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If we can't end the filibuster, at least modify it. The fate of the world might depend on it.

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Mitch McConnell, Filibuster King
Mitch McConnell, Filibuster King
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In response to Thom Hartman's plea to contact our senators to reform the filibuster, I wrote to both my senators the following email.


Dear Senator _______:

Now, more than ever, the filibuster must be modified if it can't be ended. A couple of Democratic senators - Manchin and Sinema - won't allow the filibuster to be repealed entirely, but they might be open to modifying it so that it more closely resembles what most Americans think it is: a chance for the minority to stand and talk about a bill, putting forth arguments until they sit down, at which point a vote is taken. This is how Mr. Smith did it in the James Stewart movie "Mr. Smith goes to Washington."
The New York Times has recommended this: click here. So has Thom Hartman: click here. The filibuster has roots in racist ideology, so that is another reason to change it: click here
The filibuster, as it stands (or rests) now, allows a single line objection from any senator to stop a minimum wage increase, derail the entire Covid relief package, stall climate change legislation which could imperil the planet, and generally stall any meaningful legislation unless and overwhelming amount of support, skewed towards the conservative, red states, can be marshaled. The senate is supposed to be deliberative, not ossified.
The fate of the senate balance of power rests on your being able to implement president Biden's agenda. Or else voters will rightfully ask why they turned out in record numbers to vote for Democrats. It's time to fight hard, like the Republicans do, but for the correct goals.

There's no time to lose. The filibuster essentially erases the narrow margin of control Democrats have over the senate. Bias in the senate towards the red states, gerrymandering and vote suppression will see to it they never get another chance, unless the Democrats can deliver something to the working people of the country, not in 4 years, but in less than two. We are already 5 months past the last election, and because campaigns for midterms start early, we are at most a year out from the next campaign, at which time 1/3 of the senate will be distracted by the next campaign season and not willing to take chances. NOW is the time to act, when Biden is still in his 100-day honeymoon. This will determine if the Democrats are serious about reform or really care more about their corporate donors and "tradition" than even the Republicans.

 

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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