi is doing right now to over turn the results of a duly certified Iowa election result, with recounts, even! in which Pelosi may actually go ahead and outright steal a seat by removing a duly elected representative currently sworn-in and already serving in Congress?
Most of the liars themselves admit the Big Lie. When the liars start getting sued for billions they come clean,
“No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,”
You sir, are obviously an unreasonable person. Fox News has stopped repeating the lies since they got sued for a billion. Lou Dobbs got fired. Who’s next?
What was Russia Russia Russia for four years? A Big Lie?
Manafort kept lying to keep from revealing the truth and got a pardon for it. Russia isn’t a lie, you can’t handle the truth so you block out any desire to know.
Sorry, but Russiagate is a Big Lie, cooked up by Dems. It’s called ‘making political hay.’ You are a follower of the Russiagate Cult of True Believers and you don’t even know it. To use your words, tis you who cannot ‘handle the truth so you block out any desire to know’…You still believe in this stuff because you were never made to confront the facts of the story when it all came out and fell apart. Look a little further, my friend. The truth is out there.
It is still coming to light. People went to jail (but didn’t stay there). Time will tell which of us is right and which was a willing dupe (though pride will never let you admit it).
Ok Enigma, I’ll give you a quick summary of what we know is true. See if you can “handle it.”
Here’s what’s true: The CIA and the FBI falsely accused the president of treason for three years. They framed Trump for treason with Russia and ran with it, knowing it was a Big Lie. They also framed Flynn.
Here’s what’s true: The FBI knew, because the CIA told them so, that Carter Page was working for them. But the FBI blacked that out on their FISA applications and still hung the whole thing on Page and his alleged connections to the Russians. The FBI knew Page was an “active CIA asset” and that the CIA knew everything he was doing and they still went ahead and intentionally deceived the FISA court.
Here’s what’s also true: For three years all of this Russia Russia Russia storyline was leaked, illegally, to the media and yet nobody “leaked” to the press the fact that the FBI knew Carter Page was a CIA asset. Imagine that. It only later came out in the Horowitz IG report.
And then, here’s the kicker, many of these top “agency” people who orchestrated this whole plot were later hired by cable TV and given million dollar contracts to go on their shows as “analysts” spinning their own crimes. (Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, etc) This alone, should be very unsettling to every American.
Here’s what’s also true: Mueller was never able to come up with anything that proves the “theory” that Russia hacked the DNC and gave it to Wikileaks/Assange. Amazingly, they never even interviewed Assange. So Mueller and his team were never able to prove it, no links to Russia, no links to Wikileaks, not even close. They just “think” it was Russia.
There’s much more to it, but let’s just say the whole thing is outrageous bunch of bunk, but yet here we are with half the country believing it. You my friend, and our friend AnonymousJF, are Russiagate Cult True Believers. Sad.
Why wasn’t Rachel Maddow fired for her Big Lies? How about Rep. Adam Schiff’s Big Lies? Or Morning Joe’s Big Lies? On and on we can go…
Was Trump a duly elected president? Yes or no.
You’re just throwing out claims without justification or proof. Joe Scarborough helped Trump get elected the first time.
In answer to your question, Trump was a duly elected President which says something about our election system where losers win. He was defeated by the same margin in the electoral college that he previously won by, Is Biden the duly elected president right now? Yes or no.
“What was the specific fraud”
Here are all the specifics to do with the Dominion/Smartmatic electronic fraud:
If you have even a basic understanding of statistical data you would be able to discern that Biden had a better chance of winning the Megamillions jackpot that Tuesday night, than the election.
Then there was also the mail-in ballot fraud perpetrated at the polls which is all documented here:
If you actually believe that all of this will just vanish like the multiple thoughts that constantly elude Dementia Joe, you’re in for a very unpleasant awakening.
I heard the argument made that if they abolish the filibuster now, in the current Congress, it must wait to be implemented in the NEXT Congress, which leaves it in the hands of the voters to elect the legislators for the next Congress in which all citizens and voters know there will be no legislative filibuster.
There is a right and fair way to compromise on this hot button issue. Congress should include consideration of the will of the people they represent in the process by deferring its enactment to the NEXT session of Congress. Let the voters have a say in who they send to the next filibuster-free Congress.
Is that what Mitch McConnell did when he eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court Justices or when he rammed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett after sitting on Merrick Garland for a year? The voters say didn’t mean much then. Since Scotus gutted the 1965 Voting Rights enforcement and preclearance provisions, these laws will be allowed to be put into place and do actual harm before they can be truly challenged.
Why should Mitch foolishly play nice and capitulate when we all know that Pelosi and Schumer and Harry Reid have done their share of “ramming” things through? Dems would never let an opportunity go to waste for the sake of fairness or some such notion. Dems do not play nice, nor do they compromise. They were filibustering Gorsuch instead of playing fair, and forced Mitch’s hand. And then again with Garland, Mitch made the correct call. Based on Garland’s AG nomination hearings, Mitch was correct in his judgment. Garland was weak and wholly unimpressive and would not have been a moderate on the high court. We dodged a bullet with that one. Dems hate it when Repub’s play the game as ruthlessly as they do. Well executed, Mitch.
I noticed in your historical review you failed to mentioned that all of the anti lynching laws were brought forward by Republicans and it was Democrats who attempted to block them the same as they did with the civil rights act. So the answer to your question “Who could be against Anti Lynching laws?”…. The answer is Racist Democrats.
Democrats and leftists have a long history of racism. It was Democrats who fought a civil war for slavery and republicans who defeated them. It was Democrats who created Jim Crow laws and Republicans who defeated them. It was Democrats who formed the KKK and Republicans who defeated it.
The Democrats obsession with race continues to this day and it is a natural by product of their failed ideology and their political strategy that seeks to segregate people into different classes rather then see them as individual human beings with basic human rights.
You need to get yourself real education on history and stop reading Fakestorian Socialist propaganda history texts. When you are a victim of propaganda it is very difficult to acknowledge or admit it, but the truth is Fake history Texts written by liberal revisionist historians are guilty of it without a doubt. They attempt to defend their fake accounts of history by asking people to point to anything that is not factual…. But the fact is history can be revised not just by what you choose to include, but by what you choose to leave out.
Please buy it and read it. It may not change your views, but I guarantee you it will make you question them.
I know the sorry, racist, history of the Democratic Party, and that the Republicans were founded on anti-slavery principles. The slippery slope for Republicans began with the disputed 1876 Presidential Election that by all rights should have been won by the racist Democrats though the Congress still would have been controlled by Republicans. The Compromise of 1877 allowed the Republican to win the Presidency after promising to remove the Federal troops protecting the newly freed enslaved people and allowing Reconstruction to take place (feel free to ask if you don’t understand any of these terms). The Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, removed the troops, ended Reconstruction, ushered in Jim Crow, and the following year passed the Posse Comitatus Act which guaranteed the Federal Troops would never return.
Those racist Democrats began shifting to the Republican Party as early as 1948 when Truman integrated the military and rushed to the Republican Party after Democrats (with some Republican help) passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. Throw in the Southern Strategy of Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes and Trump and the shift was complete. Republicans only hope of winning national elections anymore is by suppressing votes, hence their current (and only) strategy.
You should never attempt to lecture me on history, you don’t actually know it and can only cite propaganda pieces and I do, backwards and forwards.
Altering Senate rules to help in one political fight or another could become standard operating procedure, which, in my view, would be disastrous.”
President Biden has come out this week against the Senate filibuster as a “relic” of the Jim Crow era.
What is more likely, Biden has evolved on the rule, or he’s functioning as the title character in Weekend at Bernie’s? There is only one reason prominent Democrats that were previously opposing this rule change would consciously be for it: they have no intention of ever being in the minority again. They are making their final push to do at the federal level what California has done at the state level: One party control. If H.R.1 passes, then we’ll have just made Stalin’s Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything the law of the land. There’s two ways to unify a country: peacefully (voluntarily) or by force. Democrats know they will never unify this country voluntarily on policy. They are going all in by force.
Two black teenager girls carjack elderly Pakistani Uber driver, kill him in process. Warning, this video is gruesome
Anti Asian hate crime right? In DC our Capital. Why’re those soldiers there? To protect the government from Trump voters? Not a real problem. Here’s a real problem.
Watch for how they were running around looking for their iphones as the twisted corpse of their victim lay nearby
Calling out hypocrisy is useless when most people not only don’t know what the word hypocrisy means, but their idea of history is the number of likes they received over the past week on their social media post.
Everything is racist, so nothing is. Did the Democrats not learn about the boy who cried wolf?
The problem is not racism (which is practically non-existent except in the minds of racists like Al Sharpton) but rather party politics. Political parties are not addressed in the Constitution at all. The Constitution was designed to set up REPRESENTATIVE government, not government by political party, which is what this county has had since Abraham Lincoln took office and drove the Southern states out of the Union, then used the United States Army as a tool for his Republican party, a practice that continued for over a decade. If this country is going to survive – and it’s doubtful that it will – political parties are going to have to be abolished, eliminated and destroyed and government is going to have to become truly representative.
How exactly did Abraham Lincoln “drive” the Southern States out of the Union? South Carolina seceded on 20 December 1860, a almost three months before Lincoln was inaugurated. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed suite in January and February 1861, again before Lincoln took office. President Lincoln didn’t take any military action, other than directing Federal forces retain Federal military installations in the South until after South Carolina attacked Fort Sumter. Recommend you understand the history before you make such wild statements.
This is so simple to explain.
Pinky Reid, despite McConnell’s warning and plea, changed the Senate Rules an immediate advantage in a single political issue before the Senate.
That change came back and bit the Democrats squarely in the hind end during the Trump Years.
Now Schumer et al are wanting to change probably the most important Senate Rule extant despite the warnings and pleas of the Republicans.
What can go wrong the Democrats ask…..wait until 2022 when the Republicans take back both the House and the Senate….and there is no Filibuster Rule due to the Democrats short sightedness brought on by their blind rush to take over whelming power while they hold both Houses of Congress.
They should look back at Pinky Reid’s disastrous decision (for them anyway) and think about how it will look in the future for them when they are the Minority Party once again.
History….the real and unabridged history is there to learn from…..assuming one is a wise person.
If the Democrats gamble on remaining the Majority Party in 2022 and lose….if they end the Filibuster then they shall really lose should their calculations are all wrong.
Professor, thanks for the history lesson.
“But Biden is correct that some of the most abusive uses of the filibuster was by segregationists in the 1950s”
They were Democrats.
S. Meyer, that’s right, they were democrats. However they were still segregationists who relied on the filibuster because it helped their racist agenda. Today the “segregationists” of this era are now Republican and they have continued to abuse the filibuster to their advantage. Today it’s republicans who continue the “traditional” cultural ideas of past segregationists. The difference is it is more subtle and nuanced, but with Trump’s influence over the last four years they have become more open about still believing in the ideas segregationists perpetrated.
Republicans have abused the filibuster the most and it really isn’t a requirement that the filibuster be kept. It’s not in the constitution and while it was meant to protect the minority party it is more about protecting the racist minority’s objection to the majority who prefers a broader inclusivity to all.
The filibuster should be gone. It allows for legislation to move forward. Republicans can still debate bills, they just won’t be able to rely on the filibuster just to obstruct legislation that clearly the majority has every right to pass. It’s the whole point of being in the majority. They got the most votes, therefore they have the right to pass laws they choose. The very same thing can apply to republicans if they win back the senate.
Republicans just don’t like the idea that their agendas or ideas won’t pass. They don’t like the prospect of not being able to do much about what the majority who rightly won the right to implement their policies. If they don’t like it, win back the majority. It’s pretty simple. Then the democrats will be in the same position. Voters decide whether these ideas work or not by voting out the party during the next election.
It’s not that Republicans – who account for the majority of Americans outside of California and New York – are afraid their agenda won’t pass, they’re afraid Democrats will vote in a totalitarian dictatorship.
Where’s your proof that “Republicans have abused the filibuster the most?”
Anonymous, aka S. Meyer,
“ The kind of filibuster we have today — in which, for example, Senator Mitch McConnell introduced a bill and then immediately filibustered it to prevent it from passing — barely qualifies as farce.”
Clearly republicans have been abusing it not because of debate, but for pure obstruction.
Svelaz, my initials appear at the bottom of my replies to you. I don’t think what you say has validity or thought put into what you say. Therefore, intelligent debate with you is impossible so I use my initials so people can throw my response out without reading. They can judge your named responses any way they wish.
“Clearly republicans have been abusing it “
You missed the important point of the discussion. There is no doubt the filibuster has been misused by everyone but its benefits outweigh its faults.
Anonymous SM, the filibuster’s supposed benefits are no longer useful. Republican’s constant abuse of the procedure has made it into a tool purely to obstruct. Couching the issue that “everyone” abuses it is a poor attempt at watering down the truth that republicans are the ones who abuse it the most.
If the filibuster ends up being removed or heavily modified republicans will have only themselves to blame. Their own abuses created the need to get rid of it.
“Anonymous SM, the filibuster’s supposed benefits are no longer useful. “
What was their original use for? Why are they no longer useful today.
Check out Harry Reid’s actions.
Anonymous SM, “ What was their original use for? Why are they no longer useful today.”
The original use was for debating a bill endlessly as an effort to prevent a vote. Essentially an obstruction. Originally there was no rule on how to end it. So in 1917 that year the Senate adopted a rule to allow a two-thirds majority to end a filibuster, a procedure known as “cloture.” In 1975 the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds of senators voting to three-fifths of all senators duly chosen and sworn, or 60 of the 100-member Senate.”
“Filibusters proved to be particularly useful to southern senators who sought to block civil rights legislation, including anti-lynching bills. Not until 1964 did the Senate successfully overcome a filibuster to pass a major civil rights bill.“
Today senators don’t have to speak for hours to block legislation. They just have to claim it. All just to obstruct everything one may not like.
“The original use was for debating a bill endlessly as an effort to prevent a vote.”
Wrong. Remember, the filibuster can be broken if enough Senators vote against it. Negotiations peel away support for the filibuster and leads to a more consensus opinion. It also slows things down so boiling temperatures can cool off. In less than 4 years all those Senators are up for reelection.
“ “The original use was for debating a bill endlessly as an effort to prevent a vote.”
Wrong. Remember, the filibuster can be broken if enough Senators vote against it. ”
Here’s an excerpt from the senate’s own website regarding the original use of the filibuster.
“ The Senate tradition of unlimited debate has allowed for the use of the filibuster, a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question. ”
The ORIGINAL use of the filibuster prior to 1917 didn’t allow for an end to the debate until the person filibustering actually stopped.
In a few rare instances it did end up building a consensus, but it was and still is rare. Today it’s used as a means to obstruct just as it did prior to changes in 1917.
“Here’s an excerpt from the senate’s own website regarding the original use of the filibuster.”
Svelaz, I get the point. You don’t like consensus. You like authoritarian government where consensus is not necessary.
“Today the “segregationists” of this era are now Republican”
As you really know. There is no political Party in this country that espouses segregationist views. Which is why you made the statement while providing no proof of your allegation.
So that makes you either a liar, or an extremely ignorant person.
Which is it?
WTF, actually there is. You seem to be either oblivious to American history or just plain ignorant about it.
It was southern democrats who opposed the 1964 civil rights act. Democrats in the north actually supported the civil rights act. It was southern democrats who filibustered the 1964 civil rights act for 60 days until democrats in the north joined moderate republicans in breaking it.
Because they couldn’t accept the fact that democrats in the north supported the legislation many switched parties to Republican. This is why the racist democrats of the south are now the racist republicans of today. These are the same people with the same beliefs they have always had. The only thing that changed was their party affiliation which is why today’s republicans are more associated with the racist and bigoted beliefs they had when they identified as democrats.
“Because they couldn’t accept the fact that democrats in the north supported the legislation many switched parties to Republican.”
A total fabrication which is clearly evidenced by the fact that Democrats still dominated State legislatures in the deep South for decades after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed.
Also, the switch over to Republican majorities in many of the Southern States did not occur because existing Democratic Party politicians “switched parties to Republicans”. Less than one percent of segregationist Democrat officeholders ever switched to the GOP. It was because the voters gradually began electing Republicans, instead of Democrats. The primary reason for that was because of the Democrats tax and spend policies combined with the fact that the Democrats took the Southern voters for granted, and assumed that they would always remain lever pulling Democrats.
That was a big mistake, and so they lost their majorities in the Southern States. It had nothing to do with segregation (which was long gone),had nothing to do with race, and it occurred over a long period of time. Alabama’s legislature was majority Democrat in both Houses until 2010.
So in summation. You have no idea WTF you’re talking about.
BTW, I have never been a member of any political Party. I’m just a small l libertarian who loves liberty and freedom, and cannot stand statism and statists..
WTF, you forget that it was the democratic leaderships of the south who switched. They were the ones opposing the civil rights act. Because the leadership switched many who supported them switched too. They are the same people whose beliefs were still deeply embedded with the ideas of segregation. Today it is the Republican Party and it’s especially prevalent in the south.
Just because segregation is long gone doesn’t mean the sentiment is still there. Those ideas don’t just stop because segregation is no longer acceptable or legal. The ideas, the sentiment are still very much a part of the culture down south. It’s not as prominent as it once was. That’s the only difference.
Many get offended at the fact that today’s republicans in the south are just the same democrats who had the same ideas. Not all republicans are racist, but the denial that they are associated with bigotry and racism is factual and can be traced directly to the history of treating blacks as property or as inferior. The fact that it took this long for Mississippi to change its flag is a testament to that uncomfortable reality of history.
Svelaz, once again. Less than 1% of Democrats switched Parties.
Further, the Democrats were still the dominant Party in the South until 2010,
That was 46 years after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. So unsurprisingly you are confusing a false narrative (aka/ propaganda) with reality.
LBJ and his Great Society did more damage to black Americans than any President in US history. But it was great for the Democratic Party. Because by creating his welfare State Johnson managed to create a Democrat lever pulling voter base made up of black Americans that lasts to this day.
But it is eroding rapidly, and Corn Pop and an Indian Prosecutor is not going to help that from continuing.
A few facts and a video that will expand on the facts. Svelaz doesn’t know his history and almost never gets his facts straight.
“Republicans actually became competitive in the South as early as 1928, when Republican Herbert Hoover won over 47 percent of the South’s popular vote”
“Democratic senators who opposed the Civil Rights Act, just one became a Republican. The other 20 continued to be elected as Democrats, or were replaced by other Democrats. On average, those 20 seats didn’t go Republican for another two-and-a-half decades.”
“The truth is, Republicans didn’t hold a majority of southern congressional seats until 1994, 30 years after the Civil Rights Act.”
S. Meyer, you keep confusing party affiliations with change in ideology.
Those democratic senators who opposed the civil rights act were from the south. They were still the same racist bigoted democrats from the south who eventually became republicans according to your own evidence. I never said they all switched in one fell swoop. What is true according to your own proof is that the very same racists and bigots eventually switched parties because the democrats from the north outnumbered those from the south. Republicans were becoming more conservative and aligned with their beliefs hence the switch and eventual association with racism and bigotry.
You seem to have a knack for providing evidence that refutes your own arguments.
Svelaz, you make no sense. Apparently you didn’t bother with the substance of the video that provided fact, not the fiction you engage with on a regular basis.
“They were still the same racist bigoted democrats from the south who eventually became republicans according to your own evidence.”
One southern Democrat became a Republican. The rest remained Democrat.
Your understanding of the dates and everything else involved in this discussion is faulty. Today, you and the rest of the Woke left treat blacks as dependents. There is no significant difference between people based on race. Though there are some genetic differences more prevalent in some races than in others we are basically the same. You want to make them different. To me, that makes you a racist.
Anonymous SM, “ One southern Democrat became a Republican. The rest remained Democrat.”
You continue to be unable to grasp the concept you think you understand.
“ Democratic dominance of the South originated in the struggle of white Southerners during and after Reconstruction (1865–1877) to reestablish white supremacy and disenfranchise blacks. The U.S. government under the Republican Party had defeated the Confederacy, abolished slavery, and enfranchised blacks. In several states, black voters were a majority or close to it. Republicans supported by blacks controlled state governments in these states. Thus the Democratic Party became the vehicle for the white supremacist “Redeemers”. The Ku Klux Klan, as well as other insurgent paramilitary groups such as the White League and Red Shirts from 1874, acted as “the military arm of the Democratic party” to disrupt Republican organizing, and intimidate and suppress black voters.
By 1876, “Redeemer” Democrats had taken control of all state governments in the South. From then until the 1960s, state and local government in the South was almost entirely monopolized by Democrats. The Democrats elected all but a handful of U.S. Representatives and Senators, and Democratic presidential candidates regularly swept the region – from 1880 through 1944, winning a cumulative total of 182 of 187 states. The Democrats reinforced the loyalty of white voters by emphasizing the suffering of the South during the war at the hands of “Yankee invaders” under Republican leadership, and the noble service of their white forefathers in “the Lost Cause”. This rhetoric was effective with many Southerners.”
Those democrats who didn’t switch parties are the same people who continue those ideals as republicans today.
“ Today, you and the rest of the Woke left treat blacks as dependents. ”
You’re confusing left wokeness with Republican perceptions of blacks.
Republicans are the ones always calling blacks welfare queens, freeloaders, lazy, wanting to live on government handouts, etc.
As usual you have no real concept of what racism is just as you apply Marxist, socialist, or communist labels to things not associated with the terms.
“Those democrats who didn’t switch parties are the same people who continue those ideals as republicans today.”
Svelaz. you are an idiot. Almost all those people you talk about are dead today and died as proud Democrats.
“You’re confusing left wokeness with Republican perceptions of blacks.”
I’m not a Republican, but I believe in being color-blind. You believe that color is an important factor as to who a man is. You are a racist.
“S. Meyer, that’s right, they were democrats.”
Like JF you look at the problem in an unprincipled fashion that changes based on the political game you are playing. The reason behind the filibuster is to gain consensus and not have the country’s policy continuously election after elections which as most realize is devastating for the country.
Like JF you demonize people for supporting a policy that has little or nothing to do with racism today. It has to do with good government (in the past used by Democrats for the wrong reason) but that is due to your lack of critical thinking skills and your unprincipled positions.
“minority’s objection to the majority”
That statement demonstrates your continuous lack of knowledge of history and philosophy including the founding of our nation, the one you live in, but not the one you like. It’s hopeless to discuss these things with you for what you bring to the table are words based on your wants, not principles
S. Meyer, “ The reason behind the filibuster is to gain consensus and not have the country’s policy continuously election after elections which as most realize is devastating for the country.”
What does “…have the country’s policy continuously election after elections…” mean. It makes no sense.
The original makeup of the filibuster rule may have been a way to gain consensus. But the current incarnation is nothing of the sort. It’s all about obstruction. Racist southern democrats who are today’s republicans used it to obstruct the civil rights act of 1964. The filibuster was a tool to be used rarely and that was the case until it was used to block legislation that gave minorities and blacks some semblance of equality.
Today it’s used entirely as a means to obstruct legislation. It’s not about debating an issue.
Our nation was founded by slave owners who believed blacks were property to be traded and sold like cattle. In the south that belief was especially beneficial for wealthy land owners who could make a lot of money for the free labor.
There are other ways for the minority to object besides relying on the filibuster. It’s become a tool for racist and bigoted lawmakers who cannot accept the concept of blacks having real influential power. Jim Crow laws were created specifically because of the enactment of the civil rights act. The very same ideas and rationalizations used back then are used today. Just with a different flavor.
You like many here don’t really want to confront the reality of what racism really is. It’s not just about hurling racist insults and direct calls about blacks not allowed to do certain things. It’s an ongoing attitude about labeling them as not deserving because of years of deliberate stereotypes.
You don’t want to discus these issues because you will have to either confront an uncomfortable truth or admit a certain ignorance about the issue.
Intelligent people are able to figure out that a word was left out. You couldn’t which tells us more about you than me. The sentence should read: “have the country’s policy continuously *change( election after elections…” I won’t bother to go into the details as to how important that is because you wouldn’t understand them.
In any event consensus is important and there are other ways the Senate can get around that problem if they wish to.
The uncomfortable position you are in is that the Democrats were the slave owners, they obstructed the civil rights movement and now they have placed blacks on a new type of plantation as serfs to the Democrat Party. As we have seen many are starting to understand this type of racism Democrats are promoting. Color-blind was formerly the objective but to today’s Democrat color means everything. You have created a stereotype for blacks that without your help they can’t do anything. In essence that is your racism speaking.
Anonymous SM, “ In any event consensus is important and there are other ways the Senate can get around that problem if they wish to.”
That’s right, and one of them is to get rid of the filibuster.
So what if policies continuously change election after election. That’s the whole point of elections. To try out policies, even bad ones. Giving policies a real chance to be enacted gives voters a real taste of what politicians claim. Maybe the policies democrats produce end up being beneficial, the same can be said about Republican policies. If one isn’t working or needs to be adjusted it can be done with input from both parties or further debated. A filibuster today is nothing more than a tool to stop a policy that might actually be good and republicans fear that more because it forces voters to really scrutinize past claims from republicans and democrats alike.
“ Democrats were the slave owners, they obstructed the civil rights movement and now they have placed blacks on a new type of plantation as serfs to the Democrat Party.”
You’re right, with one exception, it was southern democrats who did that. You keep skipping over that inconvenient fact because democrats in the north did not support the ideas and beliefs that he democrats in the south espoused.
And as you pointed out before those very same southern democrats ended up switching their party affiliation to Republican. You can’t seem to grasp the concept that those people didn’t just stop being racist or bigoted because they suddenly switched parties. Those ideas and attitudes still exist and unfortunately they are now associated with the Republican Party of today.
All you keep demonstrating about yourself is that you don’t know how to really characterize racism at all. You’ve never been subjected to it. Criticism of racism isn’t racism, but that seems to be your take on it. An inability to make a distinction is your biggest roadblock to understanding.
>>”Anonymous SM, “ In any event consensus is important and there are other ways the Senate can get around that problem if they wish to.”
>”That’s right, and one of them is to get rid of the filibuster. So what if policies continuously change election after election.
I guess you have proven yourself more ignorant than I could have done. Yes, policies change but if they change with every election then trouble is ahead. Consensus is what a Democratic Constitutional Republic seeks and that is why the minority was protected.
“All you keep demonstrating about yourself is that you don’t know how to really characterize racism at all. You’ve never been subjected to it.”
You are an idiot. I’ve faced racism and my family has faced racism. Much of the family is dead because of racism. You are the type of person that accelerates racism and you are too ignorant to realize it. Today the Democrats no longer seek a color-blind society. They no longer have that liberal ideology that protects individual rights.
Anonymous SM, “ Yes, policies change but if they change with every election then trouble is ahead. ”
What trouble are you referring to?
That a policy may not work? That it may work? If there is “trouble ahead” the next congress can fix it or adjust it, or get rid of it. Nothing says a policy has to be permanent. You can change the second amendment, even the first. They are called amendments for a reason.
Maybe the prospect of constantly changing policies or legislation forces those making them to be more thorough with them. Instead of outright obstruction. Progress will be a thing in congress again.
“What trouble are you referring to?”
Svelaz, you can’t see the problem? I can lead you to water but you have to take the effort to drink it. You have left yourself totally uneducated.
“because democrats in the north did not support the ideas and beliefs that he democrats in the south espoused.”
Another total and complete fallacy.
Can you answer this question?
After the surrender was signed at Appomattox, in how many Northern States was slavery still legal?
WTF, slavery was still legal all over the country after the surrender. But within 6 months the 13th amendment was ratified.
Just because slavery was legal in some northern states doesn’t mean it was fully supported. Just as lynching was still legal (on paper) in the south until just recently. Lynching was still legal in Georgia until this year.
Cancel history? Democrats and progressives are like the girl in “50 First Dates.”
The blatant hypocrisy in this political climate is really angering me and the constant in-your-face immoral playing of the race card is causing my head to explode!
Buster Cherry came to DC from Philadelphia.
His first nickname was Philly Buster. That’s the long and the short of it.
Hypocrisy a strange word for you to use Professor. It’s MCCONNELL who is loudly proclaiming that there are no racist overtones to the filibuster.
The filibuster needs to go.
Then you wouldn’t like it whatsoever when Republicans control both houses, and ram every single thing based on the strictest
“Conservative Values” down you and your ilks throat. I would be happy happy happy for that. Because America was not founded to flourish under the extreme far left “progressivism” we see today. In closing, I can see that you are another one devoid of actual history and devoid of any and all historical references. An ignorant child of instant, “gratification.”
Oh look! An a**h***!
It’s so very easy to mentally, severely spank ones like you. Because you and your ilk have such low “historical IQ”, and your not well read whatsoever.
If McConnell had announced when Trump was in the White House and Republicans controlled the House and Senate that he was going to eliminate the filibuster because Democrats used it to further their explicitly racist politics from 1787 to about 1965, that you would have supported that?
THE DEM’s, Washington Political Elite and the blood suckers$$$$ who live off these Corrupt Elite and Gov,t contracts/giveaways and etc. don’t care all they want is POWER and MORE POWER and $$$$$$. Biden has no idea where he is other than saying he is the modern day FDR and is the tool of the Political Elite and others. The MEDIA doesn’t care they are the stooges of the DEM’s and their bosses are within the Elite. The USA is a great country and some very good people there will come a time and a point the Voters, if allowed in a Fair election, will clean house of the corrupt power hungry Dem’s and Nutty Left Wing Interest groups & Woke Crowd.
To document hypocrisy you need an historical record. That is one reason why the Left is trying to cancel and delete it.
Bingo. The left gets away with a lot because they know that the garden-variety American is a mentally lazy individual. Like them. They have that in common. And it pains me to say this but the majority of my own fellow conservatives are mentally lazy. They will not go to the trouble to spend time in verification and spend time educating themselves on actual historical fact. No, even they are like so many on the progressive left when it comes to being a child of, “Instant political gratification.”
“…listening becomes a habit, and the words that they hear they accept rashly, even though no sense can be had from them (for such are the kind of words invented by teachers to hide their own ignorance) and they say them, believing that they are saying something when they say nothing.”
Thomas Hobbes, De Cive
(music to tune of Sam Stone)
Jim Crow. Came home.
To his wife and family!
After serving in Washington Dee Sea.
And the time that he’d served…
Had shattered all his verbs.
And left a lot of syphlis in his wee.
All politicians lie, but the Dems are making lying central to their philosophy.
Watch the Lefty bloggers come back with “But Trump lied”.
Yes he did.
And you screamed loadly then.
Now Trump is gone and we have another liar in the WH.
Time for the Lefties to speak up now or acknowledge that lying is only bad when Trump does it.
Most politicians lie to be sure, but Trump is in a class by himself. I know you disagree, but I will only change my opinion at the point of a gun.
The Golden Golem of Greatness will haunt you forevermore Silver-man.
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