Opinion

Democrats, Please Throw Us in the Filibuster Briar Patch

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Posted: Jan 06, 2022 12:01 AM
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Democrats, Please Throw Us in the Filibuster Briar Patch

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Chuck Schumer, the Inspector Clouseau of Senate Majority Leaders in comparison to Mitch McConnell’s Sherlock Holmes, has decided to try to strong-arm Joe Manchin and Kristin Sinema into dropping their opposition to killing the filibuster by making a big public show of it. Hey, that’s plan has worked great so far. I sure hope he succeeds – for once – for three reasons. 

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. 

As so often happens with the Dems, Napoleon’s injunction to never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake comes to mind. So does Br'er Rabbit’s plea to Br'er Fox not to toss him into the briar patch. 

Please please please lift the filibuster, Chuck. It totally will not come back and bite you on your Swalwell valve like it did Harry Reid after he did it for circuit court judges. No, your initiative to give the incoming GOP majority and incoming GOP president unlimited power is a smart plan that will cement your reputation as a strategic genius. And don’t worry, this cheesy expedient cannot possibly boomerang. 

We totally do not want us conservatives to have the unfettered power to enact our whole agenda. 

We don’t want national concealed carry. 

We don’t want to ban teachers' unions. 

We don’t want to regulate Big Tech. 

We don’t want to repeal whatever pro-cheating laws you pass and then implement a real voting rights agenda of in-person voting only, on one day, with photo voter ID. 

Really. Trust us, we will definitely not do these things if you end the filibuster. Pinky swear! 

Now, you might point out that the potential downside assumes that the GOP will retake the House and Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. Good point. Ignore that possibility! You should go forward on the assumption that a desiccated old pervert polling on par with cholera is not going to drag down all your marginal seats. Hey, it’s possible that a midterm election with a massively unpopular president of the majority party will go well for the incumbents. It’s also possible that Ted Lieu will win the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the fields of string theory and quantum mechanics. 

You might also argue that breaking the filibuster just a little bit for one teensy-weensy thing – your election cheating initiative – will not lead to a total destruction of the filibuster. This is akin to a horny, condom-less teenager in the backseat with his girlfriend trying to convince her that there’s nothing to worry about if they just go part of the way. 

Some might say, however, there’s no part of the way. Again, let’s review. 

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. 

But hey, maybe you’ll get a pass from the GOP this time. Maybe the Republicans won’t retaliate. This is not going to totally infuriate the incoming majority and its base and force even the most steadfast adherents to those norms and traditions to make the Democrats pay. Maybe the norms and traditions crowd will overlook your breach of the norms and traditions and not hit back. There’s always Romney to pin your hopes on to be a sap, and going all-in on him to be an invertebrate is always a sweet bet. But the Senate is not going to be 50/50. It’s going to be 53 or 54 Republicans to 47 or 46 Democrats, and that makes Romney even more superfluous than usual. But hey, I am sure that after you shaft the GOP when they are in the minority, they will totally forgive you when they take the majority. The GOP base will totally not primary any senator who fails to make your party pay. And Cocaine Mitch is a forgiving soul. He’s not vindictive at all. 

But maybe the GOP won’t win the White House in 2024. Maybe Biden will run again, but if not, Kamala Harris is a competent woman who the voters love. Your party has an innovative platform centered on making everything worse and calling voters racist, so why worry? Or maybe Trump will run again and America will focus on that scary insurrection you still hear so much about if you are part of the 0.5% of Americans who watch MSNBCNN. After all, outside the Beltway, the Republican threat to Our Democracy is all anyone talks about. Not gas prices. Not COVID panic. Not dead troops. No, everyone is totally focused on the minor skirmish of a year ago. Biden is a shoo-in – those poll numbers are just more evidence of the anti-Democrat bias of the mainstream media! 

You might also think that your “Voting Rights” law might seal the deal for permanent Democrat dominance. If you just squeak this federal takeover of elections through, then you never have to worry about Republicans winning ever again! Sure, the Latinx voters – who love being called that, by the way – your party was counting on to stay Democrat forever and ever are now splitting 50/50 for the GOP, but maybe your election fraud plot might work with half your coalition saying “Adiós.” Maybe. 

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Oh, wait. There’s a problem. 

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. 

Weird how those names keep coming up. But I’m sure they will allow you to impose a massive scheme to steal elections in perpetuity by nuking the idea of federalism via nuking the filibuster. Or not. 

Hey, it’s worth a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Could you end up eliminating the filibuster to pass a law to enable election fraud, but then have whatever parts remain intact after the Supreme Court vivisects it still not be enough to get outside the margin of fraud because the Democrats have polling numbers within the Lincoln Project’s preferred age range? 

Nah. 

So go for it. Please. And I am totally ready for it. I have already picked out my new go-to pistol for when California gets must-issue concealed carry jammed down its throat! 

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