If you have paid any attention to the news for the past week or so you certainly heard something about the drive to have the filibuster removed from the Senate. Those bleating about this issue are a confused lot, as they try selling it as an outdated rule == though it has been used in record amounts == as they attempt to demonize a process they have been extremely fond of themselves.
Attempting to help on the matter is Senator Liz Warren. The woman, who has a history of showing she has trouble with history, attempts to give us a history lesson on the topic. Through a video she displays the issues she finds with the filibuster, and in the process she manages to deliver something unintended — she exposes for us just how racist the Democrats have been over the centuries, as well as over the past year.
First, this is her audio-visual lesson.
The filibuster: Here’s what it is, and here’s why it stinks. pic.twitter.com/iIhBcSLTt7
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 19, 2021
She opens by saying ”Here’s what it is, and here’s why it stinks.” What she will not be telling us? ”Here’s why my party used it a record amount of times last year.”
As Liz walks us through history she shows how the filibuster emerged as a result of a Senate Rules change in 1806. It was seen as a loophole that went unused until Sen. John Calhoun, a pro-slavery politician of South Carolina, used the filibuster to seize more power for the southern states. (See?! It’s already racist!)
Woodrow Wilson proposed another rule change, Rule-22, known as the cloture vote. This means you can override a filibuster if there is a 60-vote majority to move forward. The next year, an anti-lynching bill came up in Congress. As Warren details for us, ”A small group of Senators, hell-bent on upholding white supremacy, decided to flex the new rule and filibuster the legislation.” Oh, dear — this thing IS racist!
And, the intolerance of a Senatorial procedure — well that continues.
The floating head of Strom Thurmond is displayed as she intones, ”During the Jim Crow era, Southern Senators continued to use the filibuster as a tool to block civil rights legislation — and only civil rights legislation.”
This is dire stuff. Next, we see a graph provided that shows the incident rate of the filibuster in use. On it, we again see Thurmond’s face, as well as that of Mitch McConnell, alongside a severe spike in the usage in the past few years.
Slight quibble here now on her figures. The truth is in 2020 the filibuster was actually used more than this — the full annual total was 327 times.
Now, to this moment in the video, Lizzy has been relatively accurate, with a small modification. She has been largely trafficking in half-truths. Most of her details have been on point, they simply have not been ALL of the needed points. Allow a moment now to fill in the details.
There is a common thread found in all these examples, though what they all share in common is something unspoken. John Colhoun, Strom Thurmond, and those who blocked the Dwyer anti-lynching bill in 1922 share a trait with those who also used the filibuster in 1964 to oppose the Civil Rights Act. That year, a 54-day filibuster was employed, attempting to kill the CRA.
In every single one of these examples, those invoking the dreaded and racist filibuster were — Democrats.
This means while Elizabeth Warren is very eager to tell us how a filibuster is a racist tool of the Senate, she is very hesitant to let us know who is responsible for making it so. But, this follows her method on the subject. There is one other detail she fails to provide in her historical video.
Warren lends the impression that she is completely opposed to the use of the filibuster, a dastardly device that only racists would use in order to block noble and forthright bills that would aid the country and preserve our democracy.
Then she may need to explain why it was last summer when we saw her invoking the filibuster in order to fight off the passage of The Justice Act. This was a police reform bill written by Tim Scott of South Carolina, yet there was Elizabeth Warren using the very tool of her chamber, that she spends over 4 minutes telling us is horrible and hateful. She did this just 9 months ago.
Here is the woman today claiming the filibuster is used unfairly by the minority party, when it is currently an even split today. However, she was perfectly at ease using it in the position as a smaller minority last year. Her party used this intolerable device a record amount of times in 2020, and suddenly today it is just unthinkable to have it exist any longer.
Then there is the small matter of her claim that the filibuster ”Has deep roots in racism”, when she was perfectly comfortable using it to block legislation written by — a POC member of the Senate.
It is obvious that as the Democrats want to unveil the history of the filibuster over the centuries; they just prefer that we have a blind spot in regards to how addicted to it they have been over the past few years.
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