Unity May Be Short-Lived

[ Posted Thursday, January 21st, 2021 – 17:50 UTC ]

I woke up this morning feeling good. The big reason was that for the first time in a long time I knew I wouldn't discover in the morning news that the president of the United States had done, said, or tweeted something overnight that was embarrassing, cringe-worthy, mean-spirited, or just downright evil. I knew nobody in the federal government would have been fired at 3:00 in the morning via Twitter. I knew no foreign country would be seriously annoyed at America for no reason other than one man-child's insufferable ego.

That's all a really good feeling to wake up to, I have to say, and I look forward to having that same confident feeling every single morning for the next four years. As do tens of millions of others, I'm sure.

President Joe Biden is getting rave reviews for his inaugural speech, which he fully deserves. The speech was nothing more than an extension of the campaign he ran on, a call to heal the soul of America, and a plea for a rise to unity rather than continuing our political "uncivil war." Biden's first job approval polling will, no doubt, reflect this by charting a number higher than Donald Trump managed in his entire four years in office. The American people are pretty obviously ready to see some unity in Washington.

However, I have to admit I am more than a little skeptical that any period of unity is going to last very long. We're all basking in the glow of finally having a sane president once again, and that'll carry us through perhaps until Biden makes his first speech to a joint session of Congress (the first such presidential address is not technically called a "State Of The Union" speech, but that's essentially what it is). That might happen in the next couple of weeks, which is about the longest I can see any true comity in Washington lasting. Because afterwards, we're going to once again be consumed with what can actually make it through Congress and get to Biden's desk. And that's where my skepticism lies.

Joe Biden has a dream that I cannot fault because it is so noble. Biden dreams of earlier times when he was in the Senate, when the two parties would publicly go at each other tooth and nail, but then at the end of the day sit down and hammer out some acceptable compromise that allowed both sides to save some political face by being able to claim some small victories. Reasonable moderates on both sides of the aisle would occasionally (and routinely) buck their own party to vote for something that was clearly in the public interest, even if they didn't totally agree with all the details.

As many have pointed out, those days are largely gone. They really started to disappear in a big way when Newt Gingrich became speaker of the House, and it's just gotten worse and worse over time. We'll see whether such halcyon days even have a chance of returning, when we see how many Republicans (from Mitch McConnell on down) vote for something which is clearly in their (and their party's) best interest -- banning Donald Trump from ever holding elected office again. If Trump is convicted of the impeachment charge by 67 senators, then maybe Biden's right and the fever will have truly broken. But it's in no way a certain thing (far from it, in fact), so we'll have to wait and see.

Right now, Republicans in the Senate are making a show of voting for some of Biden's cabinet choices. That's a good sign, but it's really not all that significant. Cabinet appointees -- unless they were egregiously unqualified or raving ideologues or something else equally disqualifying -- used to get confirmed with overwhelming Senate majorities as a matter of course. It was a regular and expected thing, in other words. Other than the few truly contentious nominations (and there would always be a few to fight over), the feeling on both sides of the aisle was: "the president should be allowed to choose his own advisors." Perhaps that will return for the majority of Biden's picks as well. That would be a very positive start. Sure, the Republicans will pick one or two of these choices to fight hard against, but that too used to be fairly normal (as long as it wasn't much more than "one or two" of them).

But the real harbinger to look for is what happens after that point (and after the impeachment trial, too). Because that's when the legislative session will truly begin in earnest, and that's when I fully expect Senate Republicans to largely revert to the total obstructionism they've been wallowing in for so long. How many GOP senators does Biden really expect are going to vote for a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage (to put this another way)?

There are plenty of items on Biden's agenda that are just not going to be acceptable to most Senate Republicans: election reform, voting rights, immigration reform, climate change policies -- and the list goes on. Even COVID-19 relief packages (which are obviously still needed) are likely going to be a heavy lift.

There is one issue that might just get some bipartisan support, because it used to be such a bipartisan priority -- improving America's infrastructure. In his four years in office, Trump never once got close to striking such a deal, mostly because he was simply not the dealmaker he hypes himself as, and also because he would get in such a snit whenever he had to actually sit across a table from Nancy Pelosi (and Chuck Schumer, too, but to a much lesser extent than Pelosi). That, obviously, is not going to be a problem for Biden. Hopefully, "infrastructure week" will no longer be a cynical punchline in Washington, to put this another way.

The really contentious battles (as always) are going to come over the budget. Here, though, Democrats have the tool of "budget reconciliation" rules, which don't allow for a filibuster threat. A bare 51-50 majority can pass a whole lot of Biden's agenda, and probably will. However, there are many items which just cannot plausibly be called "budget issues" which will not be covered by this. Which is why the biggest question facing Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats is whether to "drop the final nuke" and do away with the legislative filibuster once and for all.

With such a razor-thin majority, Democrats are likely going to wait before taking such a drastic step. Both Biden and Schumer will likely wait at least a couple months before even contemplating such a radical move. What has always stopped this idea before is the majority party's fear of what will become of them in the Senate when they (inevitably) once again become the minority party. And since Schumer will need every single Democratic vote to take such a step, it's doubtful whether it would even be possible any time soon. A few Democrats (such as Joe Manchin, to name just one) are already on record as being against jettisoning the filibuster, and all it would take is one Democrat to refuse for the idea to become dead in the water.

But for the time being, it should remain as a tangible threat to McConnell and all the rest of the Senate Republicans. If they fall back on pure obstructionism and successfully block virtually all of Biden's agenda by requiring 60 votes for it to move, then frustrations are going to run high. Right now, even Joe Biden isn't a fan of nuking the filibuster forever, but perhaps his thinking might just evolve a bit if he sees proposal after proposal of his die a withering death in the Senate at the hands of the Republicans.

Maybe it won't come to that, though. Maybe Biden's optimism will turn out to be justified. Maybe with Trump banned from Twitter, the threat that he'll whip up the Republican voter base against individual GOP officeholders will turn out to be a paper tiger. Maybe Biden can convince 10 reasonable Republicans in the Senate to back a few good ideas.


But then again, maybe not. Democrats should make a good-faith attempt at achieving unity in Congress, for Biden's sake. But if it doesn't work, they should point out to Biden the futility of achieving any sort of transformative change, and go right ahead with Plan B. If Biden's appeal to unity works, great. But if it doesn't, then Democrats should fully be prepared to move forward anyway.

Personally, I'd give it like 75 of Biden's first 100 days. Put Mitch McConnell on notice: if we can't pass anything meaningful in 75 days, then all bets are off and nuking the filibuster is going to go right back on the table. Because unity or no unity, there are major things broken in the country right now, and they need to be fixed one way or another. To put it slightly differently, President Joe Biden will be remembered for what he got done, and not so much for how he managed to achieve it.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


81 Comments on “Unity May Be Short-Lived”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Democrats should make a good-faith attempt at achieving unity in Congress, for Biden's sake. But if it doesn't work, they should point out to Biden the futility of achieving any sort of transformative change, and go right ahead with Plan B. If Biden's appeal to unity works, great. But if it doesn't, then Democrats should fully be prepared to move forward anyway.

    Is there not a role for the American people in achieving an adequate level of bipartisanship, if not unity, in Congress on the critical issues of the day.

    How can congressional Republicans be against Biden's Covid package. I mean, it's not Biden's package, after all. It is the American peoples' package, no?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Democrats may rue the day if they get rid of the filibuster altogether, unless they never lose control of the senate.

    Don't they already rue the day when it comes to getting rid of the filibuster?

  3. [3] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You can choose the big money interests or you can choose ordinary citizens.

    Or you can live in the real world that is not dictated by diametric opposition...

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    whatever planet you do live on, it clearly doesn't have enough pie.


  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Biden's true feelings toward the media showed up today, on his first full day in office. Heh.

    Better be careful, though, Mr. President - your short fuse on this subject could come back to bite you in the you-know what!

  6. [6] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Elizabeth, on [3]:
    You ask, "How can congressional Republicans be against Biden's Covid package. I mean, it's not Biden's package, after all. It is the American peoples' package, no?"

    Repeat after me: "Our only goal is to make Obama a one-term president" (GOP Senators in 2017)

    And on your [4]:
    Your "Democrats may rue the day if they get rid of the filibuster altogether, unless they never lose control of the senate" deserves a less snarky answer. Here's how I see the need to abolish the filibuster. It's about democracy actually working. The filibuster used to be a bunch of Southerners reading baseball statistics into the Congressional Record for hours at a time in order to block Civil Rights legislation. Starting in the 90s, it was turned into a slip of paper filed with the Senate clerk, declaring an intention to filibuster, and treated as a virtual one, stopping the targeted legislation from even reaching the floor for a vote.
    And the result is, the Senate needs a 60-vote supermajority to pass anything contentious. If the Dems "win" the Senate 56-44, they haven't won the Senate at all. Ditto the Repubs. This means when a large majority of the country votes for one or the other of the parties so that that party "controls" the Senate, that party in fact cannot deliver legislation to effect the people's voice. Democracy dies. People begin to imagine that voting for a Senator is really meaningless. And of course the party in question, with a president in office and a majority in the House, still cannot deliver legislation to put its platform into effect.

    Now, I'm liberal and favor the Democrats. But when the Republicans win control of the government, as they have from time to time, I don't feel like they shouldn't be allowed to pass the legislation that that control entitles them to. (OK, don't lets get into the inherently anti-democratic structure of the Senate and the presidential electoral college! Leave those for future debate.) Let the Republicans pass their laws - and if, as I believe, those laws prove remarkably unpopular and susceptible of arousing the Democratic voters to throw the bums out in subsequent elections, that's how it's supposed to work. Ditto for the Dems when they actually win - like this year. They deserve, and democracy demands, that they actually pass the laws they promised to pass if you voted for them.

    The filibuster prevents actual democracy, and actual accountability of politicians for positions they run on in elections. It needs to go, as soon as possible. And yes, I'll take my chances if the GOP gets its turn at the tiller again in the future.

  7. [7] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    I not only live in the real world- I understand it.

    Do you now...Let's see if that is true:

    And no, it is not Biden's or the American people's covid package. It is the big money interests' covid package just like the Cares act.

    Here [] is Biden's plan (pdf). Please point out the big money links. Or are you going to cop out like usual?

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    First off, your snarky answer ... the day that Mitch McConnell announced that his number one priority would be to make president Obama a one term president, in the middle of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, no less, is a day and announcement that is etched deeply on my brain, and will remain so, forever.

    However, we are talking now about a situation where 4000 of your fellow citizens are dying every day without the support they need to fight against the virus. Full stop.

    Surely, this is a time for leaders to be held accountable for not providing the kind of support and leadership that will bring an end to this carnage. I'm sorry but, I still don't understand how Republicans can get away with ignoring what is happening all around them and not be moved into action to protect the lives and livelihoods of their contstitutents.

    If this negligent behavior is just something that should be accepted as politics as usual, then God help your country because Biden and his team can't shut down the virus by themselves.

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As for your less than snarky answer, I understand what you are saying. But, it is dependent on having a strong two-party system. Which you no longer have.

    Is that a good thing? Probably not, considering how well this Republican party did in the 2020 election cycle.

    Bottom line, I think ending the filibuster is a recipe for taking one step forward and two steps back, over and over again. And, that is a bad thing for the US and for the rest of us out in the world.

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    maybe the filibuster shouldn't be ended entirely, but it should probably return to the more antiquated form, where if you want to filibuster you have to actually spend all your time talking. otherwise, who would ever understand mr. smith goes to washington? don't eliminate the filibuster, bring back the REAL filibuster! the ghost of james stewart demands it!


  11. [11] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    I agree with nypoet22 that a return to an actual physical talking filibuster would be an acceptable compromise to just abolishing it. The party that is seen as actually paralyzing government, such as the Republicans during their various futile shut-downs, pay the penalty with voters who know idiocy when they see it. The trouble the filibuster as it now stands is it's just a rule that gets invoked. No Senator's name is attached to it, much less is any Senator seen on YouTube making a fool of himself to stop, say, genuine and realistic immigration reform or voting rights reform.

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i stand for much more than just pie. for example, i have a number of advanced degrees, and some experience working on political and activist campaigns. i have also published a number of articles in professional journals, songs on the radio, and a few guest columns here in CW's little corner of the web. if you cared to read, you could find out precisely what i stand for.

    i realize that you believe you stand for limiting the influence of money in politics. that's a noble goal. but considering the way you've gone about it for the past few years, you'd be better off baking pies.


  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Joshua, I'm just saying that if you need to end the filibuster in order to get much needed support out to the American people who are dying in droves from being infected by a virus that we know how to stop, then I am at a loss to explain how that can be.

    That may be a kind of pie-in-the-sky thinking - with apologies to you and the pie agenda - but, if you can't get just 60 senators to agree to a much needed package to support the American people in the the throes of a wildly out of control epidemic then I have no idea what the answer is.

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    we should also bring back the talking filibuster to increase appreciation for the incomparable acting chops of mr. james stewart.


  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  16. [16] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Elizabeth [18]

    So "just 60" senators ought to vote for Biden's plan to combat covid. Sure, they ought to. But what if they don't, out of misguided loyalty to ex-Pres Trump, or out of a sense that their voters simply won't wear masks or take a vaccine shot because they believe to do so is to enable the socialist/Soros/Gates agenda?

    Then why is 60 suddenly the magic number, when in any other democratically based legislative body the majority rules -- as in: 51-50. As in, that means the 51 side wins the vote and passes the legislation.

    You just abolish the filibuster - a device invented to obstruct legislation that enables Black civil rights - and suddenly you can pass the Covid legislation, to save thousands of lives despite Republican refusal to believe that public health is a government's problem to solve.

    Oh, and immigration reform. And health insurance reform. And climate change responses that mean something. And voter rights reform. And financial markets regulation. And corporate regulation to protect the environment, and the health of their workers and consumers.

    Because a majority of the American people, in three different collective venues (House, Senate, Presidency) voted for those reforms in 2020, and kind of (crazy of them, right?) expect to see the legislation passed - 51 to 50 if need be.

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, i've e-mailed schumer and gillibrand to say so. here's the text i sent:

    I realize there's been a big push on the Left to abolish the filibuster, but with such a closely divided senate I don't think that's a reasonable course of action. I believe a reasonable compromise would be to change the rules back to those of prior years, where a senator who wanted to filibuster had to actually TALK, so the public could WATCH them making fools of themselves just for the sake of killing a bill. I hope this message gets through, because I think it would be an excellent idea, and would garner significant public support. We as a nation cannot afford to have Biden's presidency be gridlocked the way Obama's was, and one way that might help prevent that outcome is to bring back the talking filibuster.

    Thank you for listening.

    anyone else want to contact their senators in favor of the idea? i know don could do new jersey, JFC kentucky, john from CT umm... CT; caddy california. liz, maybe you could try whatever state is nearest your province of canuckistan? am i getting too excited?


  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i've been there and done that. there's nothing left to discuss where your campaign is concerned. it was a decent concept, but your inflexibility and defensiveness have prevented it from ever getting off the ground. at this point, pie is clearly a better option - and endlessly criticizing CW isn't going to get you results, now or ever.


  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I love your passion, Joshua!

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    What Joshua said.

  21. [21] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    One Demand is a good way to do that and get the big money out of politics at the same time.

    No, it is not.

    It does not provide current information (and never has).
    It does not have any enforcement and therefore easily gamed.
    Through mismanagement and stale content is basically unfindable on search engines.
    Though OneDemand is vastly better than the previous name it competes with OnDemand which gets multiple orders of magnitude more search traffic, thus making it even less findable.
    The site has been hacked at least twice and one would have to be a fool to sign up or give you any information.
    As Kick has mentioned, it does not follow various state election laws.

  22. [22] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    An impressive list of goals rife with opportunity for exploitation by the big money interests.

    I would say post it when you find one, but we all know you won't even try...

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    When was the last time before 2020 that the party that won the White House lost seats in the House in the same election?

    You have to go way far back approximately 4 whole years and 1 presidential election ago when Republicans won the White House with a minority of votes but lost 6 seats in the House of Representatives.

    Not a good sign for Deathocrats.

    You are so woefully and hysterically misinformed regarding political issues that you seem therefore cursed and destined to live out your days spewing terminally stupid shit.

    And a majority of people that voted for Biden said they were not voting for Biden but against Trump.

    There were a plethora of choices for which the majority could have voted besides Biden/Harris. Me personally? I was voting for Biden and Harris and against your Bullshit Mountain.

    No wonder you don't want citizens to have any other choices. It is obvious many would choose the other over Deathocrats.

    Liar or politically ignorant? It's not a giant honking secret that every ballot in America had multiple other choices besides Biden/Harris. For instance, the New Jersey ballot in the state where you reside had eight (8) choices from which to choose their preference for President/Vice President of the United States:

    Joe Biden/Kamala D. Harris (D)

    Donald Trump/Mike Pence (R)

    Jo Jorgensen/Spike Cohen (L)

    Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker (G)

    Bill Hammons/Eric Bodenstab (Unity Party)

    Don Blankenship/William Mohr (Constitution Party)

    Gloria La Riva/Sunil Freeman (Party for Socialism and Liberation)

    Roque De La Fuente/Darcy Richardson (The Alliance Party)

    Total: 4,549,353

    I could post my resident State of Texas, but suffice it to say, it's a lot longer list and would make a person like you look like an even bigger liar and/or hysterically politically misinformed windbag.

    You can still leave the sinking ship as a decent human being before it is time for the rats to abandon ship. If you keep waiting until rat time it will be difficult to distinguish you from the rats.

    There was a runoff election in Georgia less than 3 whole weeks ago to determine who would control the Senate and therefore set the agenda for America. Democrats won both of those Senate seats -- less than 20 days ago -- and will therefore control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Anyone describing that outcome as a "sinking ship" is either (a) a liar, or (b) woefully and hysterically misinformed regarding politics.

    You can choose the big money interests or you can choose ordinary citizens.

    There was a plethora of "ordinary citizens" you could have selected on your New Jersey ballot. Next presidential election, Kanye West might get his shit together and start earlier and make an appearance there. I also hear that the GOP might split apart, and a new "Patriot Party" might be on your ballot in the future... it'll be just like the Titanic.

    Choose now. Choose wisely.

    I'm going to go with a nice slice of chocolate with dark chocolate shavings on top of whipped cream... but none of that canned bullshit... keep it real. :)

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    I guess you don't aspire to anything other than occupying a pie stand.

    You do realize that it's 99% likely that everyone here has perused your bio and there's therefore a high probability that there is no one who reads this forum that you could ever begin to insult due to your own shining example of a lifetime of achievement in low expectations?

    You sure don't seem to stand for anything else.

    Now do this guy:

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism. I am simply an average person that has been working and living at survival mode. But I have the only credentials that I believe really matters. I am a citizen and I have an idea that may improve our political system.

    ~ Don Harris

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Wow. You can do all that and you can't even come up with anything better than pie wit here in the comments in a discussion of One Demand?

    Oh, I see your problem; you've once again mistaken a wholly unrelated article by Chris Weigant with a discussion of your own personal bullshit crusade. How ignorant is that?

    It seems you should be a person capable of reasonable discussion. Maybe you just don't have it in you anymore.

    Your bullshit isn't reasonable discussion; it's grifting and trolling another man's blog.

    CW never addressed it.


    His only two attempts were the same deflection and changing things to fit his argument that many other commenters engaged in.


    When in Rome I did as the Romans did.

    We're not in Rome.

    And when I tried to change it by not fighting back it didn't change it.

    Did you it dumbed down even further for you?

    You criticize me, but no one else.


    I have given others opportunities to have reasonable discussions without the moose poop and they have chosen to continue the moose poop.

    Free advice: You keep bringing the bullshit and then whining about discussions about bullshit. You cannot have a discussion about bullshit without discussing bullshit... until it becomes a giant festering pile of repetitive bullshit referred to as "Bullshit Mountain."

    Here is your opportunity to provide a positive example for others and engage in a reasonable discussion about One Demand without the dodges and games while at the same time affording me the opportunity I have at times afforded to others here.

    Here is your opportunity to shove "One Demand" up your backside and stop trolling the author's multiple articles with comments regarding your own personal repetitive ignorant bullshit. Or... barring that... go read the archives... pick practically any day at random and there you'll find you trolling and grifting for a discussion regarding your own personal bullshit.

  26. [26] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A person who lacks awareness cannot be baffled. .

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    Regarding the filibuster: We're in the middle of a global pandemic that has already killed 400,000+ of us and will likely kill upwards of a million before it is contained... if something isn't done soon.

    If Republicans want to stand in the way of Democrats doing their jobs to protect the people, then the way I see it, they have no other choice but the nuke. We are living in a period of history where future generations will ask why no one did a thing while Americans were dying 4,000+ per day. Do your effing jobs... whatever it takes.

    As for the GOP: The Trump trial will force each one of them to choose sides: America or Trump/Treason. It was a planned insurrection by the Proud Boys and Trump campaign/loyalists that makes the treason of Benedict Arnold seem like jaywalking.

    A House divided against itself cannot stand.

    ~ Abraham Lincoln... paraphrasing Jesus, of course

  28. [28] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris,

    you seem to prefer to use the other word I'M not allowed to use

    An insufferable troll holding his arms out wide in the martyr's pose doesn't fool anybody. You can use whatever words you want to. I'm willing to bet a lot of money on that.

    You sound like a Republican, so go whine about being censored at Fox with your fellow travelers, but they won't give a rat's ass about your boring, repetitive scam spam either.

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It WAS a decent concept?
    It was MY inflexibility and defensiveness that kept it from getting off the ground?
    If it was a decent concept it still is.

    yes it was, yes it was, and yes it still is. you've got the 1% inspiration, and always did. but if the last few years are any indication, you don't seem to be willing to work hard enough or able to work smart enough to turn it into something successful. that's the sad reality of it, and heaping abuse on people who mostly agree with you will not help your cause any more than it has already.

    Why shouldn't I criticize CW if my opinion is he deserves criticism?

    because your beliefs are isolated and not shared by anyone else. which makes your persistence have little impact on the person you're criticizing while it greatly diminishes your own standing.


  30. [30] 
    Bleyd wrote:

    Would it be possible to alter the filibuster rather than remove it completely? While the filibuster may have been abused in recent years, it is valuable in concept, so I'd be extremely hesitant to remove it completely.

    My thought is, could they make it decay over time? As in, when a vote is first brought, the filibuster could be used to require a 60 vote majority to invoke cloture. If this failed, another vote of cloture cold be held a certain amount of time later, maybe a week or two, giving both sides an opportunity to negotiate and debate further, but this time it would only take 58 votes to succeed. If it fails again, repeat the process, reducing the number necessary to pass by 2 each time until it eventually just requires a simple majority.

    This would prevent the minority from being able to essentially veto everything, but would at least allow them to slow things down, giving them time to try to convince more people to their side or negotiate a better deal. The majority would win in the end, which I think is how things should work, but if it was something important enough that it needed to pass quickly, it would still force some negotiation and compromise.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Can't argue with that and they shouldn't wait much longer.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think Biden should offer to reinstate the filibuster for Supremes and maybe even federal judges. But, he would have to get quite a lot from Republicans NOW - let's say, his whole first term agenda - and his part of the deal wouldn't kick in until his second term began. Heh.

  33. [33] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The bare minimum filibuster reform should be to require 40 recorded votes to sustain it rather than 60 votes to defeat it.

  34. [34] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I suppose that number should be 41.

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bernie is chairman of the Budget Committee, right? I mean, once the power-sharing agreement is worked out?

  36. [36] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Filibuster rules aren't actual laws; the senate has changed them before and can change them again. In essence, it's too easy to filibuster now and the minority party can virtually phone it in, without most of them having even to be present. Reforms could include returning to the requirement that the filibusterer must stand and speak continually or that the vote is a proportion of those present rather than an absolute number.

  37. [37] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    He will be, but Lawrence O'Donnell explained that, while that's not nothing, it's not as important as it sounds.

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Thank you for answering the question about the party losing the White House losing seats in the House in the same election.

    You insinuated that it hadn't happened in a long time so congratulations on that masterful display of your obvious political ignorance.

    So it was Trump that was the president that lost seats in the House. 6 seats.

    The Deathocrats lost more than 6 seats this time didn't they?

    After they netted 41 seats in the midterms in 2018. Win some, lose some... same shit different day. There is no Party that can keep winning in every election; the pendulum swings back and forth.

    And did Trump just NOT get re-elected?

    Your political ignorance is legendary. You appear to believe you're making a point when you're actually not. Trump has now lost the popular vote by multiple millions in back-to-back elections and never had an approval rating above 50% even a single time.

    See, I told you you could find information to bolster my case if you tried!

    Liar. You said no such thing to me.

    The rest of your comment and those that follow are just more trolling, personal attacks based on your fantasy world and going to the old standby of: If you can't dazzle them with brilliance- baffle them with Bullpoop (though you seem to prefer to use the other word I'M not allowed to use- because you use it a LOT).

    Translation: There actually were eight candidates for president/vice president on the New Jersey ballot so I, Don Harris, am a lying liar who definitely lied about citizens not having "other choices."

    No wonder you don't want citizens to have any other choices. It is obvious many would choose the other over Deathocrats.

    ~ Don Harris, Lying Liar

    And yet there, in fact, were multiple other choices besides the Democrats, and CW obviously wasn't trying to stop anyone from choosing any of them.

    There were 13 choices for president/vice president on the Texas ballot... a dozen "other choices" besides Biden/Harris. So don't let's keep pretending that without your bullshit there would be no other candidates on ballots all across America... because it's bullshit. We refer to your bullshit as bullshit because it's bullshit. :)

  39. [39] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Schumer just said that the article of impeachment will be transmitted on Monday.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I agree with Lawrence. In fact, I just wrote that in a comment somewhere and then thought I might be wrong - so thanks for fact-checking me!

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    And comments like yours greatly diminish your standing.

    Shame on you.

    i'm just trying to be helpful, but your belligerence makes that very difficult to maintain. that's where pie could potentially make a difference. put a smile on your face.


  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Being aware makes it easy to see Kick is spewing moosepoop because of the lack of ability or desire to use brilliance in a rational discussion.

    I supplied evidence to refute your ridiculous and repetitive accusation that the author is afraid to promote your bullshit because it would provide citizens with "other choices."

    Sick of your grifting and trolling? Yep.
    Ashamed to subsidize your advertisements? *nods head*
    Afraid of your ignorant bullshit? Nope.

    So to recap: Citizens already have multiple other choices besides Democrats, and any Bullshit Moosepoop Party candidates of yours would simply be another choice among a plethora of multiple presidential candidates on a shit-ton of different ballots in 50 states all across America and the District of Columbia.

  43. [43] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Schumer also told McConnell to shove it. He said that Dems would agree to the same rules as agreed to last time there was a 50-50 split and that's it.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    while i do find guilty entertainment in your responses to don's trolling of CW, ultimately i don't think it's all that productive. see below:

    To see ourselves as above narcissistic needs, while dehumanizing those who openly display these needs, is to walk right into the dance.
    ~Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D.

  46. [46] 
    Kick wrote:


  47. [47] 
    Kick wrote:

    To clarify:

    Good was in response to JFC at 59.

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i really am trying to help, and always have been. it's just not always easy to figure out what will help and what won't. that's why i go with pie. pie always helps.


  49. [49] 
    Kick wrote:


    while i do find guilty entertainment in your responses to don's trolling of CW, ultimately i don't think it's all that productive.

    Nor is pie. If that is your grasp of human psychoanalysis, you were quite right to go into teaching. :)

  50. [50] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Orange Death,

    Projection just makes you increasingly similar to your preferred candidate from November, but I suppose that's what you had in mind.

    Lies. Check.
    Baseless accusations. Check.
    Conspiracy theories. Check.
    Fake plans. Check.
    Attack media. Check.
    Projection. Check.

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    bite your tongue! pie is absolutely productive. maybe teaching isn't the right field for me either. i don't seem to be making much progress here....


  52. [52] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    The petulant child routine is your worst avenue of redress. You know deep down everything I have said about your website is true and you have no intention of ever backing up your idea with specific examples of big money corrupting politicians.

    The question is why? What is your game? I understand persistence is a virtue but at some point you are banging your head against a wall with a bloody forehead...

    Personally, I don't think you are a troll, I think you are a much worst internet denizen, a spammer. And though CW is hesitant to ban posters, he does ban accounts all the time I would assume. It's just an automated spam system. I look at you as a spammer that got through...

  53. [53] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    One thing I find interesting with the insurrection:

    A common tactic, to which there is some evidence happened in this case, is to have a core team that uses the cover of the mob to achieve goals. But the revolution is not televised, much too slow, it's now live streamed and videoed and photographed by every angle imaginable by the mob it's self. Hundreds of thousands of videos and images all willingly uploaded to the public accessible cloud. No vanishing into the dispersing crowd if things go wrong as many who entered the Capital building have found out. I think we have witnessed the end of this tactic going forward....

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and, another scary thought ... the insurrectionists are now communicating with encryption.

  55. [55] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    The core group probably already was, and I'm sure the NSA and other government agencies are not that impressed with encryption...

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, at the very least, it doesn't make their job any easier. The game of encryption is a never ending one and it's not easy to stay ahead of the game.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I mean, we just have to look at the failures that occurred without encryption. ;)

  58. [58] 
    John M wrote:

    [50] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Bernie is chairman of the Budget Committee, right? I mean, once the power-sharing agreement is worked out?"


    But the Budget Committee doesn't really have any power. They are basically a bookkeeping/review operation.

    The real power over what gets spent in the USA is over in the Finance Committee and the Appropriations Committee, respectively. Those 2 hold the power.

  59. [59] 
    John M wrote:

    [45] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "I think Biden should offer to reinstate the filibuster for Supremes and maybe even federal judges."

    God no I hope not!

    Do you think any Republican in a position of power ever offer such a thing? The answer from them would be HELL no. Why would you do such a thing when the other side would only take advantage of your own weakness, plays hardball by a different set of rules with no mercy, and would never show you the same consideration or courtesy?

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, John, did you even read the rest of my comment Re the filibuster?

  61. [61] 
    John M wrote:

    [3] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Is there not a role for the American people in achieving an adequate level of bipartisanship, if not unity, in Congress on the critical issues of the day.

    How can congressional Republicans be against Biden's Covid package. I mean, it's not Biden's package, after all. It is the American peoples' package, no?"

    [13] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "I'm sorry but, I still don't understand how Republicans can get away with ignoring what is happening all around them and not be moved into action to protect the lives and livelihoods of their contstitutents.

    If this negligent behavior is just something that should be accepted as politics as usual, then God help your country because Biden and his team can't shut down the virus by themselves."

    The answer is as simple as... while a majority of the American people are thankfully reasonable and not vindictive enough to spite their own face, unfortunately a large minority of Americans who are their constituents are just hateful enough to be destructive.

    Here are some actual quotes from online from people in my Congressional district in Florida:

    "I want a Conservative agenda pursued, and Biden and his cronies are showing no signs of doing that or cooperating with Republicans. Biden is an illegitimate President who did not actually win. If you do not pursue Conservative causes and legitimate voting practices, I will be voting against you and anyone else who does not do the same."

    "You can welcome the new administration, I don't. Conceived in fraud and born in deception."

    "china joe will never be my president, heck he probably doesn’t even know what just happened ???? we are the resistance now!!! We will give them 4 years of what they have us...misery!!! Looking forward to it!!! Resist and oppose everything they do!!!"

    They also repeatedly refer to Biden as "Sleepy Joe," say things like Biden has dementia and is really taking his orders from Obama and/or Hillary, and vow that they will never vote for a Democrat, and if their Republican congressman works with the Democrats, then he is a traitor and they will vote him out in the next election.

    That's only a small sample of what they are posting on the local Congressman's online web page.

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The point I have been trying to make on the requirement for 60 votes is that it would foster, over time, the need to craft legislation (and nominate justices and judges) that most Americans could get behind and support.

    If 60 votes can't be found for a piece of legislation that the vast majority of Americans would wish to see enacted, then there is always another way to make progress and that is through the ballot every two years.

  63. [63] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I hope that Breyer goes ahead and retires before anything crazy happens that would allow McConnell to blockade again.

  64. [64] 
    John M wrote:

    [81] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "So, John, did you even read the rest of my comment Re the filibuster?"

    Yes I did. You mean this part?

    "But, he would have to get quite a lot from Republicans NOW - let's say, his whole first term agenda - and his part of the deal wouldn't kick in until his second term began."

    1) Even with this caveat, I think it's still a supremely bad idea. It would tie any future Democratic President's hands too much.

    2) Republican would NEVER agree to passing Biden's whole first term agenda. A) It's not realistic and B) it would be political suicide for the Republicans

    Republicans are going to have enough trouble surviving the wrath of the Trump crazies who view them as traitors already for simply PEACEFULLY ACCEPTING Joe Biden as President, let alone actual COLLABORATION with the enemy!

  65. [65] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    [83] The filibuster applies to legislation already. Why do you suppose that they are currently unable to craft legislation that most Americans could get behind and support?

  66. [66] 
    John M wrote:

    [83] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "The point I have been trying to make on the requirement for 60 votes is that it would foster, over time, the need to craft legislation (and nominate justices and judges) that most Americans could get behind and support."

    Even when most Americans get behind and support something, like gun control which regularly gets 70 to 80 percent support, it still doesn't get past the 60 vote filibuster. And that's been going on for over 2 decades now despite multiple elections.

    Our democracy is skewed toward undemocratic minorities holding enough of the power to thwart the will of the majority, hence the electoral college and the current structure of the Senate. Wyoming where 700,000 people live can totally block what California wants where 40 million people live.

  67. [67] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M

    Re My "700k neighbors in Wyoming" blocking what CA wants, how about the hundreds of thousands of jackrabbits, antelopes and the like that call WY home, and are much smarter than the gazillions of Californicators!!

  68. [68] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Of course I'm not going to provide specific examples with a smoking gun proving corruption.

    Ya, we all know that...

    That is not how big money corrupting politics works so you are working with a false premise.

    Am I? How do you test against you being wrong? Are you saying every single member in congress is completely corrupted by big money?

    Only people that do not want the big money out of politics use that as an excuse- and it doesn't fool anybody.

    Well that and anyone who does not like false accusations...

    80% of citizen have reached the conclusion that big money corrupts our political process. So I don't need to provide proof for you or them.

    Ah, yes. The polls you fail to provide. You do realize that even if true that the respondents would likely have a broad range of opinions of the severity of the problem and the level of required fix? And few would find One Demand the correct answer even if they could find it and it was run competently?

  69. [69] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Moving on to delusions of grandeur?

    No, we do not fear you even in the slightest.

    As to polls, you copy and paste the same crap to every article. At least I hope it's copy and paste. your spiel is repetitive enough I would hate to think you type it out every time. You can have your "proof" in the same clipboard...

    How do you know how many people would find One Demand worth trying or not?

    Well, at the very least, you offer no candidates that match your litmus test, so I don't see how they can even if they wanted to.

    Out of the comments at Common Dreams the likes and positive comments far exceed the few negative comments.

    Sounds like you have not been posting there long enough for them to notice the spam like repetitiveness and inability to answer all but the softest of soft ball questions.

    I am not afraid to find out but everyone here sure seems to be. Frankly all of you are afraid to even discuss it without moosepoop dodges and nonsensical arguments designed to avoid rational, reasonable discussion.

    You mean we ask questions instead of heaping praise? Ya, that must be tough...

  70. [70] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Well, I'm afraid that you'll fail more than Fat Donny. He at least knows to look for marks were they are.

  71. [71] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [73] BashiBazouk:

    ...The question is why? What is your game?

    I know! I know! Call on me! By trying to bend only CW and Ralph Nader to his will (so far has we know), this pitch is directed entirely at those who are politically aware to some degree and lean either Democratic or Independent. It is only Democrats and Independents who should flush their votes and studiously ignore the fact that the candidate with the most votes wins.

    Somehow, somewhere, sometime, as the theory goes, these losing candidates will wake up, smack their foreheads, forsake having a V8, and hew to the path of underfunding their elections relative to the other candidates. Then, again according to theory, once they manage to win their primary anyway, they "should" be able to raise hundreds of millions in small donations between the primary and the election.

    Once this cycle repeats itself enough times and the Underpants Gnomes do their part, we'll all live happily ever after.

    Why do you not find this persuasive?

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    The point I have been trying to make on the requirement for 60 votes is that it would foster, over time, the need to craft legislation (and nominate justices and judges) that most Americans could get behind and support.

    "Over time"? "Craft"? That ship has sailed. Listen to me carefully, please. You can certainly fight fire with fire, but you don't hand the arsonists a blowtorch.

    The GOP that used to work with Democrats to enact legislation "for the people" is gone. Without going too far into the details regarding their march into political madness, I will just say they got there by programming their constituents with a steady diet of repetitive misinformation that got nuttier and more destructive and has culminated in acts of treason.

    Remember the Tea Party? That Astroturf duped millions of right-wing Americans into supporting "big business" over their own interests by conflating capitalism with free enterprise and then conflating free enterprise with liberty... and they continue to morph. Right wingers fuel their own oppressors to keep themselves depressed. They lie to them and feed them conspiracy theories while keeping them foaming at the mouth and screaming "patriotism." The lies have became the nuttiest conspiracy theory shit you've ever heard, and connecting the dots isn't their strong suit... plus they're strung along and following the goal posts of live action role-playing like QAnon. They're addicted. Admitting they were conned will take a turning point, and we are there... and here we are now.

    The GOP is now a grievance culture monetary enterprise... a cult that worships a man. You cannot compromise with a cult. Their political platform is "whatever Trump says," and Trump lies to them and the lies get crazier.

    Many of those who fanned those flames have become "The Lincoln Project." They're well aware what they helped create, and they are committed to destroying it. There is no compromise; they know this.

    Biden is the right man for this moment in history. He knows what he's dealing with and has been knocking heads in the Senate chamber for decades. He came out of retirement for this. I know you know this.

    If 60 votes can't be found for a piece of legislation that the vast majority of Americans would wish to see enacted, then there is always another way to make progress and that is through the ballot every two years.

    We don't have two years. We're sitting at the turning point. It's America or Trump.

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:


    I like the way you think. :)

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Getting rid of scum like Biden.

    You are the scum you seek.

    See Jimmy Dore video "Biden's Healthcare Plan Written by Lobbyists".

    See a psychologist.

    If you do you are even more pathetic than you have been up to this point.

    Ralph Nader is a walking corpse, Jimmy Dore is a stand-up comedian, and no one here is concerned with your opinion of them because you are "Small Potatoes" desperately spewing your endless repetitive monomania.

    Your grifting and trolling has become tiresome, and I am ashamed of myself that I subsidize it.

    While I don’t expect to ever approach this amount, I will never take more than 100 thousand dollars per year ( peanuts by political consultant compensation ) even if Voucher Vendetta were to receive hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in contributions because I want your money to be used for Voucher Vendetta. ( If Voucher Vendetta is successful I expect I may have the opportunity to cash in personally on the back end with a book deal or something along those lines.

    ~ Don Harris

    How's that cashing in personally on the back end with a book deal working out for you? Rhetorical question.

    So to recap, to clarify and reiterate: You are the "Big Money" scum that you seek... and while you might have failed spectacularly at "cashing in" on the "back end," it wasn't for lack of trying and flailing and spamming and failing. :)

  75. [75] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    EM #63 -- Have you no understanding at all of how the system works? Have you not read the 22,000 stories about our system of govt with the Electoral College and the Filibuster and Gerrymandering effectively granting control of the govt to a MINORITY? This is how 60 or more percent of the American people have supported policies such as gun control or health care and these policies are impossible to get done because a minority oppose them. We have a very narrow window to overcome this situation but it will take all the hardball convoluted tricks and strategies that Nancy and Chuck can employ to get anything done. Eliminating the filibusterer is one tool in the box and they must use it. If in the future we want it back we can reestablish it but the events of the past twelve years have shown it is now necessary to use everything possible to overcome the tyranny of the minority and move the ball down the court.

  76. [76] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [97] Kick:

    Thank you so much. Don't miss next week's talk on how you can build your eBay sales by not having an eBay account.

  77. [77] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    EM -- I hate to burst your bubble but no politician, not Republican, not democrat, is primarily motivated to "Do what is best for the country". They all are primary motivated to do what is best for them and secondarily do what is best for their party. Their agenda and policies are tools to that end. Democrats believe that an agenda that helps the common man will (if enacted) make them more popular and thus be re-elected. The Repugs know that their agenda of furthering the interests of the rich and powerful is not popular and will not get them re-elects so they feed their supporters the red meat of racism and misogyny and hope and trust that by using the defects in our system they can use this enraged minority to stay in power. It is a cynical ploy that has worked for many years and although the democratic majority gets larger every year they have been able to maintain control until Trump blew the lid of and we now have a slender opportunity to turn it around. If the democratic agenda can be enacted the benefits flowing the the majority of Americans will insure democratic hegemony for years to come. If they fail to pass anything they will be seen as useless and the Regugs will continue to govern for a long time. We CAN NOT let that happen and must employ EVERY tool at our disposal including eliminating the filibuster to insure the success of the democratic agenda in this session of Congress.

  78. [78] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    I really do not understand the point of tormenting our resident Troll? It reminds me of children tormenting a captured rattlesnake. Every time you poked the poor creature it would lunge out and it would them be beaten back with sticks whereupon it would recoil itself up until someone else poked it. This would go on until someone got bored and preformed the coup de grace on the poor creature. Poking the Troll with rational arguments will never change him for his nature as a Troll is immutable and fixed. Watching this little drama is nether enlightening nor entertaining for the audience. Please tell me what satisfaction this "sport" provides for you?

    My experience has taught me when you encounter these pathetic creatures on the cyberspace trail simply ignore them and give them a wide birth as continue on your way.

  79. [79] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    SF Bear,

    For the sake of unity, we should all move on.

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


Comments for this article are closed.