Will Progressive Dreams Become Reality -- Thanks to Donald Trump?
I keep wondering when Donald Trump’s loyal fans will wake up and realize how much harm he did and is still doing to the Republican Party -- and to them.
Not only have Republicans lost the House, the Senate and the White House during his four years in the Oval Office, but thanks to the former president they may wind up losing a barricade too, the one that keeps Democrats from ramming through just about any legislation they want without even a single GOP vote -- the Senate filibuster.
Democrats, egged on by the progressives in their party, would love to pack the Supreme Court and fill the new seats with left of center jurists. But they’d need 60 votes in the Senate to transform that dream into reality and that’s not likely to happen.
Democrats want a federal law that would allow convicted felons to vote, as long as they’re not still behind bars. That would also be a tough sell for Republicans since Democrats are counting on those felons to vote for Democrats.
It’s no secret that progressives would like to add one or two more states to the union. The places they have in mind are Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – two additions that would almost certainly add 4 more liberal Democrats to the Senate. So you can be sure Republicans won’t vote for that, either.
As for spending: Democrats aren’t happy unless the bills they endorse have a price tag somewhere in the trillions of dollars. Anything less is seen as a crime against humanity committed by stingy Republicans who hate poor people.
If only the filibuster weren’t there, Democrats could get the Biden agenda and a lot of other liberal wishes turned into law no matter how much they cost.
If history is any guide, there’s a good chance Republicans will win back the House, and maybe the Senate, in the 2022 midterm elections. Since the Roosevelt era, the President’s Party has only gained seats in the House and Senate during the midterm elections twice — in 1934 and 2002, and those gains were relatively meager.
So Democrats know the clock is ticking. They know that time is running out. They’ve got less than two years to push through all the goodies they’ve been dreaming about for quite some time now. But that pesky filibuster is standing in the way. Without it, they’d only need a simple majority to pass laws. And with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking 50-50 ties, killing the filibuster would be a dream come true.
That’s why there’s serious chatter on the left to eradicate the filibuster while Democrats still have the votes to do it.
An op-ed in the New York Times, the paper many on the right see as the Democratic Party’s house organ, ran under the headline: Joe Biden May Have Only 2 Years to Get Things Done … Democrats must kill the filibuster and make the Senate great again.
And just last week, the headline over the Times's lead editorial read: For Democracy to Stay, the Filibuster Must Go."
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the progressive Democrat, said, “If we want to deliver on our promises, we've got to be willing to get out there and fight for it. And that starts with getting rid of the filibuster."
Even a more moderate Democrat like Senator Amy Klobuchar told Mother Jones magazine that, “I have favored filibuster reform for a long time. … We have a raw exercise of political power going on where people are making it harder to vote and you just can’t let that happen in a democracy because of some old rules in the Senate.”
Two of Klobuchar’s centrist Democratic colleagues — Sen. Jow Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona – are on record saying they would oppose killing the filibuster. But they’ll be under enormous pressure to change their minds in the name of party loyalty. And you never know, they just might do that.
None of this would be a pressing issue if Republicans won just one of the two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January. But they lost both, mainly because Donald Trump – instead of telling voters that electing the two Republicans would be a check on an all-Democratic government -- told GOP voters that he really won the state in the presidential election, but the election was rigged.
And if you tell your most loyal supporters their votes are meaningless, that the fix is in, don’t be surprised when they sit home on Election Day. As the FiveThirtyEight website found, “The better Trump did in a county in November, the more its turnout tended to drop in the runoffs” in January.
If you gave Donald Trump truth serum he’d tell you that he believes he deserves credit for anything good that has happened to the GOP since he came down that golden escalator in Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 to announce his candidacy … and somebody else – anybody but him – is responsible for all the bad stuff that has happened.
So since he won’t take responsibility for those two GOP Senate losses in Georgia, it’s a safe bet that if Democrats kill the filibuster, because they control the Senate and have the muscle to pull it off, Donald Trump won’t take responsibility for that either.
That’s why I keep wondering when his loyal fans will wake up and realize how much harm he did and is still doing to the Republican Party -- and to them.