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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Federalist: Opinion: David Harsanyi- Republicans, Don't Be Hypocrites On The Filibuster

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: The Federalist: Opinion: David Harsanyi- Republicans, Don't Be Hypocrites On The Filibuster

Senate Republicans, have all the motivation in the world to not only be in favor of the filibuster, but to want to keep it even though they’re current in the majority in this Congress. They could easily be in the minority in the next Congress next year. They currently have a better shot at losing their majority than keeping it if you look at how many more seats they have to defend and how many of those seats are in blue states. Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, to use as examples. Senator Rob Portman, will have a tough reelection campaign in Ohio which is swing state. 2016 presidential election where they’ll most likely be facing Hillary Clinton, where there will be a huge Democratic turnout. And their candidate might be Donald Trump. And I can’t wait to see every ad against him.

Senate Republicans, need to ask themselves a question. Do they really want to be in the 115th Congress with another Democratic president, a Republican House with a much smaller majority and a Democratic Senate with 52-53 seats or more, that doesn’t have a filibuster to deal with. With Senate Democrats passing bills that they and Hillary ran on in 2016. With a Republican House that is now divided because they lost a bunch of seats and aren’t sure where to go from there and perhaps just waiting on the 2018 mid-terms and hoping a President Hillary Clinton is unpopular then. And this is all before you get to the whole hypocrisy of the so-called Senate filibuster debate from both sides. Where there isn’t a Democratic, or Republican position on the filibuster. But a majority and minority position. The majority is against the filibuster. The minority is in favor of it.

Senate Republicans under Mitch McConnell, had eight years in the minority. And in that time became not only very skillful with the filibuster, but Senate rules in general. To try to obstruct and stop Senate Democrats on practically everything in hopes of winning back the Senate. So it’s very hard for them to make the case that the filibuster is a bad thing, because it slows down not only the Senate, but Congress as a whole. Because when the House passes something generally on party-lines the Senate is unable to act on it, because they end up debating what amendments should be allowed and how long to debate. And one side accusing the other of obstruction, with the other side accusing the other of being overly partisan and not allowing for enough amendments. And people wonder why Congress is so unpopular.

The Senate filibuster, is kind of like Unemployment Insurance. You don’t want it and rather not have it, but you’re sure as hell glad it’s there if you become unemployed and you don’t think you’ll be working again anytime soon. At least not making the type of money that you’re accustom to making. The Senate filibuster is there to hold the majority accountable and even the administration accountable when one party holds the White House and Congress. But with the opposition having enough seats in the Senate to slow things down if not obstruct them. When the majority is overly partisan and doesn’t want to work with the opposition and even allow for amendment to bills. Senate Republicans, in 2017 if they’re at around 45-47 seats in the Senate, are going to be glad they didn’t abolish the filibuster.