File this under “Things That Will Never Happen.” You can also file this under “Broken Records,” for those who remember the vinyl era. For at least the third time in a year, Joe Biden wants the Senate to amend the legislative filibuster to allow for his preferred policies to pass.
“It’s like voting rights,” Biden explained. Yes, but not in the way he thinks:
BREAKING: Joe Biden calls for eliminating the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 30, 2022
BIDEN says in Madrid that the Senate should set aside the filibuster for a vote to codify Roe v. Wade, right to privacy into law.
Filibuster carve out has required Republican support in the past.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 30, 2022
We’ll get to the foolishness of this statement in a moment, but first let’s not ignore the corrosive demagoguery that accompanied it. Biden was in Europe to deal with the Russian war in Ukraine and efforts to contain it and force Vladimir Putin to stop attempting to return the world to wars of aggression. Against that backdrop, Biden singled out the Supreme Court as the “destabilizing” force as the answer to a question about the world’s doubt that “America is back” and leading the world:
Biden: "[T]he one thing that has been destabilizing [the world] is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States in overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy." pic.twitter.com/HUuJlOktOH
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 30, 2022
Here's the full question Biden was asked, including the new AP poll on America being on the right/wrong track pic.twitter.com/aayerULkFQ
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 30, 2022
This is just flat-out despicable. The role of the president while abroad is to advance American interests, and that means assuring the reliability of our institutions. Going abroad to accuse the Supreme Court of “destabilizing” the world is a gross violation of the norms that Biden claimed to want to restore. Furthermore, it’s an absurd statement to make while Putin’s troops are bombing Ukrainian civilians in shopping malls and European nations can’t decide whether to end their addiction to Russian energy imports.
“Putin’s killing hundreds of thousands of civilians but the real threat to world order is a Supreme Court ruling on abortion” is one hella insane take.
In fact, this whole effort meets the popular version of insanity — doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. Biden and Chuck Schumer have tried repeatedly to either end the legislative filibuster or create “exceptions” and carve-outs. Schumer has failed to achieve that, however, because two members of his own caucus refuse to change the rule at all. The nominally pro-life Joe Manchin certainly won’t change his mind to pass the bill that Schumer and Biden pushed forward last month — he explicitly said as much at the time. But even the pro-choice Kyrsten Sinema confirmed today that she’s still firm in her opposition to any filibuster changes:
Sinema stands by her opposition to gutting the 60-vote threshold despite Biden’s call for a carveout on abortion rights. Her office points to this op-ed: “And, sometimes, the filibuster … is needed to protect against attacks on women’s health” https://t.co/adP0ioNwfJ
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 30, 2022
On top of that, Schumer doesn’t even have a nominal majority at the moment. Pat Leahy’s hip injury and surgery will sideline him for at least several weeks, which means Schumer would have at best 47 votes for a filibuster change. And probably not even that many, since red- or purple-state incumbents like Catherine Cortez-Masto, Mark Kelly, Raphael Warnock, and so on would have to reaaalllly think through the idea of casting a futile vote that would do nothing to expand their reach in the midterm elections.
Biden’s comments today are nothing more than idiotic and impotent gasbaggery. Furthermore, they’re so obviously self-interested that it’s almost a satire. Just three years ago, guess who was warning about the destabilizing impact of filibuster changes?
FLASHBACK to 2019: Biden says ending the filibuster is a “very dangerous thing to do.”pic.twitter.com/7qC7ZjZ8xz
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 30, 2022
That’s exactly the point Sinema made last year and again almost exactly a year later. Sinema has been consistent and principled. Biden is neither of those.