For further reading I recommend this Ezra Klein interview with Adam Jentleson the author of Kill Switch
A lot of my left wing friends have been skeptical about Biden from day 1, but between his cabinet picks, executive orders, and platform priorities there was a lot to like about this president on his first few weeks. Now I’m beginning to worry that his reluctance to play hardball and seek bipartisan solutions is as sincere and as naive as the very same qualities in President Obama.
I have no doubt that a President Trump, Speaker McCarthy, and Majority Leader McConnell fresh off a close re-election would have been immediately aggressive at passing radical right wing legislation by any means necessary. Biden is not doing this. He is letting the $15 minimum wage die rather than use Vice President Harris to overrule the Senate parliamentarian. While it’s great he’s willing to pass the stimulus via reconciliation and not wait for a Republican epiphany, he is still unwilling to kill the filibuster which will prevent anything else he wants to get done from happening.
Absent that reform, we will not get HR1 which will prevent the retrenchment of voting rights in key swing states like Georgia. We will not get the Equality Act which will finally amend Title VII to cover sexuality and gender identity. We will not get a Freedom if Choice Act which will codify Roe v Wade and overturn the Hyde Amendment. We will not get a public option, DC statehood, student loan forgiveness, or any action on immigration and climate change. A host of Biden promises aborted by a procedure that is neither traditional nor constitutional. President Biden has to kill it and he has to kill it now.
The irony is the filibuster itself is arguably unconstitutional since only impeachment, treaties, and amendments require a supermajority. Strict constructionists and textualists would be hard pressed to find it anywhere in the Constitution. Originalists would be hard pressed to ignore Federalist #22 where Hamilton clearly states his opposition to requiring supermajorities to pass legislation:
But this is not all: what at first sight may seem a remedy, is, in reality, a poison. To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the minority…This is one of those refinements which, in practice, has an effect the reverse of what is expected from it in theory. The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it, has been founded upon a supposition that it would contribute to security. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.
I guarantee that if Biden does not eliminate the filibuster his administration will not only repeat the mistakes of the Obama era, but possibly lead to a resurgence of an emboldened and extremist Republican Party in the 2022 midterms which in turn, will be ready to do all in its power to elect Donald Trump on 2024 no matter what precedent or tradition it needs to break to regain power. You can’t negotiate with political hostage takers who egg on real word violent mobs. There is a clear mandate from the people for President Biden and the Democratic majorities in both houses to govern. It is unifying for his administration to follow that mandate and fulfill its promises to a clear majority of Americans.