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Joe Manchin, the Filibuster, and Failure Theater

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The Senate has a 50-50 split. While, in theory, Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote, that vote only comes into play when there is a tie. Her vote, needless to say, is not terribly useful as to accomplish anything substantive requires (in most cases) 60 votes because of the filibuster. The filibuster is proving to be a major roadblock to the raw power grab emanating from Nancy Pelosi’s House called H.R. 1., the so-called “For the People Act” that seeks to enshrine vote fraud in federal statutes. Because the filibuster makes the main progressive policy initiative out of reach, the filibuster has been targeted for elimination by the Democrat party.

Story after story has appeared, equating the filibuster with racism. For instance, noted scholar Zack Beauchamp writing at that seething, effervescing puddle of failure known as Vox.com posts The filibuster’s racist history, explained. (As an aside, Beauchamp is the goof who wrote a lengthy story on the bridge connecting Gaza to the West Bank and damned the Israelis for arbitrarily blocking it. SPOILER ALERT: there is no such bridge. At some point, Vox changed its tagline from “The smartest thinkers, the toughest questions” to “There’s power in understanding.”) The Associated Press trumpets Senate filibuster’s racist past fuels arguments for its end.

Harris’s vote suddenly becomes vital is Chuck Schumer makes a concerted push to eliminate the filibuster forever. That process, known as the “nuclear option,” relies upon the vote of a majority of senators to change Senate rules. It has been used twice. In 2013, Harry Reid used this tactic to eliminate the filibuster for all presidential nominations except those to the Supreme Court. In 2017, Mitch McConnell put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court bench by this procedural move. All it takes is Senate Democrats voting as a bloc, with Harris breaking the tie, and the filibuster is relegated to the dustbin of history, so to speak; in fact, Schumer is making a huge showing of doing exactly that:

Top Democrats are preparing to make the case to impose new limits on the filibuster, in a move that could bring

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