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Update see bottom of diary for link to petition for an up or down vote.

I just received an email from my senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennett...It said in part

That's because the quiet threat of a filibuster effectively holds the public option hostage. Through the filibuster, Senators can delay debate on the public option indefinitely, preventing the Senate from ever holding a democratic, up-or-down vote on the issue.

Update 2: Just to be clear, Bennett and Udall don't support a filibuster, but their letter makes is sound like the Democrats are powerless to stop one.


Democratic Senators are free to vote their conscience on the substance of healthcare reform and are answerable to their constituents for their votes. But...

if they vote to obstruct the business of the Senate by not limiting debate (not voting for cloture) i.e. joining the filibuster, they are doing a disservice to the American people and to the Democratic party. After all, it is the Democratic caucus that gives them their majority status on all of the committees. The chairs of the various committees and subcommittees owe their positions to the Democratic caucus. Holy Joe L. is especially beholden to the Democrats for allowing him to be a committee chair (which he has done absolutely nothing with, except for witchhunting Czars BTW after he left the party because he lost the Democratic primary WATB). If he joins the filibuster, he loses his chairmanship and should only serve on the committee to refurbish national monuments or something equally inconsequential. The same goes for any Democratic senator that votes against cloture.

Remember, health care reform and especially a ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION AVAILABLE FROM DAY 1 has strong majority support in the country. The Senate, to have any credibility, needs to take that into account and ALLOW A VOTE on health care reform. Again, individual senators can vote against reform and suffer the wrath of their constituents or not. But if they simply obstruct the ability of the Senate to do the public's business, then there should be consequences doled out by the Democratic leadership in the Senate. If there are no consequences, clearly we need new leadership. I heard Evan Bayh say:

It's not fair to ask people to facilitate the enactment of policies with which we ultimately disagree," said moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "So the closer we get to the end of the process, the more, for me, the process and policy will be one and the same."


It is not fair to the majority to obstruct the people's business just because you don't agree with your own party leadership. If a majority of the Senate OF HIS OWN PARTY have a position that he disagrees with, he can vote against it, but he votes to obstruct his own party's initiatives there had better be serious consequences to his standing in the Senate or the Democrats will look like pathetic spineless worms unable to do the business of the Senate!

Someone needs to diary this every day until the message gets through.


If we can't get an up or down vote on health care reform with a 60 vote majority, we don't deserve the majority.

Another point made repeatedly but Ezra and Matt Y. If both conservadems and progressives like 80% of the bill, shouldn't the majority view to include a robust public option favored by the majority stay in and have the minority conservadems suck it up? Do the conservadems want to be responsible for scuttling the best chance at health care reform? Why should the majority have to give up its policy reform initiatives to please the minority who don't have the American People on their side? Again, the conservadems don't have to vote for the final bill, but if they are obstructionist and vote against cloture, then the pitchforks and torches need to come out and wail on their collective asses.

UPDATE: Sign the Letter

Originally posted to beyondleft on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:28 AM PDT.


Should we call out Democrats that worry about the filibuster?

10%14 votes
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| 133 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Could you please post the link they provided (4+ / 0-)

      that sends folks to the petition? The petition now has several thousand signers and it would be great if you could turn this diary into more of an action diary by providing the link.

      They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

      by Pager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:31:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any handwringing "We may filibuster ourselves" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sodalis, Tortmaster, beyondleft

      needs to be slapped down, and the idiot who pushes it needs to be discredited as an idiot or worse, exposed as a participant IN the intraparty filibuster

      If Dems are trying to prove they ARE just as bad as Republicans (minus teh stupid and hate), this is just how to do it.


      Tipped and Rec'd

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:34:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your diary confuses me (0+ / 0-)

      You quote the email, and then in block quotes below that are you still quoting the email or are those your opinions?  Do the Democratic senators support a filibuster, or are they saying in this email that they would if one came?  While I know they've not been overly supportive of the Public Option (Udall says he supports it in general, but he needs specifics - well we ALL need specifics, Senator, and Benett wouldn't support the Public Option until he had his primary challenger to force him to (Thank you Romanoff!).  I had hoped for clarity from the diary, but now I'll have to go read the email.

      Colorado is definitely a purple state, but we've got two Democratic senators and Senator Udall especially should take the fact that he's got five more years to actually go out and help the people of the state instead of campaigning and waffling the way he has.  Then again, I've been loud in condemning him for refusing to entertain impeachment hearings last year as he strove to move on and accomplish more.  His actions don't show he wants to accomplish squat other than being elected.

      I don't think either Senator would actually support a filibuster if it came to a vote for cloture - they're not that Republican.  Still, they should be able to declare that opinion.

      •  Your comment is a load of crap. (0+ / 0-)

        It may sell here at DKos but it's been disproven about a thousands times over--Bennet came out for the public option before Romanoff ever threw his hat into the ring. Stick with the facts, Tim. This is a reality based community.

        They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

        by Pager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:42:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I call BS on your flame (0+ / 0-)

          I went to the M.O.P. meeting this summer with Bennet and he absolutely refused to support Public Option.  Here's my report.  He said he was in favor of fiscally responsible reform, but he refused to use those exact words.  He hemmed and hawed and it wasn't until Romanoff made serious noise about running that he finally came out in favor of it.  

          Romanoff didn't throw his hat in the ring until recently, but he was sounding out lots of people around Colorado about whether to announce, and Bennet didn't agree to support the Public Option until Romanoff became a serious threat to primary him.

          Sounds like you need a reality check, Pager.

          •  The reality check is on your end, little buddy. (0+ / 0-)

            And I'm not going to keep arguing with you or your ilk when he came out for the public option in late July (please notice your diary is July 6th, no?) and Romanoff did not declare until September. For those of us that can add, your bullshit reeks.

            Reality check yourself. And every time you claim this crap, I will be there to check you since you seem incapable of supporting your candidate without lying.

            They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

            by Pager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 02:39:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can't you read? I agreed that Romanoff declared (0+ / 0-)

              recently, but he'd been exploring his options for months.  When he got serious, that's where Benett decided he'd better change and go for the Public Option.  Primaries are good to get the fence sitters to actually move towards their base, and that's what Romanoff's explorations did, in my opinion (and others).  I'm also not saying it was the only thing, but I didn't see Benett changing his tune until Romanoff stepped up.  Don't forget the letter he and Udall (and others) sent to Max Baucus in late July that said nothing about a Public Option and it encouraged the man who was determined to delay and do without a Public Option to keep on with what he was doing (which was ultimately to prepare a bill without a PO, without Republican support (one doesn't make it really bipartisan), and with mandates.

              I also haven't decided between Benett or Romanoff, or some candidate to be determined later.  I actually am a fan of Ken Gordon, but he's not in this race and he's been unable to win statewide, so it's probably a good thing.

              I'm amazed at your viciousness - this isn't worth getting all that excited about.  We have a difference of opinion in what got Senator Benett to declare for the Public Option, okay.  Until we have one bill to actually debate and we hear his position on that exact bill, this is just not worth fighting over.  He hasn't had a vote yet, so I"m accepting his current statement.  I just disagree with you over how he got here.

              •  Dude, get some facts under your belt. (0+ / 0-)

                He wasn't shopping around the idea to be a Senator; he thought until mid-July he was going to be the next Lieutenant Governor once O'Brien went to the private sector. Or do you not read the daily news and the local blogs.

                Amazed at my "viciousness?" I'm amazed at how fast you walked back your partisan bullshit once someone actually bothered to challenge it with facts.

                They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

                by Pager on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 05:42:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Whatever. I'm not going to change your (0+ / 0-)

                  mind with my facts and you're not going to change mine with yours.  And you're apparently too excited to calm down and discuss things without spewing charges that are way beyond the worthiness of the issue.

                  I'm interested that you're in his head and you know what he was thinking, since I came up with speculation in various sites on the web even from TradMed dating back to last year when Benett was appointed that Romanoff was thinking of challenging him.  And you apparently know he had never explored the idea until September.

                  I'm interested too in your timeline just stated above.  You say Romanoff thought until mid-July that he was going to be the next Lt. Gov, and it was shortly after that when Benett declared for the public option.  Coincidence?

                  As I said above, whatever.  

                  •  Wow. Outstanding comeback. (0+ / 0-)


                    Hahahahaha. Interesting that anyone that bothers to insert facts into your tirades gets accused of "excited."

                    Usually that line of bullshit is reserved for folks who have lost an argument...

                    They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

                    by Pager on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 08:00:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's more often used when the other person (0+ / 0-)

                      realizes they're dealing with someone as willing to discuss ideas and opinions as Orly Tait, Glen Beck, and now Pager.  No amount of effort will penetrate the brick wall mindset and it becomes useless to try.  It doesn't mean that an argument is lost, since no proof could satisfy your claims.  I've made my assertion, you've screamed your objections, and hurled your insults apparently without attempting to understand what I've said, and it's obvious to me that nothing further can be gained from this.  You've got your "reality", I've got reality, and it's not going to change.

                      Waiting on explosive outburst in three, two, one...

                      •  :) (0+ / 0-)

                        See you around, Timmy. Every time you spew shit, I'll be there to call you on it. Nice try with the Beck BS. A for Effort. F for complete fucking failure.

                        This has been fun but I have to go converse with grownups, not whiny ass children who got called out on bullshit and threw a two day fit over it.

                        They're like the Inspector Clouseaus' of the blogging world.

                        by Pager on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 08:25:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  the first block quote is from the letter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Same As It Ever Was

        the second one was just for emphasis

        The third one was a quote from conservadem Bayh.

        Sorry for any confusion

  •  Good for my Senators (5+ / 0-)

    Now let's find the can-opener, for many Democratic Senators need to hear the sound of a can of whoop-ass being opened.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and Rec'd... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tortmaster, beyondleft, KingofSpades

    this is what we should be fighting for...sticking together on cloture...regardless of the final vote on the bill...up or down vote as the Republicans used to say...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:33:57 AM PDT

  •  hopefull Senator Udall has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tortmaster, indepenocrat, beyondleft

    expressed this same sentiment to Senator Reid.


    Be a leader, Harry.

  •  I am hopeful that these tradmed polls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tortmaster, beyondleft

    showing the popularity of the public option will begin to convince these Senators that by voting against something the people are starting to want, they may actually be risking a serious backlash if the people don't get it.

    If healthcare costs continue to spiral upward (and they will), then a vote against a government plan could come back to haunt these guys who are now hiding behind their Republican colleagues' intransigence.

    When the public starts to get a whiff of something they want, God help those politicians who oppose it. That's why Social Security is now the untouchable Third Rail.

  •  Republicans are irrelevant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Tortmaster, beyondleft

    and they know it, the problem is which Democrat would try and make them relevant.

    They need to be named and shamed.

  •  You can translate this: (4+ / 0-)

    "It's not fair to ask people to facilitate the enactment of policies with which we ultimately disagree," said moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "So the closer we get to the end of the process, the more, for me, the process and policy will be one and the same."

    Using your Political-Speak to English dictionary, to this:

    This could very well be my political obituary.  Remember me for having done so much to thwart the most progressive legislation in about 40 years."

    "Obama, Obama, I love ya, Obama; you're only November away" -- cute ginger kid

    by Tortmaster on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 11:45:55 AM PDT

  •  Are you threatening (0+ / 0-)


    reluctant Democratic Senators with ouster from the Party?

    Be careful here with threats. Look what the Republican Party did to Sen. Specter. (And don't get the wrong idea. I'm not defending him.)

    •  Damn Right (0+ / 0-)

      It's not a threat, it's a promise! They can choose to leave the party if they want. By voting against cloture, they are effectively saying fu(k you to the party that provides them with all of the perks of being in the majority. If they can't vote with the majority on procedural issues, they don't deserve the perks of being in the majority. It's really simple and the repiglicans have this one figured out pretty well.

      •  I have no problem voting out failed, (0+ / 0-)

        foolish, outmoded, corrupt, stodgy, and incompetent Democrats in elections.

        I was just wondering if you wanted the Democratic Party's leadership to do push them out in advance of an election (for example, as occurred with Specter). And I'm wondering just how that might happen, and I'm concerned about potentially negative repercussions.

        •  They don't have to leave the party (0+ / 0-)

          but they don't get the perks of being members in good standing if they don't stand with the party on procedural votes! They can vote against the bill if they don't like it, but to vote with the opposition to prevent a majority vote is inexcusable. They shouldn't expect to benefit from being a democrat if they don't support the democrats on procedural votes.

          No one is pushing them. They are jumping!

          •  Well, to be fair (and potentially (0+ / 0-)

            pragmatic) I think many of these questionable Democratic Senators are stuck between at least three power bases, in the form of a rock, a hard place, and a jackhammer:

            1. their constituents (e. g. voters)
            1. their sources of their campaign finances (e. g. lobbyists)
            1. the demands of the national party "leadership" (which is ever in flux)

            Let's see where they ultimately stand (or fall).

            •  The leadership is being more than fair (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The Democratic caucus is not insisting on a party line vote on substance. It is (or should be if they want any credibility as leaders) insisting on supporting the caucus on PROCEDURAL votes. No one is telling them to vote against their conscience on a substantive issue. But they better allow a vote on the Senate floor that their leadership is sponsoring. This isn't that hard to understand and I have no sympathy for people who feed at the trough, but won't lift a finger to help those who fill the trough with goodies that they want.

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