Several politicians of the Democratic Party are bullying toward critical elections in 2022 and have turned on the fundraising machines. Whirring printers spit out copious mail advertisements, social media announcements blanket known Democratic sympathizer pages, and even roadside and city billboards are blaring the most contentious of partisan issues this season: The filibuster. And the amount of money pouring into campaign coffers is making opponents somewhat nervous.
Representative Val Demings (D-FL) is campaigning for Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) seat on the Hill. In late June, she hammered the filibuster to supporters, and for the second-quarter financial report, Demings had raised a cool $4.6 million. Meanwhile, with the retirement of Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the declared Democrat candidate to fill the seat, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), blasted Facebook ads saying he was “p-ssed” and “We Must Get Rid Of The Senate Filibuster.” Though Ryan was vehemently opposed to purging the filibuster when he was a part of the minority a few short years ago, he raked in $2.3 million of filibuster-hater cash – nearly doubling the amount raised in the first quarter of 2021.
Also throwing up ads to fire up the party base is Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman – same story, different politician. He also chose Facebook as his platform and brought to his U.S. Senate race around $6.5 million. What better time to make a profit and have the Biden Administration vanity press buy into the plan, whacking two birds with one big, timely, controversial rock. Politicians, regardless of party affiliation, are well-known opportunists.
But, Still …
Democrats need a minimum of 51 senators – or 50 with Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie – to agree that the filibuster needs to go. Currently, the upper chamber is a partisan traffic jam, and the likelihood that any Republicans would cross the aisle and vote to end their only leverage in the otherwise Democrat-ruled federal government is somewhat less likely than Earth changing its orbit. To make matters worse for the Democrats, there are even a few on their own team who refuse to play ball.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) proves that the real maverick in Arizona was not the late Sen. McCain. Since sliding into the position, Sinema has refused to leave her marbles and perhaps morals in the hands of the dress-alike gang congressional Dems. Instead, she applauded former President Trump during one of his State of The Union speeches – gasp. Sinema also said recently on the subject at hand:
“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?”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) agrees and has indicated his own vote on ending the filibuster is a firm “no” in less strident prose. So that’s another two much-needed votes that are steadfastly sucking up swamp water. The filibuster is a partisan logjam – one among many. Yet such an incendiary issue must bring something to the table for proponents of eliminating the rule – or not. Republican strategist Ryan Williams recently laid out the impending Democrat debacle on Fox News:
“These Democrats are competing for seats that are currently held by Republicans, and in order to win support, they’re going to have to look like bipartisan consensus builders. By campaigning against the filibuster, they’re dropping any pretense of bipartisanship and looking like rigid partisans who will have difficulty attracting the independent votes they need to win.”
Democrats seem to be better at overlooking campaign promises not met – or even attempted. American politics has changed dramatically since President H.W. Bush said, “Read my lips – no new taxes.” And H.W. was president no more. So perhaps this message of “scrap that filibuster” will encourage the party’s base to show up in droves. Only time will tell if Democrats actually care about the filibuster when it comes to their turn in the minority.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.