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Save the Legislative Filibuster

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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90 Comments

A freight train is a blessing, but if a train’s brakes are removed, it becomes a runway hazard. The US Senate’s “legislative filibuster” is a blessing, but without the filibuster – which brakes bill passage without a debate-ending 60 votes (that is, cloture) – the Senate becomes a runaway train.

The “world’s greatest deliberative body” would quickly go off the rails.

News flash:  Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) refuses to promise Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – both having 50 votes, Democrat Vice President a tiebreaker – that he will keep the filibuster and cloture.  He will not promise brakes. This is ominous.  See, e.g., https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-schumer-spar-over-power-sharing-as-disagreement-over-filibuster-hamstrings-talks.  At the same time, we have learned that two Democratic Senators will now oppose any change to the filibuster process and we hope they will not waiver. McConnell Statement on Democrats’ Commitments to Protect Senate Rules

Stakes are high, and here is why.  The legislative filibuster requires – and has for more than 100 years – a Senate consider legislation with a filibuster, requiring 60 votes to go forward.  This allows Senators to hear from you and me, gauge public passion and fear, depth of support and opposition, pros and cons, before passing a divisive, wrong-headed, or unconstitutional bill.  The filibuster’s delay, and cloture’s ability to stop, bad ideas – has been lifesaving, for both parties.

For a refresher on how vital the “legislative filibuster” is to our Republic – even in undivided times – re-watch Jimmy Stewart’s epic film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  The film is educational – as the filibuster stops profound public corruption.  The filibuster is central to what makes America great.  If you kill it, you nobble brakes that stop bad things from happening.

Let us get specific. If a 50-50 vote, broken by a Democrat VP, is how the Senate is now going to work – without filibuster or cloture, tools Senator Biden used many times – things change fast.

Suddenly, rather seeking “unity,” chaos will prevail.  A sense of betrayal of tradition in the Senate will spread – to House, governors, state legislatures, attorneys general, law schools. The question “is nothing sacred?” will be answered, “no.”  The downhill roll accelerates from there.

Rather than extended debate, persuasion, amendment, modification, refinement, and deliberation, we will witness a runaway train – something akin to how successive Soviet-era politburos, the Venezuelan national assembly, and McCarthyism worked, rampant injustice defined as justice.

Suddenly, with half the country expecting preservation of institutions, procedures, rule of law, and traditions – which historically survive party shifts – we will see something else entirely, something anti-historical, anti-traditional, gut-wrenching, and highly objectionable.

We will see an undemocratic, socialist-heavy majority stuffing “citizen expectations” into a corner, determined to quickly move power-concentrating bills.  If this sounds too harsh, consider legislation that a 50-50 Senate, absent minority voices, filibuster, and cloture, could pass.

Democrats are talking massive, unchecked federal spending, New Green Deal that upends energy, transportation, and costs 30 trillion; Medicare-for-All stripping citizens of private coverage, punishing quality, costing another 30 trillion; federal control of the economy, energy, transportation, health care, and finance to private education, banking, aviation, and high tech.  They will bankrupt, demonize, and demoralize half the country.

Worse, without a legislative filibuster, the Supreme Court could be packed, ending the last best chance for non-political, constitutional review, and public trust.  They could reshape the federal judiciary, adding and splitting circuits. They could control the private sector, punishing churches, religious schools, non-profits, while criminalizing gun ownership and free speech – this article!

In short, dams seldom burst because every brick falls together, but when one brick falls – holding the others together.  Runaway trains do not destroy lives and property when all systems fail together, just when brakes fail to check disaster.  As students of history – and most Americans –understand, the filibuster, broken by a 60-member vote, protects us all.  Lose it, and we crash.

So, at a time of enormous frustration, what can be done?  Everyone can call their Senator, affirm the legislative filibuster and cloture vote counts. We are not stupid, not eager for one-party domination. We know these tools protect the Republic, expect them retained. We expect mature leadership – which means leaders respecting history, rules, and time-honored procedures.

What else?  So long as our First Amendment is written out of the Constitution, we can speak, write, and make clear our belief that Jimmy Stewart – and Americans before us – were right.  The “world’s greatest deliberative body” relies on the filibuster and cloture vote. They protect the Republic from losing what keeps it a republic – trust, fairness, and respect for history.  Take out the wrong brick, remove the train’s brakes, and things begin to come apart fast.

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PaulE
PaulE
3 years ago

Mitch McConnell has dropped his demand that the filibuster be maintained as part of the negotiations for how the Senate will run in 2021. So perhaps you should be speaking with him, as it appears to have caved on the issue. It seems the Republican leadership in the Congress is falling back to their old ways of crawling into a corner to lay in a fetal position while sucking their collective thumbs for fear they will upset the Democrats.

President Trump is only gone a week and Washington is already going back to the status quo.

Dan W.
Dan W.
3 years ago

I agree with Mr. Charles. While the filibuster has no basis in constitutional law, it does serve a useful purpose by forcing the party in power to seek a broader legislative consensus in the Senate.

Will Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema stick to their guns to keep the filibuster in place for the next two years ? I would guess yes since they both represent conservative states but let’s wait and see.

(Keep in mind that none of this effects fiscal legislation which can be passed by a simple majority through the budget reconciliation process.)

johnh
johnh
3 years ago

Seems to me that use of Executive Orders are just a way to bypass Congress & filibuster rule does not matter to the EO ???

Rik
Rik
3 years ago

The Progressively Communist Democrats are playing for keeps while the Jackass Senate Republicans with Turncoat McConnell at the helm are treading water as usual. You would think that they enjoyed being dominant with Trump in the Presidential chair. How quickly they have acquiesced power. I have little hope that Senator Cruz’s term limit proposal will pass. After all, would you vote to get off the gravy train?

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood
3 years ago

This is extremely important! Without the filibuster, the demoncRATS can pack the SCOTUS, the electorate and the Senate itself. There will be nothing to stop their radical agenda and we will have one party rule for the foreseeable future.

JSJB53
JSJB53
3 years ago

They want to take OUR VOICE by ramming Dems down our throat! SAVE THE FILIBUSTER! Get rid of lobbyists!

Karen Schelhorn
Karen Schelhorn
3 years ago

I understand the necessity of the filibuster. I have heard where the filibuster went on for many days. I don’t remember when or who but there was one person who was reading from a cookbook. There should be some limit as to how long it should last. Think 48 hours, real-time, is long enough. With the internet, it is easy to get information to and from anyone in the country.

Rick
Rick
3 years ago

House, Senate, Presidency – face it: the leftists control the most powerful arms of our democracy and are in a position to gain a measure of control which will be difficult to overcome for possibly years, if at all. Losing the right to filibuster will be the nail in the coffin. We MUST let our congressional representatives know how we feel about this issue and demand their support to do everything to stop this movement to remove the filibuster. Side note: we wouldn’t be in this position if Trump had set aside his egotistical, self-centered bombast and done everything he could do to focus on the Georgia Senate race and the support of the two candidates.

Felix
Felix
3 years ago

Calling my two senators? – Mark Warner & Tim Kaine? – who could care less about what is right for the country, they only want to keep, and grow their power. We need the filibuster to stop the far left from ramming down our throats, legislature that can’t be revoked or reversed by the courts. Elections do have consequences, and we are about to find out, if our Republic will survive? This is a critical time for the future of our country I just hope and pray, that because of all the lies that are being revealed by Biden and his handlers, that people with any common sense would wake up and see the need to call him, and the far left out, and their would be an awakening and revival to truth.

Doug Drennan
Doug Drennan
3 years ago

Government exists at the will of the governed, when government exceeds its bounds the people have the right and obligation to replace it. The filibuster needs to be the “redline” that determines whether the current government remains in place or is instead replaced.

dbro
dbro
3 years ago

I’m sick and tired of politicians running our country into the ground. I don’t trust Republicans and no Democrats at all; COS (Convention of States) could be the route to force term limits and stop the Demo’s from destroying America and refresh the Repub Party with new loyal and trustworthy members. Could stop people like Biden and Pelosi and others from profiteering from foreign money,
and getting by with it, those we chose to make laws in DC, made rules and laws to protect their criminality, and not much more.

GreggT
GreggT
3 years ago

Manchin and Sinema both confirmed that they will not change their mind so…..Schummer would not have the votes to scuttle the fillabuster…..That’s reason given by McConnell for saying his stance was no longer necessary.
No idea what ‘power sharing agreement’ Schu & McC have come up with but…..certainly would not trust McC further than I could throw him.

Pete from St Pete
Pete from St Pete
3 years ago

I just saw a clip taken of Biden being interviewed by George Stephanopolis a couple months ago. George asked him what he thought of executive orders. Biden replied that he thought they should never be used except in rare circumstances because it is important to the the consensus it takes thru negotiating legislation. His unbridled use of them shows he is no longer competent to lead and is merely following the directions of Susan Rice, et al.

Myrna S Wade
Myrna S Wade
3 years ago

Ending the filibuster is one more act of desperation by a narrow majority wanting to do a number of things they have been willing to admit out loud to impose their absolute rule in perpetuity. The same majority is ending freedom of speech every way they can and threatening to do more. What is striking is how bold and upfront they are. More study of history should make informed citizens more aware just how lethal this is. Schools and families have failed today’s young people. So many are caving in to the thought police. Heaven help us.

Jeanne
Jeanne
3 years ago

Schumer is a traitor. He is long gone over the edge of reason. He is a tyrant along with many dims who want to take control of everything. That is how communism works so what is it they are trying to do? They must be stopped before they destroy our country completely.

Wayne Peterkin
Wayne Peterkin
3 years ago

Obviously this is only being discussed because the democrats want to be able to ram through their radical agenda with nothing but a majority vote. While that would be a disaster for the next two years (they may lose the House in 2022), it could seriously backfire in a future congress where they are not in charge. I think they are going to muck up the economy badly enough that although we will be hurt, perhaps badly, for awhile, it will cause them to lose their majorities in a short time. One can hope.

Lois Gunning
Lois Gunning
3 years ago

I totally agree that it will be and almost is a runaway train. I am absolutely sick about all those E. orders that Biden has signed and who knows how many more. My take is that he has never read them and his handlers are in the driver’s seat, especially K. Harris. Heaven help America. It won’t do any good for me to write or call Schumer or Gillibrand – they are locked in Dems. Why? I will never know – do they really want a totalitarian government except I think they are foolish enough to think their ideas will always control. We write to our local papers but not to the Senate – we could write to others in the senate to let our views be known. HR 1 will ruin us forever I fear.
Thanks for whatever clout you can use as an organization. Lois Gunning

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
3 years ago

Simple: vote out the Leftists & write Law to make Perm the filabuster into US Code

John A. Fallon
John A. Fallon
3 years ago

People need to stop fantasizing, do you seriously think the dems will allow an honest election in 2022 or 2024? They have stacked the deck in thier favor to steal this election and they will do the same”next” time, by the time the “next” election rolls around they will have the scotus overflowing with socialist judges and the constitution will no longer exist, and we will no longer have ANY RIGHTS, chinajoe made DEALS with foriegn energy co. , he will shut down AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE and give fat contracts to our enemies so he can get filthy rich as he drives the AMERICAN PEOPLE INTO A THIRD WORLD STATE, he will allow iran to have nukes, he will send them BILLIONS to help them fund TERRORIST GROUPS THAT WILL ATTACK US AGAIN, the radical leftist (blm and antifa) they turned loose on AMERICAN cities are just a hint of what we are in for,
PRAY FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST.

Dave
Dave
3 years ago

“…before passing a divisive, wrong-headed, or unconstitutional bill.”

They seem to manage to do this anyway, from time to time. That being said, it would be a disaster to end the filibuster rule. In fact, I think the house should adopt something similar.

Debby
Debby
3 years ago

The end of this article that calls for action would be a GREAT place to insert a link to find The contact for your Senator.

Chuck
Chuck
3 years ago

No politician can be trusted.

Brenda Blunt
Brenda Blunt
3 years ago

No one is going to put up with all that the Democrats are doing very long! I pray that the Demos suffer aggressive backlash for what they are doing!! Rise up true Americans! Rise up!!

‘Nonymous
‘Nonymous
3 years ago

Both houses of congress have been a train wreck for decades, if not centuries. Let them babble on !

Doug Drennan
Doug Drennan
3 years ago

America is facing the greatest threat since the founding of the republic. The election was criminally stolen and tech companies and the media have conspired to silence any opposition. If the American people don’t rise against this threat now we will never have another free or fair election. The democrats are spending trillions of dollars that we don’t have on policies that will only result in the destruction of the country. It’s time to fish or cut bait folks, our grandchildren’s future depends on it.

Ronald Marsh
Ronald Marsh
3 years ago

This is what we get when the Dems cheat and the Reps and Rhinos don’t have the spine to fight.

David
David
3 years ago

As President Reagan said the greatest threat to the survival of the United States has always been one generation away. With the deliberate intentions of revising the foundations of America (faith in God, the Biblical family unit, equal justice under the law), the leftists/communists have taken control of the Federal government, not by election, but by subversion. Now with the military occupying Washington D.C., Americans are being “advised” not to challenge the regime. In just a matter of weeks America has begun to rapidly slip into third world status with someone who is demented enough to think he was elected by a majority. Folks, we are in big trouble. And it’s time that we, the vast majority of the American electorate of both parties, quit playing nice and work on getting back our country as founded.

a reader
a reader
3 years ago

I thought Senator McCarthy did the country a favor when he named many communists in the government. I believe he just scraped the tip of the iceberg. We are paying the price now. He died in disgrace which he did not earn just like President Trump is going through now. I think we need some fact checking on the McCarthy situation to see what really happened.

Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer
3 years ago

I will never send another dime to the Rhino party after they failed to support Trump. The election was stolen. My wife has friends with two dead relatives who voted. Scandalous! Rise up all of you Patriots and make sure that the Demonrats lose both houses of congress in November of 2022!!!!

Michael Venaccio
Michael Venaccio
3 years ago

We have a 99.999999% confidence factor that the election was stolen at the presidential level and possibly some senate races, like McSalley in AZ, John James in MI, and possibly MN and CO.

The issue is that ALL the institutions that we would rely on to make this right have all abysmally failed the American people.

So, a grass roots movement needs to take place at the state level. The state legislators failed in their duty to rectify voting irregularities and/or outright fraud. So, it makes sense to start there.

If you are a resident of one of the states that uses Dominion or Smartmatic voting systems, write or call your state legislatures and press for a removal of these systems and mail in voting.

If you are in one of the contested states, call or right your state legislators and demand an investigation into all the allegations in your state. If the legislators do not comply, then vote them out.

Call your congressional delegations and ask for an answer as to why the alternate electors from the contested states were not recognized as the law requires. If there was a change to the electoral law language, who made it and was it a legal change.

Maybe someone could answer the question as to the rights of citizens in one state to sue the other states for damages, like lost jobs, increased gas prices, dilution of votes, etc. since the contested states put us in this mess. Granted the SCOTUS declined to hear the Texas suit, but harmed individuals, the citizens should have a right to sue.

Can citizen groups sue or contest any and all legislation due to harmful effects or the unconditionality of the laws??

In short, what legal methods are left to us??

Cathryn Pindzola
Cathryn Pindzola
3 years ago

Question- will the Medicare for All include the Federal government? Senators, Representatives, President, Vice president, congressional workers, IRS, etc? And their families?

Nancy Kellam
Nancy Kellam
3 years ago

I think I agree with the author of this article. However, the grammar is disappointing and makes several statements meaning unclear.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
3 years ago

The democrats would do anything to get conservatives out of the picture.I don’t doubt that they would destroy AMERICA to achieve their goal.

Carol
Carol
3 years ago

WHY DID NOT THE PEOPLEIN THIS COUNTRY EVER HEED WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS. I AM SO TIRED OF ALL OF THE TALK THAT I HAVE LISTENED TO. GOD BLESS PEOPLE LIKE MR. CHARLES AND TOM COTTON, HAWLEY AND ALL OF THE REAL AND NOT PHONY PATRIOTS INTHIS COUNTRY. i SAID TO MY HUBAND THAT I HAD ONLY KNOWN ONE OTHER PERSON WHO WAS SO HORRIDLY AND WICKEDLY PERSUCUTED BY A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ONLY WORSHIP ONE god POWER. THAT WOULD BE JESUS CHRIST. I KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN UP TO OVER THE YEARS AND THEY WILL NEVER TAKE MY MIND AND MY THOUGHTS. THANK YOU, CAROL

Felix
Felix
3 years ago

I am stating to be disturbed with a trend of comments calling for seceding from the union and taking up arms, this is wrong! President Trump had successfully nominated and had confirmed, I think, over 300 constitutional federal judges. I think all of Biden’s EO’s. should be reviewed for any violations to the Constitution and our Bill of Rights and that the states should sue the federal government to have them overturned. Conservatives need to be smart and not play into the hands of the left they want us to be violent. The last election put more states into the hands of Republicans, lets use that majority. Being a Republic the states can hold the federal government accountable.

Jacob DeVos
Jacob DeVos
3 years ago

JAKE DEVOS i HAVE BEEN A SUBSCBER TO AMAC FOR MANY YEARES AND WILL PRAY FOR ALL OF YOU AT AMAC YOU STAND UP FOR OUR GREAT COUNTRY THE USA OF AMREICA!!!!!

Lorey
Lorey
3 years ago

Why waste time on a fillibuster the jellyfish repukeacrates won’t stand up & do their job. Judt watch how many go 2 the humanoids side.. I’m done with these wolfs in sheep clothing

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