In his OpEd for Truthout, this week, There’s a Path to Ending the Filibuster, If Democrats Move Wisely, William Rivers Pitt is onto something, but... The but is Kyrsten Sinema. I have a feeling he doesn't understand how deranged and sociopathic Sinema is and is assuming she's like a normal politician, usually something bad enough. Sinema is more like a Trump... in her own category of walking insanity. She's not a run-of-the-mill self-interested political hack like Joe Manchin or one of the Democratic goons from Delaware, Virginia or New Hampshire-- and not even like right of center freshmen, Frackenlooper from Colorado or Mark Kelly from Arizona. She's much worse than all of them combined!
"At some point," he wrote, "the filibuster has to go, even in the face of Mitch McConnell’s puny bluster. As it stands, a number of 'centrist' Democrats and every single Republican are against this action, though the reticence of those Democrats has begun to waver in the face of the fact that the GOP intends to filibuster everything including the sink in the men’s room in order to thwart Biden’s agenda. Just two weeks ago, Biden himself sounded a lot like Joe Manchin when it came to filibuster reform. But if Axios has the right of it, the president has changed his tune dramatically. Angus King of Maine, an Independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats, has likewise moved to the filibuster-abolition camp. More pointedly, he believes those senators who are hesitant to make this change will come around after watching serial GOP obstructionism upend vital legislation like H.R.1, the vast and historic voter protections bill that just passed the House on a straight party vote." But... Sinema.
Even stubborn Joe Manchin may have his price regarding the filibuster, and more importantly, he may have already signaled what that price is.
“Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that he favors a large infrastructure package that would be paid for in part by raising tax revenues,” reports NBC News, “a point of contention between the two parties. ‘I’m sure of one thing: It’s going to be enormous,’ the West Virginia Democrat, who is seen as a swing vote in a chamber divided 50-50, told reporters at the Capitol.”
Is there room here for a deal? If Biden promises to go full bore on Manchin’s massive infrastructure bill in exchange for Manchin and his cohort of “centrists” agreeing to vote an end to the filibuster, it could be hats over the windmill.
Clearly, we are not there yet… but I have a vision in my mind’s eye that won’t go away. In my vision, the filibuster remains intact for the senate vote on H.R.1, and the bill gets filibustered to death by McConnell or one of his underlings. Thus, the gauntlet is thrown.
Senate Democrats then feed other enormously popular bills-- gun background checks, say, or infrastructure-- into the maw of the GOP filibuster. Blow by blow, bill by bill, it will become clear even to the stoniest 'centrist' Democrat that their own political aspirations will rise or fall on the ability, simply, to get things done.
And then, as tensions peak, a House and Senate coalition, led by the Congressional Black Caucus and fully supported by Mr. Biden, once again puts H.R.1 up for a vote. Their main argument? The hundreds of bills emerging nationwide that seek to obliterate the right to vote for people of color, and for anyone else who does not reliably vote Republican. All eyes turn, again, to the filibuster.
… and after all that? None can say. The way is there, however, eight lanes wide and screaming for boldness.
Who are you, Joe Biden? Are you going to be a president who prioritizes real human needs? If you are, we need you to fight now. Win first, improve people’s lives by way of desperately needed progressive legislation, and wait for the lightbulb moments to start flashing all over the country.
Still, no recognition of Sinema or what she is. Meanwhile, Dorothy Reik, a member of the California Democratic Party executive board, scratched her head and said she fails "to understand the ridiculous argument that the Republicans will benefit from Democrats ending the filibuster if they get power back. If they get the chance it will take less than five minutes for the Republicans to eliminate the filibuster if they think it will benefit them. I cannot for the life of me understand why Democrats keep saying this. Did they forget about how all those Supreme Court justices got there?"