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As someone who in my youth demonstrated against nuclear power (remember Seabrook, anyone?) I have always been against nuclear power. Now, I find to my surprise that my thinking has changed. There are good nukes and there are bad nukes. For example:
Nuclear power in the sun - good.
Nuclear power as a solution to the climate crisis - bad. (Sorry, President Obama, but we forgive you.)
Nuclear cold fusion - good, but imaginary.
Nuclear weapons - bad. (Thanks, President Obama for trying to reduce them.)
As I said, some kinds of nuclear power are good and some not so much. But there is one kind of nuclear power that is indisputably terrific. That is the power of the NUCLEAR OPTION!

Yes, remember the nuclear option? That was the term used by then Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in 2005 when Democrats were (gasp!) threatening to block some of George Bush's judicial appointments. The Republicans insisted - INSISTED, mind you - that judicial appointments deserved an up or down vote. (They neglected to mention that this only applied to judicial appointments by Republican presidents, but who wants to quibble over details?)

So in response to the Democrat threat of filibuster, the Republicans threatened to end the filibuster with a parliamentary procedure thye nicknamed the "nuclear option."

Now, I'm not a parliamentarian or a student of the Senate. I did look it up this wikipedia article I thought the Senate could only change its rules when a new Congress convened (in other words next January). But this article seems to says that with a simple point of order and a majority vote, Dems could end the filibuster forever - and then deliver the kind of progrssive program the country needs. (And coincidentally a program that would rally voters to Democratic candidates next November.)

Just think about it - a health reform bill (maybe with a public option) a climate change bill, a strong banking reform bill a new jobs bill, new student loan bill all of them just one lousy majority vote away.

I know that it's not a given that there are 50 Democratic senators who would vote for such a resolution. (And maybe wikipedia is wrong - it happens occasionally.) Perhaps there are some Kossacks who can weigh in on this. But as for me, all I have to say is

Go Nuclear!

Originally posted to Richieville on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:21 PM PST.


Should Senate Democrats use the nuclear option to end the filibuster?

76%26 votes
11%4 votes
11%4 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Rate Me Red - a comic novel of the future at

    by Richieville on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:21:04 PM PST

  •  We are so there. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, Richieville

    It's time to pull out all the stops.  I can remember waking up in the morning only to find out that new bills were signed in the middle of the night, or when everybody was on vacation.

    I would imagine we won't have this opportunity to "CHANGE" things for a very long time.

    It's time.

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:29:52 PM PST

    •  Agreed.I have written the same a couple of time. (4+ / 0-)

      I think that various congressman and Senators have extracted as much money from special interests as they are going to get.

      Now it is time for them to cut the crap (histrionics and manners hysteria "We are going to undermine the commidty of the Senate, we are going to piss the Republicans off. Horrors...Horrors.") and show who's side they are on so that we can see if we want to re-elect them or not.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:38:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, Richieville

    The nuclear option is the only nukes I'm willing to support.

  •  No, they should revise the filibuster so it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    takes more senators to invoke on a timetable. Thorium reactors, yes!

    Place pithy, poignant, wise or snarky comment here.

    by the fan man on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:45:39 PM PST

  •  By the Way (0+ / 0-)

    I can imagine that the Right will have troops marching in the streets pronto if we do this. Not that We should not, We should do it, but we have to be prepared to meet civil unrest with calm determination.
    And there will probably be a Supreme court challenge, and while so far this court has not met a precedent that it could not ignore,it would be worth the price of admission to see them rip the masque off of their right wing agenda and show the 5 as the unconstitutional ideological activists they are once again.  

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 12:46:40 PM PST

    •  Oh, I'm ready (0+ / 0-)

      Right wing troops marching in the streets?  "Bring it on".

      As for a SC challenge, in a less weasely Senate, it would lead to a Constitutional crisis.  There is flat out NOTHING in the Constitution that mandates a supermajority for setting rules, and a filibuster is nothing more than an anti-democratic rule.  If the SC were to decide that the filibuster rules must be retained, you're right, they would certainly be exposing themselves as totally contrary to the rule of law.  We'd need to use Louis XIV's motto:  "L'etat, c'est moi".

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 01:12:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One option is to engage in precisely the same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tactics we condemn when the Republicans engage in them. Thus revealing us for the same type of ends justify the means hypocrites we hate, choosing to exploit and perpetuate systemic flaws while doing nothing to correct them.

    Another option is to reform the system to end filibuster abuse, or the filibuster entirely.

    I might even support the former IF it were part of an initiative to accomplish the latter.

    I do not support ends justify the means tactics in service of righteous ends. History has taught us the danger in that approach to governance.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 01:00:58 PM PST

    •  using the nuclear option would (0+ / 0-)

      end the filibuster - that's not ends justifying the means

      Rate Me Red - a comic novel of the future at

      by Richieville on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 01:15:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you opposed the nuclear option (0+ / 0-)

        when the Republican's threatened its use to emasculate Democratic filibuster threats, then it is the epitome of the ends justifying the means.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 03:37:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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