If the Democrats in Congress have even a residual spine, that is, any interest in political power whatsoever, then I think we can forecast the demise of the filibuster. The question here for politicians at the national level is how many of these issues that are existential for large groups of people can you point a finger at the Senate, blame the filibuster, blame the likes of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, blame the Republicans, use all of the foregoing as an excuse to fail to take anything more than performative action, and still be considered worth voting for?
- Climate crisis
- Infrastructure (specifically, the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package)
- Minimum wage
- Voting rights
In the theoretical construct I advanced in my dissertation, all politicians are, to some degree, functionalist conservatives, with a vested interest in the status quo and in preserving their power and privileges over the rest of us. That should mean either that Republicans with an interest in preserving the filibuster depart from a lockstep opposition to progressive priorities (all of the above) or that the Democrats kill the filibuster.
Because as it all presently stands, Democrats are blatantly failing to give large groups of people in the U.S. a reason to vote for them.
Sadie Gurman and Eliza Collins, “Justice Department Looks for Ways to Challenge Texas Abortion Law,” Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-looks-for-ways-to-challenge-texas-abortion-law-11630959275
British Broadcasting Corporation, “Chip shortage could last into 2023, says car boss,” September 7, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58465954
Lara Korte, “The man who started the movement to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has COVID-19,” Sacramento Bee, September 7, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article254051993.html
Andrea Salcedo, “Ohio judge reverses colleague’s decision on covid patient’s ivermectin treatment: ‘Judges are not doctors,’” Washington Post, September 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/09/07/ohio-judge-reverses-ivermectin-order/
Renatta Signorini, “Greater Latrobe, Derry Area students plan walkouts to protest mask mandate,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 6, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/greater-latrobe-students-plan-walkout-to-protest-mask-mandate/
Eva Ruth Moravec, “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs law creating new voting restrictions as opponents sue,” Washington Post, September 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/07/abbott-texas-voting-restrictions-signs-bill/
- David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).↩