If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, someone needs to get progressives a very long-sleeved jacket. Despite repeated warnings from members of the Senate Democrat caucus that they will not play along with any more nuclear options on filibuster rules, progressives plan to ramp up the pressure on Chuck Schumer to “reform” Senate rules to pass their agenda items on simple majorities. And the national media is playing along with their full-court press on January 6 narratives this week.
The Hill got an exclusive look at an organized petition on behalf of these groups:
Dozens of outside groups are urging Senate Democrats to reform the filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation, as the caucus nears a decision point on potential rules changes.
Sixty organizations sent a letter, which was exclusively obtained by The Hill ahead of its release, to Senate Democrats on Monday, arguing that a December debt ceiling fight showed how the 60-vote legislative filibuster could be circumvented.
“Just as we needed to extend the debt limit to avoid economic calamity, we need to pass federal democracy and voting legislation to safeguard our democracy,” the groups wrote in the letter, which was spearheaded by pro-reform group Fix Our Senate.
“And just as you had earlier been prepared to recognize that the U.S. economy is more important than the filibuster, we urge you to make a similar assessment when it comes to our democracy and our right to vote,” they added.
It’s not just these progressive groups either. Nancy Pelosi and Schumer are staging events all week long to focus attention on the idiotic riot and illegal assault on the Capitol a year ago as part of their campaign to rescue Democrats from an upcoming beating in the midterms next November. The national media are all-in on this plan too, as anyone watching or reading any of those outlets already can see for themselves.
The New York Daily News editorial board goes one step further, insisting that the filibuster has to go to “rescue the republic” after the 1/6 riot:
Our country is at a turning point. The Jan. 6 House Select Committee is daily uncovering deeply disturbing evidence of a broad and deep attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The threat is not over; Republican legislatures around the country are enacting, on a partisan basis, four varieties of laws, all designed to undermine the democratic process and lock in Republican majorities (and likely a Republican president in 2024) regardless of the will of the voters or the actions of honest election administrators.
Oddly enough, neither the NYDN nor progressives thought the country was at a turning point when Democrats used the filibuster hundreds of times during the four years Donald Trump was president. They didn’t see a turning point when Trump’s opposition adopted the identity of “The Resistance,” literally an insurrectionist brand, from the day of his inauguration until the final day of his presidency. And curiously enough, no media outlet offered annual anniversary reflections on the riot in Washington DC on January 20, 2017, even though it was just as destructive and aimed at disrupting the peaceful transfer of power in the presidency. (And was just as inept and impotent, too.)
Nor did I notice annual observances of similar riots against local governments in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and DC again in May and June of last year, although to be fair, those riots in Portland may still be ongoing. Has anyone heard from Portland lately?
This isn’t to argue that the January 6 riot was not an affront to republican order and the law. Of course it was, and the rioters should be prosecuted. But that brand of political violence and “insurrection” was hardly unique even to the seven months preceding it, or to that DC riot four years prior on Inauguration Day 2017. Democrats and the media spent the preceding months and years excusing political violence and The Resistance, but now they want to exploit one example of it for their own political gains.
Even more importantly, their “voting rights” bill would make the problem they’re highlighting worse by federalizing control of elections. The January 6 rally and riot was pointless because Congress and the federal government don’t have any authority over state elections. Even Republicans got this wrong in their challenges to state results. Congress has no role in determining Electoral College slates of electors when certified by the states, except in the rare case where a state certifies competing slates of electors. Otherwise, all Congress does is count the votes. Neither Congress nor the Vice President “certifies” anything — they just formally conclude the process after states certify their electors.
That’s why the Republicans in Congress that voted for these challenges were hypocrites. They chose party over the rule of law and the Constitution. In doing so, they fed that madness that ended up boiling over in the riot. All of that was in service to a demand that Congress never had any authority or jurisdiction to deliver, even though GOP members pandered to the mob in pretending it did, to what should be their everlasting shame.
If the federal government takes over authority of elections, however, that would not just undercut that constitutional separation. It would make Congress a legitimate focus for election failures and a policy battleground over them from now on. Suddenly Congress would confer on itself the jurisdiction for such shenanigans, at least theoretically enough that they would actually incentivize such post-election demonstrations and riots in doing so by making themselves the arbiters of legitimacy in state outcomes. After January 6th’s madness, it’s about the craziest position of all for Congress to take.
If we want to save our constitutional republic, we should make sure SB1/HR1 never passes. And if the filibuster helps in that regard, then we should make doubly sure to keep it in place.