Democrats are demanding that the Senate do away with the filibuster.

In 2005, then-Sen. Joe Biden spoke about the filibuster on the U.S. Senate floor and said, "The Senate ought not act rashly by changing its rules to satisfy a strong-willed majority acting in the heat of the moment."

During that same debate, a young senator named Barack Obama said, "If the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse."

What has changed? The Democrats now have a majority. Abracadabra, the majority now believe the filibuster is a relic of a racist past and must be vanquished. Academia and the press are expectedly behind the effort.

Princeton historian Kevin Kruse was quoted as saying, “It’s been a tool used overwhelmingly by racists.”

That's a fascinating observation because during the Trump administration the filibuster was used, almost exclusively, by Senate Democrats over 500 times through cloture votes. Racist indeed.

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(33) comments

Bailey Jones

I'm afraid you misunderstand the history of the filibuster. The filibuster itself is not racist - but it has been used by racists in the past to stop civil rights legislation. Might I suggest reading any of the very good historical articles available on the Internet?

But the larger point is that use (abuse) of the modern filibuster has increased tenfold in the last 40 years - by both parties, to the point where a simple majority of senators is no longer sufficient to pass legislation. This was never the intent of the filibuster, or of the senate.

I rather like Biden's idea of returning to the real talking filibuster. It still protects the minority party but requires a lot more effort on the part of a senator than a phone call, which is all that's required today. It also makes for good political theater.

Norman Pappous

Vaccines were used by racists as well. You getting one?

"This was never the intent of the filibuster, or of the senate." True but if you want to go back to original intent of the Constitution, then argue for that across ALL issues. Don't pick and choose.

Bailey Jones

Of course I'm getting one. Already got the first dose, in fact.

As for the rest of your comment, let's turn it around. If you consider yourself to be a constitutional "originalist", then you are against the modern filibuster.

Norman Pappous

You are completely on point and yes I would - as long as all the other legislation that violates the 10th amendment is similarly deleted.

Diane Turski

I support getting rid of the filibuster. It has become a tool of obstruction against the will of the American voters by the minority party. Jettisoning the filibuster does not prevent members of either party from voting for or against any legislation. The American voters should decide which party they want to be the majority party, and then the majority party should own the responsibility for their legislation.

Carlos Ponce

"I support getting rid of the filibuster. "

If Mitch McConnell had proposed it with a simple Republican majority in the Senate you would be posting something different, Diane.

Diane Turski

Once again I must remind you, Carlos: Do NOT attempt to speak for me!

Carlos Ponce

So tell us, If the Republicans had a simple majority in the Senate and the Senate leader called for an end to the filibuster would you be for that?

Gary Miller

Diane> He didn't. Your history in the forum is good evidence of your conduct. I hope every one knows my history and my conduct is judged by it.

Diane Turski

Carlos, if you had read what I wrote more carefully, you would have seen that the answer is "yes." Whatever party the American voters have elected to the majority should own the responsibility for their legislation.

Norman Pappous

[thumbup]

Gary Miller

Diane> High minded BS. The filibuster rule has been used by the minority party ever since it was first invented. It is the minority's protection from Democracy. Our Founders feared Democracy as mob rule.

Diane Turski

Ha! Ha! Gary, I think you just said the "quiet part" out loud - "Protection FROM democracy." I don't think you have to worry that your conduct isn't being judged by your history.

Gary Miller

Diane> Your history seems to change depending on which party is the minority. Always protecting the filibuster rule when Democrats are the minority and opposed when they are the majority. If it's ever good it's always good.

Diane Turski

Gary, you must be confusing your history for mine, since I have never done what you are accusing me of doing.

Gary Miller

Diane> If you say nothing some will think you are wise. As soon as you start talking we know you aren't.

Carlos Ponce

About ending the filibuster:

"It is not only a bad idea, it upsets the constitutional design and it disservices the country," Biden’s speech said. "No longer would the Senate be that ‘different kind of legislative body’ that the Founders intended. No longer would the Senate be the ‘saucer’ to cool the passions of the immediate majority."

Senator Joe Biden, 2005

Gary Miller

Carlos> There is nothing the constitution approving the filibuster rule except that the Senate has the right to make Senate rules. Democrats started the rule to protect the Senate from mob rule, or so they said. Now they want mob rule.

Charles Douglas

When I grow up ...I have high hopes of getting an opportunity to INTERN at the firm of ( Miller* PONCE* HARDEE LLC ) !!!!!!!!!!

Neither of these gentlemen have an ounce of deceit or guile in them, they just tell it like it is! We did not hear all this "get rid of the filibuster crap" when the Republicans had the majority, & now that the RADICALS have it ...everything is RACIST! It is sic-ny-fying how they profit off the miseries and misfortunes oF African-Americans and Hispanics! It is disgusting and revolting!

It is not enough that they have a long time RACIST, and KKK affiliate who for 47 years supported laws sending African-Americans and other minorities to prison unjustly as President, they have taken to destroying America by opening our borders, desroying our Constitution, and stepping on our freedoms and rights as free Americans!

Jesus talked about a time coming when a man's house would be divided, and everyone in it would have to decide which way he/she would travel. " The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law......Luke 12:53.

These people we are dealing with today know right from wrong! I find them to be disingenuous! They favor refugee kids over American children, they favor foreigners over American Veterans who have served this nation! They show no respect for our police and first responders, and they are stripping GOD, Out of America in as ways as possible! This nation is sinking into the cesspool of the Anti-Christ!

Gary Miller

Douglas> You have long been the chairman.

Gary Miller

Kevin Kruse said the filibuster has been use mostly by racists. Democrats used it over 500 times in the last four years. Is he saying Democrats are racists? I must agree with him.

Norman Pappous

[thumbup]

Charles Douglas

Mr. Edmundo Sanchez of the State of Washington, who runs a foster care home there for wayward kids with no families and those who have no place to go, have been KICKED OFF properties leased to him ....in favor of making room for refugees and immigrants pouring into this country illegally from around the world! Evidently the landlords think more of the immigrants than they do American Citizens! This is what it has come to, and it is ushered in and perpetuated by a Satonic influenced Anti-Christ manipulated Admistration bent on the destruction and defeat of one of the greatest Democratic Nations ever established. What we see happening today is the tip of the iceberg, ...it is only the beginning. So fasten your seatbelts, BUCKLE-UP......& put on your helmets! It is going to get rough. Even now Russia is starting to make preparations in order to make a move on the Ukraine, North Korea is firing off missiles they said they would not launch,... and Red China cannot stop thinking about TIWAIN finally being under their control! Put your helmets on! What you are going to see is the same thing happening to the Ukraine and TIWAIN which Hitler did to Poland over eighty years ago, and nobody did a thing to stop them before it was to late!

Gary Miller

Chairman Charles> We need more of your wisdom.

Dan Freeman

Several people on this forum seem to support the filibuster. But it is an accidental parliamentary maneuver that was opposed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 22 where he wrote:

"To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. … The public business must, in some way or other, go forward. If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority, respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings.”

Regardless of what Senators Biden, Obama, and McConnell may have said, it has been used by Whigs, Democrats, and Republicans to thwart rule by the majority of our representatives. It should be eliminated and have the usual parliamentary rules applied by requiring a simple majority vote after a motion of previous question to end debate.

Bailey Jones

The filibuster is the electoral college of Senate voting. No wonder so many Republicans want to keep it - it keeps the majority from winning.

Carlos Ponce

Filibuster - created by Democrats and used by Democrats throughout history.

Gary Miller

Bailey>The filibuster keeps mob rule under control regardless of which party has the majority.

Bailey Jones

If the founders wanted the Senate to require a 3/5 majority they would have written it into the constitution.

You are correct that the founders were afraid of mob rule. It's clear from the writings of the founders. They intended to avoid mob rule in two ways. One was to balance the house of representatives - which was essentially the house of common men - with an elite senate, the members of which were chosen by state legislatures. The idea was that the state legislatures, being full of the very best citizens - would appoint even better citizens as senators.

I've never seen any evidence that senators are any better citizens than the average Joe. And now we elect senators by popular vote anyway.

The second way was to have the president also elected by state legislatures. The fear here was that the common rabble would elect some demagogic reality TV star as president, so they put the house legislatures in the way. I think history has shown that state legislatures are just as susceptible to demagogues as the "mob".

But I don't actually disagree with you. The modern filibuster could be the device that pushes both parties towards bipartisan compromise, and I think that until the past 20 years or so it has been. But now it's just a device to keep the party in power from enacting the laws that they were elected to enact.

Carlos Ponce

"If the founders wanted the Senate to require a 3/5 majority they would have written it into the constitution."

The Founders built issues on slavery into the constitution, Bailey. Do you want them back in? I hope not. That's why they were removed.

They found problems with the simple majority vote in the Senate so increased that number. This did not require a Civil War nor a Constitutional Amendment but a simple change in Senate Rules.

Ted Gillis

Sometimes I just like to read the comments of others and choose not to comment myself.

This is one of those times.

Jarvis Buckley

I feel the smell way Ted. I do enjoy the comments. It is very educational for me.

I understand now the pros & cons of the filibuster.

Curtiss Brown

Never go to war with 51%

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