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View Diary: Understanding the Republican "Nuclear Option" (185 comments)

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  •  I don't avoid the point. (none)
    I stick to what's measurable. The votes.

    Frist says the filibusters he engaged in were OK because they were pure of motive, but that Democratic filibusters are unconstitutional because they are "abusive."

    We can't know what the motives of the Senators were.  We can guess, but we can't know.

    What we don't have to guess about is how they voted, and they voted according to the rules in 1975.

    I ask the same question of you. Nothing physically prevented the majority from continuing with their vote. So why didn't they? And how was it that they lost two motions to adjourn rather than go ahead with their vote?

    But that doesn't settle the question which drove the majority to agree to adjourn and to agree to a compromise, namely: What does the motion to table really entitle us to?

    One school of thought was probably that it entitled them to proceed straight to their vote and be done with it. The other, that the motion to table entitled the majority to a debate on the merits of the Pearson procedure. Unable to settle the question, they agreed instead to adjournment -- twice -- and finally, a compromise.

    Yes, the minority was low on options. But if the majority was in the driver's seat, there must have been something stopping them from rolling through to final victory. We can't know with certainty how solid were the grounds on which their doubts rested, but that there were doubts is beyond question. Else this debate would have been over 30 years ago.

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