The Biden Administration - the first 1,500 days

the irony, it burns, it burns sooooo good.

If he was going to the people, he should have picked a venue people actually watched, instead of one guaranteed to give him a favorable, controlled environment.

He should do a town hall on Fox, which has four times the audience.

I’m assuming that Fox News viewers are capable of changing the channel for an event such as this.

I don’t know why Biden insists on committing to the filibuster. I don’t understand his conclusion that nothing will get done without the filibuster. Shit, that’s what’s ensuring that nothing gets done now.

I believe his point is that if he tanks the filibuster the Republicans will be so mad that they will absolutely shut down and any teeny weeny hope (which Biden still has) that some kind of deal might be reached on something will disappear.

Clearly, he still believes he will ultimately wear the Republicans down by drop-by-drop coddling, tippy-toeing, eggshell-walking, and Chinese water torture* such that he will be able to leverage something from them. I’m not so sure he’s right, but he likely won’t get the house of cards built if he sets fire to the deck. He’s not going to fall back on trumpy’s bully tactics. Right or wrong.

*Are we still allowed to say this?

Based on my experience with my inlaws, I’m not so sure about that.

Why would they even think to do so? They’re generally so far into the lie that they think it is the only source of the truth.

To be fair: I actively avoided hearing Trump speak; and while I’d read about what he said afterwards, I did so on my usual news sites. I suspect quite a few others did likewise.

Part of the problem we’ve got now is that there’s no one source that nearly everybody’s watching. I find myself wondering how much that period of relative civility between the parties during the 20th century had to do with the time of 3 TV Channels; though I’m not sure to what extent it overlapped with that and not also with the pre-TV time during which probably a lot of people were hearing and seeing mostly their local newspapers and radio shows.

Biden is being prudent. The Democrats have the opposite of a mandate - they are tied in the Senate and have only the thinnest of majorities in the House. It’s only a little over a year until the next election, and killing the filibuster will be red meat for Republicans, who would have great message: Without the filibuster, the Republicans HAVE to take the Senate to stop the Democrats feom running roughshod over them.

It might not even take that long, A single death, retirement or defection by a Senator would put the Senate in the hands of the Republicans. And if the filibuster goes, the Republicans will offer the moon to any Drmocrat who flips. Imagine how you’d feel if you ended the filibuster and this caused say Krysten Sinema to defect to the Republicans. Then THEY would have the power with no filibuster. That seems like a realistic scenario to me.

Also, ending the filibuster still requires 100% of Ddmocrats to vote for everything, and as we’ve already seen that’s not easy.

So… ending the filibuster may not do any good for Democrats, will give Republicans a big issue for 2022, and risks turning more moderates away from the Democrats.

You are much better off pretendng to be moderate through 2022, try to build your margin in the the Senate, then dump the filibuster if you get to say 55 or 57 Senators and can afford a defection or two.

If you truly believe this is your ‘window’ to get something done and you’ll lose the house, Senate or both in 2022, you still shouldn’t do it because you’ll only have a year or so to get anything you want, then you will be handing the Republicans the ssme power for at least another two years.

Electorally, they certainly do. That having a strong majority of voters on your side translates into a tie in the Senate and a thin majority in the House is a bug feature of overrepresentation of small states and gerrymandering.

And how do they do that if they are unable to pass legislation that will affect the voters that they are trying to reach? It has been shown that voters only care about results, not excuses, and will vote for the party that actually prevented those results from occurring, rather than the party that tried and was thwarted.

What prevents the Republicans from dumping the filibuster if they take the majority in 2022? This is the window to show that the Democrats are willing and able to govern, if they do not do so, then the power will be turned over to the party that has no interest in governing.

While I disagree with a lot of what you write here for reasons @k9bfriender lays out, I do think this is an important point for Democrats who think eliminating the filibuster will create an expressway for liberal legislation to keep in mind. By being the public face of opposition to eliminating the filibuster, Joe Manchin is providing a lot of Senate Democrats cover. They can purport themselves to be in favor of things knowing that they’ll never have to actually vote on it. That makes it a lot easier to paper over differences between progressive and moderate Democrats.

Remember that when Bernie Sanders forced a vote on adding a $15 per hour minimum wage to the stimulus bill (which was passed through budget reconciliation, requiring only a majority of votes), EIGHT Democratic Senators voted against it.

My bold.

I don’t think any Democrats are naive enough to believe this. I think all of them just want to get SOMETHING done before the midterms, but unfortunately, as was pointed out, all of them can’t be counted on by Biden or by each other. Herding cats, that’s what it is.

If Democrats keep focusing on having the most votes, instead of winning in the system they actually have o work woth, they will continue to lose in the House and Senate.

I would say the same if you want to govern successfully - it’s not enough to dominate voting in large Democratic cities. You also have to win at the state level if you really want power. That requires actual compromise and a moderation of policy, so the hard left would rather win the cities and then change the system to exclude the middle of the country and rural areas.

Getting rid of the filibuster is part of that. It’s a losing strategy. If you eliminate the filibuster to pass legislation opposed by large minorities or small majorities, you’ll just increase the chance of losing in next year’s midterms.

This is the problem the Democrats have: There’s a radical wing that wants ‘something done now’ (that ‘somethjng’ being far left policies), and a lot of moderate Democrats in swing states who know that such policies are anathema to their voters and don’t want to support it. If the radicals win, the moderates are generally the ones that lose in the next election, pushing the party further to the left and making it harder to win over independents and win Senate and House seats across the country.

Well, the fact that they’ve never done it, and promise not to do it, and that they would be punished by their voters if they did it.

The difference between the conservatives and liberals is that conservatives fight to maintain the staus quo and the traditional rules and structures of government, while the liberals see those things as obstacles to progress when they get in the way of what they want…

A lot of bills pass by one or two votes. This is often taken to mean that there was only a slight majority in favor, but often the whip will work out deals where people will be allowed to vote against their party when it serves their electoral chances.

It’s entirely possible that if Manchin and Sinema flipped their votes, another Dem would step forward in opposition. They just don’t need to do that now and take heat from their base, because Manchin and Sinema, being from red states, are willing to do it.

This can provide the illusion that Democrats are in near-lockstep, but tor all we know there could be a dozen other Senators in the party saying their prayers every night that Manchin and Sinema hold fast lest they be forced to step up and take the heat.

The “system they have to work with” is Republican opposition to virtually anything they propose.

No, the system they have to work with is a constitutional republic of federated states, rather than a single pure democracy. You can’t make national changes without having a majority of Senators and Congresspeople agree with you. By focusing on big cities and ignoring the middle of the country, Democrats have set up a situation where they have a majority of voters but a mimority of states. Since States have the power, this is a losing way to govern. As a result, the Republicans have a 6-3 court, and only a whirlwind of special conditions allowed the Democrats to grab pretty much the thinnest reed of power in the last election. They underperformed estimates dramatically.

If Trump hadn’t been a complete ass over the election, it’s unlikely the Democrats would have won both seats in Georgia. You got lucky. If there hadn’t been COVID and massive changes to the election system that favored Democrats, you likely would have lost in a landslide. Trump got 12 million more votes than he got in 2016 - the most in history. There is serious, widespread opposition to the radical wing of the Democratic party. You lost support in the last election from all ethnic minorities.

Instead of looking for how to jam through what you want by blowing up the rules, Democrats should be engaged in serious self-examination as to what they are doing wrong. You won the thinnest margin possible against the most polarizing, least-popular president in decades, when the stars all turned in your favor. Trying to ‘fundamentally change’ the country after that performance is only guaranteed to,bring a large electoral backlash in 2022.

What’s good for the goose…

So, do as the Republicans are doing, and disenfranchise voters?

They do not focus on having the most votes, they just do have the most votes. In a democracy, that should mean something.

Yes, but win what? The states that Democrats cannot win are the ones that don’t want governance. They have been conditioned to believe that the government is the enemy, and that all they want from a government is a promise to lower taxes, de-regulate guns, and outlaw abortion.

Democrats want to build roads and schools and hospitals and stuff like that, which are rejected by the voters, even as they complain about their lack of roads, schools and hospitals.

This is an assertion that simply is not true.

But passing legislation that is actually supported by significant majorities doesn’t happen because of the filibuster. The Senate can block legislation while only representing less than 20% of the population.

Like building roads and bridges… Only through far right colored glasses are the proposals that are being blocked by the Republicans “far left” or radical.

Heh, promises, like Republicans have ever held to those, or have ever been punished by their voters for breaking them.

For instance, when the Republicans removed the filibuster over SCOTUS nominees, no Republicans were bothered by that. When the Republicans said that a SCOTUS could not be voted on during a president’s last year in office, when they broke that promise, no Republicans were bothered by that.

No, the real difference is that the conservatives are comfortable with authoritarianism, and so will follow their political party through hell or high water, no matter the promises broken, no matter the costs to themselves. While liberals are led by their voters, and their leaders are held accountable for their action or inaction on implementing the policies that are desired by the people.

How much fighting to maintain the status quo and traditional rules and structures of government did you really see among the Republicans during the Trump administration, as he broke all those rules, burned down the structures, and upended all forms of status quo both domestically and internationally?

You keep saying this, but it simply isn’t true. The Democrats do not ignore the middle of the country. It’s just that no matter what they do, there will always be those who listen to Fox News, rather than look out their window and see the reality that they are not being ignored, that they are being take care of far better by the Democrats than by the Republicans, that their goals actually align far better with those of liberals than those of conservatives.

Basically, all the Republicans politicians and media have is that they are far better liars, both in capability and in complete lack of any shame in doing so. Unfortunately, that seems to be enough.

I don’t know about that. On social media and in opinion columns, liberals have built up the filibuster (and Joe Manchin’s refusal to eliminate it) as the Great Enemy of the progressive agenda. Eliminate it, and liberals’ expectations would be through the roof on the For the People Act, the Green New Deal, living wage, single payer health care, and other priorities. None of these items have 50 votes in the Senate right now.

And why wouldn’t Democrats have high expectations? There would be no procedural obstacle left to the party enacting any agenda they wanted to. The only excuse for not passing these items would be their own ineptitude and infighting.

The main reason for this is that we see R obstructionism on every fucking little thing (“They want blue paper clips? No way, man, Congressional paper clips must be Red! Tell the President Pro Tem that we are filibustering blue paper clips!”) but we hear almost nothing of the Ds posting filibuster objections when the Rs try to push idiocy on the country.