UPDATE: Latest News
1) Mike DeBonis, “McConnell relents on Senate rules, signals power-sharing deal with Democrats.” Washington Post, January 25, 2021 (11:14 p.m. EST).
The Senate is divided with 50 senators on each side. Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris can break a tie vote.
So why are the Democrats dithering in taking firm control of the Senate including all of the committee chairs?
Mitch McConnell, the wily former Republican Majority Leader, is negotiating with Democratic Majority Leader Schumer to reach an agreement to share Senate rule.
Why would the Democrats fall for such a ploy?
Reason number one: They are stupid.
After McConnell denied Supreme Court Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing for a year, Democrats should have no illusions about how McConnell will wield any power he obtains through a negotiated agreement with the Democrats to share power in the running of the Senate.
After McConnell refused to recognize Biden as the winner of the November presidential election until January 6, 2021, enabling Trump’s big lie to gain support among Republicans, Democrats should have no illusions about McConnell’s character or dedication to upholding the Constitution.
After McConnell’s silence throughout November and December in the face of Donald Trump’s ongoing attempted coup d’état, Democrats should hold no illusions about McConnell’s lack of good faith and the real possibilities of developing bipartisanship by ceding power–unnecessarily–to McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate.
This Republican Party, including 147 Republicans in the House and eight Republicans in the Senate, supported refusing to recognize the electoral college vote and the results of the presidential election. They stood idly by while a fascist President did everything in his power to carry out a fascist coup d’état.
On the use of the term “fascist”, see
1) “Biden’s Challenge: How do you campaign against a lying, neofascist cult leader?” The Trenchant Observer, August 29, 2020.
Definition of “fascist”:
1) Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
fascist /ˈfæʃɪst/(sometimes capital)
1. an adherent or practitioner of fascism
2. any person regarded as having right-wing authoritarian views
Also: fascistic /fəˈʃɪstɪk/
characteristic of or relating to fascism
2) WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
1. a person who believes in or sympathizes with fascism.
2. (often cap.) a member of a fascist movement or party.
3. a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.
Also, fa•scis•tic (fash′ist), of or like fascism or fascists.
2) “Aaron Van Langevelde, an American hero in Michigan, and the inside rot of the anti-democratic (Republican) party,” The Trenchant Observer, November 25, 2020.
The Democrats can push through an organizing resolution that gives them sole power to run the Senate. They earned it at the polls, including the election of Vice-President Kamala Harris, the deciding vote if there is a tie on a Senate vote.
Democrats should forget whatever was the power-sharing agreement in 2001, after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Florida Supreme Court decision in favor of Al Gore and, using utterly falacious reasoning, handed the election to George Bush.
We are living in a different world now, in any case. We saw the Republicans in the Senate try to block Obama at every turn. McConnell led that obstruction.
The Democrats and the United States face an immense challenge in that tens of millions of Trump supporters are living in a cult-like delusional world, in which they have just supported an attempted fascist coup d’état by a sitting fascist president.
These delusions and this fascist mindset persist. The biggest challenge facing Biden and American democracy is finding a way to defeat this fascist thinking and its representatives in the Congress. This requires resolute and decisive action.
President Joe Biden’s goal of restoring bipartisanship in the Congress is a laudable one, but he should be clear-eyed about the means needed to achieve that goal.
The Democrats’ best shot at restoring sanity and decency to government, and a genuine bipartisanship, is to play hardball with the Republicans, and to proceed from a position of strength.
Whether Trump is convicted at his impeachment trial in the Senate and then banned from holding elective office is essentially of secondary importance. Far more important, to Biden and the American Republic, is gaining firm control of the Senate and minimizing McConnell’s and the Republicans’ ability to engage in obstruction and delay.
Trump will be prosecuted and eventually go to prison, if he does not flee the jurisdiction by going to some place like the Bahamas, the Israel West Bank settlements, Saudi Arabia, Russia, or China.
The Senate Democrats should under no circumstances agree or commit to not eliminating the filibuster rule. The so-called “nuclear option” should not be used, for now, but rather held in reserve to overcome any Republican obstruction, e.g., by blocking a vote to approve the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.
THE SENATE DEMOCRATS SOULD IMMEDIATELY PUSH THROUGH AN ORGANIZING RESOLUTION, WITH VP HARRIS’ VOTE, WHICH GIVES THEM FIRM CONTROL OF THE SENATE AND ALL OF ITS COMMITTEES.
The Trenchant Observer