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View Diary: Harry Reid must fix the Senate now (93 comments)

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  •  Bipartisanship is a necessity with a GOP House... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, slinkerwink, commonmass

    What is gained by having party line Dem legislation coming out of the Senate and party line GOP legislation coming out of the House?  They're going to have to meet in the middle anyways.  And Dems will never provide the far left legislation to counter the GOP's far right House legislation because we'd worry about exposing Landrieu, Pryor, Baucus, Begich, Hagan and Johnson to being easy pickings.  So we'd offer up essentially what legislation we'd get with the 60 votes and thus 5 GOP votes.  

    Only area where Reid and the Dems should focus on is on the Presidential nominations for his admin and judiciary.  And let's not forget the last two SCOTUS nominees blocked were both from Republican Presidents.  

    So this filibuster fight is more about the Labor Secretary and EPA Chair - because those are the lower profile cabinet spots where the GOP will weild their filibuster power.  Hagel, Brennan, Kerry, Lew will all get confirmed without much of a hitch.

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:14:25 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hijacking of what should be a majoritarian (13+ / 0-)

      process is not bipartisanship. A more functional and representative Senate helps, regardless of what's going on in the House of Representatives.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:20:37 AM PST

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      •  Relax! Reid is Now Threatening The Nuclear Option (0+ / 0-)

        The Atlantic Wire is now reporting that the GOP has 36 hours to agree to filibuster reform. . . or else:

        Harry Reid Threatens Senate GOP with Fabled 'Nuclear Option' to Kill Filibuster

        J.K. Trotter 1,942 Views 4:56 PM ET

        In a turnaround, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening Senate Republicans with an obscure (and unprecedented) method of enacting filibuster reform. In a statement to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, the Nevada Democrat said that if he does not secure enough Republican votes within the next 36 hours, he will trigger what is known as the "nuclear option" (alternatively, the "constitutional option"), which would override the established precedent of requiring a supermajority of Senators to change the rules of filibuster, which is the especially annoying tactic used by both sides to delay (and often kill) undesirable legislation. The "nuclear option" requires 51 votes instead of 67, and Reid said Tuesday that he has the votes.

        This means two things. One, that Reid is making good on his word from November that he would seek, in whatever way possible, to reform the filibuster maneuver. And two, that his prior stance on the filibuster is no impediment to him seeking reform now. In several statements collected by BuzzFeed in November, Reid inveighed heavily against the "nuclear option" when it was being considered by Senate Republicans in 2005, calling it "un-American." What changed? As far back as May 2012, Reid signaled that, between then and the middle of President Bush's tenure, the filibuster rule had been significantly "abused" and needed to be reformed:

        The MOST IMPORTANT REFORM would be flipping the requirement that the majority present 60 votes to cut off debate rather than the minority presenting 40 votes to forestall a vote!

        That is vastly MORE important than the "talking filibuster" which is a basically useless "reform" since Republicans can easily talk forever, while deferring to each other (exactly how Richard Russell and the Dixiecrats blocked civil rights legislation in the 1960s).

        •  Don't relax (0+ / 0-)

          Not 'til it's over

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 04:08:34 PM PST

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          •  I just mean stop cursing Harry Reid. (0+ / 0-)

            At least until it becomes apparent that he's NOT going to enact any meaningful filibuster reform. Because, as of right now he's giving the GOP 36 hours to agree before he forces the reform through with 51 votes.

            And what chance do you think that 5 GOP senators will agree? Not too hot. They would be afraid of enraging their own base if they agreed to anything Reid proposed.

            That in itself is proof enough that the Senate cannot function.

    •  Nonsense. (19+ / 0-)

      First off, the filibuster is about the ability to present Bills, as much as it is about passing them or getting Laws with the House done.

      It's about setting the topics of discussion which are presented to the American people.

      The GOP has made no secret that their purpose is to destroy government, and the Democratic Party along with it.

      And they are unified and inflexible on that goal. From their own mouths, and their own actions you know that. We all know that..

      It's absolute LUNACY, let me shout again, LUNACY to try and reach "bipartisan" agreements with a guy who wants nothing other than to slit your throat. The compromise they might accept would be to slit your wrists.

      We're not dealing with a political party, we're dealing with a cult, much along the lines of the Bolshiviks. Ask the Mensheviks how working compromise with them worked out.

      Remember, we are not inside the Beltway.

      We are not inside the Beltway.

      Ordinary citizens like you and me are not inside in the Beltway.

      There's no advantage to us pretending we're part of their little world; being all sophisticated and whatnot, finding excuses for their whacky and self-serving assumptions and calling that "pragmatism."

      All that we're responsible for is protecting our own interests. And our interests are very very far from DC's interests.

      We start with restoring the actual purpose of legislative bodies, one Chamber at a time as we have it now, and fuck whether Reid can look forward to having a pleasant atmosphere when he goes to work. Getting warm handshakes and smiles from Mitch and the other enemies of government, the people, and the Democratic Party.

      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:31:41 AM PST

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      •  With respect, (0+ / 0-)

        it is lunacy to hope to achieve a sufficient majority to make change before any action is taken, and to not make law while it isn't.

        In fact, the Revolution only happened because people literally despising one another came together for common cause.  The Constitution only happened because people who KNEW they had an unreconcilable difference that would lead to bloodshed came together for common cause.

        It isn't lunacy to try to reach compromise with others you despise and fundamentally oppose -- it is the first principle of legislation.  There are always logs to roll.  Deal with the reality that you may not have the votes you need to roll over the opposition and try to find a middle ground better than the status quo.

        The perfect is the enemy of the good.

        •  And if the opponent does not accept (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, Eric Nelson, Crider
          first principle of legislation
          but rather, has as its goal, the general belittling of the institution and government in the public conscience, what do you suggest?

          There is hypergame design going on here; this is not a simple game.

          United We Understand — e MMT unum

          by dorkenergy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:09:42 AM PST

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        •  This isn't about ordinary partisan politics. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This is about destroying government and rolling back every single piece of rights-protection, safety-net protection, we have. If not all at once, then by degrees.

          You really have to understand that. We are not talking about Javitts/Goldwater Republicans, or even Reagan-era Republicans. We are not dealing with a loyal opposition. We are dealing with a dedicated and relentless enemy.

          We are talking about people who look to Lenin and Hitler as model-providers for how to undermine democracy.

          This is not a joke, or hyperbole. This is their own words. This is their actions. There is no compromise possible with them that will not work in their favor.

          Beyond all that: give me a good reason one of our Chambers should be crippled in its duties. Short-sighted and petty advantages? We'll let the presentation of Bills be crippled for a few years so that we can get some minor appointments made? Really, that's not pragmatism. That's political suicide.

          Oh, and btw:
          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

          by Jim P on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:28:26 AM PST

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    •  Pryor's is history (0+ / 0-)

      He is toast, I would not be surprised if he did not even run.   61% romney 37% obama.  The house and senate in AR is now all repubs, all house members are repubs

    •  So because we have one road block in the House (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Simplify, Jim P

      we should make things even more difficult by having a second roadblock in the Senate? Because of secret holds and silent filibusters the Senate often fails to pass legislation that has overwhelming support in both Houses. It is incorrect to assume any legislation that is filibustered can not be passed the the GOP controlled House. Filibusters in the Senate are often used purely for personally negotiations to get some unrelated thing for an individual Senator. The Senator can even actual favor the legislation that they put a hold on!

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