Dispatches From Behind Enemy Lines (Biden Edition)
These past Dispatches were obviously a Trump-era commentary. Maybe I need to to come up with a new name. But since the Biden presidency is only weeks old, I thought I would continue this for a bit. So, in the spirit of a new beautiful day, below are some interesting rea
There is no good argument, whatsoever, to retain the legislative filibuster. There is no filibuster remaining for Republicans. It has been eliminated for tax cut bills, spending cut bills, Cabinet nominees, lower judicial appointments, and Supreme Court appointments. The filibuster exists today only to impose a super-majority impediment to Democratic objectives — and, yet, some Democratic Senators fight to keep this archaic tool in place. There is no need for me to make this argument in a paragraph. Please read Jonathan Chait’s “All the Lies They Told Us About the Filibuster.” A taste:
How was it acceptable that a law [Obamacare] that had required a 60-vote supermajority to pass the Senate could be wiped out with just 50 votes? Why would liberals or moderates accept the existence of a system that makes complex legislation almost impossible to build, yet easy to destroy? Who would ever design a system like this?
The answer is that nobody did. The Senate filibuster was not part of its original design. The Founders, scarred by the paralyzing effect of the two-thirds requirement in the Articles of Confederation, consciously rejected a supermajority threshold in Congress (except for a handful of designated special cases, like amending the Constitution, removing a president, or approving a treaty).
. . . . The truth is that the Senate legislative filibuster will be abolished at some point. The fallout will be brief. Once implemented, nobody will ever seriously contemplate going back. They will only wonder why it took so long, and why governing majorities sacrificed themselves for the sake of a custom that, if looked at dispassionately, barely rises above mere superstition.
Trump Loses All His Lawyers — Let me put this in proper perspective. Trump’s written response to impeachment charges is due on February 2nd — and on January 31st, his entire legal team quit. Reportedly, Trump’s legal team sensibly quit “after he insisted impeachment defense focus on false claims of election fraud.”
Even more appropriate, today Trump announced his new lawyers: the team that defended pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. What more do I need to add?
We can't let this vaccine negligence simply slip by. The Biden administration cannot locate 20 million missing vaccines from the Trump period. This is not a mistake — rather, the Trump folks decided not to track the vaccines once it went to the states, This has resulted in chaos. vac
Everyone hates Eric Cantor. Umm, that is true. But even he can't entirely paper over Republican dysfunction. So he wrote a WashPo column that is . . . well execrable. Utter and base bullshit. Read it if you will.
How exactly do we deal with Republicans on an issue like a Pandemic? The WashPo has a well written article about the second invasion: restaurants who deny Covid restrictions and the local police forces that will not enforce Covid restrictions:
Their protests have thrived for weeks thanks to law enforcement officers who support their cause and state residents willing to travel hours in some cases to patronize businesses where they can flaunt their distaste for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and her rules. So far, cease-and-desist orders and fines have done little to dissuade the businesses, and state officials have declined to discuss what recourse they have for dealing with the revolt.
“You see that, and you know that there’s a percentage of these folks, once they get covid, some of them will die. And it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Vierling, a registered nurse. “This isn’t like getting leukemia, where you can do everything right and get leukemia and die. With this, you have a choice.”The scenario here in Michigan is one that is expected to play out increasingly around the country as the pandemic drags on, presenting a challenge for the Biden administration and its plans to use a science-based approach to combating the virus after the previous administration spent much of the past year downplaying its severity and refusing to mandate restrictions — or even model medically recommended protocols.
This is Michigan, for Pete’s sake . . .
Joe Biden Is Over-Performing Expectations.
For me, at least, Joe Biden has been doing great as President. I’m not only impressed but surprised. In particular, he seems to be someone who has sort of aged into the job. By that I mean that he is a better version of himself today than he was yesterday, He is showing patience, judgment and wisdom.
I think we all hope it continues. A NYT profile below:
While Mr. Biden has pivoted left with his party, he remains a centrist at his core, determined to unite a frayed body politic and persuade some Republicans to support his agenda. For much of the past half-century, Mr. Biden has found himself in the literal middle of American politics — in the central seat on the Judiciary Committee, in the center of policy debates in the Obama administration, at center stage in the presidential debates and now at the White House. He is a man both of and apart from Washington, deeply immersed in the mores, manners and maneuvering of the Capitol even as he spent decades commuting home to Delaware on Amtrak.