Democrats, hoping to eliminate the senate filibuster, are taking no chances. Senate Democrats have been increasingly interested in removing the filibuster as an obstacle to their control of Congress. Now they are breaking out old faithful to kill the filibuster once and for all; the filibuster is to be eliminated as yet another form of racist oppression. Like everything else in America, the filibuster is to be abolished to atone for a supposed racist past.
A legislative tradition
The filibuster itself has a long and varied history. Use of the filibuster as a tactic for delaying legislation and drawing out a debate stretches back to the senate of ancient Rome, which served as the model for the American Congress.
Cato the Younger, nemesis of Julius Caesar and a personal hero of George Washington, made the filibuster one of his primary weapons in his fight to preserve the Roman Republic.
In America, the filibuster is nearly as old as the Constitution itself. The filibuster has, historically, been used to stall legislative action on behalf of any minority party.
The filibuster is, after all, simply a legislative tool. It is a trick of senatorial procedure which happens to offer an outnumbered faction a method of delaying votes by prolonging debate.
By default that tool tended in the first half decades of the United States to favor the southern cause. Senator John Calhoun of South Carolina, one of the titans of early American politics, made extensive use of the filibuster to combat abolitionists in Congress.
South Carolina has in fact proven to be a great source of filibusters. in 1957 South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond opposed the Civil Rights Act with a legendary 24 hour filibuster, the longest in American history.
Why the filibuster is under attack
The filibuster thus has a complicated history in American politics as a legislative tool. Complicated history, of course, has generally never been something which liberals are interested in understanding.
Many senators have historically valued the filibuster as a means of opposing legislation which, though popular in Congress, does not reflect the wishes of their constituents.
The fact that these senators have frequently been southern would be ammunition enough for Democrats to call the filibuster racist regardless of the causes in question.
Now the filibuster stands in the way of the Biden agenda as a potential check on Democrat control over the federal government.
Democrats believe that now is the time to force through as much radical legislation as they possibly can while they solidify their power. Denouncing anything which might slow that legislation down as racist is the easiest way to destroy it.
The long and complicated history of the filibuster certainly lends itself easily to be abused by leftists to looking for “racism.” Obviously, however, the only thing that really interests them in that history is the excuse which they can find for crushing one more source of opposition.