It’s a tired old record that Senator Adam Schiff (D-CA) never tires of playing. “I think our democracy is at more grave risk now than ever,” Schiff said. “And it’s clear that that issue is going to be front and center — and needs to be front and center — on the national stage.” Schiff has decided that mere legislative reforms are not enough and that nothing less than a complete governmental overhaul would “protect democracy.”
Each of his ideas is a thinly disguised stunt aimed to “protect democracy” by gutting it through a series of long-game actions, each ensuring that Democrats retain a vice-like grip on Washington, D.C.
The central theme of his “Protecting Democracy Act” will sound familiar to Americans. First, he calls again to eliminate the Electoral College and the filibuster. Next, he would stack the United States Supreme Court with enough liberal justices to bury the Constitution so deeply that it will never again see the light of day.
It makes sense that Schiff argues for eliminating the Electoral College. He lives in California, one of the most populous states and an exceptionally liberal one. But the Electoral College keeps states like California from unilaterally choosing the president.
The Electoral College, established in 1787, balances the power between big and small states to ensure big states didn’t have an unfair say in elections. The framers created the concept of “electors” – people who would represent each state and vote for the president based on who the majority of voters in their state support.
Electors pledge to support the presidential candidate their voters have chosen in the general election, ensuring that the candidate who wins the popular vote in a state receives all of that state’s electoral votes.
The Electoral College was part of a bigger plan to keep the distinct parts of the government separate and balanced. Without it, California and other populous states would choose the president each election and, in most cases, ensure that a Republican would never again sit in the Oval Office.
The Electoral College is one of the fundamental principles of America’s democracy and one of the biggest targets for Schiff and his party, but it’s far from the only roadblock to a new, progressive nation.
Schiff’s next target is the filibuster. The filibuster is a legislative process that allows a senator, or a group of senators, to indefinitely extend debate on a bill, preventing a final vote unless a three-fifths majority agrees to end it and advance the issue to a vote. This process is known as cloture.
Traditionally, a senator could filibuster by speaking continuously on the Senate floor to maintain control of the floor and prevent a vote indefinitely. However, in modern practice, a senator can signal their intent to filibuster without speaking, which is often enough to trigger the need for cloture.
According to Schiff and like-minded congresspersons, the filibuster gives the minority too much power. By eliminating the filibuster, arbitrary progressive agendas can be passed unchallenged by any conservative voices. Schiff cites examples of gun control and abortion as issues that could be passed quickly without the checks and balances of the filibuster.
In a final bid to ensure Democratic control of the nation, Schiff proposes stacking SCOTUS with liberal justices to ensure that constitutionally committed justices have no say in the outcome of progressive issues brought before the court. It was argued that former President Donald Trump “stacked the court” during his term, but he was enacting his Constitutional duty to fill empty seats on the court. At no point did he exceed the currently accepted nine judges. Because the vacancies happened during a Republican term, these replacements were conservative.
Schiff also wants to give felons the right to vote, pass a universal mail-in voting system, and institute term limits for Supreme Court justices to “protect democracy.”
Schiff is hoping that the third time is a charm. He first announced his plans in 2020, and while they passed the then-Democrat-controlled House in 2021, it was a tough sell for the Senate. He again attempted to pass his legislative cornerstone in 2023, but the House refused to hear it. Now, he is using it as the progressive centerpiece of his reelection campaign in California.
Every part of Schiff’s Protecting Democracy Act is designed to remove any semblance of checks and balances from the government and hand control over to Democrats, ensuring a progressive reign even if Biden loses. If those checks and balances are removed, the nation will slide back into the tyranny Americans sought to escape when the country was founded.
But that, after all, is the point.