October 2, 2020

WHEN THE DOG CATCHES THE CAR:

Democrats Are Moving Fast on the Filibuster. Biden Isn't Yet. Nearly everything they want to achieve hinges on a step their candidate may not take. (Gabriel Debenedetti, 10/01/20, New York)

Since the pandemic shut down the country this spring, Joe Biden has repeatedly invoked a vision for his presidency as a New Deal-size national rejuvenation project, with himself playing the unlikely role of FDR. Again and again, to the applause of liberals and leftists who long viewed him skeptically, he has promised an administration that, fully realized, would be the most progressive in decades: trillions more in coronavirus stimulus spending, a climate plan backed by the authors of the Green New Deal, and perhaps even a public-health-insurance option. But he may also be one of the few remaining members of that progressive coalition in D.C. who think an agenda like that could be passed without first quickly abolishing the legislative filibuster. At the very least, he wants to try and work with post-Donald Trump Republicans first, before his party moves to strip the Senate minority of the ability to effectively veto legislation. Many liberals fret that even if Biden wins and Democrats take back the Senate, he won't have that luxury -- that he would have to make a choice early in his presidency whether to embark on a truly expansive administration that stretches the landscape of legislative possibility, or a restorationist one, which rebuilds self-restricting norms after Trump's destruction. Having it both ways is a way of achieving neither, they worry. But that concern is unlikely to stop Biden -- who still considers himself a consummate man of the Senate whose 36 years in the chamber give him unparalleled knowledge of its inner workings -- from trying. "We can do a great deal if we just start talking to one another," he said on a private Zoom call with 20 donors in mid-July. "Politics has become so dirty, so mean, so personal, it's hard to get anything done."

The most likely scenario for getting rid of the filibuster is not just general Republican obstructionism but Justic Barrett providing the vote to eliminate Obamacare.  at that point, Democrats can just get rid of the filibuster and pass a Democratic bill to replace Obama's Republican one.

Obviously, it would be better for at least a faction of the Senate GOP to participate in helping Uncle Joe legislate.

Posted by at October 2, 2020 10:17 AM

  

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