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Democrats Have Already Lost on the Filibuster Issue

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Only one day after President Joe Biden gave a silly speech in which he supported watering down the filibuster, the results of a poll were released showing that the American public isn’t exactly on board with the idea. Of course, this is irrelevant to Democrats, who care nothing for what the people think, but it might still have repercussions for the party by the time November rolls around.

The Washington Examiner reported:

A majority of voters support keeping the Senate filibuster intact even as President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders push to do away with the Senate rule to pass election legislation, according to a poll commissioned by the conservative Senate Opportunity Fund 501(c)4 advocacy organization.

The poll conducted by OnMessage, Inc. from Jan. 7 to 9 found that 53% of likely voters support the filibuster and 27% oppose it, while another 20% were unsure or had no opinion.

These numbers represent a significant increase in support for the filibuster since June of last year, when 47 percent of respondents indicated they wished to keep it intact. So not only have the Democrats failed to convince more people that getting rid of the procedure is a good idea, they seem to have caused the opposite effect.

The Examiner also noted:

When only considering voters in states with competitive Senate races, the filibuster still had majority support: 51% in favor compared to 29% who opposed, with an increase from the June 2021 result of 46% in support and 32% against. The margin of error for that section was plus or minus 4.9%.

Democrats have been trying to get rid of – or severely weaken – the filibuster since they took control of the executive and legislative branches last year. Several high-profile leftists like Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) contended that the practice was a form of Jim Crow and intimated it was racist to keep it in place. On Tuesday, she tweeted:

It’s time to abolish the Jim Crow filibuster so we can restore voting rights & keep power in the hands of the people.

For people who pretend to believe the filibuster is a relic of Jim Crow, the Democrats certainly had no problem using it over 300 times over the past few years. Perhaps it’s only Jim Crow when the Republicans use it?

Senate Democrats are trying to lower the voting threshold to 50 votes to move a bill to final passage in the upper chamber. Currently, a bill needs the support of at least 60 senators. The objective is to pass two critical voting rights bills that would essentially amount to a federal takeover of elections and prevent states from passing legislation designed to ensure they are free and fair.

During his speech, President Biden insisted that the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement  Act are essential for keeping evil, racist Republicans from passing laws that would make it impossible for people of color to vote. He repeated the usual leftist trope of referring to election integrity laws as “Jim Crow 2.0” because of course he did. He argued that Democrats should weaken the filibuster to get these laws passed.

One of the other questions the poll asked was if participants believed the filibuster protects the United States from extreme radical ideas or whether it is a relic that should be left behind. About 50 percent believed the filibuster protects the country, while 31 percent thought it should be jettisoned.

It is highly unlikely that the Democrats will succeed in their effort to water down the filibuster. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have, on several occasions, indicated they would not vote for such a measure. At this point, much of the chest-pounding and bluster are more political theater than anything real.

But let’s say Manchin and Sinema have a change of heart, and the Democrats get what they want. If they manage to end the filibuster against the will of voters, it could easily blow up in their faces. It could become yet another reason voters will hand control of the House – and maybe the Senate – to the GOP in November.

While this move might make it easier for Democrats to ram through their favored legislation, it could quickly turn into a pyrrhic victory. It would also give Republicans an opportunity to launch a takeover of the upper chamber by forcing votes on various bills that might make many Democratic lawmakers uncomfortable. Indeed, Senate Republicans have already vowed to do just that.

Either way, ending the filibuster will likely cause more pain than good for Democrats. But again, since they already know there isn’t much of a chance of getting what they want, they seem content with tilting at this particular windmill. After all, the show must go on, right?