With Republicans blocking a bipartisan January 6 commission to investigate a murderous armed insurrection, it’s time for Democrats to wake up, smell the authoritarian coffee, and get rid of the anti-democratic filibuster.
This morning, Ali Velshi ripped Republicans for blocking millions of jobs for Americans by obstructing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, aka the infrastructure bill.
Republicans “would rather not focus on policy or job creation right now because they're busy suppressing votes in America, spreading the Big Lie and blocking the formation of a [January 6] commission,” Velshi seethed.
He called the commission “low-hanging fruit,” and noted that despite the fact that 35 House Republicans voted for it, the legislation will probably die in the Senate because of the filibuster rule. “The Biden agenda will inevitably run into this same roadblock each and every time,” Velshi added. That is, unless the Democrats throw out the filibuster.
I’m not in the habit of looking to Republicans for advice, but when it comes to messaging and strategies for wielding power, Democrats could take a lesson. Apparently, Velshi thinks so, too. First, he quoted from a tweet by Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson: “Even now too many think policy will save them. … The bad guys are willing to send people to kill you and you respond with a white paper? ... Do you think some kind of bipartisan comity and good will will be lost somehow? THEY SENT PEOPLE TO KILL YOU. Get a goddamned grip. Play offense. Drag them."
“I am fully in the column of policy and debate wins the day,” Velshi added, but "increasingly, over the last few weeks, I am hearing very smart people, whom I respect, saying, ‘Velshi, you're stupid, it's not gonna work this time. this time it is about fighting fire with fire.'”
Never-Trump Republican Jennifer Rubin agreed. She urged Democrats to start “giving up on the notion that they get brownie points for bipartisanship,” and stop allowing Republican obstructionism to block them. She pointed to the American Rescue Plan, which Democrats passed via reconciliation despite GOP opposition, and which became so popular, Republicans are now touting the legislation to their constituents.
Democrats must realize that they are not dealing with a party acting on good-faith differences in policy, but an “anti-democratic, authoritarian” cult, Rubin continued. “So move on. What is a majority worth if it is not to set up an inquiry into an attack on the deadliest, domestic violence incident in recent memory?”
Rubin went on to suggest that Democrats let the Republicans publicly, on the Senate floor, block the inquiry into an attack on the Capitol, then scrub the filibuster and form a select committee, like Republicans did with Benghazi. Hold hearings, use subpoena power and make Kevin McCarthy and other Republican members of Congress testify under oath, she advised. “Republicans will scream and cry and pound the table, but ultimately we need to get to the bottom of this and we need to identify those people in the Republican caucus who may have cooperated with the terrorists.”