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View Diary: Elizabeth Warren argues strongly for filibuster reform (222 comments)

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  •  That's the Hold. (15+ / 0-)

    A separate issue and it really IS a problem. A secret hold can frustrate the h3ll out of backers of a bill, you can seldom find out who killed it.
    But a filibuster, in the Jimmy Stewart sense, is actually a good thing, even though it's main uses have been to stall things like Civil Rights, et cetera. Particularly in a time when we have C-Span, a sustained filibuster by a pack of zealots blocking a popular bill would be available for immediate pressure from the public. This way, you know who is working for you and who is working against you.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:06:44 AM PST

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    •  filibuster is not a good thing in any guise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, boudi08, MPociask

      it allows a minority to prevent something the majority wants.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:30:30 AM PST

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      •  Sometimes, the minority should prevent (3+ / 0-)

        something the majority wants, like say, burning witches.
        A real filibuster makes the minority own their objection.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:58:24 AM PST

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        •  courts would prevent that (5+ / 0-)

          majority should in legislatures for regular business.

          other countries have majority rule and they don't burn witches.

          majority rule is the only way to go.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:05:29 AM PST

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          •  The founders were very concerned about the (4+ / 0-)

            rights of a minority. Because they did not believe in democracy. That is why the vote was limited to men of property. That is why the President is not directly elected. Senators before the 17th amendment were appointed by governors. The Bill of Rights exists because the anti-Federalists did not trust that the government would respect people's rights. Madison thought the Bill of Rights was a complete waste of time. But Jefferson and others who opposed the constitution wanted guarantees that certain issues where never to be the matter of a popular vote.

            In the early days of the Republic majority rule worked very well in the Senate. But that would change over time.

            •  It changed over time cuz of a mistake (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              milton333, Shirl In Idaho, StrayCat, ferg

              Someone removed the motion to end debate from the senate rule book. Then, 30 years later, some clever dude realized that he could talk endlessly and derail something he did not have the votes to stop.

              thus, the filibuster was born. The word itself means something underhanded:

              The English term "filibuster" derives from the Spanish filibustero, itself deriving originally from the Dutch vrijbuiter, "privateer, pirate, robber" (also the root of English "freebooter"[2]).
              from wikipedia

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:10:04 AM PST

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          •  OK, I guess burning witches was too obscure (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, Shirl In Idaho

            Up until this cycle, every gay rights initiative that has been voted on by the People has been voted down. The majority (until recently) was perfectly OK with trampling on LGBTQ folk. If 51 Senators and a Majority of the House were to drive through draconian laws in re gays and a Conservative Majority court was blocking the judiciary route, you'd want the pro-gay rights minority in the Senate to have at least some chance of fighting it.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:50:02 AM PST

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            •  that's backwards I believe. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              milton333, Shirl In Idaho, StrayCat, ferg

              the filibuster hurts Civil Rights. All the big civil rights bills were continually stymied by the filibuster in the 40s, 50s.

              Even though a majority wanted to pass them!

              LGTBQ rights the same - now you need 60 votes to get the Senate to move. w/o the filibuster you only need 51.

              Trust me, it's not your friend. It is not a check and balance as understood by the framers. It is an impediment.

              W/o it, for example, we would have already passed legislation regulation CO2 emissions. And we would have had a better health care bill and a better financial regulation bill than Dodd-Frank.

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:14:14 AM PST

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    •  My mistake nt (0+ / 0-)

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:47:12 AM PST

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