Can the Dems Bust the Filibuster?

The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties.  However, if a vote were now held to eliminate the filibuster, this split morphs to 48 yeas and 52 nays.

Such a tally allows the filibuster to survive.  And it allows the sometimes despised but always wily Mitch McConnell to keep foiling the radical (and rabid) Democrat agenda. Only a simple majority is needed to eliminate the filibuster, but if the filibuster is in play, sixty votes are required to pass legislation.

The Democrats’ agenda includes HR-1 and HR-4, which would end legitimate elections in the United States.  It includes HR-5, which would turn the country into a sexual dystopia.  The agenda would also rezone the suburbs, pack the Federal judiciary, grab guns, grant statehood to DC and Puerto Rico, fully implement the Green New Deal, and probably keep the borders open forever.

At the moment, two Democrat Senators stand in the way of all this lunacy becoming law.  Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are playing Horatius at the Bridge.  The fate of this Grand Republic hangs on these two (so far) stalwarts.

Enormous pressure will be brought against the recalcitrant senators.  Yet how far can Chuck Schumer push without the two switching party affiliation?  Joe is from a very red state and Kyrsten is from a purple state which Biden is likely returning to red. 

If Manchin and Sinema remain firm, what are the Democrats’ options?  One thing is for sure, the Dems aren't going to give up.

Their last chance to wrench America towards their socialist paradise is slipping away.  The clock ticks ever louder.  In 2023 a Republican House is very likely and a Republican Senate is within reach.

Before 2022 expires, Schumer and his crew must reduce the filibuster elimination nays from 52 to 50.  Fifty yeas, fifty nays, and Vice President Harris gives the Democrats the win.

Where to get the two votes?  Chuck will certainly give it a go with Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).  A grandstander Mitt might be, but he leans conservative and is a patriot.  Lisa could be tempted, but one Republican turncoat won't do the trick (Chuck needs to flip two votes).  Plus, Mitch is extraordinarily good at holding together his caucus.

Outside the Senate chamber currently hangs a No Vacancy sign.  Vacancies are created when a senator resigns (think Al Franken, 2018), is expelled (no one since the Civil War), or dies (John McCain, 2018).

From 2001 forward, twenty-six senatorial vacancies have occurred, or roughly twice each Congress.  Two vacancies opening up before the end of 2022 is well within the law of averages.  For the Dems, though, the right vacancies must happen.

Let us examine the Senate lay of the land (here, here, and here).

There are seven states (KS, KY, LA, ME, NC, PA, WI) that have a Democratic governor and one or two Republican senators.  A vacancy in Kentucky or North Carolina is useless to the Democrats, as state law requires the governor to appoint a replacement from the same party.  However, in Kansas (2 Republican senators) or in Pennsylvania and Maine (1 Republican senator) the governor can appoint any replacement he/she wants.  (Red states should think twice about electing Democrat governors).

Louisiana and Wisconsin require a special election to fill a vacancy.  In neither state could Schumer be guaranteed the election would produce a Democrat.  However, in Louisiana, the governor can appoint an interim replacement.  This replacement would hold office until an election is held (which could take place up to ten months later).

In their desperation would the Democrats try to engineer vacancies?

Expulsion is out, as it requires a two-thirds majority of senators.

Death is the most direct route to creating a vacancy, but even the Democrats would shrink from that. Morality and law aside, no matter how cleverly the Dems tried to disguise an assassination, everyone would know what happened. The backlash at such foul play would be enormous. The Dems would pay terribly at the next election, and even worse, they would surely fear tit for tat retaliation against their own senators.

That leaves resignations, which can be induced by blackmail or bribery.

Blackmail faces the problem that senators have already undergone opposition vetting, both at the primary and general election levels. Unless a senator has committed serious transgressions since being elected – not unheard of – blackmail has nowhere to go.

But money talks.

Would an offer of ten million dollars in an offshore account do the trick? How about 100 million? What about one billion?

Funding such bribes is hardly beyond the ability of the Democrats. The Dems do have plenty of multi-billionaire supporters (we won't name names).

Stay tuned.

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