The Senate Filibuster

RememberMurray

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No country -- by definition, supposedly a unified group of people -- was ever designed to work with the population being so close to evenly split and diametrically opposed, on so much.

Agree that we need new mechanisms for government, in these times.

But the "evenly split" meme is simply false.

Biden won the popular vote in a landslide. Even Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 3 million votes. The Republican candidate for President has only won a majority of popular votes once in the last thirty years.

What makes the U.S. appear to be "evenly split" is the anti-democratic nature of the Senate and the Electoral College.

In the Senate, the Democrats and Republicans each hold 50 seats, but the 50 Democrats in the Senate represent 40,000,000 more people than the Republican half.

Not "evenly split"; not really even close to it.
 

KillerGopherFan

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But the "evenly split" meme is simply false.

Biden won the popular vote in a landslide. Even Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 3 million votes. The Republican candidate for President has only won a majority of popular votes once in the last thirty years.

What makes the U.S. appear to be "evenly split" is the anti-democratic nature of the Senate and the Electoral College.

In the Senate, the Democrats and Republicans each hold 50 seats, but the 50 Democrats in the Senate represent 40,000,000 more people than the Republican half.

Not "evenly split"; not really even close to it.
How do you arrive at 40 million? Double and triple counting voters no doubt. Very Democratic of you.

You can convince yourself of anything.

Again, we’re a Republic, not a pure democracy. This shouldn’t be that hard to understand.
 

RememberMurray

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How do you arrive at 40 million? Double and triple counting voters no doubt. Very Democratic of you.

You can convince yourself of anything.

Again, we’re a Republic, not a pure democracy. This shouldn’t be that hard to understand.

This was written before the Georgia runoffs...

If the two Georgia seats go to the Democrats, the Senate will be split 50-50, but the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.

I derived these numbers using 2019 population estimates by the United States Census Bureau. In states where both senators caucus with the same party, I allocated the state’s entire population to that party. In states where the Senate delegation is split, I allocated half of the state’s population to each party. Although Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME) identify as independent, both Sanders and King caucus with Democrats. So I coded them as Democratic senators.

You can check my work using this spreadsheet.

One other fact is worth noting. In the current Senate, Democrats control a majority of the seats from the most populous half of the states (26-24). Republicans owe their current majority to a crushing 29-21 lead in the least populous half of the states. In the new Senate, Democrats will control between 27 and 29 seats from the most populous half, depending on who prevails in the Georgia runoffs.

 

RememberMurray

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By the way, the American citizens living in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have no Senators.

Washington, D.C. has a population of 692,683 (2019).

Puerto Rico's population is 3.194 million (2019).

Wyoming has a population of 572,381. Wyoming has two votes in the Senate; the same number as California, which has a population of 39,747,267.

Keeping all of these facts in mind, I don't see any reason why the Senate shouldn't make changes to the filibuster — in the name of democracy. Either get rid of it, or revert to the old model of a talking filibuster. The Senate is skewed far too much toward obstructing government.
 
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KillerGopherFan

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This was written before the Georgia runoffs...

If the two Georgia seats go to the Democrats, the Senate will be split 50-50, but the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.

I derived these numbers using 2019 population estimates by the United States Census Bureau. In states where both senators caucus with the same party, I allocated the state’s entire population to that party. In states where the Senate delegation is split, I allocated half of the state’s population to each party. Although Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME) identify as independent, both Sanders and King caucus with Democrats. So I coded them as Democratic senators.

You can check my work using this spreadsheet.

One other fact is worth noting. In the current Senate, Democrats control a majority of the seats from the most populous half of the states (26-24). Republicans owe their current majority to a crushing 29-21 lead in the least populous half of the states. In the new Senate, Democrats will control between 27 and 29 seats from the most populous half, depending on who prevails in the Georgia runoffs.

Yeah, we’re a Federal Republic, not a pure democracy.

Regarding your statistically analysis...that’s some serious rationalization there. Since I live and vote in a Democrat state (Illinois), my representation goes to Democrats even if I’m a Republican? SMH
 

RememberMurray

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Yeah, we’re a Federal Republic, not a pure democracy.

Regarding your statistically analysis...that’s some serious rationalization there. Since I live and vote in a Democrat state (Illinois), my representation goes to Democrats even if I’m a Republican? SMH

Yes, it's obvious you're not a fan of pure democracy.

Rationalize Biden's margin of victory in the popular vote for me. SMH.
 

jamiche

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The left defends looting/burning. Right would never do this. My concern is that removing the filibuster would lead to the deck being stacked to the point where the right no longer has a chance at power. At that point the right might check out. End of country.
Other than, of course, the Seditionist Party's insurrectionist attack on our nation's capitol. Just thought I might mention it, triple bogey.
 

KillerGopherFan

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Yes, it's obvious you're not a fan of pure democracy.

Rationalize Biden's margin of victory in the popular vote for me. SMH.
I don’t have to rationalize it. The Founding Fathers brilliance did it for me. On the other hand, you’ve had to do it for yourself.
 

RememberMurray

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I don’t have to rationalize it. The Founding Fathers brilliance did it for me. On the other hand, you’ve had to do it for yourself.

The Founding Fathers' brilliance rationalized Biden's margin of victory for you, eh?

Ooooooookay.
 

golf

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Other than, of course, the Seditionist Party's insurrectionist attack on our nation's capitol. Just thought I might mention it, triple bogey.

Wrongo. (Although double, not triple, bogey is too often these days. Would think ive never chipped before in my life.). Right media roundly condemned the few hours of capitol riot. Left media virtual crickets with the summer months of looting/burning that seems to happen every few years now. A few examples: Cuomo the Lesser said no problem with violence during protests, don lemon justified the looting/burning by comparing it to the boston tea party, reporter talked about mostly peaceful protests while building blazed behind him, exec editor and vice pres of phialdelphia inquirer were forced to resign for allowing article condemning destruction of property.
 
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golf

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I don’t have to rationalize it. The Founding Fathers brilliance did it for me. On the other hand, you’ve had to do it for yourself.

Exactly. The surprising aspect is actually that the popular vote is close. Most people casually follow politics and therefore are heavily influenced by the messaging that the right is evil, racist, xenophopbic, etc. This narrative is pushed 24/7 of course by media, hollywood, music, education. Even with such an uneven playing field the right hangs in there. Juan Williams even expressed shock at the increase in the black male vote for trump 2020.
 

howeda7

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The left defends looting/burning. Right would never do this. My concern is that removing the filibuster would lead to the deck being stacked to the point where the right no longer has a chance at power. At that point the right might check out. End of country.
"The left" didn't defend looting or violence and comparing protests with an attempt to overthrow the government is absurd.

How will the right "check out"? What are they going to do to "end the country"?
 

short ornery norwegian

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One note - from HR 1 - I would definitely be in favor of taking redistricting away from the state legislatures and moving it to a non-partisan commission.

take it away from politics and make it strictly about numbers -
draw boundary lines based on natural boundaries, major highways, etc - not based on which party controls the legislature and where certain voting blocs of people live.

neither party should have the right to re-draw voting lines to give their party an advantage.

establish a commission, and let a bunch of mathematicians and statisticians draw the lines.
 

MplsGopher

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One note - from HR 1 - I would definitely be in favor of taking redistricting away from the state legislatures and moving it to a non-partisan commission.

take it away from politics and make it strictly about numbers -
draw boundary lines based on natural boundaries, major highways, etc - not based on which party controls the legislature and where certain voting blocs of people live.

neither party should have the right to re-draw voting lines to give their party an advantage.

establish a commission, and let a bunch of mathematicians and statisticians draw the lines.
All districts by federal law should be required to be as close to squares as possible, by a mathematical measure.
 

golf

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"The left" didn't defend looting or violence and comparing protests with an attempt to overthrow the government is absurd.

How will the right "check out"? What are they going to do to "end the country"?

100% the left didnt condemn looting/burning and in some cases defended it. See post 72. Dont know how the right would check out. The contract with americans is that we have a fair system. If the right feels this contract is irrevocably broken they may feel there is no point to honor the contract.

To be honest, i think if left uses filibuster cutouts to cram down things like climate change, health care that not much will happen. Going after guns would be a mistake. Left would be wise i would think to not do too much with filibuster but just keep using media, education, hollywood, music as surrogates to promote their wishes. This method will take longer but avoids a backlash that may lead to civil unrest.
 

jamiche

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Wrongo. (Although double, not triple, bogey is too often these days. Would think ive never chipped before in my life.). Right media roundly condemned the few hours of capitol riot. Left media virtual crickets with the summer months of looting/burning that seems to happen every few years now. A few examples: Cuomo the Lesser said no problem with violence during protests, don lemon justified the looting/burning by comparing it to the boston tea party, reporter talked about mostly peaceful protests while building blazed behind him, exec editor and vice pres of phialdelphia inquirer were forced to resign for allowing article condemning destruction of property.
So the riots over the summer didn't get any coverage?
 

howeda7

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100% the left didnt condemn looting/burning and in some cases defended it. See post 72. Dont know how the right would check out. The contract with americans is that we have a fair system. If the right feels this contract is irrevocably broken they may feel there is no point to honor the contract.

To be honest, i think if left uses filibuster cutouts to cram down things like climate change, health care that not much will happen. Going after guns would be a mistake. Left would be wise i would think to not do too much with filibuster but just keep using media, education, hollywood, music as surrogates to promote their wishes. This method will take longer but avoids a backlash that may lead to civil unrest.
Sounds so noble! I guess the folks who stormed the capital on 1/6 were just GD Patriots seeking to "have their contact honored"?
 

stocker08

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I certainly hope Manchin and Sinema don't plan to stand idly by while Republican legislatures around the country deliberately and systematically disenfranchise millions of Americans.

At least return to a talking filibuster.

They won't. Right now they are saying that they want to work with the right and compromise, which is good. I hope that level heads prevail and that some bi-partisan legislation can get passed.

Unfortunately it looks like the right wing is going to continue with the McConnell plan set forth against Obama. Complete gridlock. They are not going to work toward compromise. They are going to try and block any and all progress.

Then Manchin and Sinema will come around, the fillibuster will be eliminated, and the righties will whine.
 

howeda7

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They won't. Right now they are saying that they want to work with the right and compromise, which is good. I hope that level heads prevail and that some bi-partisan legislation can get passed.

Unfortunately it looks like the right wing is going to continue with the McConnell plan set forth against Obama. Complete gridlock. They are not going to work toward compromise. They are going to try and block any and all progress.

Then Manchin and Sinema will come around, the fillibuster will be eliminated, and the righties will whine.
You have too much faith in Joe Manchin.
 

stocker08

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So the riots over the summer didn't get any coverage?

Plenty of coverage. Outside of a few idiots....none of the destruction and violence was defended.

Meanwhile....the right wing outlets praised Trump and his hours long delayed response to the riots where he told the insurrectionists that they were right to be angry and he loved them.
 

stocker08

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You have too much faith in Joe Manchin.

Maybe I do. But I think that the right is going to be completely inflexible. McConnell once again is going to oppose everything brought up....and Manchin will have do determine whether the gridlock is acceptable or not. If states continue to push their lily-white voting right agendas.....I think there will come a point when Manchin will have to change his position.

Hopefully it doesn't come to that. But the right isn't becoming more rational. They are spiraling down the wacko tube fast.

But again....who knows. Dems might very well take the senate by another couple seats in 2023. Of the 34 seats up for grabs.....20 are republican.
 

howeda7

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Maybe I do. But I think that the right is going to be completely inflexible. McConnell once again is going to oppose everything brought up....and Manchin will have do determine whether the gridlock is acceptable or not. If states continue to push their lily-white voting right agendas.....I think there will come a point when Manchin will have to change his position.

Hopefully it doesn't come to that. But the right isn't becoming more rational. They are spiraling down the wacko tube fast.

But again....who knows. Dems might very well take the senate by another couple seats in 2023. Of the 34 seats up for grabs.....20 are republican.
He might go along with a carve out for the voting rights act. I highly doubt he agrees to nuke the filibuster altogether.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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It should revert to the talking filibuster with the proviso that the oldest member of the minority party (Chuck Grassley currently, I think) has to do the talking.

With no pee-pee breaks!!!
 

golf

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Sounds so noble! I guess the folks who stormed the capital on 1/6 were just GD Patriots seeking to "have their contact honored"?

Precints burned, police cars burned. City officials harassed at home and forced to resign. A new country within our country. 2 billion dollars of property damage. Police treated like dirt. Not the first summer this has occurred.

Versus a few hours capitol storming where congress, senate were back in business that night.

You be the judge.
 

Pompous Elitist

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They would unanimously agree that what we currently are at, is way too slow and broken compared with what they intended.

I speak for them, as much as you do.

Generally, less is more with ill-considered, hasty, or partisan government interventions. Compromise is our friend.

Changing the rules of the game because you’re losing (Supreme Court, senate procedure rules, voting laws) is the stuff of pre-adolescent tantrums. Yes, I understand both sides are tempted to do it.
 

KillerGopherFan

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They won't. Right now they are saying that they want to work with the right and compromise, which is good. I hope that level heads prevail and that some bi-partisan legislation can get passed.

Unfortunately it looks like the right wing is going to continue with the McConnell plan set forth against Obama. Complete gridlock. They are not going to work toward compromise. They are going to try and block any and all progress.

Then Manchin and Sinema will come around, the fillibuster will be eliminated, and the righties will whine.
Democrats used the filibuster 327 times against legislation last year. The GOP did once.

Those Dems are against “all progress”. Not to mention racist for using it.
 
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