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If you haven't noticed already, the Gang of 14 came to an end on Tuesday night.  With Mike De Wine and Lincoln Chafee decisively voted out of office, the Gang of 14 shrinks to a Gang of 12, and therefore not a gang at all.  What does it mean?

Over on the GOP side of things, I am thinking the demise of the Gang fo 14 will be welcomed, see Hugh Hewitt, for instance, who blames Senator John McCain who "cobbled together the Gang of 14 "compromise" that in fact destroyed the ability of the Republican Party to campaign on Democratic obstructionism while throwing many fine nominees under the bus."  Strong words.  

But the bigger question is raised:  will the GOP again become the party of the reckless, wanton filibuster?

Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms are out of the Senate, so no one will be in the Senate to beat the Bible against a desk to the tune of "Throw the Jew Down the Well" all night long when legislation comes up that the GOP just can't let by.  And Bill Frist will no longer be the Senate Majority leader, nor will he be in the Senate, so it seems unlikely that the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster will be considered.

Can the GOP become a party that filibusters things?  Well, first, it might not need to.  After all, the President has his veto pen on which GOP senators can rely, and the lack of a GOP majority in either house will probably make him less wary of using it.  

But this is politics after all, and it's evident that they won't be able to simply rely on the veto pen when serious party-line measures come up.  An unwillingness to sign a bill could be damaging to the President in some circumstances, and this might force the Senate to rely on other measures.

So, if you were a senator that was in favor of Frist's nuclear option and changing the Senate's rules of procedure, can you in good conscience filibuster legislation?

Perhaps it's an apples and oranges contrast - the Frist team only opposed the fiilibustering of judicial nominees.  But it looks a little inconsistent to say that you'll hold up the majority party's legislation when you spent much of the past five years promoting the message that you couldn't give a damn about what the minority party had to say.

Originally posted to michaelroston on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 01:47 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The nuclear option only applied to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    judicial filibusters.  No one advocated stopping all filibusters.  That was made clear at the time. If they did that Byrd would have had a conniption.  He almost did on the basis of judicial filibusters.

    You're right, the gang of 14 is dead.  No way will the pubs try to filibuster their own president's nominations.  That would be kind of moronic.  Well, to be honest, I can see inhofe or cornyn doing it (and hutchison following along like the good stepford wife she is).  They're pretty stupid.

    •  But don't you think... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was a general GOP disregard for letting the minority party have any say on what was going to transpire?  I mean, not among everyone, but certainly among the extremists?  That being the case, I think it's harder for the current GOP minority in the Senate to pull of Helms and Thurmond-like antics.

      •  Disregard, yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but no attempt to stop filibusters.    It's not like bolton was confirmed to the UN, is it?  It's only the threat of a filibuster that stopped his confirmation.  The minority has always had a lot of sway in the Senate and that was intended by the founders. The Senate isn't the HR with it's minority doesn't matter rules. It's supposed to be a deliberative body.

        It will be harder, perhaps, for the pubs to do, but they won't need to as much either.  bush can always veto and I assume he'll be doing a lot of that.

        •  Those bills that he vetos will have great names.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dougymi, michaelroston

          Can you say "Framing?"

          Oh, yeah.

          But there is nothing preventing us from shutting down any last-minute sneaky legislation, or appointments that the R's try to put through between now and January.

          Heck, we really need the hearings that go with appointing a new SecDef.  For one, we need to bring in the Old SecDef UNDER F*CKING OATH.

          Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 03:17:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My Computer Has Frozen Up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sj, NoMoJoe, michaelroston

    The words "Frist" and "good conscience" appear in the same sentence.  My computer apparently rejects this as some sort of logical impossibility.

  •  I hope the Reps do become the filibuster party (1+ / 0-)
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    By doing so they'll increase the Democratic majority by a substantial margin in 2008.

  •  Simple politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, michaelroston

    For a Republican Senator it is an outrage when Democratic obstruction holds up the Republican agenda.

    However when it comes to obstructing a Democratic agenda, no Republican Senator will feel the slightest shame in using every available proceedure.

    It is one of those situations where partisan advantage trumps consistency.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 02:19:51 PM PST

  •  Our victory has taught the GOP a lesson... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one that Sen. Warner brought up.  There will always be times when the current majority is in the minority.  What seems like a good idea while in the majority, won't be when the possitions are reversed.  They won't be pushing to end judicial filibusters any longer now.

    Besides, they'd have to get out of committee first, and that's easier to prevent with the Dems as the majority.

    "No government has the right to tell its citizens whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody." - Rita Mae Brown (-4.75, -7.13)

    by AUBoy2007 on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 02:33:29 PM PST

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