World News – US – How to talk to senators skeptical about ending the filibuster – InsideSources


Reformers who want to end the US Senate filibuster rule in January will have to convince at least a handful of skeptical Democratic senators that it is time to change the rules

If Democrats win the White House, House, and Senate in the 2020 election, the party’s legislative platform will live or die depending on whether the Senate’s 60-vote supermajority requirement to move to the final vote is left in. up, reformed or completely abolished

Yet a number of current and potential senators in the Democratic caucus remain skeptical about reforming or abolishing filibuster It is these senators who hold the fence who will need to be convinced And most importantly, they are not not on the same wavelength as those of us who support reform

Some do not share our enthusiasm for bold and gradual change Some may think that filibuster protects their own parish interests, including the interests of their major donors Still others may fear what Republicans might do if they win a threesome in Washington

Many of the incumbents we’ll have to convince are either conservative members of the Reddish State caucus (like Joe Manchin of West Virginia or Angus King of Maine) or aging career politicians who have branded themselves as moderates or centrists (think Dianne Feinstein from California)

Filibuster reformers will need to create a licensing structure that allays their fears and encourages them to support much-needed reform to Senate rules – and political psychology offers potentially useful information on how to do this

Political psychologists who study ideology have found that moderates, centrists, neoliberals, and center-right democrats tend to share a common underlying psychology: the rationale for the system

The justifiers of the system like norms, institutions and continuity They tend to be anxious, cautious and risk averse They see the world as changing and stimulating, but fundamentally meritocratic This worldview is an ideology, like any other This is a description of reality as she perceives it, and not as it really is

Not only do they find the big bold reforms frightening; they usually oppose such measures because of what they say about the societies and systems they inhabit or run: that they have failed or behaved unfairly in a fundamental way They identify themselves personally with the system, so attacking the system means attacking them

Their usual defense of the status quo is motivated not by principled or reasoned commitment to a particular social arrangement, but by a fear of change, an aversion to what they perceive as extremism on both sides, and a strong preference for courtesy and compromise

Over the next several months, those keen to end the filibuster might be tempted to focus on the prospects for bold and ambitious legislation, greater democratic representation, and use of terms maximalists like the « nuclear option »

This framing may resonate with activists and voters alike, but it risks validating the fears of the very senators we need to convince by making filibuster reform a huge, frightening and even apocalyptic sound.

The reverse approach – one that downplays the scale of reform, emphasizes continuity, and celebrates the Senate as an institution – is more likely to build bridges with Senators who still need it to be convinced

Better to describe filibuster reform as a harmless rule change And instead of focusing on transforming the Senate – changing it irrevocably and fundamentally – skeptical senators need to hear how reform will restore and will revitalize the institution – bringing back the best version of it

The framers of the US Constitution spelled out the circumstances that they believed should require a majority vote, rather than a simple majority: presidential veto, impeachment and impeachment, treaties, expulsion of lawmakers and constitutional amendments

Systematic obstruction is not in the US Constitution, was created by accident in the early 1800s and remained largely academic for 140 years

In other words, America has survived most of our history – including one invasion, one civil war, two world wars, dozens of financial panics, recessions and depressions, and even a pandemic – with a Senate which in practice was governed by simple majority rule

Systematic obstruction, and not its suppression, can indeed be described as the aberration and responsible for the degradation of the institution

This framing change will not resolve all objections to reform, but it is the type of message most likely to give senators in need permission to put the Senate back to work


World News – US – How to Talk to Senators Skeptical about End of Filibuster – InsideSources

Source: https://www.inside



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