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View Diary: Obama IS a Keynesian. Congress Isn't. (52 comments)

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  •  The filibuster is a false excuse (0+ / 0-)
    Even as the President pushed the Stimulus through Congress, he had to bargain to get it past conservative Democrats and to get the necessary number of votes on it to get past the Republican filibuster.

    The big lesson of the 2005 Republican "nuclear option" fiasco was that 51 Senators can end a filibuster if they really want to.  It exposed the naked emperor that are Senate rules requiring supermajorities.

    Obama was in the Senate for that.  So was Biden.  They both saw it.  They know it.

    Now, maybe it's possible that Obama couldn't wrestle 51 Democratic Senators into using the nuclear option, but I am aware of no evidence that anyone even tried.  They simply accepted the filibuster as if it really was some inviolable limit, when the Republicans have proved that a) it isn't, and b) if it ever is used to stop them from something they want, they'll crush it without a second thought.

    So no, I can't accept the filibuster as an excuse for Democratic inaction.  They chose to allow the Republicans to abuse this thing at historic levels when at any time they can crush it, even possibly today.

    •  It can only be done at the start of a session. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texnance, joe from Lowell, Fogiv

      Otherwise, it takes a two thirds majority.

      Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

      by Stephen Daugherty on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 10:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry, wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Like I just pointed out, Republicans were prepared to end the filibuster using 51 votes in 2005 in the middle of a session.  Yes, they were going to carve out an imaginary distinction between "judicial" filibusters and "legislative" ones, but that they felt they could create such a distinction in the rules just proves what bullshit Senate rules are.  51 can do whatever the fuck they want barring only the stuff listed in the actual US Constitution that requires 2/3 majorities.

        Democrats knew they could do this, which is why the Gang of 14 was formed so the Democrats could cave and give the Republicans all the Bush nominees for nothing other than the Republicans not ending the filibuster.  The reason a gang of 14 agreement was needed is because the Republicans could do what they were threatening to do.

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