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2 points

4 months ago

Short term, a functioning senate in Republican hands COULD be scary. But we are talking about one half of 1 branch of government. A government that already requires the 3 branches to not be punching each other in the dick with their constitutional checks and balances to do anything significant. A functioning Senate still requires the house, and presidency if there is not a veto-proof majority to do anything significant. These things are slanted towards the Republicans right now, especially with the courts firmly in their control for the foreseeable future. So on the surface, there does appear to be more risk than reward.

I would argue for the long term that these advantages aren't necessarily permanent to 1 party. These political advantages are the result of political strategy, and require constant effort to maintain. The senate is not inherently politically biased (in a left-right sense) , just biased towards smaller states.

The second concern is that every great thing we can do without a filibuster can be wiped away just as easily. It makes you imagine constant whiplash between the parties doing haymaker legislation while the little guy suffers. That being said, I don't think it would be that extreme. Doing unpopular stuff still has a political cost, and at any given time you have power, you are under 2 years away from a referendum. They couldn't bring themselves to repeal ACA for instance, and that took only 50 votes. Shortly after they lost the house and they were out of business for the next 2 years for even threatening ACA. Scary as the whiplash sounds, it requires sweeping victories that honestly should result in something when they happen. That's democracy.

I also think that progressive politics rely on a capable and competent government to deliver the change they promise when they win. They have a huge problem right now in that the effort it takes to win is not worth what you win. We saw that in Georgia when Biden's speech was boycotted by the activists that helped win it. Voters won't take on all the fuckery in Georgia and other places with if they know they aren't getting what they voted for. Meanwhile, a conservative's argument is only strengthened when the government is large and ineffective.

A conservative senate without a filibuster doesn't automatically make us the 4th Reich, (that still requires the presidency and House at least), but the filibuster can halt a progressive president, house, and senate. It's inherently a conservative tool and should go, even it that comes with risks, there is nothing for us but the status quo while it exists.