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View Diary: HUGE--All returning Democratic Senators support reforming the filibuster (168 comments)

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  •  When we are in the minority, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud

    and we will be sooner or later, we will wish that we had this tool.  Look - the Senate is different than the House.  In the House, simple majority rules everything.  In the Senate, broad consensus is required to do anything.  This was by design and I think for the good.  The invention of the filibuster in the 19th century only reinforced that difference between the Houses, and it seems to me that our nation in the long term benefits from it...

    When do I get to vote on your marriage?

    by jarhead5536 on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 04:58:29 PM PST

    •  Yes, we will wish we had it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      But we'll wish that because the Republicans will eliminate it if we don't.

      •  It's a blunt instrument, I won't lie. (0+ / 0-)

        But it's one that needs to be at hand when the time comes.  If the other side gets rid of it they will rue the day also...

        When do I get to vote on your marriage?

        by jarhead5536 on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 05:08:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hasn't the time come? (6+ / 0-)

          I thought the time came with the FISA revisions and the authorization of warrantless wiretaps.

          I thought the time came with retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

          I thought the time came with the Stupak/Nelson amendments to the health care bill.

          I thought the time came with the legalization of torture and indefinite detention.

          I thought the time came with the horrendous 2005 bankruptcy "reform" bill.

          But you know who never actually thought then that the time had come for using the instrument they supposedly had at hand?

          Nobody, that's who.

          I'm still ruing those days. And we did have the filibuster.

    •  I disagree. What we have now is a devious (6+ / 0-)

      method by which the minority can stop things without enduring the intellectual---and political---effort to explain themselves. This has FAR bigger benefits to retardaire Republicans; they'd just as soon NOT have their objections made public, because they're generally indefensible.

      If/when Democrats are again in the minority, it will serve the nation well to have their objections publicly aired through a real filibuster. We're suffering under a cloud of bullshit fed by fact-free GOPer memes that the present system papers over.

      Discourse is the lifeblood of democracy, which is why Republicans can't stand it. They'll suffer under the new rules, no matter in the minority or the majority IMHO.

    •  A weapon not used is worthless. (4+ / 0-)

      The GOP uses the filibuster every chance it gets. The Democrats use it when the planets align.

      Strategically speaking, ending the filibuster will hurt the GOP when they're out of power more than the Dems when they are.

      The equation is simple. End the filibuster.

      •  And what makes you so sure (0+ / 0-)

        that when our side is casting about, wringing their hands that the GOP is about to bring down the Republic (just as they claim we are doing now), that we won't resort to the exact same tactics "in the interests of the nation"?

        When do I get to vote on your marriage?

        by jarhead5536 on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:05:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  History. (0+ / 0-)

          History teaches us.

          •  History teaches us (0+ / 0-)

            ... that Senate filibusters have been used for good and for ill.

            I have to agree - let them filibuster, but make them all remain in session to do so.  Put the burden on those opposing a bill, rather than the current "one in opposition is sufficient to sustain".

            We benefit, because Republicans have to (1) show they care enough to put 40 people in the room for as long as Harry Reid wants to make them do so, and (2) might actually have to defend their positions while making those all-night stands.

            And, assuming Republicans don't eliminate the filibuster altogether when they come in to the majority, Democrats benefit again by getting the airtime and press attention to speak the cold, hard facts on why they're opposing some boneheaded Republican bill.

            Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

            by Phoenix Rising on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 08:59:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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