“It’s time to choose: the filibuster or democracy.” Yes, it’s that simple. Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline has a great piece in today’s Providence Journal: “To ensure equality, Senate must end filibuster.” Finally. Listening to legislators discussing bridges and hearing aids is enough to drive a person insane. None of that will happen if we don’t have federal voting rights protections in place by the 2022 elections. And even then, things are going to get ugly.
Whatever dreams Biden and Schumer had of building a consensus with Senate Republicans ended long ago. Why can’t they see how urgent and pivotal this single issue is? As Cicilline points out, last week Republicans used the filibuster to prevent even debating voting rights legislation. Cicilline adds:
The Senate has the power to do away with this relic of the pre-civil rights era. It should use this power today and end the tyranny of the minority that is allowing so many important bills to die the moment they are delivered from the House.
I would like to hear more noise from Senators Reed and Whitehouse on this issue. Real noise! Get in front of a camera and start yelling. Why are we being so timid about this? Why does musician Steve Van Zandt have a better grasp of our peril than our elected officials? He has been on television lately saying exactly what I’ve been thinking for weeks now, “I’ve just got this terrible feeling that we are in a war, and only one side is fighting it.”
And no “carve-outs” like Biden is talking about. That would just lead to more of this time-wasting back-and-forth nonsense. I heard a commentator today warn that Democrats should think carefully about eliminating the filibuster as that might work against us in the future. What future?!
Several states are currently enacting voter suppression laws, and even more terrifying, voter subversion laws. Ending the filibuster and enacting voting rights legislation are the only things we should be talking about right now. We don’t have much time left. Get in the war!
(Photo of US Capitol after sunset by Jackson Lanier courtesy of Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike. The image was cropped for formatting purposes.)