01 Jul Time’s Running Out for Democracy: We Need the #DemRevPlan NOW!
Time is running out.
We can’t afford to stay fixated on abolishing the filibuster and passing S.1 (aka H.R.1, For the People Act) when it’s clear, at this point, that no amount of yelling and screaming about the need for these things is having any effect.
Even if S.1 could realistically be passed (and, as things stand, it can’t), it doesn’t solve some of the biggest problems with our democracy. It calls for a constitutional amendment to address the problem of big money unleashed by Citizens United, for example, but a constitutional amendment is basically impossible.
The #DemRevPlan, argued and supported in detail (with data and sources) in Last Chance to Save American Democracy by Haven Scott McVarish, addresses the biggest problems undermining our democracy right now without the need for any constitutional amendments.
There are 12 steps to the #DemRevPlan, and the specific sequence is very important because each reform opens up the pathway to the next reform. Meanwhile, trying to get S.1 passed is almost impossible because there are no open pathways.
These are just the first four steps taken from the book, briefly summarized, to hopefully get people interested. But the plan only makes sense when you know all the steps. Likewise, it’s only possible to judge the plan if you’ve read the supporting arguments in the book (or at least in Chapter 7 of the book).
1. Reform (Don’t Abolish) the Filibuster
The focus among progressive politicians and political commentators is inordinately on abolishing the filibuster, but this is futile. Senators Manchin and Sinema will not budge on this. On the other hand, Manchin has signaled he is open to reform. Filibuster reform also has precedent, further making it a more realistic option than abolishment. Last Chance to Save American Democracy lays out how to reform the filibuster in a few key ways.
2. Fair Representation
Next, congressional representation needs to be fairly apportioned for the subsequent reforms on this list to be made possible. The Senate is currently a way for a shrinking minority to block legislation and safeguard the 4 Weapons of the GOP (discussed in Last Chance to Save American Democracy).
Puerto Rico and DC have voted to be added as states; it’s only the dereliction of Congress that has prevented this from happening. With the filibuster reformed from Step 1, it will finally be possible to achieve these once-bipartisan goals.
The House then needs to be fixed by implementing the Wyoming Rule, the easiest and fairest way to fix the historic level of unrepresentativeness.
3. Court Reform (Not Court Packing)
Traditionally, court packing is a way to cement the power of one’s own party for the long-term. It would be undemocratic no matter which party does it. Instead, we need court reform that makes democracy work better for everyone and for all parties. The book describes the step-by-step reforms that can be feasibly made to the courts.
Without this step, none of the other key reforms in the #DemRevPlan will be possible or sustained so it is one of the most important steps, but it also can’t be done without the first two steps.
4. Address Citizens United
Instead of relying on a constitutional amendment (which won’t happen) to tackle the matter of big money, as S.1 does, the use of a voucher system is a feasible way to address one of the worst threats to our democracy right now. Steps #1-3 alone won’t fix our democracy if the ultra-wealthy can continue to buy Congress and state legislatures. A voucher system will force politicians to return some of their focus on voters instead of just millionaire and billionaire donors.
These are just the first four steps of a 12-step sequence of feasible reforms. Feasible is the key word here. It does not matter how loud or long we shout or tweet for the filibuster to be abolished or for S.R.1 to be passed. It will not change Manchin and Sinema’s minds. It will not change Republicans’ minds.
Again, we are running out of time. If, like us, you’re tired of seeing Democrat politicians say and tweet the same, vague proclamations about how the fight isn’t over, how S.R.1 must be passed now? And how exactly are they going to do that? If something isn’t working, you have to try something else!
Here are a few easy ways to help us get the attention of Democrat politicians and progressive commentators and organizations so they can consider these ideas:
- Tweet this post with the hashtag #DemRevPlan. Tag us at @CommonSenseDems and we’ll retweet you.
- Share this on Facebook, also with the hashtag #DemRevPlan.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and signal boost our posts! We post about issues related to saving democracy and don’t distract with headlines/topics that might be sensational but don’t get to the heart of the problem.
Best of all, grab a copy of Last Chance to Save American Democracy so you can see for yourself why it’s the most realistic sequence of solutions out there right now.