“Other senators had seen how effective it was as a legislative tool of obstruction against civil rights and decided to start experimenting with it on their own pet issues,” said Democrat Adam Jentleson, who was chief of staff to Reid and the author of the book Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy.
One thing unites Democrats of every stripe: fear. When Democrats win, they fear what will happen if they use the power that voters give them. When Democrats lose, they fear they’ll never have the opportunity to wield power again. It’s exhausting, but it’s baked into the DNA of most Democratic elected officials and Democratic-leaning voters.
Tré Easton, the senior adviser for advocacy group Battle Born Collective, told Blavity that the war against Black voters “is unmistakable and I think Republicans in the legislature will come to regret lapping up Donald Trump’s Big Lie.”
“We appreciate and are encouraged by Senator Murray’s leadership on direly-needed democracy reforms, including the For the People Act, and her recognition that the Jim Crow filibuster cannot and should not come in the way of Americans’ ability to participate in our democracy,” Hannah Simon, spokeswoman for the anti-filibuster progressive group Battle Born Collective, wrote in an email.
According to the Battle Born Collective, an activist group promoting filibuster reform, Menendez was one of 10 of the Senate’s 50 Democrats who had not taken a position on filibuster reform.
“You start to see civil rights bills pass the House in the 1920s, and it was consistently used to block them,” says Adam Jentleson, a former aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the author of Kill Switch (a history of the filibuster and Senate dysfunction). “If there was any ambiguity in the antebellum era, it certainly shed that during the Jim Crow era — where it was widely taken for granted that the filibuster was directly tied to [blocking] civil rights.”
Following President Biden’s remarks at today’s press conference, in which he made his strongest statements to date indicating support for filibuster reform, Battle Born Collective Executive Director Adam Jentleson released the following statement in response.
Today, Tré Easton, Senior Advisor at Battle Born Collective, released the following statement in response to yesterday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
“Folks, we are approaching the end of Act I. Biden, Manchin and Feinstein have all shifted in a positive direction,” tweeted Adam Jentleson, a former Democratic Senate aide and author of a book on the filibuster, “Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy.”
“That’s light years ahead of where I would have hoped we’d be,” said Adam Jentleson, a former top Democratic Senate aide who is advising the antifilibuster forces. “There’s a long way to go, but we are ahead of schedule.”
The 60-vote standard for passing most legislation is really the product of the past 20 years, Jentleson said, and has been truly routine only since 2007.
At the beginning of the republic, he noted, “there was no filibuster.” Then, “there was the talking filibuster, used rarely, mostly against civil rights. Then there was a slow rise [in its use] through the latter half of the 20th century, then it skyrocketed under Sen. McConnell,” Jentleson said to me in an interview. Little wonder, as the author noted, that the word filibuster comes from Dutch references to pirates.
“We need to build a record that could be passed immediately that is failing on the filibuster,” said Adam Jentleson, a former top aide to Mr. Reid during the 2013 showdown who has written a new book that attacks the filibuster, arguing that it has destroyed the Senate and impeded public policy that has broad national support.