News & Politics

Will the Jan. 6 Commission Vote Destroy the Filibuster? Joe Manchin Speaks Up

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Even though the Department of Justice is prosecuting the lawbreakers who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and congressional committees are already investigating the Capitol riot, Democrats see the January 6 Commission as an opportunity to nuke the filibuster, once and for all. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the two Democrats in the Senate who are committed to preserving the institution, made a key announcement about the issue on Tuesday.

Forbes‘ Andrew Solender pressed Manchin on whether or not he would vote to destroy the filibuster should Senate Republicans oppose the bill establishing a 9/11-style commission to study the Capitol riot, which passed the House of Representatives last week. Solender asked if Manchin would “nuke” the filibuster.

“No,” Manchin replied. “I can’t take the fallout,” he quipped.

Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have stood alone against their bloodthirsty party, preserving what little remains of the integrity of the U.S. Senate.

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While some Democrats describe the filibuster as a “relic of Jim Crow” because segregationist senators used it to preserve the status quo, the filibuster dates back to the first Senate in 1789, although the first exercise of the Senate filibuster occurred in 1837. The filibuster provides a protection for the minority in the Senate, enabling the upper chamber to serve as a check on the passions of the House.

Ideally, the filibuster should lead the majority party to seek some support for legislation among the minority party, making laws that better represent more than 50 of the states. Manchin and Sinema are holding back the tide of radical Democratic legislation that would eviscerate religious freedom, undermine election integrity and free speech in politics, and funnel money to Democratic constituencies in the name of funding “infrastructure.”

Manchin’s stance requires Democrats to get ten Republican votes to pass the Capitol riot commission bill. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) have announced their support for the bill, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she will back it if the Senate can “correct flaws in the House bill.”

Congress has many options to investigate the Capitol riot, but adopting the 9/11 Commission-style probe sends a chilling message. Back in February, Pelosi made the connection explicit: “To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex…”

Democrats have weaponized the Capitol riot — a truly heinous event in American history — in order to demonize their opposition. Former CIA Director John Brennan warned against an “unholy alliance” including “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians” that “looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas.” These remarks came amid leftist calls for “deprogramming,” “de-Baathification,” “re-educating,” and “reprogramming” the 75 million people who voted for Trump.

Pelosi has strained to pin various crimes on former President Donald Trump for the riot. Last month, she accused Trump of being an “accessory” to “murder.” She also suggested that her Republican colleagues who contested the election results may also be “accessories to the crime.”

A mere week into Joe Biden’s presidency, the acting secretary of Homeland Security issued a domestic terror alert warning that “some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”

While the commission would ostensibly be bipartisan, Democrats would have the edge when it comes to hiring staff. Perhaps Susan Collins was referring to this aspect as one of the “flaws” in the House bill. If the Senate can support investigating the Capitol riot without suggesting the riot was anything like the September 11 attacks, and if the Senate can make the bill truly bipartisan, perhaps Republicans can support it.

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Even so, I fear that this commission will give Democrats another excuse to demonize the Right.