Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) pointed out in a Tuesday Washington Post op-ed that the Democrat Party’s sudden desire to get rid of the filibuster is hypocritical considering that they used it last year and defended its existence when Republicans had a small majority in the Senate.
“Once in a majority, it is tempting to believe you will stay in the majority,” Sinema wrote. “But a Democratic Senate minority used the 60-vote threshold just last year to filibuster a police reform proposal and a covid-relief bill that many Democrats viewed as inadequate,” Sinema wrote. “Those filibusters were mounted not as attempts to block progress, but to force continued negotiations toward better solutions.”
Sinema said that “immediate results” were less important than the “deepening divisions” getting rid of the filibuster would cause.
“This question is less about the immediate results from any of these Democratic or Republican goals,” she continued. “[I]t is the likelihood of repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans’ confidence in our government.”
Sinema touts independence, bipartisanship
Sinema pointed out that she was elected to the Senate by a mostly Republican state, Arizona, because she was independent and believed in bipartisanship.
Her approach is “the same whether in the majority or minority,” she said, noting that she had opposed ending the filibuster through two terms in the House and in the Senate while President Donald Trump was president, and would not change her view now because of political expediency.
“To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?” she asked.
Supporters of ending the filibuster claim that the Democrat party has been given a mandate to put their policies in place, but a 50-50 Senate is hardly a mandate–it’s barely even a majority.
Not enough support
Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) are the most vocal Democrat critics of ending the filibuster, although reports have said that other Democrat senators don’t support the action but are more unwilling to say so publicly.
Democrats are nearly desperate to end the filibuster so they can pass radical legislation like the “For the People” voting rights act, which would federalize local elections and make it much easier to cheat.
These Democrats may see Sinema’s argument as moot, given that the U.S. could end up effectively a one-party system if they make it impossible for Republicans to win.
But Sinema and Manchin also know that a one-party monopoly was never the will of the Founding Fathers, and that such an outcome would run counter to the ideas enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
They are exceptions to the Democrat ruling principles of the ends justifying the means, and thinking it’s okay to cheat and gut the Constitution to get what they want.