March 17, 2021

In case you missed it yesterday: Mitch McConnell issued a dire threat about a "scorched earth Senate" if Dems go ahead and fix the filibuster.

Let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues: Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin, to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like.

Dems responded with a collective shrug and a "yeah, whatever." Seriously, what's left? Are we supposed to believe Mitch was somehow holding back all these years? Charles Pierce sums it up:

The obstinate refusal of the Republican Party to be a good-faith partner in actually governing the country has made the demise of the filibuster the only real remedy that will allow anything to get done in the Senate. If the price for, say, the protection of the franchise is that, one day, the Republicans will shove through policies that guarantee that no suburban mom ever votes for them again, then that’s a price worth paying. Let Mitch flex to his heart’s content. Let him fume and bluster. Then do what you want anyway. Get it while you can.

And here's the real headline: President Joe Biden has finally said he's open to reforming the filibuster in an ABC interview.

"Aren't you going to have to choose between preserving the filibuster, and advancing your agenda?" Stephanopoulos asked Biden in their interview outside Philadelphia.

"Yes, but here's the choice: I don't think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days," Biden said. "You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking."

"So you're for that reform? You're for bringing back the talking filibuster?" Stephanopulos asked.

"I am. That's what it was supposed to be," Biden said.

"It's getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning," Biden told Stephanopoulos.

Meanwhile, former Senate majority leader and master strategist Harry Reid was on Joy Reid's show last night as another moving piece in the Dems' PR offensive.

"All over the world, we have parliaments that the majority rules. The majority party wants they get most of the time. There's nothing wrong with that. That's what democracy is all about. And I think that people are not aware of the fact that our country is not working well. We have a lot of things that we need to get done. The American Rescue Act, we got it done because of a reconciliation.

"We've got a lot of things we need to get done. We need to get infrastructure, create jobs. We have those highways, bridges, dams, water systems, sewer systems. We can't do that with a filibusters. Republicans said they're going to oppose everything Biden wants."

He said he spoke to Al Franken yesterday.

"He's been talking to Joe Manchin. They were talking about having a modified filibuster where you have to stand for a certain period of time, and then when they got tired of standing, they would have a majority vote. So people are concerned about it and know it has to change," he said.

This is what we're seeing out in the open, while people are talking behind the scenes. Sounds like we're going to see a bitter old Mitch McConnell, curled up on the Senate floor in the fetal position.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

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