In the event, the current U.S. President Donald Trump loses the 2020 election, there is a belief that the socialists will come to power and dramatically change America – and it would. Many believe that Joe Biden, the current Democrat leader to challenge Trump, won’t be the eventual Democrat nominee – too gaffe-prone and too old. Next up are the Progressives, Bernie Sanders (a declared socialist) and Elizabeth Warren (who has similar views as Bernie Sanders). Usually, the political party that wins an election, they get to implement their agenda – but not so fast. We have a U.S. Senate rule called the filibuster.
A filibuster in the U.S. Senate is to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote. The rules permit a Senator, or a group of Senators, to speak for as long as they wish unless three-fifths can bring the debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII. This means you will need to get 60 Senate votes to get anything passed – there are a few exceptions.
The filibuster rule has been the tool of the minority party – by its design. Republicans, often blamed for being obstructionists by Democrats, have used this rule heavily in recent times – see inset chart. The U.S. Constitutional structure favors Republicans in the Senate, and in the House, Democrats. This is because the Senate power is by region (states) and the House power is by population. Republican conservatives tend to be located in dispersed less populated areas. Hence, the desire of many Democrats to eliminate the filibuster rules.
How likely is the U.S. Senate to eliminate the filibuster rules? RFS1 believes, since the U.S. Senate is controlled by the Republicans, the likelihood of the filibuster rule being changed is nill. But this does not prevent the Democrats from trying. Elizabeth Warren said the supermajority requirement is preventing Congress from passing popular bills and seeks to eliminate this rule. Mitch McConnell, the current U.S. Senate leader, has been more under attack. For a good reason, McConnell holds the key on whether the filibuster rule stays or goes.
Progressive activists know that their agenda won’t actually become law if a Democrat becomes president in 2021. The only way this could happen is to make a clean sweep of the presidency and both chambers of Congress. This is not likely to happen, though not impossible. So a massive socialist flip in a single vote in American politics won’t happen quickly.