Far too many prominent scholars are saying drop voting and election reform and just do a bipartisan reform of the electoral count act. They ignore the total refusal of Republicans to cooperate on election reform, and buy their appeal to do something serious about ECA. So naive 1
It is an uphill battle to get voting and election reform, but it is urgent to head off massive chicanery in 2022. Republican offers on ECA are like Lucy and the football. The timing is obviously designed to head off election reform. Anything McConnell would agree to on ECA… 2
Would be more pablum than anything else. Remove the role of the VP (now that it is Harris) and raise the bar from one to perhaps 10 or 20 to challenge electors. Let’s see if 10 or more Republicans sign onto the meaningful ECA reform proposed by Angus King. ECA is about 2024. 3
ECA reform can wait for a few months. Voting and election reform can’t wait. It may seem elusive now, and we can’t be very sanguine, but these scholars are undermining any attempt to get there, and it is foolish and counterproductive.

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More from @NormOrnstein

7 Sep 21
In the mid-1970s I had the great honor of working for and with Adlai Stevenson III on a committee he chaired, and for which I was staff and later staff director, reforming the Senate's committee system, and then as he created a structure for Senate ethics. I saw him up close 1
as he navigated the intense pressure from every Senate powerhouse when he tried to eliminate their committees and subcommittees and take away some jurisdictions. He did not bend and ultimately prevailed. 2
I watched him take on tough and unpopular issues, with intelligence and integrity. He was not just a model of public service and a model of what a senator should be. He was a decent, warm and kind human being. 3
Read 4 tweets
5 Sep 21
A little meditation on grief. When you lose a child, it is unfathomable. It is a different kind of grief. We had people come up to us and say, "I know how you feel, I lost my cat last month." Or "I know how you feel, my 93-year-old mother just died." At first, I was taken aback.
How can people be so obtuse or insensitive to think those things are comparable? Then I realized that people are trying to be understanding and empathetic, and don't know how to react. Of course, the most common is "There are no words."
My wife and I went to Compassionate Friends, an organization with chapters around the country of people who have lost children, and some meetings there were very comforting. Some had stories that were truly horrific, losing more than one child, losing an only child, worse
Read 8 tweets
24 Jun 21
. @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
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun 21
. @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 21
@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 21
. @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

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