Joe Biden used to be a stalwart defender of the filibuster – when Republicans were in office. His first press conference, however, revealed that, with Democrats controlling D.C, he desperately wants to do away with it, and he’s advancing dishonest, historically inaccurate, racist arguments to do so.
During the press conference, when asked about the filibuster, Biden readily agreed that it was a product of the Jim Crow era (despite its dating to the days of the Founding Fathers, in 1806) and that it was overused, ignoring the fact that it was the Democrat party overusing it in the last two years. He also babbled inanely about how it’s used, allowing Sen. Chuck Grassley to put him firmly in his place:
Things were different when Biden was a Senator. In 2005, he adored the filibuster, when Republicans challenged it solely in the narrow area of appointments to the federal appellate and district courts. That narrow change to the rule was then termed a “nuclear option.”
In 2021, the Democrats are promoting something far more extreme, reaching beyond judicial appointments. Instead, their filibuster ban will affect every legislative act going forward. Moderation and compromise will be gone. It will be brute majority rule, as it already is in the House. The Democrat extremists plan, via H.R. 1, to enact legislation that will ensure them a permanent majority by enshrining election fraud; to add Puerto Rico and D.C. as states (ensuring a permanent Democrat majority in the Senate and helping the House); and, if necessary, adding more justices to the Supreme Court. America will effectively become a one-party dictatorship.
Given the extremism of the Democrat stance, it’s worth considering what Biden said in 2005 about just a small fraying of the filibuster because, shorn of his disorganized thinking, it’s intelligent. Instead of using my words to rebut Joe Biden’s statements today, let me use Biden’s own words. The ellipses represent excised material that’s confusing or that related to matters unique to 2005:
I’ve not been here as long as Senator Byrd, and no one fully understands the Senate as well as Senator Byrd, but I’ve been here for over three decades. I think this is the single-most significant vote any one of us will cast in my 32 years in the senate…and we should make no mistake: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power….
What is really at stake in this debate… is the shape of our constitutional system for the next generation. …
Put simply, the nuclear option would transform the Senate from the so-called “cooling saucer” our Founding Fathers talked about to cool the passions of the day to a pure majoritarian body, like a parliament. We’ve heard a lot in recent weeks about the rights of the majority and of obstructionism. but the Senate is not meant to be a place of pure majoritarianism. Is majority rule really what you want? Do my Republican colleagues really want majority rule in this Senate? …
At its core, … the filibuster’s not about stopping a nominee or a bill. It’s about compromise and moderation. That’s why the Founders put unlimited debate in. … It means you may have to compromise. … That’s what it’s about: Engendering compromise and moderation.
Ladies and gentlemen, the nuclear option extinguishes the power of independence and moderates in this senate. That’s it. They’re done. Moderates are important only if you need to get 60 votes to satisfy cloture. …
I’ve learned in my years here, once you change the rules and surrender the Senate’s institutional power, you never get it back, and we’re about to break the rules to change the rules. …
The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play. It’s the one thing this country stands for — not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field.
I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God, when the democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing….
We’re… in the senate as temporary custodians of the senate, but the senate will go on. … Let me conclude by saying again, mark my words: History will judge this republican majority harshly – harshly — if it makes this catastrophic move.
Biden was right then and he’s deeply, horribly wrong now. If Democrats destroy the filibuster entirely, they also destroy America as a constitutional republic and, in its place, create a one-party totalitarian state.
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