Ezra Klein on the Reality the Debates Skirt

However the current occupant of the Oval Office might feel, a President is not a king. And whatever plans our next Democratic President bring to office will depend on recognizing some fundamental institutional truths. Per Ezra Klein:

“Every Democratic debate so far has featured a lengthy argument over the details of Medicare plans that the next president will have limited power — and if there’s a Republican Senate, no power — to pass. None have featured a sustained debate over the questions that will actually decide what kind of Medicare plan — and climate plan, and gun control plan, and minimum wage bill, and infrastructure plan — will pass: which candidate is likeliest to sweep more Democrats into the Senate, and whether and how the various candidates would convince Senate Democrats to change the rules to make ambitious governance possible again.”

And of course it was Elizabeth Warren who brought the reality check, despite the moderators’ — and her fellow candidates, barring Buttigieg — attempt to hold the debate in a vacuum:

We have to talk about what it’s really going to take to get something done. I’ve been in the Senate. What I’ve seen is gun safety legislation introduced, get a majority, and then doesn’t pass because of the filibuster. Understand this: The filibuster is giving a veto to the gun industry. It gives a veto to the oil industry. It’s going to give a veto on immigration. Until we’re willing to dig in and say that if Mitch McConnell is going to do to the next Democratic president what he did to President Obama, and that is try to block every single thing he does, that we are willing to roll back the filibuster, go with the majority vote, and do what needs to be done for the American people. Understand this: Many people on this stage do not support rolling back the filibuster. Until we’re ready to do that, we won’t have change.”


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