@gelliottmorris gives us the money quote on whether the Framers thought the Senate should be governed entirely by minority rule via a filibuster or other means. Here is the quote from Federalist 65:
In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority
Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.
Lastly, it would facilitate and foster the baneful practice of secessions; a practice which has shown itself even in States where a majority only is required; a practice subversive of all the principles of order and regular government;
a practice which leads more directly to public convulsions, and the ruin of popular governments, than any other which has yet been displayed among us.

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More from @NormOrnstein

4 Apr
. @Nate_Cohn makes some good points in his piece on GA. But there is more. Looking at a presidential election, including looking at it through the lens of the barriers provided by the pandemic, does not necessarily translate into what could or would happen in a midterm contest. 1
Some research shows that more convenience matters in lower turnout elections. The evidence is not entirely one-sided. And as more people get familiar with absentee voting, more are likely to employ it. 2
At the same time,Cohn ignores the increased capability of state and local figures to cut selectively the number of polling places and create long lines, including in the early voting days, and the ban on water is very important if there are long lines. 3
Read 6 tweets
17 Mar
Memo to mainstream journalists: Stop treating Mitch McConnell as an institutionalist. No one has blown up more norms. Stop taking everything he says at face value. Do you really think if he employed obstructionist tactics to blow things up that the majority would be helpless?
Use unanimous consent to bring the Senate to a complete halt? The majority can bring back a motion on the previous question to override, or use other rules changes to obviate. Delay every confirmation? Majority can find many ways to expedite. 2
Go to DEFCON 1? Majority can schedule votes and sessions with scant notice, can schedule votes when majority of Rs are going to be back home, telling Ds in advance to organize their schedules. In other words, McConnell's threats are idle. 3
Read 5 tweets
25 Feb
Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, two estimable public servants who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, oppose a January 6 Commission that lacks an even number of Ds and Rs, which was the case with their commission. They have a sentimental attachment to a time long past. 1/
Lee and the other Ds on the 9/11 panel--Ben Veniste, Gorelick, Kerry, Roemer-- had every partisan reason to blame it all on Bush and Rs. But of course they did not. They were patriots first, as were the Rs, Fielding, Gorton, Lehman, Thompson, saw their role as protecting America.
The co-chairs made sure the panel, and its staff, followed that road. Now think about an evenly divided panel w Rs selected by McCarthy and McConnell. Half, at least would be those who voted right after the insurrection that the election was rigged. 3
Read 5 tweets
20 Jan
Note to mainstream media journalists, editors producers, headline writers, Twitter writers: DO NOT REVERT BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL! Do not make a Peleton bike, a tan suit, a slight misstatement the same headline or emphasis as inciting racist violence or lying to Congress.
Do not fall back on false equivalence-- including equating Elizabeth Warren and @AOC with Ted Cruz, Lauren Boebert or Louis Gohment. Report facts when there is norm-breaking or obstruction by Congress. Do not think that there are no lessons to be learned from the past decade.
Do not give added voice and legitimacy to those who lie to you and the public, or sinecures to Trumpist sycophants. Do not do more panels with a right-wing commentator and two journalists striving to be objective.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jan
. @brianstelter You need to have a sharp focus on the culpability over the past many years of the mainstream media. @paulkrugman, @jayrosen Tom Mann & I were among many who warned years ago of the transformation of the GOP from a regular political party into an insurgent outlier
A handful of good journalists like @JohnJHarwood @jackiekcalmes @JillDLawrence and others reported it honestly, but way too many did not. Abnormal behavior was normalized long before Donald Trump emerged. Malign behavior was sidetracked by framing it as strategy. 2
The both sides and false equivalence frame, brilliantly described by @JamesFallows was the norm in journalism. The fear of being labeled as biased towards liberals was exploited by the right. The norm of reporting both sides ignored the more important norm of reporting the truth.
Read 9 tweets
6 Jan
I want to be realistic here. The opening for Democrats is not likely at all to be by altering the filibuster rule, although adamant Republican obstruction could change that calculus later this year. The opening is reconciliation. 1
That can be used for tax reform, health reform, infrastructure, Covid relief and economic stimulus, elimination of the debt ceiling as a weapon, maybe a change in the Byrd Rule and other reconciliation rules to allow less jiggering of numbers and more non-budget stuff 2
But other goals, like major democracy reform and adding states like DC and Puerto Rico, will be a heavier lift. Even so, I would bring up HR 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and force Rs to filibuster. 3
Read 4 tweets

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