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On the filibuster, ‘stop being afraid of Mitch McConnell ’cause he’s not afraid of you’

Rogue Valley

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On the filibuster, ‘stop being afraid of Mitch McConnell ’cause he’s not afraid of you’

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3/31/21
Our Declaration of Independence declares that democracies derive their power from the “consent of the governed.” But this democracy will fail if only some of the governed are allowed to vote. See: Georgia. That’s why when it comes to H.R. 1, the federal legislation that would standardize voter registration and access across the nation, the filibuster rule must be blown up if it means getting the bill passed. I don’t come to this conclusion lightly. The threats from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not to be discounted. “Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues,” the Kentucky Republican said March 16. “Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin — can even begin to imagine — what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like.” Oh, yes they can. No one has handled the blowtorch in pursuit of his priorities more adroitly than McConnell. Having failed in making good on his 2010 promise to make Barack Obama a one-term president, McConnell put Republican legislative recalcitrance into overdrive. By November of that year, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had had enough. He ended the filibuster for lower federal court and executive branch nominees. It’s this action that critics point to as the genesis of our current filibuster crisis. But if Reid’s action was the match, then the subsequent actions by McConnell were gasoline on the fire.

First, McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat. Upon the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, nine months before the presidential election, McConnell argued the American people should choose the next president to fill the lifetime appointment. Then, not even three months after Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, McConnell blew up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. That allowed the confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch by a simple-majority vote. And then, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020, McConnell sealed a 6-3 conservative majority by ramming through the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett just eight days before the presidential election. So much for McConnell’s earlier insistence that the American people elect a new president to pick the new jurist. They have what they think is a perfect situation because it’s kind of heads, they win, tails, Democrats lose. So that’s why Mitch McConnell likes it the way it is. Which leads me back to H.R. 1. — or S. 1, as it’s called in the Senate. If Republicans aren’t willing to vote for voting rights, and if the only way to safeguard our fundamental right to vote is to blow up the filibuster, then ignore McConnell’s taunts and do it. As fallen-away Republican Sophia Nelson advised Democrats on my MSNBC Sunday show, “Stop being afraid of Mitch McConnell ’cause he’s not afraid of you.”


McConnell is never going to play nice. Chop him off at the knees and move on.
 

Razoo

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screw Mitch and his band of anti American right wing ALEC cat and kittens
 
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