8 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of January 10

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14 comments

  1. [6]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Joe Biden to back filibuster rule change to push voting rights bill
    7 votes
    1. [4]
      inwardpath
      Link Parent
      I have mixed feelings about a change like this, at least in isolation. It's such a complex issue. One of the problems I've always had with Congress is that Congress makes the rules for themselves....

      I have mixed feelings about a change like this, at least in isolation. It's such a complex issue. One of the problems I've always had with Congress is that Congress makes the rules for themselves. I wish there was some other balance of power available to modify how Congress operates, like adding rules about bill stuffing, etc. Because they write their own rules, changes that benefit the public but not Congresspeople will never happen. They'll never work against themselves, and that's a problem, and one without a proper balance.

      There are upsides and downsides to the filibuster. Looking through a biased lens I can quickly see all the ways that my political opposites will use this rule change against my interests, but then I also see how it can be used to further my interests. I haven't come to terms with whether it's good or bad to allow an extremely small number of senators to kill proposed laws this way. It seems bad for the idea of representation- but what if a truly bad idea's only preventative is the filibuster, then what? If the majority is always favored, that seems out of balance too? Doesn't the minority deserve some level of control/input, lest they not be represented at all? I truly don't know.

      The more I type and think about this the more mixed my feelings get.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Does it change your feelings about it to know that between 1969 and 2014 the filibuster rules were changed/bypassed 161 times in order to get legislation passed? And the filibuster has regularly...

        Does it change your feelings about it to know that between 1969 and 2014 the filibuster rules were changed/bypassed 161 times in order to get legislation passed? And the filibuster has regularly been used specifically to block civil rights laws to stop things like poll taxes, lynching, and racial discrimination.

        10 votes
        1. Rez
          Link Parent
          Plus, if the Republicans really wanted to abolish the filibuster to make something happen... they're going to. We already know McConnell will go back on his word easily like with the Supreme...

          Plus, if the Republicans really wanted to abolish the filibuster to make something happen... they're going to. We already know McConnell will go back on his word easily like with the Supreme Court.

          I do have a level of concern for getting rid of it, but realistically all options are concerning, including keeping things as they are. What makes me feel better is that Republicans are the party of "No". The current political setup means people can get away with endless posturing and brinksmanship, but if they actually gain control, that means putting their money where their mouth is. And since they're always the party of "no", they don't have any policies in place. Like that's part of why they couldn't repeal and replace Obamacare - because they never have come up with anything they actually want to replace it with, it's just "Whatever a Democrat does is bad and should be repealed". You can campaign on that but at the end of the day you have to offer up an actual alternative or replacement.

          The filibuster benefits most of all politicians who want to not do anything and to grandstand and posture endlessly, and with Congress being so sclerotic and unable to pass anything due to the filibuster, this rhetoric just grows more and more extreme over time. There's no cost to bombastic language as the bluffs are never called, and then actual extremists wade into the mix and primary out more sensible politicians and then eventually the house of cards collapses one day.

          4 votes
        2. inwardpath
          Link Parent
          Yes, in fact it does. Admittedly I was ignorant of the historical context of the filibuster. I was not aware it had been changed so often, and especially for those purposes, and was only looking...

          Yes, in fact it does. Admittedly I was ignorant of the historical context of the filibuster.

          I was not aware it had been changed so often, and especially for those purposes, and was only looking at it through a current lens. With historical context, I want it to be changed.

          4 votes
    2. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      They'd need the backing of Manchin, and he won't budge on changing the rules. Especially if it can be used against them if Republicans win back the houses. There's apparently a bipartisan retool...

      They'd need the backing of Manchin, and he won't budge on changing the rules. Especially if it can be used against them if Republicans win back the houses.

      There's apparently a bipartisan retool being worked on that might hold a little more water for now.

      https://www.axios.com/bipartisan-group-electoral-reform-0ffe46fc-4801-4e74-be2c-687922c52fff.html

      4 votes
  2. [5]
    HotPants
    Link
    Republican McConnell slams Biden voting rights speech as 'unpresidential'

    Republican McConnell slams Biden voting rights speech as 'unpresidential'

    "You could not invent a better advertisement for the legislative filibuster than what we've just seen; a President abandoning rational persuasion for pure, pure, demagoguery," Mr McConnell said.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      Merry
      Link Parent
      Very hypocritical as, if I recall, Republicans removed the voting thresholds in place to appoint a Supreme Court justice.

      Very hypocritical as, if I recall, Republicans removed the voting thresholds in place to appoint a Supreme Court justice.

      7 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Never trust the words of a fascist party.

        Never trust the words of a fascist party.

        5 votes
      2. HotPants
        Link Parent
        ...and enabled a racist, unpresidential demagogue.

        ...and enabled a racist, unpresidential demagogue.

        3 votes
      3. inwardpath
        Link Parent
        Yes, intentionally and knowingly hypocritical because they can get away with that.

        Yes, intentionally and knowingly hypocritical because they can get away with that.

        1 vote