If we take the Senate this fall, we’ve got to kill the filibuster. It was never a good idea, probably, and the whole elite media wankfests about Senators bringing their cots and reading some book for an hour were annoying under the best of circumstances, let alone now.
Ideally, we’ll add a few states too. But first…we need to win some seats.
Here’s some races I like:
Barbara Bollier, Kansas Senate
Cal Cunningham, North Carolina Senate
Raphael Warnock, Georgia Senate (special election)
You can see all the candidates we are supporting here.
FWIW I think the case for doing away with the filibuster is a closer one than many here do. It has again been the GOP over the last 30 years or so who have made invoking cloture a common procedure such that all legislation now effectively requires a super-majority to get through the Senate. And, of course, some of the most famous instances of the traditional filibuster were in opposition to civil rights legislation. But, Christ, the damage that an unrestrained GOP could do with a control of the House and a 50/50 Senate is terrifying.
KayInMD (formerly Kay (not the front-pager))
All three of these are on our monthly donation list, but I kicked in to each on here anyway. I like all 3, but I’m really confident about Cal Cunningham. I have a pretty good feeling about the Senate this year.
@Omnes Omnibus: On the other hand, the inability to get things done when voters give you a mandate(majority) leaves the differences between the two parties less stark and leads to apathy.
@Omnes Omnibus: Sounds like an argument against electing them.
Anything with the Confederate taint must go. I think that’s a good starting point.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: I agree. I still think it need to be done, but getting rid of it will have some ugly results on occasion.
@Baud: You don’t have to convince me.
@Baud: And for DC statehood and PR statehood
I have every winnable Senate race set up for an end-of-quarter donation on the 31st. That includes these three as well as AK (Hold), AL, MT, SC, GA (Ossoff), TX, IA, and ME. At this point I don’t think AZ or CO need $$.
But since this is a thread about Senate races & the filibuster has been mentioned, and since I failed miserably trying to email DougJ a link to this, here is a righteous rant about how Joe Lieberman, who just endorsed Susan Collins, fucked us all over with the ACA. It is important to remember this stuff, particularly since I am at the age where a Medicare buy in provision would have been extraordinarily helpful (pretty sure this is from a 2018 AOC primary event where Lieberman endorsed the old white guy Crowley):
@Omnes Omnibus: It is scary, but two things:
Nice Run DMC reference.
It’s true that if the Democrats remove the filibuster, the Republicans will be free to roll back all the Democrats’ accomplishments the next time they have complete control of the government. But if we don’t roll back the filibuster, there aren’t going to be any worthwhile Democratic accomplishments to roll back. I’d rather do something positive and force the Republicans to take the hit for undoing it than just let things sit as they are. And the final factor that should make the choice obvious is that the Republicans will be free to eliminate the filibuster anyway, so the Democrats’ preserving it won’t necessarily do much to slow the Republicans down.
Also, keep in mind that if there is some truly egregious thing Rs want to get through the Senate they have not been shy about using reconciliation which is a simple majority vote. I’ve seen folks bring up McCain’s stand against abolishing the ACA in 2017 as a reason to keep the filibuster. Except that wasn’t a filibuster vote. It was a reconciliation vote and McCain was the 51st vote against abolishing the ACA. Since that has meant me retaining healthcare coverage for the past 3 years I’ll give him a lot of credit for that.
@sdhays: I said that I think it is a closer case than many here do. I didn’t say I was against it.
@sdhays: Actually, they did get rid of it where they wanted to: Judicial votes. I think for the Rs who have a couple brain cells to rub together that tax cuts are secondary to stacking the federal judiciary with rabidly unqualified wing nut conservatives who will be there for the next 3-4 decades.
@Marcopolo: This is always the first thing I think about when I hear the words “Joe Lieberman”, even before his Iraq War boostering. Fuck that guy.
It would be nice to be able to win more Senate seats in low population states. I’m not sure how, though.
A number of threads back, someone asked me about D party organization in Polk County, Iowa. I think the party has a lot of practice in getting ready for the caucuses every four years. But I also think it has become a community for many. We had the annual Steak Fry on Saturday night and it was nearly flawless, in a time of pandemic, with 1000 tickets sold and all done following the best of CDC guidelines. Here is this morning’s weekly report, to give you an idea of how the county level party works:
The 2020 Steak Fry
After three days of miserable set-up in three days of miserable rain, our 2020 Steak Fry defied weather reports and wound up being a gorgeous day just in the nick of time. The result was unprecedented organizing and a breathtaking shot of energy for everyone involved because of the tireless work of more than 150 volunteers. 1,200 tickets were sold. 900 people attended our big day in person and 300 people watched on our virtual link. You can see all the coverage from the Des Moines Register, KCCI, and WHO.
When the gates opened at 4, our parking crew led by Tom Leffler, Pat Walters, and Dave Vawter, guided attendees down two lanes of traffic without any more than momentary back-ups. There were signs all along the way courtesy of John Kaiser. Our stations led by LuAnn Pedrick and Rosie Thierer ensured that everyone got their tickets and were checked in. Deb Hansen spent countless hours in the weeks beforehand to create an individualized dashboard food ticket for every attendee. Our food crew, expertly led by Jason Krull, safely packed 900 hot meals in just two hours. Our 16 delivery carts of food and beverages led by Ruth and Scott Thompson made sure that everyone received their meal without having to wait long for delivery to their vehicles.
The pre-program started at 5:00 with videos of campaigns from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama. We also filled it with videos from many of our local and statehouse candidates here in Polk and from across Iowa. It was all produced by the amazing Maryfrances Evans for those in the park and the hundreds watching online. The stage was managed by Jason Crowley and our announcer was the legendary Mary McAdams. Caroline Jones jumped in on social media to make sure we were connecting with all the coverage buzzing around the state through the night.
As always, the entire event was managed from the idea phase several months ago to the clean-up yesterday morning by our Steak Fry leadership team of Lindsay Paulson, Judy Downs, and Peter Crane. Skylar Adamson helped a great deal, too. Because of their work, the Polk County Dems beat our fundraising goals. That will help us to do even more in the final weeks of the 2020 campaign.
Frankly, no one knew how an event like this would work. Other than the DNC, this was certainly one of the largest Democratic events since the pandemic began. The massive 2019 Steak Fry was really just a much, much bigger version of the ones that came before it. We could plan all we want (and we certainly did), but there really wasn’t much precedent for parking a drive-in event with this many cars and this many delivered meals and this many virtual attendees and so much else. It all went off without a hitch. That proves how exceptional our volunteers are. It also shows how serious every single person was about delivering our last big celebration before the general election in a safe way. Thank you to everyone who gave so much to make it possible.
Seaking of the filibuster, how realistic is that part of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington?
@Baud: Just spitballing here but if Michael Bloomberg took $1 billion and gave 100,000 D voters $10K each to move to MT that would turn it into a reliable blue state. But I don’t think there are enough decent jobs for all those folks. So I guess there’d have to be some kind of virtual job package included. I guarantee this would also work for AK. Theoretically it might also work with the Dakotas & maybe ID and WY though I’d have to look up vote margins to be sure.
Then, because I’m itchy with a b in front of it this morning, I’ll share my reply to Joni “let’em squeal” Ernst (yes, she uses that in her header of her email) and her email this morning calling for the ending of all federal funding to five cities calling for defunding of police. She cites her military background to give herself credentials for “law and order.” And subject line was “Do you know that you are funding anarchy?”:
This is insane. You are following baseless conspiracy theories and trying to whip up more fear and craziness. We need intelligent politicians who know how to separate fact from fiction. Of course, that would mean separating yourself from the fact-free occupier of the White House, but you have wedded and welded yourself to his fear mongering and panic. This sounds like squealing in the barnyard, panic in the pigpen. You have failed to lead in a time of pandemic, or to defend the military when bounties are put on the heads of soldiers and the “president” calls those who died “suckers and losers.” You were silent in the face of all of that and now you exploit the military when it suits your purpose? You are not even an empty suit in your use of the military; you are the senator in “no clothes.” Your parade should be one of shame, your actions should be immediate resignation, rather than enlarging your echoes of denying federal funding to cities who are looking for more appropriate ways to manage police departments and better serve the public (ironic because these places provide more federal dollars than they even take, unlike a lot of self-righteous red states).
@Amir Khalid: When they talk about removing the filibuster, I don’t think they actually mean dropping the actual filibuster that you see in Mr. Smith. If Senators in the minority wanted to actively block legislation by monopolizing the Senate floor, that should still be available (it’s just a lot of work and not sustainable against a determined majority). It means dropping the 60-vote cloture rule for legislation – the lazy, passive filibuster.
@Nelle: Thanks for the report. Happy positive political news is really welcome right now.
Speaking to that I was one of the ~100,000 folks who watched the Zoom table read of the Princess Bride last night for the benefit of the Wisconsin Dem’s. Despite a few hiccups it was a lovely time. Ben Wikler, WisDems Chair said it was the best fundraising/organizing event (by at least a magnitude) that they have ever held. If everyone chipped in the suggested $27 it brought in a couple million dollars but more important was a lot of the folks who signed up to watch also signed up to volunteer. More happy fun campaign events like this please!
‘Inconceivable!’: More than 110,000 tune into ‘A Virtual Princess Bride Reunion’ fundraiser for Wisconsin Democrats
The filibuster has its derivations at the beginning of the Republic but its first significant use was by Robert LaFollette in the lame duck Session in 1917 when Wilson was trying to get us into WWI. And all it did at that time was delay but not stop eventual American entry because soon thereafter, in the new Congress, the war resolution was allowed to be considered. When it was used sparingly and only for such important matters and the overwhelming bias was for consideration generally, even by the minority who presumably opposed even consideration of an issue, it potentially had its uses. But in the modern era, when the Republicans abuse it every single time on every single issue, it has vastly changed American governance, with its super-majority requirements. Nothing shows that more than Lieberman joining the filibuster to stop the public option – he wouldn’t even allow itto be considered because he knew it would probably have passed and become law.
Nowadays, it prevents Republican crap from even passing the Senate but the House wouldn’t let that stuff be passed even if it did. I’m for getting rid of it and taking the risk of full Republican governance. That happened under Ike briefly in 1953-54 and the Republicans blathered about repealing New Deal programs but never actually tried to do much of it. Probably because of the anticipated blowback but also because there were some liberal Republicans at the time who wouldn’t necessarily have gone along. The only other chance they had was under W at the beginning of this century and under Trump for 2 years, and as mentioned above, the Republicans tried to get around it by using reconciliation and McCain saved the day.
@Omnes Omnibus: Absolutely, when Republicans are in charge we’ll get it good and hard, but we’ll be able to pass better legislation. I’m of the opinion that the 2010 midterms would have been much more favorable to Democrats if the Senate was able to pass more of President Obama’s agenda, including a more robust ACA.
@Omnes Omnibus: It’s a risk, but Congress becoming an effectively dead organization, actual legislation fading to irrelevance and the President governing as a dictator through executive order is a bigger risk. And we’ve been going down that road for a long time.
@Nelle: That was a righteous rant.
One final feel good post from St Louis County. My favorite MO State House candidate, Helena Webb, had 47 volunteers show up to do door hangers/no contact lit drops yesterday. That is an astonishing number of folks to come out for a state house campaign during a pandemic (yes, they all wore masks). The crowd was composed of regular campaign volunteers joined by the StL Young Dems & Rockwood MO Labor Council.
Helena is trying to flip MO-SHD-100 from red to blue. It falls within the boundaries of the MO-2 congressional district which Jill Schupp is also trying to flip. I am hopeful for success at both the state and federal level.
Have a good day everyone!
The underlying problem, as Betty Cracker said the other day (yesterday?), is that our current political situation is like being handcuffed to a madman. We’re always only two (or four) years away from the madman taking the wheel.
What we need is the de-Baathification of the Republican Party. I’m not sure the never-Trumpers are the ones to do that. A lot of them seem to be a little too comfortable with the idea that the whole problem is Trump, not the GOP in general.
@Matt McIrvin: Yup, this is a real danger. Voters thinking that all Congress does is sit there and argue about things.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Matt McIrvin: I agree. That lack of tangible progress, due to the filabuster, has really fueled the anger of progressives toward Democrats. They are aiming at the wrong target, but it would be easier for the less informed ones to see that if progress actually happened after Dems were elected.
@WereBear: I guess I’m feeling a little punchy like a jr highschooler this late morning, but for a moment there, I was imagining some very tiny Stars and Bars tattoos in some very private places.
That was probably me asking about it. Amazing organization you have there!
Suggestion: The Senate Majority Leader is selected by the party whose Senators received the largest number of votes in total. I am too lazy to look this up now, but I recall seeing a statistic that pointed out that the GOP senators represents far less than half of the total population of the country. With this rule the smaller states still get an outsized influence in the Senate, but at least they won’t lead it.
I still want to politely request that we add Paula Jean to this list, even if we set a low dollar amount WV is not an expensive state, it has more registered Dems than Rs (unlike Kansas, which I think we can win as well but hasn’t been blue in decades instead of… today with Manchin). Any seat with 10% or more chance should get support because if things go well we are going to win a fair number of those!
McConnell’s super pac is spending $5.2 million on the Kansas race, which a leaked memo described as a must win. They are calling their effort Operation Scorched Prairie.
@Paul W.: I don’t know how late DougJ checks back for comments. You might want to think about copying the text of your comment and adding it pretty early in the comments of another DougJ fundraising thread.
The problem with the Senate (and the House at times) is that the leadership is tremendously powerful. The leadership determines what comes to the floor and under what rules. If monsters control the leadership, then whether there’s a filibuster/cloture system or not, they can try to push through horrible legislation (or prevent good legislation from getting a vote).
Ultimately, the majority has to be able to pass legislation. The majority has to be able to rule, and be accountable for its actions. The filibuster has been abused far too much – it needs to go. It’s up to the people to prevent monsters from having power by electing sensible representatives.