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View Diary: Why we need 60 votes for everything, in plain language (68 comments)

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  •  Careful what you wish for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulitics, ybruti, ER Doc

    Did everybody already forget the Bush years when the wingnut assholes were threatening the "constitutional option".

    I think it is very short-sighted and dangerous to do away with the filibuster.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to justify invading Iraq.

    by yet another liberal on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 01:32:25 PM PST

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    •  leave the filibuster just make them actually (9+ / 0-)

      filibuster instead of just saying no.....

      99% of this idiocy would end if they actually had to inconvenience themselves to do it.....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 01:54:13 PM PST

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      •  I agree - fillibusters should require effort (6+ / 0-)

        i don't want to get rid of it, it just needs to be used appropriately.

        In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

        by Lefty Mama on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:03:20 PM PST

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      •  well... David Waldman explained why (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, ridemybike

        "real filibusters" would actually hurt and inconvenience the Blue Team more than the Republicons.

        (1) it gives the Red Team unlimited time to speak, about the bill or not as the case may be, telling whatever lies suit their fancy, with no opportunity for the Blue Team to respond to the lies without further extending the filibuster.

        (2) if Reid "forced" the Rs to hold a real filibuster, it would tie up the Democrats more than it ties up the Republicons, because Ds would need to keep 50 votes on hand at all times to prevent adjournment (due to lack of a quorum), and Rs only need to keep one person on the floor.

        "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
        Shop the Kos Katalogue!

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 03:12:33 PM PST

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        •  nice excuses (0+ / 0-)

          Face it, when Bush was passing his stuff, Democrats couldn't filibuster because it was bad for Democrats.

          Then when they became the majority, they still couldn't slow down Bush's stuff (FISA anyone?).  Because that would be bad for Democrats.

          Then when they became the super-majority, they still couldn't roll back Bush's stuff.   Because that would be bad for Democrats.

          And now they can't possibly force Republican's to filibuster because that would be bad for Democrats.

          And when Bernie does his fake filibuster, that's bad for Democrats.

          Face it.  Nice excuses.  But the reality is that Democratic Senators and House members want what their owners want.  And it's the same stuff the GOP wants.

          They want to screw you and me so that their owners will get more of our money in their dirty pockets.

    •  Agreed... (3+ / 0-)

      Every time I see someone here advocate eliminating the filibuster the same thought comes to mind...

      Be careful what you wish for.

      I'm glad TBM posted this diary because I myself have tried (in vain) to explain to people that 58 seats in the Senate means nothing, especially when you have your Nelsons, Lincolns, and Conrads protecting their asses for reelection.  The numbers have never worked without anyone willing to cross the aisle but that's an inconvenient truth to some.

      All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree -- James Madison

      by paulitics on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 01:57:43 PM PST

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      •  Here's why CLOTURE needs to go (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, ridemybike

        Even though I see, repeatedly, the claim that if the Democratic Senate changes the Rules at the beginning of the new Session in January... and eliminates the Cloture Rule, or at least significantly alters it, it will come back and bite the Democrats. Remember Bush...

        We must change or eliminate this Rule, it has caused a blockage in the US Senate and must be purged. When the Republicans are in power, the Democrats, for the most part, refuse to use the obstructing power of Cloture, and instead negotiate from a position of weakness, again and again. However, when the Democrats are in the Majority, the Republicans have no problem whatsoever using Cloture on every bill that lands on the Floor of the US Senate.

        Can you see how continuing the Cloture Rule, in it's current incarnation, is only advantageous to the Republicans?

        Here's what change looks like:

        For instance, a daily reducing required number of "Yeah" votes until you hit 50+1, and a simple majority. This change would ensure that an UP or DOWN vote on the bill would be coming. There would be no way to prevent it. Eventually, the majority would have their way.

        But it would entail a lot of very public debate. Actual debate. To continue to refuse Cloture would require real-time, on the Floor, continuing debate. Debate that might actually come to inform the Electorate about which Party works for the People and which one doesn't.

        "in Order to form a more perfect Union"
        Basta de Guerra. No más. Enough War. No more.

        by Angie in WA State on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 04:41:46 PM PST

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    •  Nobody's proposing doing away with it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just bringing it back to its historic role.

      It's historically been used for something like 7% of legislation. The last two years, it's been over 70%.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:09:54 PM PST

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    •  It was called the nuclear option (0+ / 0-)

      The "constitutional option" refers to the idea of changing the rules about the filibuster, or any other Senate rules, at the beginning of the session, when a vote is held on the rules that will govern the Senate's deliberations for the next two years.  This organizing resolution that sets the rules needs only a simple majority, it cannot itself be filibustered, so it is an opportunity to reform Senate rules.

      The "nuclear option" is what the Rs threatened when they had the majority, and Dems threatened to filibuster some truly heinous Dubya judicial appointees.  This involves changing the rules simply by having the presiding member, when a Senator tries to assert some rule such as that allowing the filibuster, rule from the chair that that action does not conform to the rules.  If he is upheld in this ruling by a simple majority of the Senate, that rule is dead, period.  The difference from the constitutional option is that this option can be used any time during the session, not just at the very beginning only.

      The importance of remembering about the nuclear option, is to remember the key point.  It worked.  The Dems were deterred from filibustering the odious judges, who now pollute the federal bench, by this threat from the Rs to use the nuclear option to get around the threatened filibuster.

      So when people claim that, "Oh no!  We can't get rid of, or even weaken, the filibuster, because one day we will be in the minority, and want to use it to block some horrible action of the R majority.", the answer is simple.  The filibuster is entirely one-sided.  It only helps Rs when they are in the minority, and is useless to the Dems when we are in the minority.  It's useful to the Rs because our side blanches at the very thought of even using the consitutional option to merely weaken the filibuster, and the prospect of using the nuclear option to clear out even the most damaging and destructive filibuster would result in the need for smelling salts all around the Dem caucus.  The filibuster is useless to our side because the Rs would use the nuclear option in a heartbeat if a Dem filibuster stood in the way of anything their caucus really wanted.  

      Oh, and then next session, if they happened to be in the minority again, they would shriek to high heaven about our side's liberal fascism unless the organizing resolution had the full filibuster back for them to exploit.

      We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

      by gtomkins on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:00:13 AM PST

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