Back when President Obama was President, he was not able to successfully appoint many of his court appointees because the Republicans in congress blocked every single one of his appointees. This has fundamentally changed the Federal bench. We will continue to deal with the impact of this for many years to come.
Now most people blamed Mitch McConnell for this, and there is validity to this because he was the Senate Majority Leader and he successfully kept his party in line when they controlled the Senate for the last two years of Presidency.
Right now we are seeing a significant reduction in President Biden’s ability to pass legislation through congress. We have a majority in both the Senate and the House. The majority in the Senate is because the Vice President breaks ties. We obviously have the Presidency, and it is very clear he is a truly Democratic President after President Biden’s speech earlier this week.
With all of this, we should be seeing some significant legislation pass through congress given how we saw victories for two elections in a row. Democrats won more votes than Republicans in the Senate in 2016, and 2018. Democrats still lost the popular vote in 2020, but this is probably because neither California nor New York have Senate races in that year. The Senate is a very unique institution.
However, the Senate of course has the filibuster which I have written about before. Because of this it effectively takes 60% of the votes in order to pass legislation. This is almost wholly unique among national legislatures to effectively require 60% of the body to agree in order to do almost anything.
Now there is a movement to remove this peculiar requirement, which is to use the nuclear option which is simply to remove the rule so the Senate can pass a bill with a simple majority of the vote. The nuclear option will make the Senate normal again, so that it will take a simple majority of the Senate in order to pass legislation. This will fully disarm Mitch McConnell so all we have to worry about is getting all 50 Democrats on board with a bill and it will pass. This prevents bills from passing through the Senate, making our government dysfunctional.
It means majority rule. Simple as that.
But unfortunately… even though it takes only 50 votes to amend Senate rules, we have two Senators who are standing in the way of this necessary reform to make our government work for Americans. One of these senators is Joe Manchin and the other is Kyrsten Sinema. While back during Obama’s last two years we had a Republican congress, it would have only taken any one of over 50 Republicans in the senate to oppose anything the president proposed because of the filibuster. Today we don’t have to worry about them because they are in the minority, but unfortunately we have two Senators who stand in the way of everything America needs to prosper, not just to get out of this pandemic but also to build necessary infrastructure which will allow us to prosper for the next century.
The big difference is it isn’t an entire political party standing in the way now but two rogue Senators who obviously oppose the democratic party platform because they prevent us from doing anything significant beyond the budget which is already done for the year. The other major difference is we have a solid majority in the House and Speaker Pelosi is working hard on passing many great bills right now, which is fantastic. I’ll be honest, I was not expecting the house to be this much better than it was in 2009. I am glad I was wrong. This makes what Manchin doing significantly worse than McConnell. Even if McConnell had not blocked everything in the Senate, we couldn’t pass anything major in 2015 because we did not control the House. President Obama was blocked not just by McConnell but also by every Republican in the House of Representatives. This year is fundamentally different. President Biden has a solid backing in the house and 48 Senators support him. However, Manchin and Sinema have made our majority in the house dysfunctional from their antics, and two individuals are holding the entire American government hostage. But their doesn’t seem to be any rhyme nor reason why they are doing this. Unlike McConnell there is no clear political gain, no clear motive. Unlike McConnell they don’t have the clear backing of both a major political party and a major “news” network. My only logical conclusion is they are just obstinate, miserable, and enjoy causing people pain. People like that do not deserve to be in congress.
Joe Manchin is the most powerful man in America today, and he is causing significant damage to America from his opposition to human rights legislation and economic legislation. We must do everything we can to make him irrelevant as fast as possible so America can function again.