Warren Goes There

Yesterday I wrote that “If Dems are ever again in control of both houses of Congress, watch them end the Senate filibuster, ban gerrymandering nationwide, and institute all kinds of judicial and election reforms.”

Liz Warren has started that ball rolling already. She said this in a speech today:

For generations, the filibuster was used as a tool to block progress on racial justice. And in recent years, it’s been used by the far right as a tool to block progress on everything.

I’ve only served one term in the Senate — but I’ve seen what’s happening. We all saw what they did to President Obama. I’ve watched Republicans abuse the rules when they’re out of power, then turn around and blow off the rules when they’re in power.

We saw it happen again just this week. Republicans spent years — years — exploiting the rules to slow down or block President Obama’s mainstream judges and executive nominees. But now that they’re in power, they’re unilaterally changing those rules to speed them up and ram through President Trump’s extremist nominees.

So let me be as clear as I can about this. When Democrats next have power, we should be bold: We are done with two sets of rules — one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats.

And that means when Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama, and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems in this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster.

Paul Waldman argues that Republicans have more to lose than Democrats if the filibuster is ended.

Consider the first two years of the Trump administration, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. A Democrat might say, “Imagine what they would have done without the filibuster!” The truth, however, is that they would have done almost exactly what they did do. Their top priority was a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, which they passed using reconciliation, which requires only 50 votes. They tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act but failed to get 50 votes to do so. And that was about the entirety of their ambitious goals.

It isn’t that there weren’t some other things they wanted to do. But they knew that doing them would be politically disastrous. If there were no filibuster, they could outlaw abortion, for instance, but it would be political suicide. So the filibuster actually helps the GOP, by providing an easy excuse for why it doesn’t do the extreme things its base wants.

Democrats, on the other hand, are the party that believes government should do big things to make people’s lives better. So they are almost always going to be the ones proposing ambitious and popular legislation that will be blocked by the filibuster, meaning that it is inherently more restrictive on them than it is on Republicans.

I don’t think Dems have a choice but to end the filibuster if they ever take back the Senate.They’d be fools not to, even knowing that some time in the future it could come back to bite them. If progress isn’t made there may not be a future.

See also: Warren hits it out of the park

14 thoughts on “Warren Goes There

  1. It's a long ways to take the Senate, and of course the country will change radically when it happens. I'm a lot interested in taking out their powerful general who controls it: Mitch McConnell. I don't know who from the Rs would take over were he gone. I see him as the equivalent of our General Pelosi in the House. As Hunter Thompson memorably said "cut off the head and the body will die".

    Elizabeth Warren is hitting all the right notes for me. She's like Pete Buttigieg, articulate, and can clearly and effortlessly say what needs to be said. Ditto for AOC. At long last we finally have some clear throated speakers to say the message clearly, forcefully and get it out. And not just one.

  2. "And that means when Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama, and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems in this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster."

    First she says "if", of course McTurtle will put small-minded partisanship ahead of solving problems? Second McConnell has sort of already eliminated the filibuster for judges, just last week he changed the rules to all but eliminate debate time for judges? If the filibuster is such an effective tool for the minority to thwart the majorities overreach why are Warren and her democratic colleges not using it now?  Why talk about eliminating the filibuster when your back in the majority, use it now to prevent Trump from packing the courts? Those are  the questions I would ask Warren.

      • Waldman's argument is in my opinion a bit weak? " So the filibuster actually helps the GOP, by providing an easy excuse for why it doesn’t do the extreme things its base wants"? That argument goes both ways doesn't it? I think the filibuster should be fully reinstated and codified by law so the majority can't fuck with it. If the the flibuster is gone the senate becomes the house, with more old white dudes representing lss poeople as apercentage of the nations population. The senate favors less populated, white rual states, Montana has as much power in the senate as New York or California, eliminating the filibuster would only increase the right-wings power, wouldn't it?

  3. If we have tRUMP beyond 2020, our future will be a dystopian one.

    Kind of like "We" and "1984" meet "The Handmaid's Tale," then bump into a Soma-less "Brave New World" on their road to the "Animal Farm."

    Not a whole lotta fun in any of 'em!


    And yeah, it's way past time to end the damn filibuster!

    Let ALL of the world see our conservatives/Republicans for they are:          A collection of bigoted old (mostly) men, hell-bent on stopping progress lest they lose the privilege, power, and the money they believe is due them!   

    Time to melt these precious snowflakes!!!

    • …then bump into a Soma-less “Brave New World”

      not quite. Enter the site, scroll down and watch the video. Coming to a state near you.

  4. moonbat,

    I didn't get high for over 20 years – ok, maybe a few times in there, somewhere…

    But I have been chewing weed (I can't smoke it like I once did because of my heart and lung situation) for over a year now, and love it – even though it's still not legal in Upstate NY.

    It's something I do for myself here in the Assisted Dyin…  Assisted LIVing facility I'm in, to make my life a bit more pleasant.  And it also helps kill the pain, so I use a lot less painkillers!  To a person in my physical and mental position, it's a necessary luxury.  But it's an expensive necessary luxury.

    So I'm waiting for it be legal and sold in stores like this so that I can buy a consistent product at a competitive price, and not buy what's available from the guy I usually use, and have no idea of it's quality until I drive away with it.

    Sadly, he doesn't have a "satisfaction guarantee."  And what am I gonna do?  Sue him? ?  Yeah…

    Now, all I need is a little of this, ?, or a tab of ?, and I can go back to the youth I can't remember, thanks to way too much ??? and tabs of ?.  ?

    • I don't smoke it either for the same reasons. Edibles are the way to go. I've read that the senior population is the fastest growing segment for cannabis consumption. It's great being able to walk into a store and buy it, like beer. Except that it has very real medicinal qualities, of particular appeal to seniors.

  5. Whoooops!!!

    I forgot that I can't post emoji's on maha's site, so the joke I was trying to make with them didn't just fall flat, it never had the chance!

    Let me try to rewrite the end:

    "Now, all I need is a little of this (beer stein's clanking), or this (emoji of plant leaf) some of this (mushroom emoji), and a tab of (emoji of sunshine – get it?  LSD), and I can go back to the youth I don't remember, thanks to too much (beer, pot, 'shrooms) and tabs of (Sunshine acid)."

    Funny, right?

    Ehh…  Not really, when you have to read a sight gag…

     Oh well (emoji of a face, sighing)…

  6. It's also great drinking it.

    My preferred method is hot tea & pot mixed half-and-half with whatever tea I'm into at the time, some lemon, and voila!

  7. For years now, republicans have exploited every rule, exception or any available gap they can get away with for maximum advantage in order to win.  In damn near all cases there was nothing illegal about changes they made to avoid rules, just violation of or ignoring tradition and process.  The last straw should have been when McConnell prevented Obama's pick for the SC to be allowed a vote.  Tradition said he should have, but there was no rule that required it.

    Instead of working with McConnell on those wingnut judges, Schumer should have made every effort to gum up the works at least instead of working with McConnell to get those nutcases confirmed.  There's just no point in respecting these processes and traditions as democrats tend to do for the purpose of a achieving a "bipartisanship" that no longer exists. 

    "Bringing the parties together" is always a requirement democrats convince themselves is what voters want, or they allow to be forced on them by concern trolling media or republicans.  The voters want to get the stuff they need done, and that won’t happen with a GOP that’s not interested.  Obama fell into that trap and when republicans didn't work with him, they made him take responsibility for it. 

    Democrats putting tradition and "process" ahead of leveraging to their advantage whatever rules exits is battling the GOP with butter knives as they whale away with machine guns.  Its foolish.

  8. good afternoon,


    we are trying to contact you following one of your articles on thoughtco.  

    i couldnt find a contact email there, or on your blog, 

    what would be the most convenient way to ask you a few questions?

    thank you in advance for your attention,


  9. trump: I will hire the BEST people, only the best people.  So far, he has hired the mediocre; and, it is downhill from here.  America has become the cruelest, most inhumane country in the world under trump.  All trump voters apparently have no hearts and seem to approve of this cruelty and inhumanity and stealing babies from the arms of their parents.  He is the most horrible, despicable, cruel, inhumane–to quote a local here at the blog–BOS.  Thanks, Swami.  There is no point in hoping he will die of a heart attack because this borg, known as trump has NO heart!  Oh, whoa, is America.  And, all his supporters are going to burn in hell if they believe in hell.

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