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View Diary: The Nuclear Option is Coming. Are you ready? (140 comments)

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  •  Seed comment. (3.98)
    I'm luring you in from the outside by giving the appearance that there's discussion beginning here.

    My cover for this sham is that we're going to call it a tip jar.

    •  Can you tell us (none)
      Where the votes are right about now?  Frist doesn't have the votes for this, does he?  On whom should we be putting pressure?  I seem to recall a recent piece from the DCCC saying to contact your senators, and I'd give Chafee a piece of my mind except I actually don't know where he stands on this one.


      •  The latest rumors are... (4.00)
        that Frist might not yet have the votes. That could be true, or it could be an exercise in lowering expectations.

        The last I saw, Chafee was a firm "no" on the nuclear option, as was Olympia Snowe. Fence sitters cited as inclined against it included Susan Collins, Chuck Hagel, John Warner and John McCain. Undecided are John Sununu, Thad Cochran and George Voinovich.

        But I would contact any home Senator, just to make myself heard.

        •  Susan Collins will be lunchmeat (none)
          if she doesnt vote no. Heck, she may be lunchmeat anyway. She will usually do what Snowe does. ultimately.

          In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

          by ablington on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:06:03 AM PST

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          •  Emailing (right now) the following to Collins, (4.00)
            Snowe, McCain and anyone else in the Senate who might be convinced to vote against the nuclear option:

            Dear Senator Collins,

            I believe that when America's Founding Fathers envisioned our democracy they sought to design a system in which the majority would rule not in any royal or tyrannical sense, but in the sense of governing, managing, setting the agenda for discussion.  In the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers built a system of checks and balances on power and encouraged further development of this philosophy and governing strategy to guarantee that, in order to govern effectively, the majority would need to negotiate and compromise with those in the minority rather than dominate and suppress them.

            The current Administration and its most ardent and active supporters in the Congress have already gone far beyond the true principles and values of the Conservative cause.  They now seek to violate, through the exercise of the so-called "nuclear option" to end Senate filibusters on judicial nominations, at least the spirit of one of the core principles on which our democracy was founded.  Ensuring the acceptance of a handful of judicial nominees, no matter how much you may respect and admire them, is not under any circumstances worth the cost of such a destructive act to American principles of government.

            I strongly urge you to vote against any proposal to end filibusters in the Senate.  Such a principled stand on your part would go far in demonstrating your leadership capabilities to true Conservatives everywhere in this country.  Politically, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose by continuing to support the radical, not conservative, agenda exemplified by the tyrannical threat of this "nuclear option."

            BTW - If the Radical Repugs in the Senate managed to push through the nuclear option, I think the Dems are licking the crap side of the crumpet no matter what they do or don't do.  Under the circumstances it's just as well that they shut down the government by exercising the "Animal House Option" - "It's time for one last futile gesture and we're just the guys to do it!"

        •  More broadly (4.00)
          NE corridor 'pubs better think long and hard about this, esp those up for re-election in 06.

          In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

          by ablington on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:07:22 AM PST

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        •  What about the DINOs? (4.00)
          Kagro, are there any DEMs considering voting with the Republicans on this?  I know it seems beyond the pale, but with Lieberman and the Nelson twins' past disloyal behavior as our guide...
        •  McCain (none)
          would probably vote "no" to maintain his centrist/maverick image he has spent so long cultivating. This guy tries to have it both ways, supporting Bush for president and then acting outraged that Republicans drive up huge deficits, torture/kill prisoners, and abuse Congressional power.

          I'm really worried that McCain would be a formidable opponent in 2008 if he indeed gets the Republican nomination. By then the moderate Republicans will probably have grown tired of the neocons/religious right and will want to put up a moderate.

          Of course, McCain is not really a moderate. He just talks like one. But when the rubber hits the road he's out there kissing and hugging Bush just like Lieberman.

          I hope they do get rid of the filibuster. We need the Republicans to overstretch in order to paint them as extremists.  Plus, Reid & co. could shut the Senate down and then Bush won't get any of his legislation through.

          •  That's if you believe Reid (4.00)
            I'm not sure how much faith I should place in the hands of a guy who voted for the Republican bankruptcy bill.

            I have a sad, sinking feeling that if the nuclear option is invoked, we'll have a day or two of outraged screaming and then back to business as usual.

            During  this time we'll hear the media gushing about how "bold" the Republicans are and that the Democrats are "obstructionists."

            Sorry -- it's getting harder and harder to have any optimism whatsoever.

          •  McCain has presidential ambitions (none)
            I wouldnt count on a 'no'-vote from either Hagel or McCain. If they do, they're chances of getting the republican nomination in 2008 (which they both seem to want) pretty much drops to zero.
        •  Reid knows how to count votes (none)
          If he sees this coming I propose he use his own "nuclear option" and pull unanimous consent immediately and shut down the Senate.

          by ctkeith on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:49:48 AM PST

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          •  well, that's the response (none)
            But it's only going to last so long, because the Republicans will keep moving bills to the floor that "need" votes "immediately" and we'll "look bad" if we don't comply.

            I do think they have the 51 votes.  Even if they lose Chafee, Collins and Snowe, that still leaves 1-2 votes of a margin.  And they may well grab a Nelson or two.

            •  If the repubs pull the Nuclear option (none)
              Screw any legislation at all.It's WAR.


              by ctkeith on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:03:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree it's war... (none)
                ...but will the Democrats in the Senate fight or roll over?
                •  Either way... (none)
                  Democrats are screwed.  If the Democrats shut down the Senate, the Republican echo chamber will scream "Obstructionist!"  And it will work:  60% of the public will believe it's all the nasty Democrats fault for not working with the Republicans.  And then, of course, they'll be massive in-fighting among progressives, as they blame the Democrats for allowing this to happen in the first place.

                  I am not optimistic.  

              •  History Books (none)
                The last time one party declared war and shut down the Congress, they lost miserably.
                •  Except this time... (none)
                  It's the Democrats who will be shutting down Congress.  At least that's how 60% of the public will perceive it.
                  •  wrong (none)
                    Clinton was popular Bush is not.You can't ask for backbone from the dems and then say  don't use it.Believe it or not most americans think much more highly of the Courts than you are giving them credit for.The Shiavo Fiasco assured the Nuclear option will be a loser for the Republicans.IF the Democratic party refuses to fight this fight with every weapon at their disposal its done.


                    by ctkeith on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:54:29 AM PST

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                    •  how right you are (none)
                      We're falling in the Republicans' trap by talking about process. With Schiavo, we have a perfect example that the Repubs don't really care about "activist judges"; they just want judges who will rule they want to.
                    •  let's see: (none)
                      Clinton's job approval when Gingrich shutdown began: 52% approve, 41% disapprove

                      Bush's, right now: 49% approve, 46% disapprove.

                      No real difference.

                    •  Hope. (none)
                      I hope you're right.  FWIW, Clinton was not terribly popular in late 95 when the Gov't shut down occurred.  People felt like he was lame, and Gingrich was driving things. We'd gotten smacked in the 94 elections, we lost the big health care debate,  and Clinton was on the defensive.

                      The Schiavo factor is interesting--I hadn't thought of it.  Maybe their overplaying their cards on that has hurt their chances to win this fight.  Thanks for making that point.

                      Whatever happens, the Democratic party is not "done" based on what happens in the Senate this year. There are literally thousands of elected Dems across the 50 states--in town halls and state assemblies and the US Congress.  As we work to build an agenda and organize around our issues, we can change the landscape. One might even argue that letting some of the big name brand Dems at the top fail could clear space for newer, more aggressive leadership.  There is no reason to stop fighting for our values, and we mustn't let the decisions made by Lieberman or Nelson or even Reid stop us.

                      "Calmer than you are, dude."

                      by Sheffield on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:46:30 AM PDT

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      •  Ooooh those cwafty repubwikans ... (none)
        have picked a good week to undermine a couple of centuries worth of Senate rules, not to mention any remaining troublesome parts of the Consitution.  With the news media occupied by the death of the Pope, anything they pull in coming days will be relegated to "meanwhile here at home ..." coverage below the fold and at the bottom of the newscast.
    •  Tip well deserved (none)
      Thanks for providing this. Looks like I've got a homework assignement.

      In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:38:37 AM PST

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    •  kagro x (none)
      I'm luring you in from the outside by giving the appearance that there's discussion beginning here.

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that in his diaries.

      Great diary by the way. I keep hoping the Republican leaderships has overreached, but the failure of the American people to pay attention keeps saving them. Perhaps the people are ready to wake up.

      We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

      by Carnacki on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:55:02 AM PST

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