The Hour for a Man of Principle

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is finally pushing for a carve out to the filibuster rule for voting rights legislation to stop Stop the Steal in the many states where voter suppression and voter subversion laws are now in place for the 2022 election. These anti-democratic “election integrity laws” (based on a widely debunked lie about massive voter fraud) are all presumptively constitutional, pursuant to two 5-4 rulings by the right-wing side of the Supreme Court.

The doctrinaire right-wing majority is now 6-3, thanks to the tireless work of the anonymous funders of the highly secretive, non-profit Council for National Policy, Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society. With an able assist from the Grim Reaper, Mitch McConnell, man of one principle: power. With bipartisan cover from the Democratic party’s own Joe Manchin III. With our democracy under constant, shameless, increasingly violent, attack, it would appear to be the historical moment for a man of conscience and love of country to act.

As Schumer brings this proposition to protect voting rights to the Senate for consideration, we get the sound byte from the most prominent Democratic holdout on any parliamentary rules change whatsoever. Man of principle, strutting West Virginia fighting cock Joe Manchin III, has called changing a rule to allow debate on bills (debate, you opponent of Senate ethics requirements, minimum wage, regulation of polluters, taxing corporations and helping children out of poverty) the minority wants to kill “a very heavy lift.”

You see, he explains, the Nuclear Option makes it very dangerous to change a rule that currently allows any member of the minority party an emailed peremptory challenge to kill any legislation WITHOUT DEBATE of any kind. Requiring 60 votes to overcome one Ron Johnson or Ted Cruz seems a fair bipartisan solution to Manchin– hell, look how well even the old talking filibuster protected lynch mobs from the tyranny of federal legislation!

History shows, Manchin warns, the danger of using this Nuclear Option. When Harry Reid changed it during the Obama years so every one of Obama’s appointments couldn’t be blocked this way, McConnell responded, the first chance he got, by doing the same for Supreme Court nominees! 51 votes is all any of these fine, carefully vetted right-wing ideologues need nowadays — and we see the result, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch (who the bipartian, conservative Manchin voted for) and Coney-Barrett (whose 4 vote 52-48 mandate did not include Manchin’s vote). One can imagine the devastation requiring a talking filibuster, placing the burden back on the minority seeking to obstruct would bring, even worse would be carving out part of the filibuster entirely for voting legislation. What next, abolishing the filibuster to allow debate on legislation to protect workers from exploitation by rich people? For the Communist Green New Deal?

A very heavy lift. Get a winch, hook it up to your Maserati and start lifting, you preening, bought and paid for corporatist motherfucker. You can drown your sorrows on your yacht afterwards. Meantime, put your back into it and remember to use your knees.

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