Republicans Are Running Out of Filibuster Threats

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Democrats are maybe, possibly threatening to change the filibuster rules for confirmation of executive branch nominees, and naturally Republicans are threatening in return to bring the Senate to a grinding halt if any action is taken that reduces their power to, um, bring the Senate to a grinding halt. But Ed Kilgore wonders if this threat even has any meaning these days:

It’s not at all clear that if Democrats invoked the “nuclear trigger” and Republicans went absolutely insane in retaliatory wrath, we’d even be able to tell the difference. What can Senate Republicans threaten to do that they’re not already doing in the way of impeding the traditional functioning of Congress and of the federal government in general? Sabotage the implementation of major legislation already enacted (check)? Gum up federal agency operations (check)? Risk a debt default (check)?

Oh, I dunno. There’s still the business of objecting to committee meetings that go beyond the first two hours of the day. And Republicans could start filibustering Mother’s Day resolutions, I suppose. But that stuff is juvenile enough that even Mitch McConnell might be worried about the bad press it would produce. So yeah: what’s left in the obstructionist toolkit, anyway?

There is one thing, of course: a threat to do away with filibusters on judges the next time Republicans are in charge of the Senate and the White House. The problem is that Democrats widely believe that Republicans plan to do this anyway at the first opportunity. So I’m not sure that’s much of a threat either.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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