You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
Sens. Lieberman, Levin and McCain in an Armed Services Committee hearing.
The Hill reports this morning that some of the old bulls of the Senate (and one new one) are having a hard time wrapping their head around the idea that the Senate is completely broken and there's just one way to fix it. Majority Leader Harry Reid is having a hard time convincing 10 of these senators that filibuster reform must happen, though three are leaning his way.
“What this tells me is that we’re very close to 51,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who has been a leading advocate of using the constitutional option to limit the powers of the minority to use dilatory tactics. [...]
The three most reluctant Democrats are Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), and Carl Levin (Mich.). [...]
Levin said he does not want to use the constitutional option, which Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calls “breaking the rules to change the rules.”
“I am very leery about changes to rules, except by the use of the rules,” Levin told The New York Times, “and the rules require two-thirds of votes to change the rules. I prefer not to use a mechanism which I believe is dubious.”
Proponents have a month to convince their colleagues, and they're close. As for these three, they shouldn't stand in the way of reform if the majority of the caucus wants it. Pryor is Pryor and scared of doing anything anyone might think was slightly controversial. With Levin and Feinstein, it could be that because they chair committees that actually do have a bit of bipartisanship—Armed Services and Intelligence—they haven't quite felt the full brunt of the past six years of Republican obstruction, even though they've lived through it.
And what Levin seems to be forgetting as he agrees with Mitch McConnell is that this is the very proposal McConnell and Sen. Jon Kyl came up with in 2005 to try to break Democrats' filibuster of Bush judicial nominees. And, back then, McConnell didn't think it was so extraordinary.
“…I don’t want to get too technical here, but the point is, what Senator Frist is considering doing is not unprecedented. It was done by Senator Byrd when he was majority leader. What is unprecedented is the fact that the Senate, for the first time in 200 years, last Congress chose to filibuster judges for the purpose of defeating them. That had never been done before in the history of the Senate. That’s what’s new…What Senate Republicans are contemplating doing and what I think they should do is to get us back to the precedents that were established prior to the last Congress, in which judicial appointments were given an up-or-down – that is, a majority – vote.”
Compared to the precedent the Republicans have set for filibusters in the past six years, not just on judicial nominations but on everything big or small, Reid's relatively modest proposed reforms are nothing. Levin's selective amnesia shouldn't stand in the way of trying to make the Senate function again.