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Please begin with an informative title:

According to Talking Points Memo, Senator Reid is planning on introducing some moderate Senate reforms, but will stop well short of requiring actual 'talking filibusters' (much less scrapping the practice altogether, as I believe should be done).

So why am I ok with the watered down approach?  Because of how he's planning to implement the changes: through the infamous 'nuclear/constitutional option.'


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

If Reid does indeed 'go nuclear' then I will breathe a huge sigh of relief, no matter how watered down the actual reforms may be.  The method of changing the rules would in itself represent a crossing of the Rubicon, establishing that Senate rules will be determined democratically, by simple majority.  This is crucial if we are to have any hope of dealing with the problems that lie before us, most significantly that of climate change.  

If the particular rules being adopted still prevent the Senate from functioning properly, they will be revised by the majority.  Once the Senate goes back to functioning democratically there's no putting that genie back in the bottle (as opponents of reform well know). Over time the back and forth tussle over Senate rules will inevitably bend toward expressing the will of the majority, since that's where the votes will be.

True I would prefer to enjoy the fruits of reform now, while we're in charge, but even if real procedural reform doesn't happen until Republicans take the Senate (and make no mistake, if we go nuclear, Republicans will squeeze that power for everything it's worth as soon as they get the chance), eventually Dems will take it back (before losing it again, etc.)... This is really about the long game and if our Republic will be able to face the challenges ahead, or if we will cripple ourselves in a way the founders never intended.  

On a side note, I am about speechless when it comes to people like Carl Levin.  It's truly sad to see him and others put their Senatorial perks over the good of the Nation (although I'm quite sure they've rationalized it otherwise).

At the end of the day we live in a democracy, and that means when people we don't like get elected they will do things we don't like.... And that is how it should be!!  At some point the public will need to see the consequences of Tea Party policies so those ideas can finally be rejected and we can move on.  Those who protect the status quo in the Senate fundamentally do not believe in the project of Democracy, which as someone who still gets excited from time to time about this great experiment we are all part of, I find very sad indeed.

You gotta have a little faith in people.  That's what this country is all about.

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