(UnitedVoice.com) – In the blink of an eye, America changed forever. In an instant, it became more partisan than one ever thought it could become, and that’s saying something. In 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) revised the filibuster rules to allow Democrats to fast track federal judges to avoid the debates the Founding Fathers intended. The Senate was always supposed to be a “deliberative body,” not a knee-jerk reactionary one like the more rowdy House of Representatives.
Well, for better or worse, Democrats are at it again. This time, the Senate parliamentarian agreed with Democrats that old budget bills could be opened back up and revised using the reconciliation process. Much like their decision in 2013, this one will sting for Conservatives until the GOP regains control of the US Senate. Then, fair play will be fodder.
Legislation and Elections Just Got More Partisan and Intense
What the parliamentarian’s decision ultimately did was create an indefinite one-party rule in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is signaling that he intends to leverage the decision and develop a crisis of hopelessness among Republicans. He will hang the decision around the necks of GOP legislators and tell them if they don’t get on board with the Democrat’s agenda, he’ll use reconciliation and demonize them as the reason Democrats needed to block out Republicans.
It’s a risky strategy all the way around for Democrats, who have a razor-thin margin in both chambers. For one, in the wake of the 2020 election, COVID-19, and the crisis on the southern border, the public is paying more attention than in years past. Every vote a Democrat takes to expand government reach is on them. There aren’t enough Senate Republicans to stop them. However, with only a three-seat majority in the House and a 50/50 split in the Senate, it won’t take much for unhappy voters to flip one or both chambers to the GOP in 2022.
This decision only amplifies the stakes for the extreme left and right, which means more political combativeness for a deeply divided public with no help from the politicians. This move by the Democrats may help them in the short term. However, just like their 2013 decision paved the way for Trump to appoint three Supreme Court justices with a simple majority in the Senate, this one will also come back to haunt them one day in the future.
Joe Biden promised unity on inauguration day. You can say bye-bye to that idea.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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