First, let’s be clear that the filibuster is NOT in the Constitution! The filibuster is merely a rule that the Senate imposed upon itself. This silly rule could be abolished if the Senate wanted to pass important legislation.
The filibuster is a way for a minority of senators to prevent a majority (51 to 59 of them) from passing legislation to solve our nation’s problems. The filibuster was used repeatedly to prevent the Senate from passing Civil Rights legislation long ago. It is used now to prevent passing legislation that would solve serious problems regarding voting rights, the environment, the climate, economic justice, reducing poverty, and other issues.
The Constitution gives an equal number of senators (2) to each state, regardless of the states’ populations. A great many of the states with very small populations have Republican senators. Cumulatively, they represent a SMALL MINORITY OF THE NATIONAL POPULATION, but they can use the filibuster to prevent a majority of senators — representing a BIG MAJORITY OF THE NATIONAL POPULATION — from passing legislation that we desperately need.
Now here is another aspect of the anti-democratic scam: the myth that “bi-partisanship” is necessary.
There is NO inherent reason why both of the big political parties are needed for passing legislation. Without the filibuster, a simple majority could do it.
Indeed, when the Republicans dominated the Senate, they passed many bills (terrible bills) and confirmed some terrible Supreme Court Justices with a simple majority of Republican senators.
So now in late 2021 and early 2022 our nation suffers a horribly racist and undemocratic assault on voting rights because Republicans in many Republican-dominated states want to make it even harder for racial minorities, poor people and young people to vote, because they’re likely to vote for democrats. Republican-dominated states have been EXTREMELY AND BLATANTLY PARTISAN in their war against voting rights.
The federal government could solve the problem, but wait: The obstructionist scam is that some enemies of voting rights are insisting that they will NOT vote to protect voting rights unless Republicans — senators in the party that caused the problems — agree to “bi-partisan” legislation for voting rights. What a scam!
With the filibuster in place, honest democracy would require ten Republicans to renounce their partisanship and join with Democrats to reach the 60 members necessary to overcome the filibuster. This is the cowardly political party that refused to convict Trump of his impeachable offenses — TWICE — and vigorously opposes an honest investigation of the violent terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, in order to prevent Congress from performing its constitutionally required certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Yet many people who think they are sensible say we should not solve the serious problems without “bi-partisan” support.