If it seems like we've been having the same filibuster conversation for a year, it's because we basically have been.

In late January 2021, McConnell held up the organizing resolution until he got Manchin and Sinema to publicly reiterate their filibuster support
In retrospect, that was an important moment. It separated Manchin and Sinema from their caucus. It made them "the two" who were on record wanting to keep the filibuster. And they haven't shifted their views since
Now, reformers did have a theory for how Manchin and Sinema would be moved. In addition to persuasion and pressure, it needed to become clear that Republicans were outrageously abusing the filibuster to obstruct President Biden's agenda and the basic functioning of government.
But McConnell's Republicans ended up cutting deals on infrastructure, debt ceiling, and government funding. And Biden spent most of his time on a reconciliation bill. So the case for filibuster reform ended up focusing just on voting rights, an emphasis Manchin never liked
I'm not sure whether Republican deal-cutting on those other issues really made the difference. Perhaps Manchin and Sinema would have dug in regardless of what the GOP did. But it certainly didn't help reformers' case from Manchin and Sinema's perspective.

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More from @awprokop

10 Jan
The talking filibuster exemplifies a reform that sounds good to people in theory but would achieve little in practice.

Carve-out would actually let Dems' voting bills pass, talking filibuster would just let Ted Cruz or whoever showboat while killing it
Some people have had it in their head that the talking filibuster could be crafted in such a way as to secretly backdoor gut the 60-vote threshold, but key senators have made it abundantly clear that's not what they actually want to do
The theory of the talking filibuster is that Republicans are comfortable blocking Dem bills in a low-profile way but, under the spotlight, would grow afraid or ashamed to do so.

But that's absurd. Republicans love taking credit for blocking Democratic bills!
Read 11 tweets
6 Jan
The short-term career incentive for almost every Republican is to pander. Speaking out will get your head cut off.

The distinction I prefer is "who will do the right thing when it counts." (Raffensperger, etc.) But that's impossible to know in advance.
I wrote about this problem last spring. Though I think in retrospect Liz Cheney did make a worthwhile move because she's really added some authority to the 1/6 commission. She is getting purged from the party, but she's making it count

But if you are a Republican who loathes what happened at 1/6, if you want to be in a position to do something about it next time the thing to do might be... not to talk about it right now. Or else you'll get purged and replaced by a Trumpist.

Read 5 tweets
5 Jan
Interesting discussion in this thread about how worrying the "state legislatures steal the election" scenario should be.

I'm of two minds here. On the one hand, state legislatures can be some of the most crudely partisan bodies in American gov't (cont'd)

On the other hand, state legislative partisanship is usually deployed for ends of state power, not to fulfill a national mission. But that could change with the continued nationalization of our politics
Furthermore, state legislatures were usually central to the pre-2020 nightmare scenarios of a disputed election.

Yet they basically sat on their hands in late 2020. No state legislature even came close to taking action. No measure to overturn results went to a vote or anything
Read 5 tweets
5 Jan
My issue here is, where is a stolen election threat most likely to come from in the future?

If it's from Congress/VP, then Electoral Count Act reform is urgent.

If it's from state legislatures, Electoral Count Act reform might actually *enable* theft (by tying Congress's hands)
This would obviously be hypocritical, but if Dems are inclined to fear election theft from Trumpist state legislatures, they might actually want to *keep* the current ambiguity about the VP's power, so Harris can kinda play chicken with them
It would have to be a majority of both the House and Senate to throw out any state result. Again, maybe this is a serious threat, maybe it's plausible in a post-2022 Senate. However, many GOP senators refused to go along with this last time

Read 5 tweets
4 Jan
Hannity says there's a path to "land the plane" in 9 days (let Trump finish out his term rather than be removed, seemingly). To get there means Trump "can't mention the election again. Ever." (Doesn't seem like that latter bit worked out)
Pre-1/6, Hannity worried about White House Counsel's office resignations, urging caution, saying Trump should "Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily" rather than continuing to dispute the results. Good advice! ImageImage
One thing that was going on when Hannity sent the 1/10 "land the plane" text is that there was a possibility McConnell might actually back Trump's impeachment. Leaks suggested that. But on 1/13 McConnell announced he wouldn't hold the trial while Trump was in office ImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
29 Dec 21
Thread: Best films I saw for the first time in 2021 (released any year). I mainly focused on Japanese, Hong Kong and Chinese art films this year. Disclaimer: I like "difficult" stuff that takes big swings. Here we go...
MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE (1983, Oshima) - Japanese officer running WWII POW camp becomes obsessed with his prisoner, played by David Bowie. Theme is radical empathy. Excellent score.
EROS PLUS MASSACRE (1969) - Four-hour maximalist epic about 1910s anarchism, 1960s disillusionment, and how we retell and alter history for our own ends. Wild, over-the-top, ultimately shattering. Stunning photography in this Arrow Blu-Ray

Read 8 tweets

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