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View Diary: Durbin speaks of revisiting filibuster rules (facepalm) (191 comments)

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  •  Why they're this way (9+ / 0-)

    At some point, these people can't all be idiots.  Sure there are a few large pieces floating to the top like Joe Lieberman (now departed), but for the most part, I would suggest that most Democratic senators are more liberal in private than in public.  Furthermore, it takes an extremely small mind not to figure out what the Republicans are up to.

    The Republicans took their cue, rather specifically, from Henry Kissinger's theories of radicalism (this was apparently his PhD thesis back whenever he was really a grad student).  It's the dynamic that says that a radical movement relies on always being unreasonable and wanting more: the "establishment" keeps trying to placate them.  Obama, a center-center-left pragmatist, follows this dynamic.  The good news is that Obama isn't a pawn of corporate America or that he's capitualating utterly.  The bad news is that he assumes that some portion of the Republican party is basically reasonable.  (The latter statement is probably true, but the same dynamic applies to them, and because they're more conservative, the costs of giving in are much lower.)

    More succinctly, Reid is convinced that trashing the filibuster would be a nuclear option (it is) and that there would be all out war.  He views it as the equivalent of pushing the red button, and won't do it.  In his world, that's probably true, but having Mitch McConnell have a nervous breakdown isn't quite the disaster the Democratic leadership thinks he is.

    This has happened a lot in the past when dealing with this faction of the right wing.  (Obama shares many characteristics with Abraham Lincoln.  This is admirable, but the Confederates screwed up when they fired on Fort Sumter because that was a bridge too far for the northern establishment; so far this hasn't happened yet with the conservatives.  It goes without saying that the current right wing in America can be traced directly to the confederacy although there are some other bits of unsavory ancestry as well).

    I don't like the consequences of the sequester, but Obama's mean time to cave in has improved rather noticeably of late.  Sooner or later, he's not going to cave in fast enough and the Republicans are going to do the political equivalent (or possibly the literal equivalent) of Fort Sumter.

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