Leonard Zwelling

The most enjoyable part of writing and posting this blog is the Comments I get back on the site or via email. My favorites are the ones that dramatically disagree with me. Today (April 16), I got an earful.

First, there’s the reader who is convinced that the current President of the United States and his allies in Congress want to remake the way in which the federal government operates. The blog reader cites the investigations going on to expand the size of the Supreme Court and the attempted overuse of reconciliation to pass legislation through the Senate and the proposal to get rid of the filibuster in the Senate. This reader tags me as a liberal and a Democrat. Neither is so.

As far as I can tell, none of these three issues are stipulated as being part of our government within the Constitution, but rather are practices and traditions determined by the Congress. Thus, the size of the Supreme Court, the filibuster and the reconciliation process are not really part of the U.S. government unless Congress says they are.

The size of the Supreme Court is not set by the Constitution and court packing has been tried in the past (by FDR). Congress doesn’t usually go for this and I doubt it will now. Without first suspending the filibuster, expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court will never pass the Senate. I doubt all the Democrats would support it and surely no Republicans would. This is a non-issue. Mr. Biden may want to assemble a commission to look into this, but even Nancy Pelosi would not allow a proposal to expand the court by the radical left in her caucus to make it to a vote in the House. Good for her. Court expansion is a bad idea.

I personally don’t like the current make-up of the Court, BUT it is the result of a series of fair elections and untimely deaths. The only exception was Mitch McConnell’s block of the nomination of Merrick Garland which was shameful, but wholly consistent with Mitch’s political activities. He’s a snake who is already plotting how he can take back the Senate on 2022. So I think we can dismiss the idea of expanding the Supreme Court.

Reconciliation was necessary to pass the economic stimulus package termed Covid Relief. Okay, but that should be it. If Mr. Biden cannot muster 60 Senate votes for his current infrastructure package, it may be because it is too costly and not focused sufficiently on infrastructure alone. This bill will be a non-starter as it should be. The Dems need to go back to the drawing board and synthesize a proposal that leaves out the pork and limits itself to roads, bridges, and high speed cable. Mr. Biden wants a jobs bill, but I am not at all sure we can afford such a massive proposition. No worries though. This too will never pass the Senate and neither will lifting the filibuster as there are not even 50 votes for this in the Senate.

Readers, stop listening to talk radio. MSNBC and Fox! The reality of all of this is that none of it is real. However, it is up to Mr. Biden to stop placating the fringes of his party and stick to the job at hand. These mega-spending bills are not what the doctor ordered. More focused less generous ideas rolled out incrementally might be a better idea. I know the president fears losing Congress in 2022, but he is working on a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Finally, I got a little pushback about Israel and the fact that Israelis still face an existential threat in Iran. I agree, but Israel’s historical concern was the Palestinians, and thanks to Mr. Trump’s work in the Abraham Accords leading to new alliances between Israel and the Arab Gulf States, the Palestinians ought to think about cutting the best deal they can now before even other Arabs don’t care. Israel has more important fish to fry. The Six Day War has been over for more than 50 years. Israel won. Get over it.

Thanks to all who take the time to write me. Keep the comments coming. I always learn something with the feedback.

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