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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) may have just inadvertently cast herself as a racist.
The progressive senator told Axios in an interview Thursday that the legislative filibuster — a rule that dates back to the 1800s and requires 60 votes for most legislation to pass in the Senate — is rooted in racism and should be removed because it effectively gives the minority party veto power.
“The filibuster has deep roots in racism, and it should not be permitted to serve that function, or to create a veto for the minority. In a democracy, it’s majority rules,” she argued amid renewed debate over the potential elimination of the parliamentary procedure.
Warren noted that the filibuster was not included in the founders’ original framework, but was “a later creation that was designed to give the South the ability to veto any effective civil rights legislation or anti-lynching legislation.”
Leaving any subsequent parliamentary debate aside, the more relevant subject is that Warren herself, despite decrying the rule, has utilized it within the last year while in the minority party — and against a black senator, no less.
Last June, Democratic lawmakers in the Senate voted to block police reform legislation put forward by Republican Sen. Tim Scott in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The legislation failed to surpass the 60-vote threshold assigned by the filibuster. Only three Democrats in chamber voted to advance the bill, and Warren was not one of them.
After his bill was stymied, Scott called out his Democratic colleagues for their shameful decision to play partisan political games with such an important issue.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats really want to hold on to this issue,” Scott said. “They believe they’re going to win in November, so they’d rather write their own reform bill without any input from the Republican Party.”
“Was it racist then?” asked CNN’s Scott Jennings about the revelation that Warren used the filibuster in June 2020.
Fox News contributor and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said, “Given how often Warren filibustered when she was in the minority, does this make her a racist? Anyone who covers this without mentioning her record is not telling the full story.”
Warren announced her support for ending the Senate filibuster in 2019, and now she is calling it racist in 2021. That places her use of the filibuster to block Scott’s bill smack-dab in the middle of her outspoken opposition to it.
She probably would rather people just overlook her blatant hypocrisy, but it’s hard to ignore.