It’s true: A vote for Bi­den will be a vote for one-party rule

Albuquerque Journal - - OPINION - MARC THIESSEN Colum­nist

WASH­ING­TON — Democrats say “democ­racy is on the bal­lot” in Novem­ber. They are right — be­cause a vote for Joe Bi­den is a vote for a one-party state.

That’s not hy­per­bole. If Bi­den wins, Democrats will likely keep the House and re­take the Se­nate, though with­out the 60-vote ma­jor­ity needed to break a Repub­li­can fil­i­buster. That means the only check on their ab­so­lute power will be the GOP mi­nor­ity. They are threat­en­ing to get rid of that last check by abol­ish­ing the leg­isla­tive fil­i­buster — elim­i­nat­ing the Se­nate mi­nor­ity’s abil­ity to de­lay or block leg­is­la­tion. If they do, they can then use their unchecked power not just to ram through their agenda, but also to pack the courts, pack the Se­nate, pack the House and pack the elec­toral col­lege.

Sen. Christo­pher Coons, D-Delaware and Bi­den’s clos­est Se­nate ally who dur­ing the Trump pres­i­dency has led the ef­fort to pro­tect the fil­i­buster, has made clear that Democrats will “not stand idly by for four years and watch the Bi­den ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ini­tia­tives blocked at ev­ery turn.” Never mind that they used the fil­i­buster to block Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ini­tia­tives at ev­ery turn — from bor­der wall fund­ing to po­lice re­form and pan­demic re­lief leg­is­la­tion. When Repub­li­cans try to use that same tool, Democrats will most likely abol­ish it.

This would give Democrats the abil­ity to pass any­thing — on climate, en­ergy, health care, taxes, im­mi­gra­tion — with­out com­pro­mise or con­ces­sions. They can use the pan­demic as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for a record­break­ing spend­ing spree and un­prece­dented ex­pan­sion of gov­ern­ment.

But that’s not the real threat. As the 2022 midterms ap­proach, Repub­li­cans will have their first chance to win back the Se­nate and stop the leg­isla­tive jug­ger­naut. That’s when things get re­ally dan­ger­ous — be­cause Democrats can use their new power to stop that from hap­pen­ing, by ex­pand­ing their con­trol over all three branches of gov­ern­ment.

First, they can pack the courts. Even be­fore the death of Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg, the left was never go­ing to be con­tent with sim­ply re­plac­ing lib­eral jus­tices, be­cause that would not change the ide­o­log­i­cal makeup of the court. They in­tend to fol­low through on their threats to “re­struc­ture” the court by adding jus­tices to in­stall a lib­eral ma­jor­ity. But they won’t stop there. They will also pack the fed­eral cir­cuit courts of ap­peal, neu­tral­iz­ing all of Trump’s ju­di­cial ap­point­ments and restor­ing lib­eral ma­jori­ties.

They can pack the Se­nate. They can make Dis­trict of Columbia a state, cre­at­ing two more safe Demo­cratic Se­nate seats. (And) ad­mit Puerto Rico, adding two more seats. This would make it nearly im­pos­si­ble for Repub­li­cans to re­gain the ma­jor­ity.

Next, they could pack the House, and with it the elec­toral col­lege. As Martin Gold, for­mer coun­sel to two Se­nate ma­jor­ity lead­ers, ex­plains, “you can’t change the elec­toral col­lege with­out a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment, but you can by statute change the size of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.” Since House seats are ap­por­tioned by pop­u­la­tion, pop­u­lous blue states would gain the most — and be­cause the size of the elec­toral col­lege is de­ter­mined by the size of each state’s con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion, this would in­crease the num­ber of blues­tate elec­tors as well.

This would build a fire­wall against the in­evitable con­ser­va­tive back­lash, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for Repub­li­cans to take back the House, the Se­nate and the pres­i­dency. Even if they man­aged to do so, they would be un­able to undo much of the dam­age. Once con­firmed, judges have life­time ap­point­ments. There is no prece­dent for re­vok­ing state­hood or re­duc­ing the size of the House. Fun­da­men­tal changes to the struc­ture of our demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions will be put in place by party-line vote with­out com­pro­mise or con­sen­sus.

No one party has held such ab­so­lute power in the mod­ern era ...

This is why, de­spite Trump’s urg­ing, Repub­li­cans re­fused to abol­ish the fil­i­buster, pro­tect­ing the right of the ob­streper­ous Demo­cratic mi­nor­ity to stymie their agenda. Now, af­ter re­peat­edly avail­ing them­selves of that right, Democrats are threat­en­ing to elim­i­nate it — and a few re­cal­ci­trant mod­er­ates won’t be able to stop them ....

What this means is Bi­den is run­ning on a lie. He prom­ises to re­store nor­malcy and bi­par­ti­san­ship, but his elec­tion would usher in the op­po­site, a dic­ta­tor­ship of the left . ...

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