Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

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lennygoran
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Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:41 am

How Disappointing


Opinion: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster


Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, represents Arizona in the U.S. Senate.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... eople-act/

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:52 am

Sinema asks three very important questions in her essay. Here they are:
To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?

To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to expand health-care access or retirement benefits: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to later see that legislation replaced by legislation dividing Medicaid into block grants, slashing earned Social Security and Medicare benefits, or defunding women’s reproductive health services?

To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to empower federal agencies to better protect the environment or strengthen education: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see federal agencies and programs shrunk, starved of resources, or abolished a few years from now?
I'm not smart enough to answer those questions to my own satisfaction right now, but I maintain that they deserve intensive debate and scrutiny by all of us, and should be speedily debated by those who know more than I do.

We don't have much time left before these questions become moot.

Rach3
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:09 am

Per Wiki:

"During the 116th Congress, she voted with President Donald Trump's position roughly 25% of the time, the third-most of any Democratic senator."

Appears she's up for re-election in 2024.

Rach3
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:16 am

maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:52 am
I'm not smart enough to answer those questions to my own satisfaction right now, but I maintain that they deserve intensive debate and scrutiny by all of us, and should be speedily debated by those who know more than I do.
We don't have much time left before these questions become moot.
Nor I, but seems all she's concerned about will occur anyway if GOP controls both Houses of Congress after 2022 or 2024, as GOP will no doubt try to do away with fillibuster if needed to pass their agenda. In the meantime, no progressive agenda gets passed, and GOP does not then have to explain to American people, in 2022 or 2024, why the GOP wants to repeal progressive legislation polls show most Americans want passed now.

lennygoran
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:21 am

maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:52 am
I'm not smart enough to answer those questions to my own satisfaction right now, but I maintain that they deserve intensive debate and scrutiny by all of us, and should be speedily debated by those who know more than I do.
Brian the trouble is there won't even be a debate if McConnell has his way. Regards, Len :(

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:52 am

lennygoran wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:21 am
maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:52 am
I'm not smart enough to answer those questions to my own satisfaction right now, but I maintain that they deserve intensive debate and scrutiny by all of us, and should be speedily debated by those who know more than I do.
Brian the trouble is there won't even be a debate if McConnell has his way. Regards, Len :(
Actually, Len, McConnell cannot stop debate while we're in the majority, even though he can block bills. Right now, Chuck Schumer controls what bills come up and thus which subjects get debated.

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:53 am

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:16 am
maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:52 am
I'm not smart enough to answer those questions to my own satisfaction right now, but I maintain that they deserve intensive debate and scrutiny by all of us, and should be speedily debated by those who know more than I do.
We don't have much time left before these questions become moot.
Nor I, but seems all she's concerned about will occur anyway if GOP controls both Houses of Congress after 2022 or 2024, as GOP will no doubt try to do away with filibuster if needed to pass their agenda. In the meantime, no progressive agenda gets passed, and GOP does not then have to explain to American people, in 2022 or 2024, why the GOP wants to repeal progressive legislation polls show most Americans want passed now.
Yes, that's how I see things as well. I'm just as frustrated as you are.

lennygoran
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:53 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:52 am
lennygoran wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:21 am

Actually, Len, McConnell cannot stop debate while we're in the majority, even though he can block bills. Right now, Chuck Schumer controls what bills come up and thus which subjects get debated.
Brian are you sure about this? Regards, Len :(


'Are you afraid to debate?': GOP prepares to block voting rights bill in Senate test vote
The Democrats’ expansive bill is all but certain to be rejected Tuesday, providing a dramatic example of Republicans’ use of the filibuster to block legislation

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/polit ... 2106220094

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:21 pm

Absolutely.

Schumer has the right to bring the bill up for a vote. All McConnell can do is herd all the Republicans to vote against it, putting them on record for their anti-democracy stance.

If McConnell had his way, the bill wouldn't even come up, but he has no choice right now.

Rach3
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:09 pm

Sargent in WAPO today points our Sinema’s naïveté .State GOP majorities are already in 2020 and 2021 steamrolling minority voters in GOP States by enacting the very voter suppression State election laws she fears the National GOP might pass on the National level in 2022 or 2024 if Dems dont have a filibuster to use themselves to protect their minority in the US Congress in 2022 ,2024.In other words, unless National filibuster eliminated now so Dems can pass Federal election laws now overruling the new GOP State election laws , lack of a filibuster in 2022 or 2024 may be a meaningless fact.Sure, GOP in 2022,2024, without a Dem filibuster available, could repeal any new Federal laws Dems could pass now in 2021 if filibuster repealed, but at least in 2020,2024 Dems would have a fighting chance at the State level they wont have now with all the new GOP voter suppression State laws.If Dems can win more States, their new 2021 Federal law might survive and the new GOP suppression State laws be changed, too.

One in the hand rather than expecting GOP bipartisanship ever seems the better bet.Trust the voters or the McConnells.

lennygoran
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:10 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:21 pm
Schumer has the right to bring the bill up for a vote.
Brian I was talking about debating the bill and now at least that can happen. Regards, Len



Manchin supports advancing the For the People Act, but it still faces a filibuster.



The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to begin debate on a proposal that will reform U.S. elections. All 50 Senate Republicans oppose the measure and are expected to filibuster the bill.CreditCredit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia said Tuesday he would vote to open debate on Democrats’ signature voting rights bill, uniting the party in the face of certain defeat as Republicans vow to block the legislation from advancing.

Mr. Manchin, who had been the sole Democratic holdout on the measure, last week released a wish list of substantial changes to the bill, including eliminating provisions that would create a public campaign financing program and neuter state voter identification laws. Democrats signaled they were open to incorporating his proposals.

“These reasonable changes have moved the bill forward and to a place worthy of debate on the Senate floor,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement released by his office Tuesday afternoon. “This process would allow both Republicans and Democrats to offer amendments to further change the bill. Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues refused to allow debate of this legislation despite the reasonable changes made to focus the bill on the core issues facing our democracy.”

All 50 Senate Republicans oppose the measure and are expected to vote against taking it up. Under the Senate’s filibuster rule, it takes 60 votes to advance a measure over senators’ objections.

President Biden on Tuesday urged the Senate to pass the voting rights bill and “send it to my desk.”

“We can’t sit idly by while democracy is in peril — here, in America,” Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter. “We need to protect the sacred right to vote and ensure ‘We the People’ choose our leaders, the very foundation on which our democracy rests.”

The doomed Democratic effort to pass sweeping federal voting rights legislation comes as Republican-led states rush to enact restrictive voting laws, Democrats have presented the legislation as the party’s best chance to undo them, expand ballot access and limit the impact of special interests on the political process.

“We can argue what should be done to protect voting rights and safeguard our democracy, but don’t you think we should be able to debate the issue?” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said on Monday in a last-ditch appeal to Republicans to let the bill proceed.

Mr. Schumer is left with one option to try to pass the legislation: blowing up the legislative filibuster. Progressives, who have clamored to do so since Democrats won a narrow Senate majority in January, argued that the vote would help make their case. But a handful of moderates, led by Mr. Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, have rejected those appeals.

With the path forward so murky, top Democrats are framing Tuesday’s vote as a moral victory. The White House endorsed a compromise framework proposed last week by Mr. Manchin under the assumption that it would be enough to persuade him to vote yes.

“What we are measuring, I think, is: Is the Democratic Party united? We weren’t as of a couple of weeks ago,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said before acknowledging the vote would fail.

She suggested the outcome might “change the conversation on the Hill” around the filibuster, but offered no clear next steps.

Mr. Manchin opposed key planks in the original For the People Act as too intrusive into the rights of states to regulate their elections. His proposal would eliminate a public campaign financing program and put in place a national voter identification requirement while expanding what documents voters can present as proof of identify.

But it would preserve other measures, like tough new ethics rules and an end to partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts. It would also expand early voting, make Election Day a federal holiday and make it easier to vote by mail.

On Monday, former President Barack Obama tepidly endorsed Mr. Manchin’s version as the best chance to pass a new federal voting law.

“The bill that’s going to be debated, including Senator Manchin’s changes, would address, as Eric mentioned, many of the concerns and issues that I was just discussing,” Mr. Obama said during a call with former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and supporters. “I’ll be honest, the bill doesn’t have everything I’d like to see in a voting rights bill. It doesn’t address every problem.”

Republicans are united in their opposition to both Democrats’ original bill and Mr. Manchin’s changes, describing them as poorly drafted and overly prescriptive.

“The real driving force behind S. 1 is the desire to rig the rules of American elections permanently, permanently in Democrats’ favor,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, referring to the measure by its bill number. “That’s why the Senate will give this disastrous proposal no quarter.”

— Nicholas Fandos and Reid J. Epstein


https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/22 ... biden-news

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:41 am

A Bill Destined to Fail May Now Spawn More Plausible Options

The For the People Act had little chance of testing the limits of what if anything is still possible in Washington. Oddly, it was so far from passage that it may provide some hope, because so many avenues remain to be pursued.

By Nate Cohn
June 23, 2021
Updated 6:25 a.m. ET

The demise of the For the People Act — the far-reaching voting rights bill that Republicans blocked in the Senate on Tuesday — will come as a crushing blow to progressives and reformers, who have portrayed the law as an essential tool for saving democracy.

But it was a flawed bill that had little chance of testing the limits of what if anything is still possible in Washington. Voting rights activists and Democratic lawmakers may even find that the collapse of this law opens up more plausible, if still highly unlikely, paths to reform.

The law, known as H.R. 1 or S. 1, was full of hot-button measures — from public financing of elections to national mail voting — that were only tangentially related to safeguarding democracy, and all but ensured its failure in the Senate. Its supporters insisted the law should set the floor for voting rights; in truth, it set the floor at the ceiling, by guaranteeing a level of voting access that would be difficult to surpass.

At the same time, reformers did not add provisions to tackle the most insidious and serious threat to democracy: election subversion, where partisan election officials might use their powers to overturn electoral outcomes.

Instead, it focused on the serious but less urgent issues that animated reformers at the time the bill was first proposed in 2019: allegations of corruption in the Trump administration, the rise of so-called dark money in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, or the spate of voter identification laws passed in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s election victories.

Even a cursory look at the effort by former President Donald J. Trump to subvert the 2020 election revealed a number of vulnerabilities in the electoral system, from the risk that a partisan election administrator might simply refuse to certify an unfavorable election result to the possibility that a vice president might choose not to count a certified electoral slate. None of those vulnerabilities were addressed.

Those concerns have only escalated over the last several months as Republicans have advanced bills that not only imposed new limits on voting, but also afforded the G.O.P. greater control over election administration. The new powers include the ability to strip secretaries of state of some of their authority and remove members of local election boards. The New York Times reported over the weekend how some Democrats on local boards in Georgia, including people of color, were losing their positions.

It’s true that the 2020 election and Mr. Trump’s unprecedented attempt to undermine it revealed the fragility of American democracy in different and more fundamental ways than even the most perspicacious legislator could have anticipated. Originally, the bill was seen as a “political statement,” a progressive “wish list” or a “messaging bill,” not as the basis for a realistic legislative effort.

It was not designed to appeal to the moderate Senate Democrats, who progressives nonetheless hoped would eliminate the filibuster even as they insisted on different proposals and a bipartisan approach.

Yet oddly, the bill was so far from passage that reformers still have cause for some semblance of hope. Nearly every stone was left unturned.

As a result, many other avenues for reform remain to be pursued. None seem likely to be enacted in today’s political climate. All are more plausible than the bill that died in the Senate on Tuesday.

One of those avenues emerged in the final days of the push for H.R. 1: a grand bargain, like the one recently suggested by Joe Manchin III, the moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia who provoked outrage among progressives when he said he would oppose the bill in its current form.


The Manchin compromise resembles H.R. 1 in crucial ways. It does not address election subversion any more than H.R. 1 does. And it still seeks sweeping changes to voting, ethics, campaign finance and redistricting law. But it offers Republicans a national voter identification requirement, while relenting on many of the provisions that provoke the most intense Republican opposition.

Mr. Manchin’s proposal nonetheless provoked intense Republican opposition. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri derided it as a “Stacey Abrams” bill. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader from Kentucky, appeared to suggest that no federal election law would earn his support.

More generally, it is hard to imagine how Republicans could be enticed to accept stringent limits on gerrymandering, given the lopsided partisan consequences of such a ban.

But the strategy behind the Manchin proposal could nonetheless serve as a basis for serious legislative efforts: Democrats can offer Republicans provisions they actually want on voting, like new photo identification requirements, and see what that buys them.

The willingness of Ms. Abrams, who leads the Georgia-based voting rights group Fair Fight, to support the Manchin compromise, despite its embrace of voter ID measures — an archetypal voter suppression provision — suggests that there may be room to explore options that might attract support from Republicans and haven’t previously been considered.

Another avenue is a version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would again subject Southern states to obtain federal clearance before making changes to their voting system — a requirement that a 2013 Supreme Court decision gutted.

Restoring the preclearance condition is of considerable symbolic significance, but it offers far less to reformers than the Manchin compromise. It does nothing to address the laws that Republicans have enacted this year. It would do little to protect against election subversion. It does not check Republican efforts outside the South. And it relies on the federal court system, which has a more limited view of the Voting Rights Act than reformers would like.

But unlike H.R. 1, restoring federal preclearance does have the support of Mr. Manchin and Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. Mr. Manchin also seemed willing to embrace a variety of largely unspecified changes that might make preclearance somewhat more amenable to the Republicans, including an objective test to determine whether jurisdictions should be subjected to or relieved from preclearance and limits on the power of the attorney general. It remains doubtful that any changes would attract significant Republican support, but it also remains untested.

A final avenue is an even narrower bill, comprising only provisions that attract bipartisan support. It remains to be seen whether even a single idea falls into this category. But many of the hypothesized proposals for addressing election subversion might have some chance to find Republican support, like reforms to the rules for counting electoral votes, and funding for election administration.

Other potential areas of agreement are a requirement for paper ballots; ballot chain-of-custody requirements; standards for certification of federal elections and establishing voter eligibility; and clarifying whether and when judges or local officials can defy a state legislature.

None of these proposals necessarily advantage either political party. All would have a chance to avoid the central, politicized debate over voter suppression and voting rights.

Realistically, even the most innocuous proposals would have a challenging path to passage. The window for bipartisan cooperation on these issues may have closed several months ago, as memories of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters were supplanted by politically charged fights over voting rights and voter suppression. Republicans have few incentives to support a bill, even if watered down considerably.

Yet all of these new avenues for reformers have something simple in common: They involve an earnest attempt to win 60 votes in the Senate, something that H.R. 1 did not. Many progressives scoff at the idea, but if moderate Democrats can be taken at their word, then reformers never had a choice but to at least try to find Republican support.

Voting rights activists on Tuesday called for a new push to ensure voting rights, and Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader from New York, pledged to keep fighting, calling the Senate vote “the starting gun, not the finish line.”

Perhaps reformers will surprise themselves and pull off a rare legislative win. More likely, their effort will fail and they can hope that their failure will demonstrate the impossibility of bipartisanship to Senate moderates, perhaps reopening the conversation about eliminating the filibuster.

Wherever the effort might end, a more realistic legislative push begins with an earnest effort to write a bill that is more responsive to the current threats to the system and is designed to win enough votes to pass.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/23/us/p ... e=Homepage

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:53 am

The Really Big Fight on Voting Rights Is Just Around the Corner

June 22, 2021
By Richard H. Pildes

Mr. Pildes has spent his career as a legal scholar analyzing the intersection of politics and law and how that affects our elections.

With the For the People Act on indefinite hold after a filibuster by Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday, the Voting Rights Act is about to return to center stage in Washington. The Supreme Court will soon decide a case on how a crucial part of the landmark law applies to voting laws challenged as racially discriminatory.

The country is already roiling with controversies over whether a variety of post-2020 state voting changes reflect legitimate policy concerns or racially discriminatory ones.

In Congress, Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski have turned a spotlight on the Voting Rights Act with their endorsement of a version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. It would reaffirm Congress’s central role in protecting the right to vote against racially discriminatory changes and give the Justice Department (or, in Mr. Manchin’s version, the federal courts) the critical power to approve changes that are legitimate and block those that are invidious.

The John Lewis Act might well offer the best chance of new national legislation protecting the right to vote in America, and its significance is best seen in historical context, especially that of two Supreme Court cases.

The John Lewis Act would restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act (Sections 4 and 5) that were effectively invalidated by the 2013 case Shelby County v. Holder. When enacted in 1965, these provisions identified certain parts of the country and put their voting systems under a regime of federal control. These areas had to submit voting changes to the federal government, which had the power to block a proposal if it would diminish minority voter power. The federal government does not normally have veto power over state laws, but Section 5 created one.

Congress identified those areas based on voting practices in 1964. This coverage formula mainly singled out the states where extensive disenfranchisement had been in effect since the turn of the 20th century — especially since a Supreme Court case from 1903, Giles v. Harris.

Plessy v. Ferguson, which had upheld segregation in 1896, is more widely known, but Giles might well be more important. Written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the majority opinion in Giles contains an extraordinary, chilling passage. The complaint “imports that the great mass of the white population intends to keep the blacks from voting,” he wrote. “Unless we are prepared to supervise the voting in that state by officers of the court, it seems to us that all that the plaintiff could get from equity would be an empty form.” What is shocking is both the court’s brutal realpolitik about the former Confederate states’ disenfranchisement of Black voters and its confession of impotence in the face of it.

Giles was the last gasp in the effort to stop the destruction of voting rights for Black citizens (and many poor white ones) that took place throughout the South from 1890 to 1908. As late as the 1890s, half of adult Black men voted in Southern gubernatorial elections. But with disenfranchisement, the effects were stark. In Louisiana, for example, half of registered voters, more than 130,000 people, were Black in 1896; by 1910, that had fallen to 730 men.

The court’s power to enforce its rulings comes down to the willingness of the other branches to step up and do so. In 1890, Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party withdrew support for a Federal Elections Bill, which signaled Congress’s abandonment of its commitment to protect Black voting rights in the South. When Congress finally enacted the Voting Rights Act, it required sending federal officials into parts of the South, as Justice Holmes anticipated, to take over the voter registration process.

Congress initially designed Section 5 to last for five years; it was renewed for five more years, then seven and, in 1982, for 25 years. In the early renewals, Congress updated the coverage formula to include elections from 1968 and 1972. But later renewals did not update the coverage formula.

The last time the full Congress considered Section 5 was in 2006. The areas of the country still covered then had not changed much since 1975; indeed, most had been covered since 1965. Still, when experts (including me) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006, we urged Congress to update the coverage formula. The failure to do so, we feared, would create a significant risk that the John Roberts-Anthony Kennedy court would hold this part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

But Congress had no interest in making those politically charged decisions — determining whether voting practices were more discriminatory today in Ohio, say, than in Virginia. It left the coverage status quo in place and renewed Section 5 for 25 more years.

In the Shelby County case, the Supreme Court said that the coverage formula was no longer tied to “current conditions” but that Congress could draft an updated formula.

That is precisely what the John Lewis Act aims to do. A version the House passed in 2019 would cover only those states that have had 15 or more voting-rights violations in the past 25 years (or 10 violations if one was at the state level). Coverage would end after 10 years if the state has a clean record. The period rolls, or continuously moves, so that the act would remain tied to conditions in those time frames.

The act faces an uphill battle in securing enough Republican votes for passage. But because it is the only legislation with any bipartisan support so far, it might be the most plausible route for now to bolster national voting-rights policy — and to help bring greater legitimacy to our election process.

Richard H. Pildes, a professor at New York University’s School of Law, is the author of the casebook “The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process” and the editor of “The Future of the Voting Rights Act.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/22/opin ... e=Homepage

Rach3
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:06 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:09 pm
One in the hand rather than expecting GOP bipartisanship ever seems the better bet.Trust the voters or the McConnells.
Nicholas Kristof in NYT today seems to agree:

"My own take is that we should get rid of the filibuster, simply because it reduces accountability. It’s better, I think, to have less paralysis and to let a dominant political party get things done, one way or the other. I recognize that I will disapprove of those things when Republicans are in power, but then democracy swings into action and voters will (I hope) hold officials accountable. But preventing either party from doing anything controversial, except through budget reconciliation, doesn’t seem a path either to effective governance or to accountability."

maestrob
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Re: Kyrsten Sinema: We have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster

Post by maestrob » Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:15 am

Rach3 wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:06 pm
Rach3 wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:09 pm
One in the hand rather than expecting GOP bipartisanship ever seems the better bet.Trust the voters or the McConnells.
Nicholas Kristof in NYT today seems to agree:

"My own take is that we should get rid of the filibuster, simply because it reduces accountability. It’s better, I think, to have less paralysis and to let a dominant political party get things done, one way or the other. I recognize that I will disapprove of those things when Republicans are in power, but then democracy swings into action and voters will (I hope) hold officials accountable. But preventing either party from doing anything controversial, except through budget reconciliation, doesn’t seem a path either to effective governance or to accountability."
This brings to mind that when George W. Bush was re-elected (the ONLY Republican president since Reagan to win a majority of the popular vote), he thought he had a mandate to privatize Social Security and began moving forward with the idea. The outcry was so overwhelmingly against the idea that he had to drop it like a hot potato.

Another nonsensical Republican idea was Ronald Reagan's push to classify ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches in order to justify fiscal cutbacks in funding. That didn't work either, did it?

Republicans have opposed Social Security and Medicare (socialized medicine), let alone Obamacare, since their inception. Imagine the outcry if they moved in the Senate to defund or cut back those incredibly necessary benefits today?

The filibuster stops them from being held accountable for these bizarre & extreme positions, because they can't bring them up or even bother to write bills on these topics. If they did, and more voters were made aware of the seriousness of their positions, do you really think that they could hold as many seats as they do today? I seriously doubt it.

So maybe Nick Kristoff has a good point.

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