by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In their quest to overturn the legislative filibuster and fast-track President Biden’s radical agenda, Democrats have deployed one of their favorite tools: the race card.
“The filibuster has deep roots in racism,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said last week, “and it should not be permitted to serve that function or to create a veto for the minority.”
Warren argued that the filibuster, a legislative stall-tactic that takes 60 votes to overturn, was created to allow “the South the ability to veto any effective civil rights legislation or anti-lynching legislation.” Indeed, Democrats used the filibuster for exactly that purpose when Republicans were working to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Regardless, the filibuster itself is not a racist tool of oppression, as Democrats have argued. They should know this better than anyone because they used it so often and so doggedly throughout the Trump administration. Warren herself joined a filibuster to block Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill this past year. Sen. Ed Markey, who agreed with Warren that the filibuster is “rooted in a racist past,” signed a bipartisan letter in 2017 defending its use. Was the filibuster not racist then?
Warren is lying, as is Markey. So are all the other disingenuous Democrats who repeat her talking points. They’re hypocrites who gladly used the filibuster to block the Republican agenda when the GOP was in the majority, and most of the Democratic caucus defended the filibuster as “an important tradition of the Senate” just a few years ago. By their own standards, Democrats enabled racism.
Democrats should either apologize for defending and using the “Jim Crow filibuster,” as Sen. Brian Schatz now likes to call it, or they should admit that they would call their own grandmothers racist if it helped them remove obstacles to total power.