My post last night on Senate Dems and failure of filibuster reform was subtle, and a few readers ridiculed my moniker. Sorry for the subtlety, but as it turns out Digby gets it:
Sorry a few of you were a bit too dense to understand. Funny too how even Chris Hayes and Chris Murphy touched on the filibuster issue last night. Let me be less subtle.
There is a hurtful and hateful block of republicans in both the Senate and the House who simply do not respect long established norms or any rules. They push what they want and use any means necessary in their attempts to achieve their goals. Yet many Dems refuse to recognize this, or worse, recognize it and refuse to do anything about it, and then they accomplish little and that which they accomplish is so watered down one often wonders if it is even helpful. Filibuster reform is a great example of this (not arguing the merits here) as many Dems were so worried about having government gridlock and ticked off colleagues across the aisle, no comity, that they refused to support filibuster reform. Yet here we are with worse than gridlock. We have a near complete shutdown, affecting millions of people and further harming a soft economy. So the Dems ultimately did not avoid that which they sought to avoid, and republicans in both houses just rubbed their noses in it.
There are two ways to change this. The first is to vote the republicans out of office and establish majorities across the board. However, this is likely not possible in the House due to gerrymandering. That leaves the other option--The Dems have to hit them right square in the face with their (the republicans' own tactics. Not until these republican bullies see that Dems are willing to smack them back will they start to see the wisdom of, and possibly begin to respect, the established norms and rules. A truce can be called. Had Senate Dems voted for complete filibuster reform, President Obama could have filled each and every open federal court seat across the country. Republicans would have gone ballistic, there might be gridlock, but they would then see both sides can do it and, maybe, just maybe, they would think twice about breaking the rules and challenging long establish political norms. But if the Dems never fight back like this, the smallish contingent of terrorist republicans will continue unchecked holding this country hostage.