The Filibuster Is Critical To A Two-party Government

There was a balanced article in the New York Times yesterday about the fate of the filibuster in the Senate. I suggest interested parties read this publication.

I have addressed the filibuster several times in recent days because it is such a critical element of lawmaking in the Senate.

Let’s start with the basics. To pass a law, legislators must obtain approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate, along with the signature of the president. The House operates with a simple majority. The Senate can pass a law with a simple majority if no senator objects. If one does object, the bill must be approved by 60 senators, a supermajority, if you will.

The importance of the filibuster cannot be overstated. Recent history proved this point. In 2013, Senate Democrats voted to change the filibuster rules as it pertains to confirmation of judges, except for the Supreme Court. This action enabled Democrats to confirm a large number of judges that would normally have been unacceptable to Senate Republicans and would have been blocked with filibusters. Republicans were furious about the action by Democrats and soon found their revenge.

In 2020, Senate Republicans took control of the Upper House and changed the filibuster rule further by subjecting Supreme Court justices to a simple majority for confirmation. This action has changed the nature of the Supreme Court for decades as Donald Trump was able to fill the court with relatively young conservative justices. These confirmations could have a devastating impact on many embedded laws affiliated with social issues, including abortion rights, gun control and a plethora of management/worker issues in this country.

Now let’s consider the current state of affairs. Elimination of the filibuster for every day lawmaking will increase the power of the Democrat majority in the Senate. It will enable the Senate to pass laws with a simple majority. With a filibuster, the minority can require a supermajority vote of 60 to pass a law. Abrogating the filibuster only abets the activities of the majority, so long as it holds power. When the majority changes, as it often does, the advantage swings from the former majority to the former minority. So many senators think it is shortsighted to abolish this important protection for the minority.

What will Biden, the House and the razor-thin majority in the Senate do with total control of the legislative process? They might enact frivolous laws that do not represent the wishes of a majority of people in the country. The filibuster traditionally makes controversial and difficult legislation more challenging to pass by forcing consensus and compromise.

For instance, if the Biden administration wants to push through legislation that increases taxes for the middle class even if the majority of citizens are against these tax increases, they can do it. The minority has no power to stop them. This proposal would normally face opposition from the minority Republicans who would likely use a filibuster to impede it.

The bottom line is that without a filibuster, a government that controls all three branches of the lawmaking process is too powerful. As citizens, we need to demand that important legislation finds some consensus to become law. This becomes problematic without a filibuster.

Democrats Prepare To Behead, I Mean Impeach, Trump Once Again

The New York Times published a photo of House members parading in step to present articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Again! The photo shows masked and sinister members doing a death march across the Capitol rotunda towards the Senate chambers. It would have been more effective if they wore black robes.

My first impression was the group was on their way to behead a failed leader (or spouse) like the old days in Europe a la Henry VIII. The ax man must have been waiting in the Senate sharpening his tool of death before he decapitates our shamed leader.

Why are leaders and lawmakers obsessed with impeachment after Trump has left office? Do they hate the man so much that they want to embarrass and ridicule him even after he has passed presidential power to Biden? What’s to gain by humiliating just less than half the electorate in this country, or about 73 million people? Most recognize they pulled the wrong lever in 2016 and 2020.

Oh, I know. How about preventing Trump from running for office in the future. He has as much chance to win a presidential race or a governor race as a convicted murderer. So, what is it that Democrats are trying to accomplish?

Maybe they want to trounce their political opposition in this country. Maybe it’s the Republican Party, as a whole, that is their target. I stipulate that Republicans made a huge mistake voting for Trump. But this has been exposed, reprimanded and the Department of Justice can go after Trump for crimes committed including his intention to incite a riot in Washington at their leisure.

The wisdom of paralyzing the Republican Party is questionable. A two-party political system is much more efficient and beneficial than a one-party system. Ironically, the latter is closer to a monarchy than the first.

We need a strong opposition party to prevent the majority party from, well, doing stupid things. Spending too much time increasing entitlements unnecessarily, forcing change in our social system, killing capitalism (and spreading socialism), opening borders, increasing taxes and so much more are on the Democratic agenda and must be restrained.

A strong minority party with a filibuster in hand is the only way to protect us from the radical left.

And one final point. A show of unity that Joe Biden says we need in America is not going to happen if Democrats are sore winners and continue to belittle their adversaries. Unity, comity, compromise and effective legislation needs to be encouraged by the party in power not the party that lost power.

I would prefer the beheading group depicted in the Times photo to refocus on delivering vaccines to end the unnecessary deaths from Covid. I would like to see the federal government work towards strengthening our economy even more. I would like to feel safe from threats by Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorist groups around the world.

Joe Manchin For President

Congress may be ripe for a bold political maneuver, if radicals in the Senate get too frisky in the weeks to come. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has an extraordinary opportunity to pursue a run for the presidency. As part of this process, he is also in a position to alter the power of Democrats in the Upper House.

Manchin has been acting like a centrist and a peacemaker between warring factions for many months. He has even voted with Republicans in certain important issues such as the first Trump impeachment.

In a veiled threat during a TV interview, Manchin indicated that he would vote against the elimination of the filibuster should Democrats decide to change the rules of the Senate.

Enacting laws can be impeded by a filibuster. To end a filibuster, the party supporting legislation, must find 60 votes to end debate. As you know, the Senate is split 50/50 so Democrats have a deciding vote via Kamala Harris.

The only way Democrats can dominate new legislation in the Senate is if they can eliminate the supermajority requirement to end filibusters for laws. Note: confirmation of judges and Supreme Court justices occurs with a simple majority. The rules were changed in recent years.

Manchin believes that the filibuster is an important aspect of the lawmaking process. It protects the minority party and the Americas from frivolous lawmaking. But suppose Democrats moved to change the filibuster rule? And suppose Democrats work to defund the police, enact an unwise and expensive Obamacare law, move forward in an effort to impeach and indict Trump, while diverting attention from curing Covid?

These are all pet issues for Manchin. This could possibly give him pause to continue to be a Democrat. Maybe he should consider negotiating a deal with Sen. McConnell to jump over the fence and become a Republican. What would the terms be for such a bold political gambit?

Perhaps Manchin would vote with Republicans if he was given choice committee leadership positions in the new Republican majority. With this power he could prove to Americans that he should be considered for higher office. Like, maybe a run for the president in 2024 as a Republican.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head upon hearing this suggestion. But if you really want a centrist to be your president, a man with moderate perspectives, Manchin may be the right choice for you. I guess it will depend upon how persuasive Manchin would be with McConnell and other powerful Republicans.

If Manchin became a Republican, Republicans would have 51 seats in the Senate, and Democrats would have 49.  

Americans Must Choose Revenge Or Progress

In a previous blog post, I said that it would be wise to put the Trump experiment behind us. This was not to say that the president shouldn’t be investigated for crimes associated with tax fraud and abuse of power.

The reason why I expressed this opinion is that America needs to heal, and political vendettas should be set aside for the good of the country. My experience talking with liberal individuals is that they along with many left-wing politicians in Congress and radical reporters in the media want to draw and quarter the president in the public square and that there is no punishment too extreme for Trump alleged “crimes against humanity.”

I agree illegality needs to be prosecuted, but it should be investigated by the Department of Justice over time, not by Congress who should be ensuring a timely distribution of Covid vaccines, caring for the fragile economy and keeping an eye on our enemies and terrorists that would do us harm.

Righteous liberals are wishing the worst for Trump. Infect him with Covid, put him in jail for life, and even execute him, they say. So many of these loving, empathetic and peaceful individuals are relishing the destruction of a man and president of our country for the purpose of settling a score.

When Richard Nixon was under siege in the 70s for felonious actions, Gerald Ford, who succeeded him, pardoned him so that Americans could end a very terrible moment in history. This action saved the US from the pain and embarrassment of the moment and may well have save the Republic. And it also cost Ford his reelection. It was a brave deed.

The mad dogs in Congress led by impeachment mongers are looking for approval of their unsuccessful efforts to prove anything in earlier days of the Trump administration. They should be more worried about our country, not putting notches on their belt for bringing down a US President.

I’m tired of talking about Trump. I’m tired of saying that he’s toast and will be forgotten the day after Biden’s inauguration. Of course, that assumes Pelosi and the liberal press give us all a break and focus on more serious threats to our life, country and liberty.

So libs, continue to say Trump was a bad guy, and he deserves a slow death. This will drag out a sordid tale indefinitely while our neighbors are dying and the world is crying out for leadership.

America After Trump

There are a number of relevant facts that should be considered as Congress and the media continue their blood-thirsty, yet warranted, attacks on Donald Trump. For instance, the concern that the president possibly would do something untoward or damaging to the US in his remaining days in office, or run again in 2024, are justified but have been blown out of proportion.

(Note: The authorities must assume the worst relating to Trump supporters and their desire to upset the transition of power to the new president. This should include putting the military on alert.)

Without a doubt, Trump went too far and incited his followers to violence in the capital last week. This action was criminal by all generally accepted standards, and Congress is responding accordingly. Even the most diehard supporters of the shameless, soon to be, ex-president could not excuse the despicable behavior of their leader. The only problem I see is that violent protests by other groups have not been treated with the same disdain exhibited towards the people who stormed our government.

Protests like those orchestrated by MLK, Gandhi and Mandela were non-violent. Nelson Mandela took control of an entire country with only nonviolent tactics. Surely, an advanced society like America can deal with disputes, inequality and injustice with verbal discourse and with the pen, and not with firebombs, weapons and confrontation with the authorities. Violent protest of every ilk is a crime and should be prosecuted no matter how righteous the underlying cause of dissatisfaction.

Trump is on the way out, forever. This is my opinion and not widely accepted. He will never be in a position of power again because he abused his office. We hear stories that the president will continue his political jihad as an average citizen. After all the craziness he is responsible for, who would give the reins of another elected office to this man? And who would support another run for the presidency in 2024? Even Trump supporters to this day are tired of the man’s narcissism, self-aggrandizement, power mongering and contempt of the rule of law.

It can’t ever be proven, but many believe Trump would have won the election, and the two Georgia Senate seats, if the he toned down his rhetoric during the campaign. The Democrats did everything in their power to hand over the government to Trump once again (beginning with their choice of president), but Trump whined, blathered, lied and made a fool of himself, which so many voters found unpresidential.

The question is what should happen next? Even if you believe Trump skirted the law, with alleged sedition, tax fraud and personal enhancement at the expense of the US taxpayers, I feel strongly that America should move on and act like the Trump experiment was nothing more than a bad dream. Wasting time in an effort to torture and torment the truly wicked person in the White House will not help us in the fight against the pandemic, nuclear proliferation and the crumbling US infrastructure. It will not save destitute Americans who have been devastated economically by Covid. We need our best minds to be working for a better America, not a jail sentence for a universally despised individual.

Many say that Trump’s racist, misogynistic an imperialistic attitude deserves to be punished. Maybe so, but I’d rather our leaders and lawmakers focus on helping my neighbors who are in dire straits. Let’s begin to forget about Trump now and not be taken in by liberal obsession to destroy the man more than he has already done to himself.

Give Your MOM A Hug

Virtually all Americans have lauded the contributions of first responders and medical personnel for their efforts to fight the deadly virus that has enveloped America. Our country would be far worse off than it is without their efforts.

In this blog, I want to salute the moms who have sacrificed for their children, to protect them and educate them under harsh circumstances. Unselfishly, many moms have been spending several hours every day assisting their children as they study from home while still attempting to work in pursuit of their own careers.

This ordeal must be extraordinarily trying. Cajoling five, six and seven-year-olds to pay attention and do their homework, while teachers are attempting to instruct them over a computer is no small task. Parents have recognized the importance of schooling and teachers who safely and conscientiously care for their children and try to assist as much as possible.

But, what about the damage done to moms’ careers in the midst of this diversion?  In many two income families, moms need jobs to supplement household income. Is it possible that they will still be awarded raises and promotions when the pandemic is over? Many will, but it is possible that some will be silently penalized and even overlooked for promotions because their absence was filled by some other person.

America has come a long way, but women are still, more often than not, the primary care givers and run the home. A mother’s first priority is her family. The pandemic poses new challenges for moms as it forces them to manage things that teachers have been doing during the day traditionally.

Exacerbating the situation is that parents have to decide whether to send their kids to school and risk infections, and the spread of disease to others in the home. Making a decision to send a child to school or keep them home could have long-term effects on the child. But moms dug deep and have made the best choices for their young ones.

Will the primary care of children ultimately be split more equitably between moms and dads prospectively? In the near future, I don’t think so.

I can barely remember all the things and comfort my mom (Marie) afforded me in my youth. But I can still feel the tenderness, affection, understanding and intimacy of my mom’s presence. She was an angel, and I miss her terribly. My dad was a pretty sensational parent as well, but he did not hug me as often as my mom did.

It’s going to be a different road for moms after the pandemic. They will need to get back on track in their careers. While caring for their children, opportunists might have been filling positions and making more money. Yet, the pendulum has swung very hard in the direction of fairness and equality for all, and I am confident, most working moms will take their rightful place at the table when they are back on the job.

All children should give their moms an extra hug for being there when we need them.