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How Chuck Schumer sent McConnell a 'calculated reminder' — and proved he has the upper hand

January 26, 2021 in Blogs

By John Stoehr

Some liberals said after the 2016 election that Nancy Pelosi was the worst person to lead the resistance to Donald Trump’s authoritarian reign. Turns out, they were wrong. Pelosi was exactly the leader America needed. She handed his ass to him every time they negotiated. She led two historic impeachments against him. She held her caucus together through thick and thin. The doubters were once loud. Now, they’re quiet.

The same thing can’t yet be said of Chuck Schumer. I suspect liberals doubt the new Senate majority leader more than they ever did the House speaker. Monday, for instance, saw an intense debate over how to organize the Senate that rose to a feverish pitch until it broke all of a sudden. The outcome suggests Schumer is on the same trajectory as Pelosi once was. The doubters are loud, but they may soon be quieted.

The outcome of last night’s stand-off suggests Schumer is on the same trajectory as Nancy Pelosi once was.

With twin victories in Georgia, the Democrats control the Senate. Control depends, however, on the Senate president breaking ties. Kamala Harris, as the vice president, has other duties. (She can’t be running from the White House to the Senate to settle every dispute.) So Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, have to establish rules and procedures to determine who does what, etc. Until last night, the Senate was at a stand-still. The leaders could not agree. Meanwhile, the old rules still applied. Despite everything, the Senate Republicans remained functionally in charge.

That pissed off a lot of liberals. Some said Stacey Abrams had not moved heaven and earth to turn Georgia blue and flip the United States Senate just so Schumer could act squishy. But he wasn’t. His first priority, naturally, is getting his caucus members set up with their respective committees. That couldn’t happen until McConnell agreed to proceed. McConnell refused until Schumer guaranteed the Democrats would not kill the filibuster, the rule giving the minority veto power. Schumer said no dice. Killing it is totally on the table. That’s where things stood until McConnell caved last night.

Why did he cave? It’s hard to say for sure. It might be because two conservative Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, said they opposed killing the filibuster. (McConnell cited their remarks Monday in claiming a “win.”) But it might be as Amee Vanderpool <a target=_blank …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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