Parliamentarian Autocracy and Congressional Mojo

Back in June, the Senate Parliamentarian told the U.S. Senate that it lacked the power to pass multiple pieces of legislation through the Budget Reconciliation Process in one year. Instead, Senate Democrats wishing to circumvent the filibuster in order to pass Democratic Party priorities would only get one shot to do so this year. The Reconciliation Process, wrote the Parliamentarian in a 4-page opinion, should only be used “in extraordinary circumstances” and not as a routine procedure. Today, Senate Democrats are once again bellyaching about the possibility that the Parliamentarian will rule against them, this time regarding the debt ceiling. … Continue reading Parliamentarian Autocracy and Congressional Mojo

“woke capitalism”

Is there anything more galling than conservatives deploying the phrase “woke capitalism”? When social democrats use the phrase as a term of derision, at least they are being consistent, since they were skeptics about unregulated capitalism from the get-go. But to hear conservatives, who have for decades lauded radical laissez-faire and fear-mongered about taxes, regulation, and campaign finance limits, suddenly do an about-face on capitalism the moment that the markets start to steer in substantive directions they find uncomfortable, is quite remarkable. To be sure, not all conservatives are against regulation (especially when it comes to their own areas of moral … Continue reading “woke capitalism”

Congress, Impeachment, and Constitutional Redemption

George Thomas is Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions and Director of the Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College. On January 6th President Trump urged his supporters to violently storm Congress while it was in the process of formally counting the electoral votes that would recognize Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Let’s be exquisitely clear about a few things. The President called for a violent attack on another branch of government. He did so in an effort, however feeble, to keep himself in power despite having lost the election. For the first time in American … Continue reading Congress, Impeachment, and Constitutional Redemption