While Republicans seemed to be breathing a sign of relief that the possibility of Democrats taking over the Senate and doing the nasty to the filibuster, and statehood for Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, and of course the whole court-packing thing going by the wayside, apparently their fears were unfounded by an unlikely source.
Joe Manchin apparently has come to the Republicans’ rescue.
Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia is mostly likely the reddest of the Democrats in the Senate right now. And while he voted against Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court based on the nomination being so close to an election, he has come out and said that no…even if the two runoffs in Georgia go to the Democrats and it ends up being a 50/50 tie in the Senate (which would give Dems’ the tie-breaker with Kamala Harris as VP casting the tie-breaking vote), there’s no need to worry.
Manchin has said that when it comes to packing the court, and killing the filibuster, he’s against both items. He doesn’t want anything to do with either of them, so in the even unlikely event that Democrats take both seats in the Georgia Runoff Elections on January 5th, it won’t matter. They would still lose 51-49 on both of those counts (assuming all the Republicans would be voting against them and all Democrats would be voting for them).
And even though it looks like the GOP did indeed dodge a bullet, and will still control the Senate for the next two years, Manchin’s comments show that really it isn’t about Democrat and Republican as much as it is about right and wrong. Back when FDR tried to pack the court in order to pass his socialist agendas, he failed primarily because it was a Republican controlled Senate, and because it was the wrong thing to do. Today, it’s still the wrong thing to do. Manchin even mentioned Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the “nuclear option” for Bobo Obama in 2013 that gave the Democrats the ability to pass all presidential appointments except Supreme Court Justices with 51 votes as opposed to the 60 votes that had been the case. That opened the door some four years later for Mitch McConnell to expand that option to Supreme Court Justices, which has led to not only Neil Gorsuch and Bret Kavanaugh, but also Amy Coney Barrett to swing the high court far to the right.
Manchin is right when it comes to protecting traditions in the upper house of Congress. The filibuster should stay in place. And yes, maybe an amendment to the Constitution would be in order to set the number of Supreme Court Justices at nine. But that seems very unlikely with the political landscape in DC as it currently stands. Though I’m sure there could be 38 states out there that would go along with it, getting two-thirds of both the House and Senate to agree that the sky is blue would be a stretch. That means 292 House members would have to be in favor of it, and 67 Senators would have to go along with it. The president, by the way, has no say in Constitutional Amendments. However, holding traditions seems to be something the left doesn’t want to do, especially if it means they can shut out Republican control for decades to come. And there is the difference between your typical Democrat today and someone like Manchin. He’s a realist. He’s even someone I may someday be able to vote for. I said someday. Not today.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!