. @ChrisCoons A story about Jack Markell, nominated to be Ambassador to @OECD. I saw him at the Dem Convention in 2016 in Philadelphia. I told him my son Matthew had died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a motel in Newark, DE-- & there was no law in DE requiring detectors 1
in hotels, motels, or places with underground garages that would be vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. He said to send him info. Ten days later, I got a call from the governor in my office-- asking why he had not received anything from me. I immediately sent him a packet 2
with info about other states, the incidence of poisoning, etc. His legal assistant called, we visited, but before we could get anything done, the legislative session ended, as did his term as governor. 3
Two years later, long after his service as governor had ended, Jack called to tell me he had not given up and the state had just passed a law doing what we had asked. Good people, good public servants, are in it because they care about doing things to help people. 4
There is no better example than Jack Markell. He was a great governor, and a great former governor. He is a true Mensch, and he will be a great ambassador. Congratulations, Jack!

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More from @NormOrnstein

7 Jun
. @billscher @ThePlumLineGS I knew Robert Byrd well. Testified in front of him on the filibuster in the Rules Committee. Talked to him one-on-one about the Senate and its rules. He had a very different attitude by 2009 than he had in 1975. As did Republicans in the Senate. 1
A super-majority then, in both parties, wanted to work on a compromise. Different now. When he was wheeled into the chamber from his death bed to provide the 60th vote on the ACA, he was angrier than I have ever seen him, shaking his fist and shouting, "Shame, shame" at McConnell
As leader he regularly looked for workarounds, sometimes pretty impressively devious, to make the majority have its say, including against nemeses like James Allen. He did not believe the rules were cast in stone. 3
Read 4 tweets
31 May
@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.
Read 5 tweets
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

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