Joe Biden’s Filibuster Defense Doesn’t Make Much Sense

On Wednesday, the two Democratic leaders took different approaches to combating threats to democracy. A reflection of current political realities; the other stemmed from a charismatic political dream. One makes sense; the other… not so much. Yesterday afternoon, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi took the unexpected but welcome step of veto two of Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthySelected by the selection committee to investigate the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill. McCarthy displayed predictable indignation, legitimized by horse racing style coverage in some corners of the media, but Pelosi’s move was by no means irrational: The commission’s mission was to investigate the uprising. Donald Trump and his allies agitated, and the two McCarthy appointees she rejected—Jim Jordan and Jim Banks—Not only did they participate in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, but also made it clear after their selection that they would use their positions on the council to undermine the work of Council.

As a Republican committee member Liz Cheney pointed out that as she defended Pelosi against McCarthy’s “unwarranted” broad-based views, Jordan “could have been an important witness to the events leading up to that date” and Banks “excluded himself by his comments His review in particular over the past 24 hours, demonstrates that he does not take this matter seriously, that he does not treat the facts of this investigation but treats it as a political program.” (The the bank said after his nomination that the committee was only created to “evil conservatives” and to help Democrats enact their “authoritarian agenda” and suggested he He will use his perch on the council to investigate the remaining “extremists”.)

Of course, there could be some political backlash to Pelosi’s move, but it’s the right thing to do: McCarthy named Jordan and Banks only go to the council so they can sabotage its work. By rejecting them, Pelosi is putting that important work above the politics of politeness – a refreshing recognition that bipartisanship won’t work if neither side acts on its own. goodwill manner.

This crazy fact doesn’t seem to affect Joe BidenThe admirable but self-defeating hope that the Trumpist GOP can be persuaded to engage effectively with the Democrats. During a CNN town hall Wednesday night, the president was asked about the repeal of opposition to passing bills protecting the right to vote, which Republicans have been working on. roll in since Trump’s death in November. While Biden acknowledged that “the abuse of movies is quite outrageous,” and again suggested reforming it, he ultimately defended the process itself, insisting that he could assemble a bipartisan coalition to defend the franchise. “I want to make sure we don’t just bring in all the Democrats,” Biden speak on the issue of voting rights. “We brought in Republicans that I knew better. They know better than this.”

It’s an optimistic view of an overt cohort that seeks to win elections not by appealing to more Americans, but by making it harder for Democratic-leaning constituencies. vote more. Even Cheney, who was kicked out of the GOP for criticizing Trump, protect restrictive voting laws her party enacted. Biden is not wrong in trying to restore the norms his predecessors have eroded — “I’m trying to bring this country back together,” he repeated Wednesday — but he won’t. go far if he insists on doing so with the cooperation of those who have supported and benefited from their erosion.

There are, of course, political calculations here, just as the more difficult ones that Pelosi adopted Wednesday. While the Speaker of the House caucus seemed fairly unified in his view that Jim Jordan was a nasty jerk, the president was dealing with a Senate that had mixed opinions on the case. Many Democrats went around to repeal it. But others, like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, still steadfastly support. Biden could then view the movie debate as a delicate balancing act. But if it is, one would expect his arguments in favor of keeping the procedure a little more compelling. ‘You’ll throw the whole Congress into chaos’ if the movie is completely scrapped, Biden tells CNN Don Lemon Wednesday. “Nothing will be done, right? Nothing will be done, and a lot is at stake. “

That doesn’t make much sense — removing the threshold of 60 votes seems to allow than accomplished, not less – but Biden’s reasoning only underscores how worthwhile his position is: The notion that voting rights can be defended with the support of those who are attacking their publicity is absurd, it can only be justified by the same absurd arguments. Biden has made it clear that he wanted to preserve and strengthen the right to vote and that he resented the GOP’s crusade to suppress them. But Democrats appear to be holding themselves back in their efforts to fight back by sticking to rules their counterparts have long since stopped following. Pelosi, in exercising her final say as Speaker of the House to keep two brazen rebels out of the January 6 committee despite the inevitable derision from Republicans , not only showing boldness but also common sense. Biden would be wise to follow suit.

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