That’s how Elizabeth Warren felt when she was in the Senate minority. Never once did she stress that filibusters have “deep roots in racism,” as she now claims.
For example, when Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2017, Sen. Warrant was pretty darn blunt about the filibuster: “I want to make it completely clear — no ambiguity — I will filibuster.”
How times change. Senator Warren now clamors, “Should Mitch McConnell be able to bully Democrats into going along with a judge who is not a consensus nominee? No. They’re threatening. They’re bullying and the only thing we can do is stand up.”
As Jim Geraghty, senior political commenter at National Review, writes, Elizabeth Warren believes the filibuster is good and fair when she and fellow Democrats use it, but bad and unfair when Republicans use it.
In 2017, Senator Warren’s colleague Chuck Schumer referred to the legislative filibuster as the most important distinction between the Senate and the House. “Without the 60-vote threshold for legislation, the Senate becomes a majoritarian institution, just like the House, much more subject to the winds of short-term electoral change. No senator would like to see that happen,” argued Sen. Schumer.
In a recent floor speech, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R. KY) revealed that the sitting President in 2017 and 2018 lobbied Mr. McConnell to do exactly what Democrats are threatening to do now. Even though Mitch agreed with many of the President’s policies, he had reasons to say no.
Becoming a U.S. senator comes with higher duties than steamrolling any obstacle to short-term power.
Imagine a world where every single task requires a physical quorum of 51 senators on the floor—and, by the way, the vice president doesn’t count. Everything that Democratic Senates did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama, would be child’s play compared with the disaster that Democrats would create for their own priorities, if they broke the Senate. Even the most mundane tasks of our chamber—and therefore of the Biden presidency—would become much harder, not easier, in a post-nuclear 50-50 Senate.
Less than two months ago, two of our Democratic colleagues said they understand that. If they keep their word, we have a bipartisan majority that can put principle first and save the Senate.
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