According to NBC News, in anticipation of an across-the-board electoral victory in November, Democratic operatives are already casting their gaze forward to an aggressive strategy to implement a "progressive" agenda -- including abolishing the legislative filibuster in the United States Senate. By way of background, Senate Democrats killed the filibuster on presidential nominations last time they were in power, frustrated by the GOP using the same obstructionist tactics they themselves had pioneered during the Bush administration. Ignoring warnings that his party would live to regret the decision, Harry Reid pushed the button anyway and paved the way for President Trump and Mitch McConnell's history-making judicial confirmation streak.
Trump has grown exasperated at various times over the last four years, repeatedly urging the Senate GOP to eliminate the legislative filibuster, too. Those requests have fallen on deaf years, as Republicans have sought to avoid an escalation, demonstrating no appetite to eliminate an important tool. Several prominent Democrats also stepped forward to champion preserving the filibuster, but now that they're looking at the prospect of unified control of government, many are dramatically changing their tune. President Barack Obama -- once an enthusiastic participant in, and fierce defender of, the filibuster -- has suddenly decided it's a racist remnant of a tainted past. But it's not quite so racist as to prevent the current Senate Democratic minority from using it promiscuously to thwart legislation on issues from police reform to COVID relief.
As usual, Democrats believe the rules should be special and different for them because they're good, whereas Republicans are bad. We've explored the growing possibility that an incoming Democratic majority would move to destroy a longstanding maneuver used by bipartisan minorities over the course of decades. The report referenced above suggests that if they win, they plan to move swiftly to consolidate power and jam through a hardcore agenda:
NEW/exclusive: Democratic insiders and former Senate staffers set up a “war room” to quickly kill the filibuster in anticipation of a 2020 election sweep—and to pass big progressive bills.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 11, 2020
Outcome of this fight will shape a potential Biden presidency ??
Democratic insiders are assembling a coalition behind the scenes to wage an all-out war on the Senate filibuster in bullish anticipation of sweeping the 2020 election and passing an ambitious progressive agenda. Veteran party operatives, activist groups and supportive senators are coordinating message and strategy to dial up the pressure to quickly end the 60-vote threshold early next year, fearing that preservation of the rule will enable Republicans to kill Joe Biden’s legislative agenda in its cradle. They’re consolidating that effort under a coalition called Fix Our Senate...Fix Our Senate has hired “a war room” of research, communications and digital operatives with the mission of weakening support for the filibuster. In an interview, Reid predicted that Democrats will sweep the presidency, Senate and House, and urged them to kick off the new era by scrapping the 60-vote rule...The Senate can “nuke” the filibuster with a simple majority vote, but it would set an irreversible precedent. The idea of doing so was never entertained during Obama’s presidency, and it will be a heavy lift to stitch together the 50 votes necessary to do so.
"Fix Our Senate" by crushing mechanisms for the minority to exert power, which we've used frequently and remorselessly when they've benefitted us, they say. These are the same people who would have gone apoplectic if the GOP majority had done this in 2017 and 2018, during which time they could have passed a host of conservative bills -- and who mobilized a ferocious effort to save the filibuster when Bush-era Republicans were considering more moderate changes. But that would have been bad, you see, and what the Left has in mind is good. Rest assured that the types of legislation the filibuster would be axed to facilitate would include systemic changes to election systems and immigration, with an eye toward making it harder for Democrats to lose in the future. It would be the mother of all power grabs. This underscores not only the importance of the much-watched presidential race but every single close Senate race. Conservatives and even centrists who may dislike the president but aren't eager for a left-wing government to stomp into power should focus heavily on Senate seats in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia (two races), Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, and even South Carolina and even Texas. The stakes are extremely high.
I'll leave you with two reading assignments on this subject. First, a proposal by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) to actually "fix our Senate," in a way that isn't an ends-driven partisan act. And second, a well-reasoned argument against this faux-compromise on the filibuster. Leftists can taste victory and they're sharpening their knives. Prepare and vote accordingly. And finally, here's Mitch McConnell blasting the Democrats' brazen two step: "Senate Democrats happily use the filibuster to block coronavirus relief and Senator Tim Scott’s police reform bill. But at the very same time, they’re conspiring to destroy that very tool so they can ram through their radical agenda if they ever win power. Grade-A hypocrisy and nothing more."