As we move closer to the 2022 midterms and it appears more likely that Democrats will lose control of either the House or the Senate — or both — you can expect that more of them will begin panicky calls for eliminating the filibuster altogether in the upper chamber in a mad dash to get their agenda pushed through before elections.
Over the Independence Day weekend, Rep. James Clyburn, D-.S.C., the party’s majority whip, renewed calls for ending the filibuster because “the Constitution” or something like that, despite the fact that the man has never spent a day of his political life in the upper chamber.
He also lashed out at Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate Dem from West Virginia, for his steadfast refusal to vote to get rid of the filibuster rule.
CNS News reports:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is under tremendous pressure in the evenly divided Senate to vote to remove or weaken the 60-vote filibuster, but he has so far refused to go along with those who see no problem in trampling on the minority party — in this case, Republicans.
Clyburn told CNN:
We need to get rid of the filibuster for constitutional issues, just as we have done for budget issues. If you want to argue about how high a wall ought to be, whether or not you ought to build a wall, those are issues that are political, and let’s have the filibuster, if it’s — so long as there’s extended debate.
But we ought not be filibustering things like people’s voting rights, because what we have done with the modern-day filibuster, we will allow a senator to sit downtown in a spa somewhere, pick up the telephone and call in the filibuster, and effectively stop voting rights and other constitutional rights while sitting in a spa somewhere, won’t even come to the floor to argue his or her position.
That’s what is wrong with this filibuster, and that’s what they have done to it. So, Senator Manchin, I like him a whole lot. We have talked about this.
And I will say once again, Senator, I’m not against the filibuster, but you ought not be filibustering — nobody should filibuster anybody’s constitutional right. We have done it for the budget under reconciliation. And reconciliation is a much better word to apply to constitutional issues than it is to the budget.
First and foremost, this is Grade-A hackery; literally, no one is attempting to disrupt anyone’s right to vote. Rather, Clyburn’s party is trying to pass legislation — the misnamed “For The People Act” — that would override state laws against ballot harvesting, requiring an ID to vote, limiting mail-in balloting, culling voter registration rolls of dead voters and people who have moved away, and other legitimate voter integrity measures.
So in a way, it’s fair to say that Clyburn’s Democrat Party is attempting to nullify legitimate votes with potentially millions of illegitimate votes that will be cast in election environments with no verification measures in place.
As for the Senate’s filibuster, Democrats hated the idea when Republicans controlled the chamber and then-President Donald Trump suggested ditching it. That alone is reason enough to ignore Clyburn’s appeal.
But Democrats won’t; they will increasingly move towards eliminating the filibuster for most votes when they figure out they can’t keep either chamber of Congress in 2022.