As a writer at RedState, I know I’m expected to provide smart, forward-looking commentary on the machinations of various political figures. Of course, if you’ve been around here long enough, you know that often manifests itself as incredibly mediocre analysis, but hey, I’m trying here.
Still, I have no earthly idea what the heck Sen. Chuck Schumer is doing right now. His decision to press ahead with a vote on changing the filibuster rules is the most idiotic, nonsensical political move I’ve seen in a very long time. I’d love to pretend to have some brilliant deconstruction for you guys, explaining the intricacies of what the Senate Majority Leader is doing, but really, this is just moronic and defies all logic.
Schumer clarifies that the proposed Senate rule change would be a “talking filibuster” but only for this legislation on voting rights pic.twitter.com/cEEIwc7JGC
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 18, 2022
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have been abundantly clear — they will not support any change to the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. A talking filibuster would allow the passage of legislation with just 51 votes (that includes the assumed vice-presidential tiebreaker). Given that all Schumer is doing is repackaging the same plan to blow up the filibuster, who exactly does he think he’s fooling here? Certainly, Manchin and Sinema aren’t going to budge.
But because Schumer has pushed this issue far beyond what he should have, the fact that the vote is going to fail is now the least of his worries. Inexplicably, he’s forcing vulnerable Democrat senators like Arizona’s Mark Kelly to go on record in support of changing the Senate rules.
And to be frank, that is not a decision Kelly wants to make publicly before his reelection campaign this year.
Speaking in Phoenix, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly weighs in on filibuster, as Senate begins debate on federal voting rights legislation. "I will make a decision on what’s in the interest for Arizona, folks that live here and the folks across our country." @SenMarkKelly @SenatorSinema pic.twitter.com/touN2KnUnU
— Michael Edgecomb (@TheEdgePHX) January 18, 2022
Perhaps Schumer could be forgiven for nuking his Senate majority in an election year by hanging his moderate members out to dry if he otherwise had some major win waiting on the other side — but he doesn’t. Forcing a vote on the filibuster gains Schumer and his party nothing at all. All it does is create political headaches for Democrat members that don’t represent deep blue bastions like New York and California.
There’s also the fact that by doing this and failing, he’s now given Republicans a green light to nuke the filibuster once they regain power. After all, if it’s a “Jim Crow relic” now, it will still be one when the GOP gains a likely trifecta after the 2024 election. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting the GOP should or will blow up the filibuster (I think the last year has shown that having that guardrail is well worth the cost). I’m only saying that Democrats will have forfeited the right to oppose such a move with any credibility.
And again, for what? What is Schumer getting in return for committing political hari-kari?
There’s only one possible explanation here, and that is that Schumer fears a primary challenge from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Thus, he feels as if he must ride off the cliff with the rest of the far-left loons. Yes, I’m speculating, but if someone else has a better theory, I’m all ears.
In the end, regardless of the reason, Schumer is making a huge mistake, and the plaudits he’ll get from cable news hosts will hardly be any consolation when the consequences of his decision come calling.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member