Please explain your Senate rules to me

Adding to the analysis of Rule XXII. The mention of Rule IV is pretty obvious.
Rule IV(1)(b)

Whenever the Senate is proceeding under paragraph 2 of rule XXII, the reading of the Journal shall be dispensed with and shall be considered approved to date.

As for the mention of Rule II, look at XXII(2)

Notwithstanding the provisions of rule II or rule IV or any other rule of the Senate, at any time a motion signed by sixteen Senators, to bring to a close the debate upon any measure, motion, other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, is presented to the Senate, the Presiding Officer, or clerk at the direction of the Presiding Officer, shall at once state the motion to the Senate, and one hour after the Senate meets on the following calendar day but one, he shall lay the motion before the Senate

Parliamentary Law says that a motion on the floor has precedence until disposed of. So what happens if a new Senator presents their credentials during the lag between the cloture motion being stated by the PotS and the action taken on it?
Rule II(1) states

The presentation of the credentials of Senators elect or of Senators designate and other questions of privilege shall always be in order, except during the reading and correction of the Journal, while a question of order or a motion to adjourn is pending, or while the Senate is voting or ascertaining the presence of a quorum; and all questions and motions arising or made upon the presentation of such credentials shall be proceeded with until disposed of.

So the mention of Rule II affirms that the presentation of credentials is always in order if Rule XXII is in effect.

The funny thing is for me the Trump administration has made me question everything about the American system and I’ve sort of come to the opposite conclusion.

I used to believe that America had this slow clunky system where it was really difficult to do something like implement universal healthcare, but we were protected from this one thing that can happen in other systems - a demagogue taking over the country.

The way things looked to me in the Trump presidency, our federal system and the split in powers between the presidency and the legislature both make it easier for Trump to hijack our democracy and tougher for our institutions to respond. And impeachment has been revealed to basically be a joke. Obviously the filibuster specifically didn’t work to Trump’s advantage while he was in office, but now it seems like it just can’t last in the current situation because even with the opposition party taking power they’re unable to do anything to combat all the authoritarian things Trump did without getting rid of that too.

I don’t think it’s possible to create a system that can’t be taken over by authoritarians. If you try to make it tough to do anything, authoritarians can used that chunkiness against itself. The best you can do is make government really good at making people’s lives better that they don’t turn to authoritarianism.

I do share concerns about what happens when you design a system to have lots of friction and frustration, then suddenly let the rubber band snap back. I think there is a risk that parties that are used to bitter polarization combined with promises they know they can’t keep suddenly get to actually do everything they said they would do and would no longer face resistance. And ideally that transition should occur during a more normal period than now. However I think the only way out of the current crisis is either to kill the filibuster and pass a new VRA or convince the GOP that you’re serious about nuking the filibuster and they better work with you on some of the biggest issues such as voting rights and the insurrection.

This is a bit of a digression from the thread topic, but I’m the OP, so what the heck…

You might find it interesting to read some of the late Juan Linz, a Harvard poli-sci prof who specialized in studying how governments fail. His thesis was that parliamentary systems are better at surviving political stresses and resisting authoritarianism than are presidential-congressional systems, because cabinet-parliamentary systems provide a natural way to channel political divisions in ways that congressional/presidential systems do not.

Part of his empirical analysis was that every presidential-congressional system in the Americas fell to authoritarianism at some point, except the US. What made the uS exceptional, in his opinion, was the spirit of bipartisanship and loose party discipline. Hard party discipline in a congressional-presidential system was a clear danger sign, because it exacerbated political conflicts rather than allowing resolutions.

It’s a depressing read: “The Perils of Presidentialism”.

Now, back to the abolition of moving the previous question!

Yeah, I’ve heard that paper mentioned when Chris Hayes interviewed Ezra Klein on his podcast. Maybe I’ll actually read it someday instead of easy to digest, attention grabbing articles lol.

I think the fundamental understanding ought be that the ability to filibuster is not the product or any arcane rule change at any given point in time. It is instead the product of the Senate, by convention, having never had a majority of Senators desire to end the practice. There is actually something Jefferson mentioned I believe in the forward to his “Manual” on Parliamentary Procedure, he specifically noted that procedure itself, by its nature, has no permanent or “real” power. The body could always change procedure fairly easily. So he stressed that it was important that there be strong institutional respect for procedure, specifically because it would help the institutions of Congress operate in a way in which minority interests would still have some form of voice. I don’t know if Jefferson’s words inspired the conventions, or if his words just reflected the mainstream feelings of his time. But much about the way Congress operates does appear to have this in mind.

Despite how polarized Congress is, it still gives a ton of voice to the minority party, if not a ton of actual power in the House, and of course we still give a ton of actual power to the minority party in the Senate. The Constitution is quite specific on the powers of Congress, how its members are elected, how their number are apportioned, but it deliberately leaves the internal structures of the Houses of Congress up to those bodies. There is for example, no reason the majority party even needs to allow members of the minority party to participate in the various congressional committees, for example. There is no reason the majority party needs to allow a member of the minority party to even speak or address the chamber at all, at any point during the session. However there is a strong convention and a strong norm in our country that the minority party at least should have some of these privileges, to if nothing else have an opportunity to make their arguments known publicly and try to influence debate.

It’s really nothing more than the same sort of social convention that has kept the filibuster alive.