So it is the morning after the carnage. Wednesday November 9th. Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. This is a deeply troubling event for me. Not because he is a Republican. Republicans are part of the system. They will win elections. What troubles me is that Donald Trump isn’t a Republican. He represents himself. Now we will find out what that means.
I’ll do a follow up post analyzing the election and what happened but one thing that is clear that did happen is lots of people didn’t vote this year. 7 million fewer people voted this year than in 2012. Almost 10 million fewer people than in 2008.
Clearly people just don’t seem to care anymore. And if people don’t care then perhaps it is time to let the Republicans do what they say they want to do. Let them enact their roll back plan.
What do I mean by “let them”? Don’t they already have control of the House and the Senate and the White House? Can’t they do exactly what they want to do? Not exactly. In the Senate there is an arcane procedure known as the filibuster. For you Jimmy Stewart fans out there it was famously used in one of his classic films Mr. Smith Goes to Wasthington. In that film Jimmy’s character, Jefferson Smith, stands up to corruption by speaking on the Senate floor until near collapse which leads to victory.
Today, the filibuster isn’t used for such principled stands. It’s a procedural block that Senators place on a bill that requires 3/5ths majority vote to remove. This has effectively turned the Senate into a super majority legislature rather than a simple majority. Even worse a filibuster essentially shield Senators from voting for or against a bill.
Now if you are a liberal you might be thinking to yourself “Great! We can block the Republicans from doing all the bad things they want to do!” And that is true. Unless, of course, the Senate Republicans choose to enact the nuclear option. Senate Democrats could block passage of just about all of the things that the Republicans claim they want to pass.
But, in my opinion, it is time to let the Republicans implement all their promises. Rather than being the useful excuse as to why they didn’t pass all the stuff they claim they want to pass, Democrats should demand that they put their votes on the record.
If they want to repeal Obamacare, then they should put their names down and let the country know that they don’t care that there are 10 million people who now have coverage that didn’t before. That they don’t care about protecting people with pre-existing conditions. They don’t have an actual alternative.
Let them go on the record and say that they want to return the financial system back to the way it was in 2008.
Let them pass a law to revoke NAFTA. Let them pass a law to ban Muslims from entering the country.
Elections have consequences. And making irresponsible promises solely for political gain should have consequences. It is time to stop letting Republicans hide behind a Democratic filibuster. We get what we deserve, America. And right now we deserve the Republican agenda.
To be clear, I am being 100% sincere. Until we create more transparency in what politicians actually stand for, we will perpetually fight the same pointless fights. If the country really wants Obamacare gone then it should be gone. If they really want Dodd-Frank gone then it should be gone. If they want Planned Parenthood destroyed then let them destroy it.