For Democrats to be successful in passing their agenda — much of which has overwhelming support from most American voters — the filibuster has to go. There is no other way it can work, and frankly, it's entirely justified to destroy the relic of the Senate.
Think about it: what was the last GOOD, progressive thing the filibuster has done to move America forward? Now consider all the bad it has done. Consider the way it protected Jim Crow-era laws that violated people's livelihoods and civil rights; consider how it blocked amendments to the Constitution, including the right of women to vote; consider what it's doing now, blocking an important elections bill that would expose "dark" money in politics, make redistricting a nonpartisan affair in every U.S. state, and more.
It's hard to understand why even a few Democrats still want the filibuster around, after all the bad it has done, but I guess that's par for the course when it comes to that party, which is often its own worst enemy.
But beyond the end of the filibuster, the Senate needs more reforms. Intended to be a voice for states within the federal government, the Senate has become TOO UNREPRESENTATIVE, and TOO OBSTRUCTIVE, of the people's wishes, even without the filibuster figured into the equation.
Consider this: the five least populated states in the U.S. represent about 2.7 million people, while the five most populated states have more than 123 million. Yet those five low-populated states AND those five highly-populated states have 10 senators each among them.
The founders were worried about a tyranny of the majority, to be sure, of larger states reigning supreme over smaller ones. But they probably never intended for five states with a population less than 2.2 percent of five other states to have the same political power. They never meant for a tyranny of the minority, which is what we have in the Senate right now.
So what can be done to fix this? Here's what I think: the Senate SHOULD remain primarily a place for states' rights to be protected in the federal government. But we should add 25 extra seats to the "upper chamber" of Congress, elected to four-year terms using proportional representation — a system where people vote for parties based on lists of candidates they put forward, and seats are awarded based on a percentage that each party receives. If Republicans get 50 percent of the vote, Democrats 40 percent, and a third party gets 10 percent, then the 25 seats are divided based on those numbers, with Republicans getting 12 or 13 seats, Democrats 10 seats, and that third party getting the remaining three or four seats.
What would this do? It would solve a lot of issues, or at least diminish a good number of problems. It would allow the Senate to be a bit more responsive to the people's wishes across the country. It would allow residents in D.C. to have Senate representation. And importantly, it would place a "check" in the federal government from multiple voices and views (not just picking a singular president who might not represent the views of half the country), equivalent to one-fourth of the power that state-elected Senators have.
Oh, and one more thing: as shown in the example above, it would allow third party options and candidates into our politics…definitely a positive outcome.
Well, we definitely saw this coming.
Trump, on his not-so-popular blogging website, is implying that higher gas prices today are because he's no longer president.
"I’m sorry to say the gasoline prices that you will be confronted with" during Memorial Day weekend "are far higher than they were just a short number of months ago where we had gasoline under $2 a gallon," Trump wrote. "Remember as you’re watching the meter tick, and your dollars pile up, how great of a job Donald Trump did as President."
Trump added that people will soon "be saying how good it was to have me as your President."
Well, no, that's not at all what happened. To put it bluntly, Trump is bragging about doing something that he never actually did.
You can watch my video on this, the first-ever episode of The Walk Through with That Chris Walker, which goes into deeper details, and mentions how Trump's oil policies didn't actually lower prices.
But here's the short of it: Trump didn't lower gas prices, the economy did. When people stopped traveling as much because of COVID-19, demand for gas went down, down, down. That, in turn, lowered prices.
It has nothing to do with Biden policies (which didn't raise prices) or Trump policies (which had no effect either). In fact, today's prices are very similar to the highest prices we saw under Trump's watch, when it got as high as $2.97 per gallon on average across the nation.
That's something the "other guy" won't tell you.
A new national poll from Quinnipiac University shows some bad numbers for Republicans hoping to win congressional control in 2022.
With the House of Representatives nearly evenly divided between the two parties (and with the Senate LITERALLY equally divided), the GOP has a good, if not great, chance of winning back both chambers of Congress. History also shows that the opposing party of a new president always does well in midterms, and, save for just a few instances over the past century, generally takes control of the legislative branch.
But these haven't been typical times, and Donald Trump isn't a typical de facto leader of the Republican Party.
There's a reasonable chance that his continued presence in the political world will have an impact in 2022, and not in the way Republicans want. While Trump is great at rallying the party's base, he's not so great at getting a majority of voters within the general electorate to back him (national popular vote losses in 2016 and 2020) or candidates he likes to win in close races.
So if Trump's popularity keeps dipping, that's bad for Republicans...since it's not going to dip within their own party's primaries.
Here's what could happen: Trump voters will back his endorsements, causing them to win the nominations and face off against Democrats. Some of those endorsements will win, in Republican-reliable districts. But in the places where it matters, the swing districts all across the country, their attachment to Trump will lead to more losses than the GOP will want to see.
Voters overall have a unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump, with only 37 percent saying they like him in the Quinnipiac poll, versus nearly 6-in-10 (57 percent) who say they don't like him.
But that's just the beginning of Republicans' troubles.
In the same poll, respondents were asked whether they preferred to see candidates win that mostly agree or disagree with his policy views. Fifty-three percent said they wanted to vote for candidates that disagreed with Trump; just 39 percent suggested they'd back Trump-based choices.
Lastly, the poll also asked who respondents wanted to see in control of the House of Representatives. On that, Democrats failed to get a majority of respondents to back them, but they still garnered more support from Americans (49 percent) than what Republicans got in the survey (just 40 percent).
Unless Democrats become entrenched in a huge scandal between now and next year, the midterm races are going to be extremely tight — so much so that Biden and the Dems may defy the odds and remain in control (which, to be sure, would be a good thing).