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View Diary: Fear filibuster reform could come back to bite you? Bite first! (108 comments)

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  •  I hate to keep saying "no kidding," (19+ / 0-)

    but it's true. Are the Senate dems just blind or stupid? Do they really think the Reps would let them get away with 1/100th of the shit the Reps keep pulling?

    On Sara Palin: "That an Idiot." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 02:19:34 PM PDT

    •  A good analysis. (7+ / 0-)

      Better to jump into the surf than watch a giant rock crush you.

      I (heart) Oregon vote by mail!

      by Intercaust on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 02:25:06 PM PDT

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    •  they may be neither blind nor stupid. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bay of arizona, verso2, Uberbah, rhonan, Jyrinx

      filibuster is an excellent excuse to not do what the base wants.

      at least in the senate.  The house has been outstanding in the legislation its passed in the last 18months.

      •  Agree fully........ (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bay of arizona, Uberbah, rhonan, Jyrinx

        I think that is exactly why the filibuster rule hasn't changed. The House has done quite a good job of pumping out tough stuff, and then it gets to the Graveyard aka the Senate......ugggghhhhh.

        •  But is that the only reason? (0+ / 0-)

          I mean no disrespect -- especially as I'm also sure that DawnG has nailed it.
          But I seem to recall reading somewhere that it's not even possible for them to change the Senate's rules in mid-session -- and that even if they can, a rules change requires a super-majority of not just 60, but of 2/3 of the Senate?  
          (Which would be just 66 right now, and not 67, because of the absence of the late Sen Byrd, mhrip.  But either way, 66 or 67, might as well be from here to the moon, since it's a near-certainty that no BPublican would support such a move.)
          So even if every Dem Senator plus the two "independents" did support paring down or eliminating the filibuster, it couldn't happen til, at the earliest, the start of the next Congress -- after the upcoming election?
          Anyone out there know for sure on these questions?

      •  It's a feature, not a bug. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bejammin075, phonegery

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

        by Jyrinx on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 03:07:08 PM PDT

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      •  Obama Needs to Bash Some Heads (0+ / 0-)

        If it's simply an effort to frustrate the base it comes with a heavy political price tag for the President and Democrats.  Personally, I think Obama would be all to happy to see the filibuster go (what good has it done him), but Harry Reid's not willing to let that happen.  

        If the Democrats hold on to Congress after the midterms, look for Obama to come down hard on Reid or the new Senate Majority Leader to scrap the filibuster.  Of course, I'm assuming that by then the President will be willing to show more political aggression than he's shown thus far.

        •  It also assumes he's not himself also... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uberbah, Benthamite

          ...using the filibuster (and the recalcitrance of the Publicans and the conservaDems) as an excuse not to take stances and implement policies that the base wants, but he doesn't.
          And I'm clearly not the only one to think there's far more evidence for that, than against it, and not just on a few specific issues.
          I really wish it were otherwise.

          •  Alternative Explanation (0+ / 0-)

            While, it's possible that Obama is using the filibuster as an excuse to rein in his base, I think there's another explanation.

            The widespread use of the filibuster not only allows Republicans to obstruct legislation, it also allows Democrats to do the same.  For instance, the Left has taken Obama to task for his failure to stand up for liberal causes like the public option.  While, there's no doubt in my mind that Obama's more moderate than his base, I think much of the reason he's supported such watered-down legislation is because he doesn't want to take on members of his own party.  Obama might privately have preferred a public option, but knowing that a few recalcitrant Democrats would have doomed the bill to a filibuster, he decided it wasn't worth the political capital.  

            It certainly doesn't help that even media on the left are willing to play along.  For instance, on the Daily Show earlier this week, Jon Stewart attributed the failure to extend unemployment to Democratic incompetence, specifically Ben Nelson's hold-out vote.  When did it become the Democrat's responsibility to have every single member of their caucus vote for every single bill?  There were still 57 members of the Democratic Caucus who supported the bill, why is it the Democrat's fault?  Just because the Republican's march in lock-step now, doesn't mean that's how it ought to be.

            It didn't used to be the case that Senators would filibuster their own party every time they didn't like a bill.  For instance, Clinton's '93 tax increase passed even though 6 Democrats and 44 Republicans voted against the bill (without invoking a filibuster).  Now it's become almost inconceivable that a VP will ever again have to cast a tie-breaking vote.

            It really puts the Administration between a rock and a hard place.  They can 1) water down legislation in order to win the votes of conservative Democrats, but at the risk of weakening the legislation and alienating the base, or 2) stand firm on good legislation, knowing that they'll lose when a handful of Democrats join the Republican filibuster, and that the media narrative on both the right, left, and center will be that Democrats just can't get their act together.

            That said, I think we can all agree that Obama needs to show a little more spine when it comes to standing up to the Republicans and members of his own party.

    •  makes sense (9+ / 0-)

      For now, suffice to say that if your concern is that filibuster reform will come back to bite us in the ass, I would say that you're 100% right to be concerned and that you will one day be bitten, whether you act or not.

      I have to say, for one of the rare times in my life, this argument has made me change my mind.  We're going to get fucked, any way you slice it, by these lunatics.  Better to pick the place and time for it, and maybe get something done in the meantime.

      The Turner Diaries - the future that conservatives really want.

      by arbiter on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 02:49:21 PM PDT

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    •  because it increases their power (0+ / 0-)

      Being able to obstruct the agenda increases their power to make deals.  Which usually works out pretty poorly for us and progressive legislation, but it works great to get pork for state, since every Senator loves bringing home the bacon.

      I'm a part of the reality-based community, not the personality-based community.

      by Uberbah on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 01:25:45 PM PDT

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