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A few hours ago, President Obama appeared on The Daily Show and endorsed filibuster reform:

Here’s one quote:

"There are a couple of things that have changed in our politics that are gonna have to be fixed. One is the way the filibuster operates. As I said, that's just not in the Constitution."

Also, in the White House blogger meeting that Barb attended yesterday, President Obama also endorsed filibuster reform:

"I will say that the damage that the filibuster I think has done to the workings of our democracy are at this point pretty profound. The rate at which it’s used just to delay and obstruct is unprecedented...

I will say that as just an observer of our political process that if we do not fix how the filibuster is used in the Senate, then it is going to be very difficult for us over the long term to compete in a very fast moving global environment."

This is a big step forward for the campaign to reform the filibuster. Sign up to receive email alerts on the campaign here.

Goal ThermometerThe campaign to reform the filibuster was started 18 months ago by our own David Waldman. With the support of your contributions, David helped put together a coalition of labor, legal, civil rights, environmental, and online organizations in support of reform. The coalition is making an impact, as President Obama’s full remarks in the link to Barb’s transcript above read like one of the group’s memos.

We took your petition on reforming the filibuster to Capitol Hill, and assisted our friends at the Communication Workers in talks at Senate offices. We found virtually all Democratic Senators in support of reform. No returning Democratic Senators are opposed outright.

We were told filibuster reform was impossible, but we kept fighting. Now, our work has pushed filibuster reform into the mainstream, and all the way to the top. After we keep the Senate on Tuesday, we will make filibuster reform a reality.

Please, contribute $5 to Daily Kos to support our work on filibuster reform. We are winning this campaign.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  oops... too late. (10+ / 0-)

    ...which could serve as a caption to his entire administration so far...

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:05:58 AM PDT

    •  Just in time to hand it to Republicans (8+ / 0-)

      majority in Congress!

      We can only live in hope this is another empty Obama pre-election promise.

      •  Yep. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, JamieG from Md, FistJab

        It may not matter in a week. And one day, perhaps soon, we may need it. Not that our current crop of Dems would have the guts to use it.

        When I had no roof / I made audacity my roof. --Robert Pinsky

        by Crestingwave on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:20:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What Republican Majority in Congress? (8+ / 0-)

        Last time I checked they were the minority party.

        And I'm willing to bet that come next Wednesday they will still be the Minority Party. Maybe with bigger numbers (56-44 Senate. And they pick up 35 in the House) but still not in charge of anything.

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:35:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you a troll? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjd in florida, amk for obama

        One thing you gotta give rich people credit for. They might have nearly all the money but they are really stingy about spending it, so, nobody benefits.

        by bluefaction on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:43:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Highly unlikely the Republicans will take the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Senate at this time. Even if the house goes, we should still have the majority in the Senate.

      •  The current political mess makes me appreciate (0+ / 0-)

        the filibuster a little more.

        Right now, we see the ugliest side -- the obstruction and paralysis.
        In a climate -- and I think we are just about there -- where major changes in Congress come as regularly, mechanisms that protect the minority of the moment will look a lot better.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:08:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The filibuster is there for a reason (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rock the ground

          I so not support filibuster reform.  The filibuster is there for a reason.

          •  What's the reason? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            •  Protect the interests of the minority n/t (0+ / 0-)

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:57:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                Because the actual history of the filibuster is that it arose by accident, from the elimination of the previous question motion in 1806.

                The previous question motion allowed a simple majority to vote to end debate in the original Senate. But since the original Senators were such gentlemen, they never even dreamed of requiring any sort of supermajority to protect the interests of the minority just to get to a vote -- or even to start debate. They eliminated the motion from the rulebook because it was almost never used.

                The filibuster, it's often claimed, is used to protect the interests of the minority. But that's not the reason it's there.

                Besides, what right has the minority got to prevent something from being debated? From what foundational tenet of American democracy does that arise? It certainly runs counter to everything else the founders ever wrote on the subject.

                The minority already has the right to offer a motion to recommit on every bill, giving them the opportunity to offer the final amendment brought to the floor. Having the last word on every bill? That's pretty good protection if you ask me.

                •  Yes, really. (0+ / 0-)

                  As to the reason it's there, that's one of those tomato to-mah-to things.

                  Yes, it sprung from elimination of an earlier rule, but was codified with the cloture rule in 1917 -- requiring a 67 vote supermajority.

                  Like Ivory soap, the unexpected sometimes turns out to be good and useful.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 06:38:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, let's talk about that. (0+ / 0-)

                    Because in 1917 they didn't require a 67 vote supermajority. They required 2/3 of those present and voting, and there were only 47 states in the union at the time. That means there were 94 Senators, which in turn means that cloture could be invoked with as few as 32 Senators -- or 2/3 of a quorum.

                    The rules on cloture have been changed several times, the latest major revision coming in 1975, when the threshold was lowered to 3/5, but was counted as 3/5 of Senators "duly chosen and sworn," meaning that even in they were absent, they counted toward the total. That's where the current 60 vote requirement comes from.

                    That says to me that there's a lot less tomato/to-mah-to here than you think. In other words, it's not about originalism or any foundational commitment to the "interests of the minority." Now there's something you certainly won't find anywhere in the Constitution, if you're into that sort of argument.

                    What's more, the founders were pretty clear about what they thought about the needs of the minority. The "tyranny of the minority" was apparently something they knew a great deal about, having just scrapped the Articles of Confederation for that very reason.

                    •  Yes, you're right. (0+ / 0-)

                      I should have said a 2/3 supermajority.

                      My bad, but the point is correct: the original cloture rule was more stringent than the current rule --- and --- still represented an easing of the rules under which we managed to open up the West (also known as driving the natives from their lands), fight the Civil War, manage 40 acres and a Mule, enact a number of important amendments -- including those that otlawed slavery and brought former slaves into legal equality, etc,etc.

                      And -- hmmm! Where did I mention the founders?

                      Don't think I did.  As you (and everybody else in the world) correctly point out, the filibuster is not in the Constitution. It is a creation of Senate rules.

                      But guess what?
                      That's ok.
                      The founders intended for the Congress to pass laws, and intended for it to make the rules that govern its behavior.

                      So -- it's not like they are circumventing the Constitution. They exercised their Constitutional prerogative to institute rules that served a purpose they found useful.  

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 07:17:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  More stringent? (0+ / 0-)

                        I don't think that's necessarily the case. Two-thirds of those present and voting isn't always more stringent than three-fifths chosen and sworn.

                        No, you didn't mention the founders. But I don't think I have to wait for you to do it in order that I be allowed to.

                        What you mentioned was the reason the filibuster exists, which I've said was actually historical accident, and you've said was to protect the interests of the minority.

                        That sounded to me like you almost certainly believed that there was some actual and proactive thinking behind its creation. "Protecting the interests of the minority" would be something requiring premeditation of some sort, at least if it's actually a reason for something's existence.

                        So whose premeditation was it?

                        I haven't said they're circumventing the Constitution, either, speaking of invoking the "who said that?" rule. But I have discussed it elsewhere in the comments, so I'll repeat what I said there. If it's within the Senate's constitutional prerogative to establish rules that permit filibusters, it's within their prerogative to eliminate it. Which calls into question just how serious a tenet the "protection of the interests of the minority" really is, if it's something that can be gotten around so easily.

                        Now, on a slightly different point, although the Constitution reserves for each house the right to adopt its own rules of procedure, the question of whether or not the Constitution permits the entrenchment of those rules, allowing past Senates to bind future ones, is very different.

                        One of the arguments of those who believe the filibuster is unconstitutional is that the ancient prohibition against legislative entrenchment means that the combination of Rule XXII (cloture) and Rule V (continuance of the rules) creates a paradox that's incompatible with Article I, Section 5 (the right of each house to adopt rules of procedure). The practical effect of the paradox right now is that 98 out of the 100 current Senators have never had an opportunity to vote on whether or not they wish to continue the operation of what's become the single most important and restrictive rule the body has.

                        In other words, their question is, if each house has the constitutional right to adopt its own rules of procedure, why is the 111th Senate forced to operate under the cloture rules of the 94th Senate?

                        •  Strange argument when you consider that the (0+ / 0-)

                          rules around filibuster have been changed at least twice -- once in 1917 to codify them, and once in 1975 to change them to the 60 of the duly sworn.

                          However arcane the procedures may be, sounds like the Senate, if it really wanted to, could change the rule.

                          So far, it hasn't really wanted to.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 08:16:25 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Is it such a strange argument? (0+ / 0-)

                            It's actually the foundation for the argument that underlay both of those historical changes, and some in between.

                            The reason they were able to make those changes is precisely because the Senate recognized the inherent paradox, and reform proponents were able to use that to force opponents to accept changes as an alternative to leveraging the logical extension of that recognition to eliminate the filibuster entirely.

                            They didn't change the rules because everyone came to the realization that they really, really wanted to work together. They changed the rules because pointing out the paradox enabled reformers to force a choice between that paradox erasing the filibuster, or adopting instead the genteel fiction that they were adopting changes under the existing, entrenched rules. In exchange for opponents agreeing to change their votes on reform, proponents agreed to waive their right to ending debate with a simple majority vote. That's how those changes were implemented.

                            The problem entrenchment presents, however, is that it creates this additional, artificial and troublesome layer to a procedure that's supposed to belong to the Senate to exercise as a matter of constitutional right. If you examine the full history of cloture reform, you'll see that it often took decades not just to get the votes needed to make the change, but just to refine the parliamentary procedure to the point where the request was properly put to the chair so that reform proponents could leverage what's supposed to be their constitutional right.

                            That's a pretty difficult position to have to defend. That it should take the Senate twenty years of trying just to figure out its own convoluted procedure for making a rules change?

                          •  Difficult and slow does not equal impossible or (0+ / 0-)


                            The founders weren't opposed to the idea that some things shouldn't happen in a hurry.

                            Constitutional amendments requires a 2/3 majority in Congress (OK -- you could gather up a constitutional convention and bypass Congress, but you'd still need 2/3 of that) and then ratification by 3//4 of the state legislatures.

                            Sounds hard and slow to me.

                            Even judicial appointments -- federal judges serving for life -- could be viewed as one Senate (they confirm) imposing its will on subsequent Senates who can't remove the judges to install their own favorites.

                            And, of course, the Senate is designed to be the "go slow" body, less subject to the whims of public sentiment than the House.  They serve longer terms than even the President, and weren't even directly elected until the 20th century.

                            So, I guess I'm not impressed by "It's too hard and takes too long".

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 09:12:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I don't actually say it's unconsitutional. (0+ / 0-)

                            Constitutional amendments do require a 2/3 majority in Congress.

                            Tell us why.

                            And yes, the Senate is said to be designed to be the "go slow" body. (Though the filibuster takes the "go" part out of it.) Tell us how.

                            You begin to, by mentioning that the terms are longer, and by mentioning that Senators once were not directly elected.

                            But all the things you mention in support of your argument are explicitly laid out in the Constitution. Yet the end part of your argument is that there's constitutional support for this latter day invention that was somehow overlooked by the founders, then wisely "added" by accident later on, which led to the invention of a process of obstruction not actually discovered for another 40 years, at minimum.

                            It's really not all that hard to find out what the founders really thought about the minority veto. Hamilton was pretty explicit about it. It was the reason he advocated abandoning the Articles of Confederation and adopting the Constitution.

                            So, I guess I'm not impressed by "well, it's sort of in the Constitution," when in fact eliminating the minority veto from Congress was the chief purpose of adopting the Constitution.

                          •  Chief purpose of the Constitution? (0+ / 0-)

                            Wow. Learn something new every day.

                            And there I was thinking the weakness of the central government and difficulty of collecting revenue played a role.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:44:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, happy birthday. (0+ / 0-)

                            You never bothered to ask why the Articles of Confederation produced a weak central government that couldn't collect revenue?


                            Because it's pretty well universally understood that those failures stemmed not only from the poor design of the Articles' framework, but from the requirement for a supermajority (in fact, unanimity) in order to adopt any changes to them in order to address its deficiencies. It's what led Hamilton to write in Federalist 22:

                            To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision) is in its tendency to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser number. Congress from the non-attendance of a few States have been frequently in the situation of a Polish Diet, where a single veto has been sufficient to put a stop to all their movements. A sixtieth part of the Union, which is about the proportion of Delaware and Rhode-Island, has several times been able to oppose an intire bar to its operations. This is one of those refinements which in practice has an effect, the reverse of what is expected from it in theory. The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it, has been founded upon a supposition that it would contribute to security. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.

                            And more succinctly:

                            It is often, by the impracticability of obtaining the concurrence of the necessary number of votes, kept in a state of inaction. Its situation must always savour of weakness--sometimes border upon anarchy.

                            It was why they abandoned the Articles.

                          •  Yes. Unanimity. (0+ / 0-)

                            I suppose it could be characterized as a supermajority run wild, but, given the amendment procedure, it can't be said that the founders were completely opposed to the idea.

                            For that matter, I wonder if Bill Clinton (not to mention Andrew Johnson) might not have been thankful for the 2/3 supermajority required to convict an impeached President?

                            The big issue with the filibuster is that it has become routine, in part because the mere whisper of "filibuster" has the same effect these days.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:05:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. Unanimity, or... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it...

                            You left that part of Hamilton's writing out.

                            You wonder if Bill Clinton might not have been thankful for the 2/3 supermajority required to convict an impeached president?

                            That's your offer here? Seriously? Yet another exception explicitly enumerated in the plain text of the Constitution? Really?

                            Yes, the big issue with the filibuster is that it has become routine. That's actually kind of why people are proposing reforming it. So that it's harder to do than just whisper about.

      •  That's a tardy for the President isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        output, chicago expat

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:13:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  oops... Not positive, (0+ / 0-)

      and supports a false argument that your alternative; elect the noise and distraction if you persist, is going to move your ball of political arguments and issues farther down the field all the while rejecting progress made in the face of an AMerican political process that is chained by the very alternative sitting down will be chastised 24 x 7 for putting in power; once again-  aka your feeding your demoralization and you may not be emotive free to realize it yet...

      Purists are pissed; I am one of them like you,but I listened and watched the president on TDS last night, and I read the transcript, and I live the impact of Rahm HCR AHIP et al, I being hetero w/2Moms I live the impact of agonizingly slow equal protection for all, and I know my pet issue; halting the cooking of the balance of the planet for greed and wealth for only the killers amongst us is not moving one iota at all-

      My narcissism ended last night because this election is being treated like the last one for all time, but in reality, there will be two more till the next time we slow time, and slow motion animate head stomping times seventeen

      Grab a broom, quit being a witch, but if you insist not; please change your attitude away from supreme narcissism at least until Wednesday, because you influence others intentions, and you know you have that power, at least as much as 50,000 gnats up your ass of "Incremental Change" can muster, which is frustrating beyond belief for you and rubs off on We, but treating the last two years like it is the Last Stand© and pouting off while not piping down is not the kind of broom etiquette that needs to be heard right now-

      Peace; grab a wooden or fibre handled dirt centralizer please... or drink long from your eloquent cup of STFU-

      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:33:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they'll do it if they win so we should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While it makes me extra scared of a teabagger Senate they're going to do this if they get in so we should do it when we win. Time to stop bringing a nice suit to the knife fight.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:08:58 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to see numbers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Matt Z, FistJab

      on how many times Republicans have used the filibuster to block legislation, and how many times the Dems have.

      "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

      by Miep on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:19:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a problem with that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is the threat of the filibuster stops things too. You only see the part of the iceberg above water.

      •  Where have you been the past two years. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        Have you not seen what the Republicans have done the past two years?  We had, at one point, 60 senators, but because the current filibuster rules mean you need 60 votes just to bring something to the floor for debate - not vote, just debate - people like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and others, the worst, most corrupt, most self-serving members of the Senate Democratic caucus, were granted a sort of relevance that they should not have had.  Public option in HCR?  Not if Ben Nelson has anything to say about it.  Oh, you finally talked Ben Nelson into playing ball?  Joe Lieberman would like to talk to you now.

        There was no reason why health care reform needed to take over a year to pass (and very nearly didn't happen at all).  None.  It took that long because of the Senate's idiotic rules.  And now it's our people getting blamed for nothing being done.  So while I can kind of get where you're coming from with the pitiful sort of goal-line defense Senate Democrats played during the Bush administration, it simply does not compare to the mindless obstruction the Republicans did in the 111th Congress.  It just doesn't.  So I am not interested in the slightest in the "numbers," and I'm surprised that you would be.  Why?  So you can defend the Republicans?

        FWIW, the number of filibusters in the 110th Congress was roughly double that of any given Congress during the Bush 43 era.

        No tears for millionaires.

        by Steaming Pile on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Chances are (0+ / 0-)

          The Senate will slash SS next term. They will steamroller as someone down thread pointed out.

          This reflects poor poor timing on Obama's part. Why not propose this before running for President while he was in Senate?

          Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

          by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 06:55:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sucko comment (0+ / 0-)

          Lots of jumping to conclusions and unwarranted hostility there, dude.

          Be easier just to answer the question. Is it just Republicans who abuse the filibuster privilege, or do Dems do it too? It always seems to be Republicans doing it.

          Since you apparently need to have everything spelled out for you; if the above is the case, that argues well for ending the filibuster. At least to some extent.

          "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

          by Miep on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:21:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A Filibuster is just another way to say FU... n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, elwior

    "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

    by Mr SeeMore on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:10:02 AM PDT

  •  Harry Reid talked about it with Rachel tonight. (13+ / 0-)

    He 'said' that filibuster reform needs to be addressed, also, too.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:10:32 AM PDT

    •  Harkin and Shaheen tried in February (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Salo, MTmofo, midwestblue

      to introduce a bill to reform the filibuster - Dodd vehemently opposed it. I'm not sure who, other than Dick Durbin, signed on to cosponsor the bill.

      So, if Obama is sincere about this, it is welcome news although a bit late in the game to do any good.

      "If DADT is going to end, the President could stop enforcement of that policy, pending that change. Why isn't he?" - Rachel Maddow

      by Ginger1 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:13:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No real chance to do it until January. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, MTmofo, Matt Z, mconvente, WineRev

        Well, that's true insofar as adhering to traditional practice goes, anyway. The real opportunity to make a change like this comes at the beginning of a new Congress -- at which time Dodd won't be in the Senate.

        And there are a number of Senators on board with reform. There are even several competing proposals that have been introduced. Lautenberg has one. Bennet has one. Harkin has one. And just recently, Mark Udall introduced one.

      •  You need 67 votes to change the filibuster during (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the Senate session. You need 51 in January before the next session starts.

        President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

        by askew on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:39:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah that was a good interview- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, MTmofo

      Rachel is peaking these days,, which allows the interviewee to let their guard down a bit, and it sure showed during the Murkowski, McAdams, Miller and Reid interviews-

      I also really enjoyed her SHaron Angle not interview with the Gun store owner... The way she kept his reuptation intact amidst Angle's cries for violent uprisings with high powered musketts-  Gun store owner got real reasonable real fast and showed a lot of intestinal fortitude to stay in the interview with her; now a premier national media figure all though arguably the competition, on her network and others, are weak except for the guy who gave Rachel her job-  Rachel does that human respect thing so well, and I appreciate it in the big political figure interviews, as well as the Gun store owner running for state office interviews-

      If you didn't see Rachel and the Gun Store owner interview, I would beam ovr to MaddowBlog and check it out...  Possibly more enlightening than an Angle interview would have been; if Miller and O'Donnell are used as barometres-

      Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

      by RF on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:52:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does it take 60 votes to pass fillibuster reform? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Miep

    If.. so, we can put that in the bin with DADT, Immigration Reform and pretty much everything... and War Funding.

    Oh except raising the retirement to 70 for SS. No line in the sand drawn there.

    I'm sure Obama will get enough bipartisan support for that one... especially since the Republicans want to see him fail and loose re-election.

    "Trying to hold back the revision of history is always a good thing." -- Peter Christopherson

    by jethrock on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:18:41 AM PDT

  •  Global political observers are predicting (12+ / 0-)

    ...complete government paralysis in Washington through 2012, which bodes poorly for working class Americans.

    Political blockage at the Federal level -- at a time when there is a heavy reliance on federal funding of the entire US economy -- will highlight the Fed’s impotence in the face of an imploding economy. This is trigger the international reluctance to finance US deficits and will push the country into mandatory austerity.


    I've been turning this over in my mind, trying to see a way out -- a way to avoid the paralysis, which will give the rest of the world unprecedented control over our economy and the quality of life for most Americans.

    A change in the filibuster rule in January is really the only way to beat the odds.

    •  You assume the Dems want things to change. (4+ / 0-)

      I think it's pretty clear how things are going to be.  Did you see the Dem majorities and Dem prez of the last two years do a single thing to turn things around?  They bailed out the banksters, refused to help everyone else at every turn.  Enacted a POS health insurance bill that guarantees the insurance companies mega profits, doing nothing to reduce costs.  Now they want to fuck with SS and Medicare.  They are all on the same side.  

      I wouldn't doubt if they did do filibuster reform now so that they have the cover for letting the country completely and finally go straight to hell.

      •  Some Democrats, and all Republicans (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, midwestblue, output

        Unfortunately those "some Democrats" are more able to secure leadership positions for themselves.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:45:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Freepersville that way =====> (8+ / 0-)

        Get in Gear. 2010 or Bust.
        Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

        by amk for obama on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:46:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't like the timing of the Deficit Commission (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, midwestblue

          ...reports, come January. This is going to be a bottom-up belt tightening, not a top-down one. People say some pretty impolitic things these days, but damn, I think they can smell real trouble on the horizon and are looking around to see how they got here.

          •  Bottom-Up Tightening (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is right on the mark. Deficits for you and me and profits for the wealthy, coming soon to a Democratically-controlled lame duck session near you. Obama and Wall Street get their wish and we get screwed. It's beyond cruel--it's sociopathic.

        •  If it makes you feel better. (5+ / 0-)

          Call me a troll or lead me to freeperville.  Got news for ya, I am one of millions.  Why are Dems in danger in this election?  Not because of me, I assure you.  You know the old saying. You can fool some of the people...

          •  He doesn't get that, though. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, Jazzenterprises

            I've been involved in GOTV efforts for about a month-plus now, and I've already voted.

            But should we happen to lose seats (which we will: it's a given in a midterm), folks like reliable ol' amk are going to come loaded for bear on November 3rd, desperate to point a finger at administration critics.

            Corporate Dog

            We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

            by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:40:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You'd be more at home there. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, mightymouse

          Freepers don't brook dissent, either.

          Corporate Dog

          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:42:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your pet peeves aren't 'dissent' by any stretch. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            They're just whines.

            Get in Gear. 2010 or Bust.
            Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

            by amk for obama on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:49:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's adorable when you punch at the Big Tent... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jazzenterprises, FistJab

              ... like that.

              "Don't pick on mah Preznit!"

              We won't, Angry Internet Fanboy. We won't.

              Corporate Dog

              We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

              by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:58:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Angry internet boy ? Projecting too much ? (0+ / 0-)

                Simmer down "boy". This is just a frigging blog, not your school playground.

                Get in Gear. 2010 or Bust.
                Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

                by amk for obama on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:19:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sure you'd love it if it were a playground. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Doesn't like dissent? Check.

                  Wants to dictate what the meaning of dissent is? Check.

                  With the authoritatian vibes you're throwing off, I figure we're not too far off from me having to put a check next to "Feels that curbstomping is a credible way to 'curb' dssent?"

                  Corporate Dog

                  We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

                  by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:28:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, your whines are not dissent. (0+ / 0-)

                    Suggest go see a doctor. You seem to have projection issues.

                    Get in Gear. 2010 or Bust.
                    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

                    by amk for obama on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:37:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Tim Proffit? Is that you? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I hearby tender, "You seem to have projection issues." as the "Now stay down!" of internet debate.

                      Both prove how impotent the speaker is, when they're used as a means to stifle dissent.

                      What issues do you feel strongly about, afk? And "winning seats" isn't an issue: it's a means to an end. I'm curious if you've ever actually thought about what that end is.

                      Corporate Dog

                      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

                      by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:48:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you a green party troll? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, eastvan, moonpal

        One thing you gotta give rich people credit for. They might have nearly all the money but they are really stingy about spending it, so, nobody benefits.

        by bluefaction on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:48:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The 'Deficit' Commision's report (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          will be binned and recycled in a bout five Washington minutes.

          Catfood Commission=Red Herring.

          it tastes like burning...

          by eastvan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:58:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We'll see. But it doesn't look good. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            midwestblue, FistJab

            The Dems are for austerity, for the little people, of course.  And the Republicans have always been for it.  So what do you think the final outcome will be?  Obama can't even commit to not raising the retirement age.  I have zero faith.  Why should I.

            •  Raising the retirement age to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              70 is not going to happen. It makes for great jabber and fills up space with noise, but it is not realistic. 68 year old construction workers? 69 year old pilots?
              At a time when young workers can't break into the labor force?

              Not going to happen. But it does make for great jabber.

              it tastes like burning...

              by eastvan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 02:47:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Retirement age is *already* too high (0+ / 0-)

                66, going up to 67 for the "younger set". Yes you can get cut-rate benefits at 62 - but that just means you have to stretch out less money for a longer time.

                Think they're going to blink at 70? Nawww, they'll just point out the "early retirement at 62" loophole - maybe even offer a HARDER cut for retirement at 60. And then laugh all the way to the bank.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 09:13:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It's entering in the midst of a Perfect Storm (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Salo, mightymouse


            Dollar devaluation, inflation, massive debt, negative interest rates on Treasuries, growing reluctance of other nations to finance our deficits, a bankrupt consumer class, total government paralysis.

            I see no other choice but to starve the American middle class -- to make up the difference.

            It's not like anyone is going to bail us out. We're a danger to the global economy.

        •  That was m initial thought as he appears to be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, xanthippe2, moonpal

          quite the purist. And I wish some would at least save their negativity until next Wedneday. Then we will have plenty of time to talk about it.

          Most of us are very busy with contacting Voters, volunteering, on the phone, not conceding anything, not giving up, and energized.

          Not one vote has been counted. Not one person has been declared a winner of the election. Election Day is Tuesday not yesterday. We have not lost one seat yet.

          I would be more patient with people who are more purist and sympathize with them more AFTER the election.  Now we need people to stay focused on Tuesday and GOTV and getting everyone to the polls..much work to do.

          I have not given up in 35 years before any election, I am not going to start now.

    •  Nothing like paralysis of Government... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RF, wishingwell, Pluto, mconvente, scotths

      to encourage investment and financial confidence. Republicans really do have the  best interests in mind...for the GOP, that is. Screw the country.

      Party First, Country Second.

      And they actually think that will give them power back? Beyond any of their fantasies of this year, but '12?

      I don't think they can protect the inpeneratble smoke screen of bullshit they have laid for another two years. It might be thick now....but it will be dissipated as soon as their intransigance, fueled by teeper amatuerism starts to cause real pain.

      When the check is not in the mail, the GOP will fracture. And it will be a very brutal fissure.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  bright fyres burn quickly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        " will be a very brutal fissure."

        Fake fueled ones always do; what did Hank call butane;  Bastard Gas?

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:05:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It will be VERY hard after the election to change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the filibuster rules. The optics of lowering the threshold to pass a bill after losing seats are just terrible. They're just going to hammer us over that.

    That's not to say it doesn't need to be done; there's never going to be a GOOD time to do it.

  •  Speaking of filibuster reform.... (0+ / 0-)
    Where's the diary Scott McAdams & his campaign have been promising for weeks on the subject?

    "When all you have is an assault rifle every problem looks like a target." - Something the Dog Said

    by PvtJarHead on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:32:37 AM PDT

  •  Finally!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One thing you gotta give rich people credit for. They might have nearly all the money but they are really stingy about spending it, so, nobody benefits.

    by bluefaction on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:33:04 AM PDT

  •  This quote by Indian author Anrundhati Roy (6+ / 0-)

    provides me with a small sense of hope.  

    "Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

    The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

    Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

    Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

    She is currently being sought for arrest under charges of sedition (not for this quote specifically, but for openly supporting Kashmiri separatist movement.

  •  Hmm. When exactly did the Democrats use the (12+ / 0-)

    filibuster during Bush's time??? I seem to remember that they were threatening the appointment of three judges, but the R's threatened the "nuclear option," and the D's ran away with the tails between their legs.

    Why does Obama have to put blame on our side "in fairness"? This just feed into the false equivalency problem. Let's be more accurate here. The Democrats almost never used it under Bush (I wish they had!). The Republicans use it for everything.

    Vampire Girl by Zoltan Abraham - Look for it on

    by Zoltan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:36:41 AM PDT

    •  He didn't blame our side (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He said our side mhas found it useful

      You read what he said through your own filibuster=obstruction filter

      One thing you gotta give rich people credit for. They might have nearly all the money but they are really stingy about spending it, so, nobody benefits.

      by bluefaction on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 12:51:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He talked about the filibuster being a problem (10+ / 0-)

        and he said that "to be fair" the Democrats also used it during the time of Bush. Once again, he is trying to be balanced, trying to be the gentleman.

        But the Democrats ran in terror from the filibuster during the time of Bush. If the R's had needed 60 votes for everything, we would not have had a lot of things.

        Vampire Girl by Zoltan Abraham - Look for it on

        by Zoltan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:05:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is he just thick? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Or was he just saying it for a tactical reason? I don't remember the Dems in the Senate ever stopping a vote.

          Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

          by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:08:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Get with the program (0+ / 0-)

            The Word of the Day is Dense, as is exquisitely demonstrated in this Diary

            guess you [Obama] are politically dense.
            because you are politically dense
            to show me you are dense
            Mr President you are dense
            the leader of our party is politically dense
            The President and his political team are dense
            He is dense.
            I called him out for being dense
            He is dense
            It comes across as dense
            he came across as dense
            but he is dense

            Thick is not the Word of the Day until Monday. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

            One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble ... Murray Head

            by virginislandsguy on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:04:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  He also said that Republicans have used (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          the Filibuster in unprecedented amounts. He took the time to emphasize that While Democrats have used it, Republicans use it excessively. I guess you missed that part.

    •  He either dissembling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, output

      Or he being glib.

      It's a bit late to suggest such a rule change. He was a Senator a while back and didn't make a peep on this issue.

      I agree that the filibuster  go but the oportunity to pass liberal laws has now passed for thr next 15 years.  

      Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

      by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:07:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we can keep the House or get it back in 1012 (0+ / 0-)

        and we change the filibuster rule, we can still get some progressive legislation in Obama's first four years. The question is, do they actually want to pass such legislation?

        Vampire Girl by Zoltan Abraham - Look for it on

        by Zoltan on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 08:28:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods

  •  I'll beat my head against a wall (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in frustration if Democrats reform the filibuster now. Yeah, it would have been VERY this past term when they had 59-60 seats, but in order to get anything passed they had to spend months massaging Lieberman's ego, sucking up to Snowe, bribing blue dogs with barrels of pork, etc. All to pass a bill that's so watered down, its nearly worthless.

    But now they're going to have 52 or so seats, which means that with filibuster reform, for every single bill, they're going to have to spend months massaging Lieberman's ego, sucking up to Snowe, bribing blue dogs with barrels of pork, etc.  And all they'll ever manage to do is pass a few nearly-worthless watered down bills.

    I'll just take the 2 years of gridlock, if you don't mind.  It'll be a whole lot less frustrating, and then we'll at least be able to point fingers at Republicans for blocking anything from getting done. That's a whole lot better than where we are now, where we're going into an election stuck with responsibility for bloated bills that don't do much and supporters who aren't going to show up to vote because they're pissed off at the sausage making.

    Seriously, lets let the Republicans take the ball on the 'getting things done' thing for a while. Its not going to happen either way, and at least it won't be the Democrat's fault.

    •  There are positives and negatives (0+ / 0-)

      The negatives are exactly what you have stated here plus down the road, the Republicans could be the majority in the Senate and with a Republican President. Together they could completely ruin this country beyond all recognition. That does bother me.

      The Positive is that it gives us a chance to get DADT repealed and Immigration reform and some other bills that are badly needed that will be good for this country.

      So I admit, I am often torn on the subject as I see both sides.  

  •  The Senate needs to change their rules (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, mconvente, FistJab

    as soon as they can after the election or they can forget about getting anything done.

    Does anyone know if the Senate can act on bills that the House has already passed when the new session starts in Jan?

    If they could it would be a great way to bypass a possible batshit crazy Boner led Rethug House.

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:33:27 AM PDT

  •  Well if he said it, he must mean it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Corporate Dog, sigsauerdude

    It's not like he's ever lied to us before.  Oh and remember, "oil rigs today don't generally cause spills".  Obama told us that, so we can believe it too.

    When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority...

    by Thought Crime on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:29:25 AM PDT

  •  Harry Reid made similar noises on Maddow... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... last night.

    I'll believe it when I see it. If either or both of them wanted it, it should've been one of the first things they tackled (passionately, if such a thing is even possible) as it lays down groundwork for everything else that follows.

    Corporate Dog

    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 03:39:18 AM PDT

  •  should have been able to figure this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Salo, mightymouse, FistJab

    out two years ago. filibuster in our "house of lords" has played a huge role in blocking any true legislative reforms.

  •  Effectively late (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, sigsauerdude

    This is something that should have been pushed for while thd GOP held thd Senate back in the 00s.

    It's too fucking late now.

    Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

    by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:01:52 AM PDT

  •  Way too late (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Salo, mightymouse, Vega, DerekNJ
    Assuming we hold the Senate, we'll barely have enough senators to cover a simple majority. Whatever, more good news for that asshole Lieberman.

    p.s. Watched some of Obama on the Daily Show. I think the guy has done a very good job at legislating, not so good at communicating. And why do I always get the feeling he's more pissed off at the left than at the Rethugs?

  •  His talking points seem quite familiar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, DerekNJ

    Felt like DK flame war speak, especially the Social Security analogy. Makes you wonder just how coordinated the messaging from the Whitehouse is.

    The cave, the Matrix, America.

    by Grassee on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:09:37 AM PDT

  •  unilateral disarmament is never a good idea (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Salo, mightymouse, mconvente, Vega

    OK, so just as the democrats eschewed filibustering America-destroying republican policy during the bush years when Dems were out of power, now they are begging to give up the only power they have to fight the republicans when the republicans are regaining their power to hurt America.

    Great idea Barry.

    The time to fight the filibuster was TWO YEARS AGO!

    Now it's going to hurt us.

    Just like Obama. A day late and a dollar short. Always giving away the policy that gives you power just when it hurts US the most.

    Obama has never gotten over the belief that if he just gives his enemies a little more than they ask for they'll love him. He's never learned that all the republicans want from him is the destruction of America's soul and everything it means to be an American. You can't give away more because they're already asking for everything.

    He talks a good game, but he's never really learned how to fight to win.

    •  That Onion article ought to have included (0+ / 0-)

      Him. We vow to go on cowering and running from every useful thing we've ever done!

      Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

      by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:20:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't let that worry you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      You can try to keep it all you want, but the next Republican majority will eat it for breakfast, and in the meantime, you will have been sitting there, unable to pass anything, just waiting to be victimized.

      •  That only works if Obama promises to veto (0+ / 0-)

        Which I can see he will not. He'll be bipartisan, in the worst possible way.

        Obama will be Clegg to Boehner's Cameron/ Osbourne.

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:30:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  Virtually anything Boehner asks him to sign. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

            by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:43:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What would the veto have to do with that? (0+ / 0-)

              I said that you could try to keep the filibuster all you wanted, but that the Republicans will just eliminate it when it gets in their way.

              That hasn't got anything to do with the veto.

              •  The veto is the last line of defense. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The filibuster is the penultimate line.

                They are clearly interelated.

                This just isn't a great issue to announce a few days before a potential loss of the House and a possible loss of the Senate. It would have been useful to hear Obama talk like this pre 2008 when it might have done some good.

                This just seems like it's clearing the way for draconian spending cuts on the poor.

                Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

                by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 07:00:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nobody announced it yesterday. (0+ / 0-)

                  I've been working with reform interests on it for a year and a half.

                  The veto is the last line of defense. Fine.

                  The filibuster is considered by some the penultimate line. Wonderful.

                  The line before that is actually winning a vote.

                  And before that, winning elections.

                  Spend more time worrying about earlier lines of defense, and less resting comfortably on the cushion of last lines. Especially last lines that can be erased by majority vote.

                  That's just not wise.

  •  Holy Snoozefest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    C'mon people can we need to get some eye of the tiger

  •  Big step forward? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, mconvente

    You say, "This is a big step forward for the campaign to reform the filibuster."

    Really?  Obama just mentioning it is a big step forward?  I would understand this kind of thought 2 years ago (when we thought he and Congress would do everything that was promised), but damn, this is VERY naive.

    Obama has learned that mentioning progressives' pet causes makes them happy in the short term.  Then, when he doesn't deliver, he blames it on the Republicans.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

    •  Yes, it actually is. (0+ / 0-)

      The discussion of filibuster reform is just approaching critical mass among the only constituency that really matters on the subject: Senators.

      But there are still a few who've been reluctant to entertain the discussion seriously, despite knowing that their colleagues are already talking about it. You can guess who they are, and the plain fact is that the Senators who are the prime movers behind this know it hasn't been worth talking to them about it just yet.

      But having the president openly discussing it changes the nature of the issue. It's still up to them, and they're still the only constituency that counts. But now it moves to a different level, when it gets the White House's attention. Yes, there are still Senators who operate that way. A bit old fashioned, but so is the Senate.

      •  Moderizing the Senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        While a weak President holds office (ideologically weak) coupled with a GOP house fills me with Bipartisan dread.

        America will have an unholy alliance of Obama and Boehner running things just like Cameron and Clegg in the UK.

        The GOP axe men make the rules and Obama is their front man.

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:27:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's going to happen. (0+ / 0-)

          It can happen with this Democratic president, or with the next Republican one. But it's happening.

          Sit there and wait for it, or try to do something while you're waiting.

          If you're for sitting there and crying until it's your turn to be pushed off the cliff, I'll take the other side.

          •  Crying? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Do you hear sobbing or something?

            The only time they suspend a minority right/rule is of course the moment that they wish to shove through draconian spening cuts.  There will be no oppostion from Obamas veto pen either.

            I'd not be surprised to see a few defections of the Blue Dlog Senate over to the GOP side in Nov and December.

            Where are my supposed tears?  

            Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

            by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:41:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wow less than 100 comments (0+ / 0-)

    on this "hot topic". A brainy topic for educated folks. Filibuster reform.

    This morning I woke with thoughts of Progressives getting their heads stepped on and Rove telling me that I'm Saddam Hussein. (I can only presume he wants to kill me, too).

    And here we have a clearly scripted message from the Democrats about congressional rules. This is all part of Obama's campaign to get the things he wants in a shameful and secretive way because Progressive ideas are shameful and dirty and should be approved by Landrieu.

    Here in Dallas we have Stefani with an "i" running against another shame-filled "d" whose campaign slogan is "I'm a bipartisan!". And after I heard her say this on teh radio I took her goddamn sign out of my yard.

  •  Harry doesn't have the balls. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Steaming Pile

    The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 04:55:01 AM PDT

    •  Or, judging by the latest polls... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, Steaming Pile

      The time to do it either.  I mean, really, how shitty must a guy be to lose to Sharron Angle?  

      •  Yeah, that's pretty bad. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steaming Pile

        On the other hand, Schumer would probably do it in a minute.

        The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

        by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:03:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I will defend Reid. Why, Dems are their worst (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, Steaming Pile


        NV has been run by GOPers for years, but who were they able to turn the race on, Reid and Pres Obama.

        Ensign nothing.  The gov there, nothing, yet Dems are losing?

        In MI, MI is doing better financially, but Dems in MI cant wait to get a TBGOPer in. In MS, IM, SC, FL, TX, OH-where GOPers decimated this state for over 20yrs, yet 4 yrs later they want the same people back. Why are these states not having problems throwing the GOPers out when they ran the states, simple, Dems are angry at pres Obama.

        It's totally disjointed.  GOPers hardly abandon ship but Dems run away and condemn their own.  You doubt what I say, look at what is happening in WI?  Finegold should never be losing or behind.  Look at FL, Alex Sink, a ROGUE is leading in the polls.  FL Dems, will lose to this thief?

        •  It is a matter of marketing. (0+ / 0-)

          The right has successfully marketed their brand as John Wayne type, rugged, business like, responsible, in contrast to the wimpy, feelings based left.  It is totally ridiculous and full of crap but that is the deal.  I know this from listening to the non-politicals in my life.  They don't vote but seem to side with the right during discussions because they perceive that the right is strong and capable.  When I point out evidence to the contrary they kind of back off but I know that the perception is stronger than the reality and their mind is not really changed.  We are conditioned to make snap judgements because of the advertising blitz we live with, grow up with.  It is ingrained in our thought process to decide based on initial information that is subltly injected into our brains.  That initial information builds a strong foundation that is hard to break down.  Facts simply do not matter.  This is not something I have studied or gathered data on, just my own observation of puzzling phenomena.    

          •  Marketed to their TBGOPers. But I am told the (0+ / 0-)

            TBGOPers are low information voters but not progressives, right?  Then why are progressives buying the sale job? Perhaps, "too" smart for their own good?  Hate pres Obama and TBGOPers will deliver?

            In any of those states I had mentioned, there are more than enough votes to win.

            Dems eat their own time after time.

      •  The Navada real estate market cratered (0+ / 0-)

        Lots of unemployment, lots of fortunes lost.

        He gets it in the neck.

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:22:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Swallowing MSM narrative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Hook line and sinker. Why are you accepting the media narrative about the NEvada race?

        I suggest you read this diary before concluding that Reid is losing to Angle.

        •  That's not a MSM narrative... (0+ / 0-)

          Reid has been anemic as a majority leader.  And the math and logic in that diary is fuzzy, at best.  Is it possible Reid will win?  Sure.  Does he deserve to based on his performance thus far? No.

  •  Bull Crap. Dems are the most fatuous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    legislators in congress, especially in the senate.

    During Clinton, there was an uptick in the usage of the Filibuster by GOPers.  Then when Jeffers switched, another uptick.  Then during the Bush debacle, 8-9 times Cheney was used to cast the 51st vote the most in our history.

    VP Biden tout his 36 yrs in the senate, the question to me, what has he learned from the senate? Pres Obama was in the senate for almost 4yrs, what did he learn?  He came from the state senate, again, what did he learn?  

    That is why, the Obama team has had problems breaking the system.  They didn't want to break the system.  The GOPers understood that.  Knowing that Pres Obama doesn't want DRAMA, Mitch McConnell did a masterful job by making sure his group spoke in one voice, NO.  Since Pres Obama doesn't want to make the GOPers defend their obstructionism, a vacuum was created.  When you get agreement with Snowe, Collins, Lugar, Graham and many others and they go back on their words, why did the pres and VP Biden keep theirs?

    It made them lose in the eyes of Dems.  Press see lack of respect.  Fox pound and indies see weakness. Over all, a PINATA for everyone and the public lose faith.

    I have written about these things before.  Until Dems learn that GOPers ONLY love Power not Governing, hoping for GOPers to put country first will never happened.  The last GOPer presidents that tried were Ike and Nixon.

    Dems wake up.

    As for the rank and files of Dems, we don't stay in the gain long enough.  GOPers never give up.  Look at their tenacity in watering down Roe V Wade.  ERA didn't pass.  Today, women are on the defensive.  Few weeks ago a woman was punched by a TBGOPer.  Three days ago, another was stomped.  Where are the outrage by the national women's group?

    Many TBGOPers say Man up and Palin added Cajones, a Spanish pejorative word, where were women saying enough?

    We fight amongst ourselves but we don't stay enough in the game to get our side sustaining agenda.

    Few days left in the game, before the elections.  Are we going to come out or not?  Do we have what it takes?  Are we who we say we are?

    So please, lets get out there and vote and stomp the TBGOPers on Nov 2 2010.

  •  What happens when the Republican own the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

    I think we need the filibuster.

    •  They'll use the nuclear option. (0+ / 0-)

      We don't have the guts.

      The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

      by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they could have used it last time (0+ / 0-)

        even when they felt like they had a "permanent majority".

        Why? because the realists in the party realized that they would need it some day too.  I'm sure there would be a lot of hard questions like "if we get rid of the filibuster now, what happens if Obama gets re-elected and Dems retake control in 2012"  It won't be pretty for them.

    •  They could well remove it. (0+ / 0-)

      All by themselves.

      The GOP plus Bluedogs could easily remove it. Add a few Obama people and hey presto 70 votes.

      In principle I oppose thd filibuster but announcing this on the eve of likely defeats and a possible hand over of the Senate majority is peculiar.

      It sounds like a way to drive through draconian budget cuts.

      Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

      by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:37:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the budget isn't subject to the filibuster.

        Debate on the budget resolution is time-limited by statute to 50 hours, so it can't be filibustered.

        That's already taken care of.

        •  Blah blah blah (0+ / 0-)

          SS though it isn't part of the fiscal budget is part of ordinary people's budget.

          Don't get technical on the issue of cuts.

          Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

          by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 06:49:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't get technical? (0+ / 0-)

            It's ALL technical. This is a discussion of procedural reform.

            I doubt very much whether saying "don't get technical" is going to help you very much when it's time to actually make some decisions and hold some votes.

            Legislative process is mechanical. If you can't "get technical," you're going to lose every single time.

            •  Do you think (0+ / 0-)

              That perhaps Obama might be in agreement that SS needs to be slashed and that removing the filibuster is a key element of those cuts?

              That's the nitty gritty point.

              After two years of seeing incremental progress I tend to view his shifts with suspicion.

              The time to remove thd filibuster was 2008.  

              Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

              by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 07:25:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Financially, this country is so f*cked. (0+ / 0-)

                We need to ELIMIMATE the military or we're going bankrupt.

              •  I don't know. (0+ / 0-)

                But that's only your nitty gritty point. It's not mine.

                The time to remove the filibuster was 2008. But as you may have noticed, it is no longer 2008. And if the filibuster was antiquated two years ago, it's surely only more antiquated now. I'm not sure that's actually debatable, time being linear and all. You could make a different argument about its propriety, to be sure. But not the one about the rule being antiquated.

                Besides, it's well worth keeping in mind that reforming the filibuster isn't necessarily the same thing as eliminating it. And you'll no doubt notice that the president's discussion centered mostly on reforming the way it works as opposed to simply eliminating it.

                •  Poor timing in politics (0+ / 0-)

                  Is everything. Just like comedy.   I'd wait until the tail end if a GOP session rather than the beginning of one  before scrapping it. I'm into unfair advatages. I am not into disadvantaging my own side.

                  There were good times in 2006 to scrap it too.  Perhaps in 1992 as well. It's all about timing. You strike me as naive.  

                  Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

                  by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:32:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The tail end doesn't help you. (0+ / 0-)

                    It's the beginning that matters.

                    And if you wait until the beginning of a Congress with a new Democratic majority, the attack will be "power grab!"

                    Which, to no one's surprise, is the exact same attack that'll be made if you wait until the beginning of a Congress with an old Democratic majority.

                    Were there good times in 2006 to scrap it? Like that time when there was a Democratic majority willing to do it? Oh yeah, there wasn't any Democratic majority in 2006. Right. Perhaps you mean 2007? Or in 1992, when there were less than half the number of filibusters going on that there are today? I'm not sure the cry was there, this being a timing thing and all.

                    I don't know what you were hoping for with the "naive" remark, but let's put it this way: I've seen your game today, and I'm unfazed by seeing you grasp at that straw. The bottom line is that the Senators who'll make the actual decision are talking about doing it now, when Mr. Naive is talking about it, and never had a word to say about it when Mr. Sophistication says, in his 20/20 hindsight, that they should have been doing it.

  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

    Filibustae reform is a joke, though it is a hardy perennial joke, and there is nothing wrong with that.  As fo us, our support for reform will melt faster than snow in July when it is no longer expedient.  Looks pretty unlikely that we will face that this cycle (plug for GOTV), but if/when we do, you will see how quickly this vaunted "principle" becomes . . . non-operative.

  •  isn't this argument pretty foolish? (0+ / 0-)

    "There are a couple of things that have changed in our politics that are gonna have to be fixed. One is the way the filibuster operates. As I said, that's just not in the Constitution."

    As everyone knows, Article 1, section 4 clearly says

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings

    And the filibuster is one of those rules for its proceedings. So what's his point?

    In addition, expect tea partiers to start quoting him about everything that they oppose.

    Social Security...Like the President says "That's just not in the Constitution"

    Department of Education...Like the President says "That's just not in the Constitution"

    Healthcare mandate...Like the President says "That's just not in the Constitution"

    et cetera
    et cetera
    et cetera

    •  The point is... (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of people think the filibuster actually IS in the Constitution, in its own right. That is, they think it was part of the original design of the Senate, and counts as one of the "checks and balances" in the system.

      It's not.

      The filibuster is an historical accident, arising from the ill-advised removal of the previous question motion from the Senate rulebook during a revision in the early 1800s (and at the suggestion of Aaron Burr).

      What is interesting about what IS in the Constitution is that it also suggests that it ought to be a much simpler thing for the Senate to change its rules, since that's a right reserved to it by Article I, Section 5 (not 4, actually). There's clearly no mention of any supermajority requirement for making such a change, even though the same document makes it perfectly plain when the founders intended to require one. And we needn't even get that deep into textual analysis. The plain fact is that it only requires a majority to adopt a rules change. The problem is with getting to that vote.

      •  That's not a response (0+ / 0-)

        It's implied as a right of the Senate  in the constitution.

        It's a bullshit rule but it isn't unconstitutional.

        I do find it alarming that he's mentioning this rule on the eve of a defeat.  

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 06:47:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure it's a response. (0+ / 0-)

          It's just one that you disagree with, and on which history is on the opposite side from you.

          It's not implied as a right of the Senate at all. If the Senate has the right to adopt its own rules of procedure, the existence of the filibuster is no more implied as a right than is the non-existence of the filibuster, or its erasure. The Senate can as easily adopt a rule forbidding the filibuster as any other rule. That's the exact opposite of implying it as a right in the Constitution.

          But I'm not saying it's unconstitutional. There are plenty of others who do, though. Common Cause, for instance, is planning to file suit claiming exactly that.

  •  38 senators versus 2 (0+ / 0-)

    I use this 38 to 2 argument every time to show just how really bad and undemocratic the dysfunctional Senate really is!.  Even if a simple majority ruled the Senate, the non-population proportional Senate, with the full power to kill any bill, is unfair.  If you take the 19 lowest populated states with their 38 Senators, that does not even equal the population of CA.  Add to that the filibuster idea, and no wonder we are dysfunctional.  Something needs to change toward a more people  representative Senate model and soon!

  •  yawn. THE PROBLEM is pathetic sacks of (0+ / 0-)

    shit who disgrace the "I Welcome Their Hatred" Democrats - the random couple who exist.

    I remember voting for the DLC-ism in '88 when I was 28 and a 10 buck an hour cook -

    I had grown up on welfare and I had relied on student loans and financial aid - and I thought this DLC crowd was going to make government work better, AND, then we'd be able to stuff the raygun-esqu lies from fascists down their fascist throats.

    I'm in my 3rd decade of breaking my ass so that "leaders" like gore and kerry and reid and barack and barney and dodd ... can sell me out AND lie about it AND keep their limos.


    whatever, barack.


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 05:50:55 AM PDT

  •  Hail to the King (0+ / 0-)
    Bow to your supreme leader....
    And give him your money, even though he did not deliver on free health care, end the wars, close the bases, stop prosecuting detainees, help with with the Palestinian crisis, tensions between Beijing and Washington are increasing (hence the reason for the high level visits), Iran now has its first operating nuclear reactor and they are no more friendlier to us then they were under any other US president.

    We help Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Learn more at

    •  Please, kindly go forth and fornicate thyself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      then go bite thine tongue for all the lies it spake under thine foul command. Then, find thine own self a milking stool with a gearshift affiexed the the middle of the seat. Climbeth thou on, perch thyself thusly, and twirl away. Finally, in contrition, ingest thine own excrement and cease.

      "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

      by trashablanca on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:59:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Call me pessimistic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, rock the ground

    call me a concern troll, call me whatever you want, but let's lay down some facts here.

    My bet is that the GOP controls the Senate and the House in 2013.  There's at least a 20% chance they control the Presidency.  

    If we get rid of the filibuster, we will pay.  The filibuster that then Senator Obama passionately defended in 2005 will be gone, and I guarantee you the majority GOP will not be friendly.  They will not respect the collegiality of the US Senate.

    Rather, they will steamroll.  Steamroll is the appropriate word.  They will steam roll everything through the Senate as fast as possible, and we will lose Social Security, the health care bill, and many other progressive achievements.

    While we rail against the filibuster, saying that it stifles progress, we need to realize that the filibuster has played a HUGE role in stifling 19th century regression.

    I think getting rid of the filibuster is a terrible plan.  What's more important, allowing the Democrats to move us incrementally forward (yes, only incrementally...think Ben Nelson), or not allowing the GOP to move us dramatically backwards to 1896?

    My vote is the latter. Pessimistic, yes.  Pragmatic and realistic?  Most certainly.

    •  One thing I'd point out. (0+ / 0-)

      If we get rid of the filibuster, we will pay. But under your scenario, the bill comes due in 2013. From 2011-2013, we stand a reasonable chance at passing some decent legislation.

      If we don't get rid of the filibuster, we'll still pay in 2013, when Republicans get rid of it the first time it gets in their way. But the difference is that we'll also be paying from 2011-13, while we get nothing done, and simply wait around to be pushed off the cliff in 2013.

      •  Only maybe if we keep the House (0+ / 0-)

        Only maybe if we keep the House do we have any chance of passing some decent legislation from 2011-2013.  Otherwise, we would only be paving the way for Republican legislation from the House to pass the nominally Democratic Senate with the help of Blue Dogs.

        In that event, Obama will (I hope) be wearing out his veto pen.

      •  I see what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

        However, there's no guarantee that the GOP will pull the nuclear trigger 3 years from now.  I don't see it as inevitable.

        They had a great opportunity 5 years ago, and yet, a group of moderates (who are oh so hated in their respective caucuses) stopped it from occurring.

        Republicans are criticizing Senate Democrats for threatening to go nuclear, just as Democrats, including Obama, criticized Republicans for the same thing 5 years ago.  

        So, if the filibuster remains 3 years from now, will Senate Republicans go nuclear then, after both parties refused to in 2005 and 2011?

        I don't know the answer, but I'd lean no...only because of past history.  They didn't do it before, I'd imagine that they wouldn't do it again.

        •  Who were those Republican moderates? (0+ / 0-)

          And what are the chances they'd behave as moderates again?

          Mike DeWine -- gone.
          John Warner -- gone.
          Lincoln Chafee -- gone.
          Lindsey Graham -- hahahaha!
          John McCain -- hahahaha!
          Susan Collins -- maybe.
          Olympia Snowe -- maybe.

          Now, add the Tea Party to the mix, and tell me how it comes out when they win a majority, but have to tell Teabaggers, "We don't have the votes."

          I don't think looking at 2005 makes any particular sense at all.

          •  You're right about that (0+ / 0-)

            2005 it is not.

            However, I'm more optimistic than you.  I really don't think that the Tea Party Express has enough fuel to last from 2008 to 2013.  

            Five years is a long time, and I envision the Tea Party playing less of a role in 2013 years, not more.  

            However, even if it still holds sway, I think their influence will not cover every Republican in the US Senate.

            Therefore, in 2013, with what will most likely be a slim Republican majority, all it will take 3-5 people such as Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and John McCain (who, in his final term will not care if he's moderate or not), or perhaps even more moderate senators such as John Hoeven, Dan Coats, Orrin Hatch, Mark Kirk (maybe), or Chuck Grassley to say, "We need another gang, like we had 8 years ago."

            There will not be 51 Tea Party Senators in 2013, or, more accurately, there will not be 51 Tea-Party Fearing GOP Senators in 2013.  There may be 30, maybe 40, but certainly not 51.

            Thus, the filibuster will still be in place upon GOP taking over the Senate in January of 2013, and it will remain in place during that Congress.

            Obviously, a whole lot of conjecture, but such is politics two cycles in the future. :)

            •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

              If the Tea Party steam runs out before 2013, though, and the Democrats go into 2012 still holding a majority, I recall hearing that it's a tough class to have to defend, but I don't know why we'd assume at this point that control of the Senate turns over.

              I'd be much more inclined to think so if the Tea Party movement (or astroturf, or funding, or however you'd put it) continued unabated. But if Republicans downshift from teabaggers to moderate do-gooders, I'm not sure I put my money on a takeover.

              Besides, let's recall what the substance of the Gang of 14 deal was. The deal was that the Republicans in the gang would agree to block elimination of the filibuster, but only so long as the Democrats in the gang agreed to make filibustering impossible in the first place, by refusing to join any.

              So essentially, your proposal is that we not eliminate the filibuster in order that we can be put over a barrel and forced to agree never to use it in the future. At which point it will still save us from something terrible, somehow?

              •  Not to "never use it in the future" (0+ / 0-)

                Let's recall the rest of the deal.  A filibuster can and should be used in extraordinary cases.

                The Republican Party would very much like to set up a system to privatize Social Security.  In 2013, assuming a GOP-controlled government, they would do exactly that.  Also, they would unravel health care, and cut more taxes for the wealthy (with probably a few Democratic cross-over votes).

                We have two possible paths:

                1.  No filibuster at all?  The GOP will steamroll.  Social Security, as we know it, will be toast...and it will advertised as a wonderful thing.
                1.  Filibuster still available?  The destruction of Social Security seems like an extraordinary situation to me, much more than the judicial nominations of Miguel Estrada or Janice Rogers Brown.

                Now, you might say that the Democrats will be too chicken to filibuster, but I'm feeling optimistic that the Democratic party will have some serious fighters in the Senate in 2013.

                If not, and both parties have become the playthings of corporations, then this filibuster conversation is rather meaningless, is it not?

                Anyway, I think the choice comes down to what I say in my original comment.

                What's more important, allowing the Democrats to move us incrementally forward (yes, only incrementally...think Ben Nelson), or allowing the GOP to move us dramatically backwards to 1896?

  •  say hell no to filibuster reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rock the ground

    talk about giving the GOP the Senate in the platter.

    They may not have a majority, but 48 + Manchin + Lieberman + Nelson/Pryor/etc. can pass ANYTHING if you get rid of the filibuster.

    Even if we had done it before, we would be regretting it now.  There is a reason why neither party has actually gotten rid of the filibuster, and that's because they know that they'll want to use it again some day.

    •  Remember this: (0+ / 0-)

      Reform is not necessarily the same thing as eliminating.

      You don't know exactly what you're saying "hell no" to. And that's usually a poor position from which to be saying anything, let alone "hell no."

      •  How about this? (0+ / 0-)

        The filibuster "silver bullet" : every senator gets 1 to use on whatever purpose they choose during the 2-year session (or maybe during a 6-year term).  That way, we know the senator has to commit to this filibuster for real and not just as a regular fun thing to do -- no more filibusters on 3rd tier cabinet appointments and minor amendments that way, but only on big stuff.  That would also limit the number of filibusters by the minority party to 49 at most, way fewer than we're seeing these days.

        •  It seems natural enough. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Like instant replay challenges in the NFL.

          The problem with it is that the filibuster currently functions in a way that doesn't lend itself to enforcing something like this. When someone asks unanimous consent to move a bill to the floor for consideration, how do you tell a Senator that his objection to a unanimous consent request simply doesn't count anymore if he's already filibustered something in the past. (Not to mention the difficulties of defining what "filibustering" actually means.)

          If you ask unanimous consent, that means everybody's consent. Not just the consent of those who've never objected to anything before.

          And if there is objection and they opt instead to use a motion to proceed to bring a bill to the floor, there's no way you can tell people who've voted against them in the past that they're not allowed to vote on this one. Nor would there be any way to disallow votes on cloture motions from anyone who'd voted no before.

          Because it ultimately comes down to a matter of counting votes, it would likely be unconstitutional to deny a sitting Senator the right to cast his or her vote on a cloture motion (or any matter). And that's the only way to "disarm" a Senator's ability to participate in filibustering something.

  •  I've been a vocal opponent of filibuster reform (0+ / 0-)

    Today, I have officially change my position on the subject. I now support it.

    Illinoisians should all vote twice for Alexi.

    by Walt starr on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 07:06:25 AM PDT

  •  Filibusrer Reform (0+ / 0-)

    I suggested this in 2009 but the Democrats foolishly thought that some Republicans were interested in helping the country solve it's problems. Hillary knew better.
    There are not a majority of 50 Democrats now for filibuster reform. What makes Obama think there will be enough votes after the election?

  •  I wonder if Reform is completed and Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    win solid control of government, could Democrats actually give the GOP the knife they need to carve their imprint on American life for generations to come?

    The filibuster rule is unconstitutional and it's because of Republican abuse that legislation inevitably becomes watered down & anemic and where good and popular ideas supported by the '08-'10 Democrat majorities slip away into the garbage bin of history. So, it would be ironic if they actually get reform done just in time to give Republicans the tool they need when they eventually reach their goal of retaking Congress reminiscent to the levels between '00-'08.

    Due to their party's discipline, It would ostensibly give them the ability to enact the sweeping conservative changes they've desired for  generations. That is, unless the '10 elections  aren't a slaughter and Democrats have the numbers to pull off reform and enact the needed legislation req'd to fix their brand and America by '10.

    But hey, it's Washington! A place where finding new and creative ways of doing nothing is celebrated with tip of a martini glass.

    •  Another argument for reform: accountability. (0+ / 0-)

      If Republicans are ruining the country with their control of Congress, get up and go vote and win the election.

      That's what was intended.

      What wasn't intended was a situation in which a working conservative majority in Congress can pass destructive laws, piss off the country, and then when a more liberal Congress is elected, they find themselves hamstrung in changing the laws they were elected to fix, because the old Congress left behind rules that said, "You still have to listen to us, because we fixed it so that you're not allowed to vote on your own procedural rules."

      Likewise if a liberal Congress passes laws that piss off the country, which responds by electing a conservative Congress.

      You can't just leave legislation sitting there entrenched, and depend on procedural rules to protect them for you. You're supposed to still have to go out and win elections. Eternal vigilance and all that.

  •  Coup d'Etat by Filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans used the filibuster to "curb-stomp" democracy and effect a coup d'etat of 41 conspirators representing relatively few Americans. It's one of the 4 reasons not to vote this November.

    •  How are these reasons not to vote? (0+ / 0-)

      I can see why a person might not feel like voting if they live in some gawd-awful Red town in a Red county in a Red state.  But why should the existence of the filibuster and lack of publicly financed campaigns be reasons not to vote?

  •  Bad idea even if we win House and Senate. (0+ / 0-)

    If we somehow win the House, it will be by a slim majority.  The Senate is looking like it will be won by a slim majority.  

    So, all the GooPs need is to get a few (gag) Blue Dogs in each house to go along with them and they have a majority in both houses for a lot of their agenda.  They will probably be able to push through filibuster reform in the Senate whether we want it anymore or not with the help of Blue Dogs.  (If filibusters got GooPs more power before, they were good.  If getting rid of them gets them more power in the future, then getting rid of them is good.)

    In that case, the only thing in the way of their agenda would be the President.  He will have to veto and get through government shutdowns.  The next two years will be his real test.      

  •  Stop with Excuses! (0+ / 0-)

    Obama needs to stop with the excuses - friends don't need them, enemies don't believe them.

    Fillibuster has NOT been the problem.  The threat of fillibuster has been.  Way too much time was wasted worrying about Republican fillibusters and watering down legislation in attempts to get a pre-vote 60.

    Obama, as the leader of the party, missed his window of opportunity.  He should have immediately had the legislation we need put on the floor and used the bully pulpit to shine a bright light on Congressional activity.  That would have put the obstructionists on the spot.  Instead, he went for compromise and give backs.  As a result, the opposition was able to paint it their way.

    In conjunction, Obama's lack of prosecution of Bush crimes - treasury, banking, energy and war - has left him holding the bag.  The country is in a shambles, economically and morally.  He needed more backbone - as Roosevelt said "bankers hate me, I love their hate" (more or less).

    Guess what Barack?  the Bankers, War Pigs and Oil Trusts hate you and love only profit.  They hate the working citizen, they hate environmental regulation, they hate the future.  They only love todays profits.  

    You compromise with them, We LOSE.

    Focus on fillibuster, right.  That is the main thing we need to fix, right.

    WAKE UP.  Goon squads are on the march.  People are on the street.  The Constitution is in tatters.

    Stop with the excuses.  Stop with the incrementalism.  Stop with the compromise.   LEAD for a change.  The People will love you and back you.

  •  Where can I donate to stop filibuster reform? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously?!?!!? - the GOP already controls the Supreme Court and is on the verge of taking over the House - and possibly the Senate - with the explicit plan to play complete hardball for the next two years, so as to drive the country into the toilet in order to win the White House and make Obama a one-term President.  

    And you want to hand them a loaded gun????  Are you fricking insane????

    I want the filibuster.  Because the day will come when we are in the minority again, and at the point, I'll want the same thing the GoOPers wanted the last 2 years - an ideologically pure Senate minority hell bent on obstrucionism.

    Now is not the time for a circular firing squad when the other side is teabagging you in the face.

    by goblue72 on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:55:04 AM PDT

  •  O: as just an observer of our political procecss (0+ / 0-)

    I wish he were a leader of our political process instead of an observer.

    ......80% of showing up

    by Churchill on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:55:37 AM PDT

  •  I wish he were a leader of our political (0+ / 0-)

    process instead of an observer.

    ......80% of showing up

    by Churchill on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:55:52 AM PDT

  •  instead of just an observer of our pol process (0+ / 0-)

    ......80% of showing up

    by Churchill on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:56:22 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, let's do filibuster reform (0+ / 0-)

    after it's needed, and only when it will mean WE can't use it in the Senate to stop GOP nutso ideas.

    How typical of the keystone kops tactics the Democrats love

    &, I might add, the Republicans love the "strategies" Demos have used, too. They can control all policy even when the WH & 60% of Congress are Democratic.

  •  I hate to be cynical, but this pretty much (0+ / 0-)

    confirms that there is not enough support for filibuster reform to be realized.  I don't see the President coming out for this sort of issue unless the outcome is already known.

    It has become increasingly clear that elections are too important to entrust to the Supreme Court. Constitutional reform now.

    by electricgrendel on Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 01:33:33 PM PDT

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