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Happy birthday Elliott!

Joe Manchin gives the Democrats the majority in the Senate, so they chair committees. Manchin provided the 50th vote for COVID relief which was important, but not much else will get done during this Congress or during the next four years. However opposing bills that strengthen voting rights and refusing to get rid of the filibuster is disastrous to democracy. HR I may be weaker than what may be required, but it's still worth passing. McConnell would get rid of the filibuster the second it suits his needs. As you said, the filibuster hurts Democrats more Republicans since Republicans can pass their tax cuts and generally their priorities by reconciliation. Democracy is eroding, many Republicans believe that Trump won the election and will be reinstated.

Trump said “We’re gonna take back the Senate, take back the House, we’re gonna take back the White House – and sooner than you think. It’s going to be really something special…”

https://twitter.com/AndrewSolender/status/1401249720195072000

This is reminiscent of the rhetoric that Trump supporters used on January 6th.

(People cheering.)

President TRUMP. We are going down to the Capitol--

(People cheering.)

President TRUMP. . . . weakness, you have to show

strength--

Unidentified Speaker. Yes. Right.

(People chanting: ``Take the Capitol.'')

(People chanting: ``Taking the Capitol right now.'')

(People chanting: ``Invade the Capitol.'')

(People chanting: ``Storm the Capitol.'')

President TRUMP. Make your voices heard.

https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2021/2/10/senate-section/article/s615-4

Republicans overturning a Democratic win in the 2024 Presidential election remains a strong possibility which would mean the functional end of democracy in the United States.

The more I observe the U.S. political system, the more I am convinced that we need a new Constitution (which is not realistic). We need major reforms in all three branches of government and we need to protect voting rights in our Constitution. The Senate is not representing the people (nationally) and the filibuster prevents legislation from passing. Many people have said to Congress "Do something about: immigration, climate change, guns, police reform, ect" for a long time and because Manchin seeks to find "ten good Republicans", nothing will get done. The U.S. obsession with bipartisanship is counterproductive. Parliamentary systems are superior even though negotiations may occur especially in a coalition government. A government that is able to implement their policies and let the voters judge them based on how they run the government and their policies is a better system.

-Elliot

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Thanks for your comment, Elliot, and the well wishes.

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