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View Diary: Senate rules reform and the "constitutional option" (60 comments)

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  •  He only had one chance to do it. (0+ / 0-)

    that was on January 2009. It can only be done every two years. But on January 2009, who could have known the republicans would filibuster nearly 100% of the time. He knows it now. If he doesn't do it this time, well?

    •  They could do it any time. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, FogCityJohn

      The Constitutional Option used to known as the Nuclear Option.  It can be done at any time.

      •  Not necessary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        It's preposterous to talk of taking away the right to stage a filibuster if you never once force the opposition to stage the actual filibuster, as opposed to playing Filibuster Kabuki. The constant threat of filibuster is ever observed and capitulated to, without the actual pain, blood, sweat, guts and possible politically damaging ramifications of actually carrying out said filibuster. We don't have a problem with too many filibusters. We have a problem with the threat of filibuster being catered to every single goddamn time, no questions asked. That my friends smacks of collusion to me. Insufferable.

        •  I'm pretty sure there is no need to do that (0+ / 0-)

          anymore.  The rules changed.  This is what the filubuster looks like now.

          I used to say the same thing.  'Call their bluff, make them stand on the floor of the Senate and make asses of themselves for three weeks.'  But that's not the way it works now.

      •  The constitutional option has only been used (0+ / 0-)

        as a way to change Senate rules at teh beginning of a new congress. Because the whole debate was about senator Walsh in the 65th congress and Senator Anderson along with Hoobert Humphie in the 83 or 84th congress arguing about changing the filibuster rules and whether the congress was continuous or not.

        I think the main reason behind the ruling of the gang of 14 under the Bush administration, was due to the fact neither party wanted to really deal with the Nuclear option (constitutional option). If they did and somehow it got to the supreme court, they fear the filibuster would be ruled unconstitutional. None of them want to use the constitutional option (nuclear option) for any other reason then changing the rules at the beginning of a new congress, it would also take a lot of power and money making opportunities from well placed senators. And nearly all of them are well placed and have been for years. The filibuster is clearly UNCONSTITUTIONAL anyway. ARTICLE 1 SECTION 5.

        •  I'm certainly no expert, (0+ / 0-)

          but by definition, the constitutional option has nothing to do with rule changes at the beginning of a new congress.  If used, it would be a point of order arguing exactly what you say, that the rules the Senate has been operating under are unconstitutional.

          I'm not really clear on the point you are trying to make, but I think you may be suggesting that the spectre of the nuclear option is only used at the beginning of congress to get parliamentary procedure changes.  But that's not what happened with the gang of 14.  All that took place in the spring of 2005.  And there was never a ruling related to the gang of 14.  It was an agreement designed to avoid the point of order and thus never get to a ruling.

    •  Name one time they've actually filibustered (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, twigg, DaveVentura

      I'll give you a cookie if you can come up with one. They have threatened filibuster, by preventing 60 votes for cloture on legislation. AT THAT POINT SENATE LEADERSHIP HAS PULLED THE LEGISLATION, EACH AND EVERY TIME, SAYING THAT THE LEGISLATION FAILED. Here's the deal. You hold a vote for cloture. It gets just shy of 60 votes. Now someone has to be threatening to stage a filibuster for the bill to be pulled, otherwise the vote for cloture would be passed. But rather than keeping the debate ongoing, the Dem leadership ends debate by pulling the bill. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Never once have they tested the political resolve of their opponents, based on a conviction that the majority was in the right. Please stop protecting Harry Reid from criticism. His term as majority leader has been an unmitigated disaster for progressivism.

      •  So, in effect there's a counter-filibuster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrblifil

        always available. Repubs claim they are going to fight this forever, we actually fight it forever and see if they don't back down, or votes leave the room eventually.

        Practically, Dems'd take a vote, lose, and then put the vote forward again. Repeat till victory.

        Do I have this right?

        Perhaps Harry thinks, 'Heck, they're sure to be stronger than me, so why waste everyone's time?"

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:08:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is what a filibuster IS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          It doesn't take 60 votes to end debate (cloture) it takes 60 votes to END A FILIBUSTER. Yes, you end debate (with 51 or more votes), and proceed to vote on the bill under debate and AT THAT POINT the filibuster must be invoked, and you LET THE OTHER PARTY GO TO TOWN.

          I don't see why even brilliant people like Rachel Maddow are willing to entertain this filibuster "reform" twaddle. It's enabling, that's all it is.

          •  So Dems have chosen to read the (0+ / 0-)

            failure to get a 2/3rds cloture vote as if it were a sign, or a proof, that they will be filibustered on the actual bill, yes?

            Geez, if I have what you're saying right, that would mean these people have really been pulling our chain all along. It's completely cynical.

            They've simply not been willing to test whether this is a sign or proof of a filibuster on the bill.

            So, just to be clear: you're saying that there's nothing preventing any bill from being presented, as long as the cloture vote gets a majority vote?

            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:36:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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