“Kill Switch” author Adam Jentleson interviewed by Clay Cane on the Clay Cane Show on SiriusXM Urban View Radio. “Kill Switch” describes how Republicans have rendered the government neutered using the filibuster. This video is from January but is still very relevant. 22 minutes:
Day in and day out we hear the media droning on and on about Democrats being unable to pass legislation that would restore voting rights to those who will be be losing their ability to vote due to extremely strict voting laws passed in states with Republican majorities in their legislatures and a republican governor.
Even more than that we hear daily that Democrats can’t pass a much needed stimulus package that would help clean up some huge festering problems of aging infrastructure and begin projects that will take on climate change. Yet according to the media, the only real problem is two recalcitrant Democratic senators who are stopping these legislative initiatives.
No one mentions the elephant in the room: not one Republican senator is willing to stand up to Mitch McConnell or even more cowardly, Donald Trump and vote for the good of the country. Republicans have 50 members of the senate. Where is that one Republican senator who has any courage that will say “the country needs these reforms. I can back them.”
The infrastructure bill is favored by a vast majority of Americans and a majority of businesses who have a chance to make some great profit on these programs. Yet a few old men stand in the way because of the ancient rules of the senate that makes a minority more powerful than a majority.
Three questions for the media about the infrastructure bill and the voting rights bill.
First – why when stories about these bills are presented we only hear about Senators Manchin and Sinema and their dissent from toeing the party line? How come not one media outlet mentions that 50 Republican senators act as brick wall stopping progress? Why aren’t the names Grassley, Ernst, Sasse and Fischer from Nebraska, Rounds and Thune from South Dakota, and Hoeven and Cramer from North Dakota even brought up as senators who are stopping much needed stimulus?
Why are these senators who represent such a small portion of America’s population so powerful, yet given a pass when the discussion of moving this country forward is brought up?
Second – why is the price tag for especially the infrastructure bill put out as a big scary number that covers ten years? Why not use the much more realistic and comprehensible annual cost of $350 billion per year? More voters would understand that number. As federal expenditures go, it is big but pales in comparison to a pentagon budget of just under a trillion bucks a year. And that trillion doesn’t even pay for the forever wars we seem to be in.
By comparing the annual cost of the stimulus to other federal expenditures people could more easily see that it is not all that expensive. When the effect on jobs and commerce is estimated, we would see that the stimulus would grow the economy and that effect would most likely create the revenue that will pay for itself. Can’t say that about military budgets or tax cuts for the wealthy that are a drain on our society.
Third – why do you insist on conflating Republicans refusal to raise the debt ceiling that has nothing to do with new spending, with the proposed infrastructure bill? The only place these two are related is in confuse Republican senatorial brains and news programs. Wouldn’t it be much better to tell the truth and inform the public?
Lazy media parroting Republican talking points is a bad mix in a country where the press was giving special privileges so they could act as a overseer of government. Mixing media and government is a recipe for authoritarian government.
Republicans have turned their role in government into that of a parliamentary party that votes and acts as one person. The most recent example that we saw of this was Republicans in the US House voting NOT to uphold the subpoena against Steve Bannon. Those voting not to uphold the subpoena included Iowans Miller-Meeks, Hinson and Feenstra.
They purposely voted to make their own House much less powerful and also unable to act even in times of an attack on the government. Geez, I am glad they weren’t in Congress when Pearl Harbor was attacked. They would have blamed Roosevelt and voted to let the Japanese go without a response.
America’s government was not designed to be a parliament. Nor was it designed for minority to hold the will of the majority hostage. Practices in the Senate that grew up in the slavery days continue to be used to stop “the will of the people.” It is way past time to end these practices and make the senate beholden to the majority.