Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, former Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele told Senate Democrats that they're being manipulated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the debate over the filibuster.
"Look, you are getting punked,'" said Steele. "Understand you're getting punked and come back at him (McConnell). Call his bluff. they have no leverage over you. You have the majority and they know it, but they're going to punk you into a situation where you give up something you don't have to give up. For what? For what? Ceding power to McConnell? He has none. You have the majority! Use it, for heaven's sake! Sheesh, this is not rocket science."
Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) doesn't have the votes to get rid of the filibuster. She's presumably thinking about Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who told Fox News that he would vote to uphold the filibuster. It's contrary to comments that Manchin has made in the past about the filibuster and it also assumes that no Republicans would vote to end the filibuster. If Manchin refuses to agree to end the filibuster, Democrats could make a deal with a Republican up for reelection in 2022 seeking legislation to pass to promote in their campaigns.
At the same time, if Manchin wants to uphold the filibuster and pledge to stop legislation then he can explain the vote to his voters.
Steele also discussed the pledge from former President Donald Trump to start his own party.
"Please do," Steele said. "Feel right at home doing it, my friend, don't take your time, we'll help you do it as quickly as possible.. We'll pay your way."
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Sunday that Trump has backed off of the idea, but given the whims of the former leader, that is likely to change depending on who he talks to.
See the discussion in the video below:
Senate Democrats are getting punked www.youtube.com