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Why the Filibuster is More Important Than Ever

Why the Filibuster is More Important Than Ever

The radical left – also known as the modern Democratic Party – is mounting a full court press to abolish the Senate filibuster.  And as always is the case, they are playing the race card.

It is true that Senate Democrats had used the filibuster to derail civil rights legislation.  They were successful until 1964, when an overwhelming Republican majority led by Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen overcame the Democrat filibuster and passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

But … the filibuster has been used for a lot of issues over many years.

It is true that it is not written into the United States Constitution.  It evolved in the early 1800s to give some power to the Senate minority – to prevent what was called “the tyranny of majority.” 

Our nation has been based on a balanced concept of majority rights with minority protections.  Unfettered elitist rule – always claiming to represent the majority — is what you see in Russian, China, North Korea and Cuba.

The filibuster is particularly critical in times of great public and political division – such as we have today.  Both the Bible and President Lincoln addressed the perils of a “house divided.”  It cannot stand, said Lincoln.

That is because in such divided times, no political party has a mandate from we the people.  Winning an election does not automatically confer a mandate.  No matter one’s opinion about the outcome of the 2020 election, it is true that neither candidate nor party had a commanding percentage of the vote.  One way or the other, the margin of victory is insignificant in terms of a mandate or consensus. 

Democrats now control the levers of power in Washington, but half of America does not approve of their leadership.  Their aggressive left-wing agenda is more than the public wanted.  But Democrats can use their majority powers to impose laws and regulations. As long as they stay united in their pursuit of power.

It is a classic case of authoritarian elitism attempting to crush all political opposition.  And we see it all around us today with political correctness, identity politics, cancel culture and biased media being weaponized against all manner and all levels of political opposition.  It is in the pervasive demonizing of Republicans and especially conservatives.

The only safety valve for the rights and interests of half of America is the filibuster. It protects the millions of Americans who voted for President Trump and Republicans in all the lower offices.

If the Democrats had 60 seats in the Senate, they would not need any Republicans to pass legislation.  If they had 58 seats, they would only need two Republicans.  The fact that they need 10 Republicans suggests that the voters did not want to give Democrats a mandate – overwhelming power.  The narrower the political division, the more important it is to find consensus through negotiation.  And that is what the filibuster does.

It is a good thing that the most radical proposals cannot pass into law when there is such division between the people. And that they will have to find solutions by negotiating.  Sentiments to the contrary are dangerous to the health of a participatory Republic. For example, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ pre-election claim that if Democrats take control of Washington, they do not have to negotiate.  That is the voice of authoritarianism. She was right. 

We already see that happening in real time.  While Biden pays lip service to bipartisan cooperation, his approach to the Democrat’s radical agenda is to summarily reject good-faith negotiations.  The Democrats’ version of bipartisan negotiation is that they state their plans and proposals and Republicans rubber stamp them.

If Biden backs ending the filibuster, he will have lied to the voters during the campaign – and it is not a small flip-flop.

If the majority in the Senate cannot get 60 votes on a major piece of legislation, it probably should not pass.  The filibuster forces REAL negotiations and REAL compromise – and that is a good thing for the nation. 

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

4 Comments

  1. John Wood

    We need to keep the filibuster because it works. My motto is, “If it ain`t broke, don`t fix it”.

    Reply
  2. John Wood

    If it ain`t croke, don`t fix it.

    Reply
    • John Wood

      Meat to say broke:-)

      Reply
  3. Joseph S. Bruder

    Except… it is broken. The original filibuster was one guy standing up and talking for many hours about why he opposes a bill, outlasting everyone else. Now, a Senator just passes a note to someone, and voila! it’s filibustered!

    And why can one person derail the will of the majority? McConnell quite proudly stopped hundreds of pieces of legislation from even getting hearings, but when he wanted to push through judges, POOF! the filibuster was gone. Why should Democrats do any different? If McConnell was majority leader, he wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of the filibuster. Trump destroyed all semblance of a working government, and Republicans have openly stated that they’d rather make sure Democrats fail than find working solutions to problems. Biden is not going to allow Republicans to demand changes to a bill, only to vote against the result anyway. Any bipartisan negotiation that might have happened in the past is gone because of McConnell.

    Like it or not, Biden is getting the things he promised done, and enjoying close to 70% popularity because of it (while Trump barely mustered into the 40’s his whole 4-year term). Meanwhile, you’ve got Republican Q-Anon idiots, gun-nuts, Communist sympathizers, insurrectionist traitors, and serial rapists putting on a real clown show. Turtle McFurtle and half of the Republican Senators are resigning or declining to run for another term because they know which way the next election is going to go (and hey, they get to keep the campaign funds they don’t spend). Trump is busy stealing from his campaign donors (and let’s face it, Trump is going to JAIL, he’s just pretending he’ll run in 2020 so he can grift even more campaign dollars.) And WTF is going on with Gaetz? Is he actively TRYING to go to jail?

    Reply

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