In Trump Era, Filibuster Could Come in Handy for Democrats

The presidency of Donald Trump in its first two years may have a Republican majority in Congress, but in no way does he have a mandate, and by no means will he have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes in the Senate, as Barack Obama did for part of his first two years. Democrats may be tempted to use the filibuster to block policies they oppose, though some of them have cursed the filibuster as undemocratic when Obama and the Democrats were frustrated by it.

Democratic supporters of the filibuster can counter that not only did Hillary Clinton win the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes, or 48% to 46%, but 51.4 million voters chose Democratic senators, while 40.4 million chose Republican senators, and yet Republicans control the Senate 52-48. In the House, a bare plurality of 49.1% of voters chose Republicans compared to 48% choosing Democrats in the popular vote, and yet Republicans in 2017-18 control the House by  46 seats, or 241 seats to 194, due to partisan gerrymandering.

This means that America will be governed by a Republican Party that does not represent a majority of voters, attempting to implement policies that a majority of voters oppose. In that case, the Senate filibuster will come in handy.


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