“The reason for the plan negotiation between Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!” That was a tweet earlier this week by Donald Trump. I could analyze it for days. The main point I want to make today is that in 49 words Trump proved (among other things) that he is lacking in understand of basic civics and arithmetic. Let’s explore.
The 60 votes Trump is referring to is the filibuster. Is it possible that he was so unprepared for his job that he didn’t realize it existed until after he assumed office? I fear the answer is yes. That is high school, if not middle school civics.
As to gaining 8 seats in the Senate in 2018 that is an unrealistic expectation. I am still among the skeptical Democrats who realize that the numbers and seats up in 2018 actually favor the Republicans, but not by a margin of 8. At this point many pundits are talking about 2018 being a Democratic year. After being burned in 2016 and realizing it is early, I’m not prepared to go that far yet.
Trump is suggesting that if the filibuster were done away with (which it could be) that 51 votes would be necessary to pass a bill through the upper chamber. He is flat out incorrect. This is not an opinion open to debate; it is simple arithmetic. In the event of a tie the Vice President in his role as President of the Senate casts the tie-breaking vote. Trump should have known that by education and recent history. It is not some new rule. All he had to do was read the original Constitution. Again, it is pretty basic civics which I learned in grade school. (While I was fortunate enough to graduate from a college that was academically world class, I cannot say the same for the institutions I attended on the path to there.)
Cabinet Secretaries are not subject to the filibuster. On February 7th Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, needed Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, to cast the tie breaking vote to attain confirmation. Assuming Trump can’t remember what he certainly should have learned in school, is it really asking too much for him to remember what happened in February or do basic arithmetic?
I wouldn’t want this guy tutoring my sixth grader and I certainly don’t want him as my President! He may be my President but he is also a national embarrassment!
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