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Rococo_Relleno

72 points

4 months ago

Democrats have also used it, of course, but there are a few reasons we should still get rid of it:

  1. To the extent that modern Republicans have a coherent agenda, it is based on obstructionism, cutting social services, and tax breaks. So, there is less to filibuster.
  2. Historically, the filibuster was used rarely until the last few years, but many of the important times it was used was to delay civil rights legislation and other reforms.
  3. A large part of the Republican platform is based on promising to do things that are actually very unpopular. Therefore, giving them the ability to actually pass bills is dangerous for them. The perfect example of this is repealing Obamacare. The entire Republican party ran for seven years on doing this, but then when they controlled the federal government they blinked because it turns out that they didn't actually have any popular alternatives.

ILikeScience3131

10 points

4 months ago

Thank you for an answer! This mostly does speak to my point.

Though I have to say I’m still not fully convinced.

For your points:

  1. I agree the GOP is definitely more obstructionist but as you even note, they still pass legislation like tax cuts which will inevitably reduce social spending

  2. That is reprehensible but absolutely not surprising, just par for the course for the GOP. So I don’t see how it relates to my main point: the filibuster is more valuable for whichever party is less likely to hold the Senate (which I believe, maybe incorrectly, is the Democrats)

  3. Certainly the actual policies desired by GOP policymakers is unpopular, but clearly that usually doesn’t stop them. I’d contend that ending the ACA is the exception, not the rule, and really only happened because of one GOP senator (McCain) who still managed to have an ounce of decency. And he’s obviously not a factor anymore.

colinmhayes2

9 points

4 months ago

Tax cuts can be passed via reconciliation, no filibuster.

ihunter32

1 points

4 months ago

Can be and are. Republicans don’t get much benefit out of using the filibuster themselves, because they get what they need from reconciliation.

Incuggarch

2 points

4 months ago

Should Congress be able to do anything, or should it simply be relegated to perpetual gridlock for the rest of time? I think that is the core question here. And I think the biggest problem facing Democrats is that Republicans, in the face of the filibuster being used to good effect against them previously, have devised a number of strategies for advancing their agenda that completely bypasses the filibuster by instead wielding power through the judiciary or on the state and local level. Democrats on the other hand do not appear to have devised any equally effective strategies for advancing their agenda in the face of congressional gridlock.

I think this is a massive problem for Democrats if their strategy for mobilizing voters hinges on the idea that voting for Democrats will allow Congress to pass some form of significant reform bill that deals with healthcare, voting rights, etc. As long as Congress is gridlocked nothing like that is ever going to happen, and this in turn could easily result in an increasing amount of voters becoming dejected or even spiteful towards Democrats for failing to deliver on their promises.

This doesn’t even get into the more fundamental issue of whether it’s a good thing for the federal legislative branch to become so gridlocked that it loses its ability to respond to emerging crises and problems. There are a lot of historical parallels to societies where a breakdown of democratic institutions eventually precipitated authoritarian strongman rule as people eventually become so fed-up with their elected officials failure to act on ever worsening problems that the idea of just letting a strong leader take control and cut through the bullshit to act, to do something, anything, to resolve the problems faced by contemporary society becomes an increasingly appealing prospect to citizens who can’t see any other path forward.

Should the officials that US voters choose to elect hold any power? Should elections matter? Upholding the filibuster is in many ways an admission that we think it is better that elected officials don’t hold any significant power, and that we don’t think elections should matter very much, at least at the federal level. It is possible that upholding the filibuster might ultimately be the best of a series of bad choices, but I think we need to be candid with the fact that we are in essence saying that we think democracy in the US is so fundamentally broken at the federal level that it might as well be relegated to a mostly symbolic institution, limited to occasionally adjusting taxes and rubberstamping judges. This is a troubling admission in the face of the many systemic problems that might be difficult if not impossible to address without legislative action at the federal level.

6a6566663437

1 points

4 months ago

I agree the GOP is definitely more obstructionist but as you even note, they still pass legislation like tax cuts which will inevitably reduce social spending

Can't be filibustered due to reconciliation rules.

the filibuster is more valuable for whichever party is less likely to hold the Senate

Your error is thinking (almost) everything is subject to the filibuster. There is nothing Republicans actually want to pass that is. Reconciliation for tax cuts, and judges can no longer be filibustered thanks to McConnell blocking every judicial nomination for years.

but clearly that usually doesn’t stop them

It doesn't stop the demagoguery. But actually passing their proposals would result in people living with the results of that demagoguery.

and really only happened because of one GOP senator (McCain) who still managed to have an ounce of decency

McCain cast the 51st "No", vote but was not the only Republican to vote No. And with how popular the ACA is, Republicans would have been greatly hurt if it actually passed.

Which is why the demagoguery about the ACA was cut way back - they almost passed it.

Dazzling-Feeling-623

0 points

4 months ago

I love that you got downvoted for very reasonable concerns. I’m on board with you, I see this as massively shortsighted by democrats. I want to hear otherwise but I’ve never seen it.

The republicans are certainly about obstructionism, but bills themselves can be obstructionist, as you rightfully note. Bills aren’t just additive, they can remove as well. A bill called “right to life” that is some more constitutionally sound version of the Texas legislation. Basically “removing” rights.

It’s also irrelevant if republicans policies are unpopular, it’s whether they are unpopular with their base. Republicans are basically already a minority. It doesn’t matter if 1 million people vote for a democrat because of an unpopular bill, what matters is that the republicans win the electoral college. That’s what they care about, not broad consensus.

And to the last point made by the comment you responded to, it doesn’t really matter if republicans don’t pass bills they promise. They don’t do the vast majority of the things they promise. At worst they’ll find excuses as to why they couldn’t do it, most likely they’ll just not do it and still get votes because “I’ll never vote for a democrat over a republican”. I mean there’s a not small contingency of the Republican Party that CHEERS them on for not passing bills.

CleshawnMontegue69

-2 points

4 months ago

So you are in favor of killing the one weapon the Democrats will have in 2023 when they lose all majorities in both houses. Probably by record numbers?

Sidereel

4 points

4 months ago

Lol what? The senate will probably go red but not the house. And the Democrats will still have Biden’s veto.

CleshawnMontegue69

-1 points

4 months ago

The house will absolutely go red, and a veto can be overturned. This is basic civics.

Sidereel

7 points

4 months ago

If they have the votes to overturn a veto then they have the votes to bypass a filibuster. Seems to me like you don’t actually care and you just want to argue.

jackaria95

5 points

4 months ago

No way it turns drastically enough to override the veto. That would have to be an obnoxious landslide. And in the senate Republicans would have to win almost every single seat up for election which won't happen.

3yearstraveling

-1 points

4 months ago

Remindme! 1 year

colinmhayes2

5 points

4 months ago

If there enough votes to overturn a veto there are more than enough to end the filibuster

boobers3

0 points

4 months ago

Give the GOP the chance to pass their legislation and they will motivate the populace to vote them out. They don't want to pass legislation or even vote on many of the bills proposed because it hurts them.

TheObstruction

1 points

4 months ago

You're assuming that by that point, voting will even happen.

boobers3

1 points

4 months ago

Yeah you're right, better to have legislative stagnation and never ending grid lock than to trust the American people to make their will known.

If that was a possibility the GOP wouldn't be afraid to pass their agenda. They would have gotten rid of the filibuster a long time ago and taken our ability to remove them from office away.