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Senate Side of the US Capitol - Spring 2011 Washington DC Photo by kempsternyc(DK ID) email: folmarkemp@gmail.com
This headline from Alexander Bolton in The Hill has pretty much set the wires on fire:
Reid triggers nuclear option to change Senate rules and prohibit post-cloture filibusters

I think that's way overstating the case, though. What happened in the Senate tonight bears some strong similarities to what observers have come to think of as the "nuclear option," but there have been no changes to the rules that would really eliminate or in any way seriously constrain the use of the filibuster.

Here's what did happen. The Senate is in the middle of considering the anti-currency manipulation bill. Meanwhile, the Republicans want very much to get out from under the rhetorical charge, leveled by the president, that they were blocking the Congress from having a vote on the American Jobs Act. So Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed attaching the AJA to the currency bill through the amendment process, thereby giving the AJA a vote and freeing them from the president's charge.

The problem with that, though, is that many Democratic senators had enough problems with the AJA that they wanted to consider at least a few amendments to the bill as it now stands, and having a quickie vote on it in the form of an amendment to a completely different bill doesn't really allow for that. In other words, adding the AJA as an amendment is a way to force Democrats into the embarrassing position of opposing the AJA in its unamended form. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered in response to drop the currency bill temporarily and instead take up the AJA as a free-standing bill, but Republicans had no interest in actually allowing that, and blocked it.

UPDATE: Reporting from Ryan Grim and Michael McAuliff at the Huffington Post reveals that the fight was actually about a different amendment, and that Dems had already agreed to take the hit and dispose of the AJA amendment in order to get the currency bill done. But Republicans tried to shoehorn a different amendment into an emerging agreement, and ended up blowing it up instead.

That's all just background to tonight's maneuvering. Earlier today, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the currency bill, which means that the path to a vote on passage is clear. But Republicans still insisted on having votes on their amendments, including the addition of the AJA, even though that has nothing to do with the currency bill. But once cloture is filed there are deadlines for filing amendments. And post-cloture, there are rules about amendments being germane to the underlying bill.

Those rules would ordinarily have excluded a vote on the AJA amendment, among others. So Republicans moved to suspend the rules and allow the vote anyway. That would require a 2/3 vote, as it does in the House, but is a maneuver that almost never succeeds in the Senate. Some of the reporters covering tonight's events have been tweeting that it hasn't happened in 70+ years.

Now, that's something that they're entitled to try to do, but like I said, it's pretty much guaranteed to go down in flames. Which really means it's a giant waste of time. So a point of order was made the motion and the amendment were dilatory, and therefore out of order.

Here's where the similarity to the "nuclear option" comes in. The ruling from the chair—on the advice of the Parliamentarian, apparently—was that the amendment was not in fact out of order. At this, Reid moved to appeal the ruling of the chair, and a majority voting to overturn it (and note, we are talking about a bare majority of 51 here), the end result is that the amendment is considered out of order, and cannot be considered. So a simple majority has changed the outcome of the ruling here. That is the similarity to the "nuclear option," though the ruling doesn't impact the filibuster, per se. Still, a very similar procedure can be used to reverse unfavorable rulings on anything, including the filibuster, and doing so on the subject of the filibuster was what people came to understand as the "nuclear option" way back in 2005.

It's also worth noting that reporters covering the events tonight consider tonight's maneuvers to be unprecedented. But that's not exactly the case, either. On Oct. 3, 1977, a similar ruling was used by then-Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV) to dispense with problematic, post-cloture amendments also considered dilatory. I'm not really sure why this hasn't come up.

At any rate, the discussion on the floor has in fact wandered into rules reform territory, which is not altogether unfitting. If this really were the nuclear option, that would of course mean that the infamous "Gentleman's agreement" was now inoperative, since part of that deal was that neither party would use the "constitutional option" (which would under most definitions encompass the slightly different "nuclear option" as well) in this Congress or the next. Do Republicans really want that door open? We can do that, I guess. But we might as well go all the way, then.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So It's the "Super Soaker" option? nt (9+ / 0-)

    So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

    by JML9999 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:29:41 PM PDT

  •  Excellent explanation (11+ / 0-)

    Nevertheless, Harry Reid's move had a surprise element built into it that completely flummoxed McConnell. And that is a good thing. WE need to be on offense and anything that does that is nirvana in my book. Thanks for the tutorial on Congress-lingo .

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:30:49 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this! (5+ / 0-)

    Just one question:

    The ruling from the chair—on the advice of the Parliamentarian, apparently—was that the amendment was not in fact out of order.
    In what universe is an amendment relating to a jobs bill not out of order with respect to a foreign exchange bill? (Or is the question of it being "out of order" purely a Rules issue, having nothing to do with content? But I thought the rules required the amendments to be germane. Oy, I'm still confused...)

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:32:12 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, David, for the realistic analysis. (5+ / 0-)

    The hyperbole is extreme.

    The crazy comments section on the Hill was a sight to see.

    Here's an eye popping set of them.

    Thank you John McCain for going ape on your fellow Republicans back in '05 for trying to get our judicial nominees a vote.

    There goes the Republic. BY J.J. Sefton on 10/06/2011 at 19:24
    Well there you go folks…Reid and the Terrorist Talibocrats have proven themselves to be the 2nd coming of the Soviet Union. The American people will rise to throw the extreme leftest terrorist liberals out on the a$$es and into jail for treason.BY gone fishing on 10/06/2011 at 19:24
    Oh Harry really. how desperate have all you Senate Democrats become… LOL BY JOBS on 10/06/2011 at 19:26
    And there you have it. The modern day SS of the left has steooed into the light. Nice job by the RINO elite watching the country's back. BY WATCHER on 10/06/2011 at 19:26

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "Forgive them; for they know not what they do."

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:32:41 PM PDT

  •  Ah, this shit again. (0+ / 0-)

    Anything for the Villagers to enter another round of "both sides do it too"-ism when it comes to who is fucking up the ability to govern in DC.

    I'm sure Howie Kurtz will have his Reliable Sources conventional wisdom pimpery engine all revved up by Sunday Morning.

    I'm also sure that the Politico's follow up will be even more intellectually dishonest and hyperbolic than the Hill's initital offering of Drudge-bait.

    •  Hey, maybe CNN will give Erinn Burnett (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magnifico, JC from IA, irmaly, divineorder

      the lead in covering this "outrage" for them.

      We have hit the point where the Villlage is just making shit up about the Democrats to paint them as malignant and letting the GOP get away with murder to paint them as vastly more reasonable and willing to govern than they have been at any time in the last forty years.

  •  Reid was fed up with McConnell (19+ / 0-)

    Roll Call:

    A Democratic aide contended, however, that they had agreement with Republicans to vote on seven of the nine motions the GOP wanted, including the president’s jobs bill, only to have McConnell change which motions he wanted to offer.
  •  Thanks much. No Double Jeopardy Filibuster? (0+ / 0-)

    That he had to actually try hard to get that codified is a testament to this Congress ' lunacy.

    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgundy

    by malharden on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:35:04 PM PDT

  •  God forbid they put their dicks away (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Phil S 33, HCKAD, divineorder

    and actually govern.

    Sickening.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:35:18 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, but this well-crafted reality check is (5+ / 0-)

    ... not appreciated at this late hour. I was hoping this was a truly historic moment, and I'm crushed to realize that Reid just did the right thing less momentously.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:35:26 PM PDT

  •  this is freaking great analysis (7+ / 0-)

    and part of why i love daily kos.  there are very few places I could go to get stuff like this.  and certainly not the msm.

    •  David Waldman rocks. If I ever get to meet (6+ / 0-)

      him in person, I want to give him a hug. Who else knows so much about these arcane procedures and the history as well?

      It's also worth noting that reporters covering the events tonight consider tonight's maneuvers to be unprecedented. But that's not exactly the case, either. On Oct. 3, 1977, a similar ruling was used by then-Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV) to dispense with problematic, post-cloture amendments also considered dilatory. I'm not really sure why this hasn't come up.

      Thanks for being here, David.

    •  yup. it's still here (0+ / 0-)

      which is why many of us still are, too.

      "Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame."---NYT

      by claude on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:42:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a feeling the Majority Leader had this (18+ / 0-)

    pretty well gamed-out before he made his move.

    I also think he may be starting to delight in fucking with McConnell every chance he gets.  If I'm correct, I see this as another positive development.

  •  What I don't understand is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, BarackStarObama, demgem

    why this ruling:

    The ruling from the chair—on the advice of the Parliamentarian, apparently—was that the amendment was not in fact out of order.

    The AJA is not germaine to the currency bill.

    •  I suspect (6+ / 0-)

      You will find that the parliamentarian's standards for a "non-germane" amendment are quite high, and really amount to things that are just clearly dilatory (designed to waste time) like trying to get the senate to repeal gravity or something ridiculous.

      It really is quite difficult to devise clear rules for what legislation relates to what.  Why pass the currency bill?  Because it might create american jobs, well then, isn't the AJA germane to that, and so forth.

      The parliamentarian as a non-partisan offical should stick to very clear cases, and leave all grey area stuff to a vote in the Senate.  If 51 Senators want to vote to call the amendment non-germane, let them.

    •  It wasn't a germaneness judgment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      s2k2vidguy, JayC

      The question was on whether a motion to suspend the rules was in order. McConnell had moved to suspend the rules BECAUSE the AJA would have been non-germane.

      The parliamentarian judged that it was in order to move to suspend the rules (and so the chair decided it was in order), but the Senate overruled the decision of the chair.

  •  I'm still confused (0+ / 0-)

    so it wasn't the Nuclear Option? Reid stated he can now get Judges thru with 51 votes. HELP!

  •  *BOOOOOM*** (7+ / 0-)

    ...my head just exploded.....

    I am glad there are Robert's Rules wonks at DK to explain this stuff to use laypersons!!!

  •  Thank you (8+ / 0-)

    The Hill explanation wasn't doing it for me.

    There is NOTHING more exasperating than Senate procedures.  Just when I thought I understood cloture ins and outs and the secret hold, this...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:43:56 PM PDT

  •  what a let down...sheesh (0+ / 0-)

    here I thought they were going eleven..

    "I drank what?!" -Socrates

    by bagman on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:46:55 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, David. (10+ / 0-)

    I'll give a fiver to anyone who can find a better explanation of this story anywhere else in the country right now.  

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:47:32 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are hemorrhaging rage (8+ / 0-)

    Go check out the Hill article just to read the comments. God almighty, are they pissed off.

    Harry, you've done it again.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:53:46 PM PDT

  •  The GOP figures obstruction results in... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the "both sides are to blame" meme dominating the election. Even if they are wrong, they probably end up with no less than 205 seats in the House (due to Redistricting) and "hold serve" in the Senate.

    They can live with that.

    Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

    by Egalitare on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 05:55:56 PM PDT

  •  At least (4+ / 0-)

    It might awake some more people to the truth about the filibuster:  It doesn't exist.  It is allowed to exist because the majority tolerates it for their own reasons, but 51 Senators really can pass whatever the flying fuck they want to if they really want to and are willing to vote down the minority's obstructive tactics.

    It's very frustrating listening to people accept the filibuster and the bullshit about needing 2/3 support to change the rules when all it really takes is 51.

    So in that sense, anything that gets people talking about senate rules around this stuff is helpful.  The Democrats chose not to end the filibuster in 2009, and allowed the Republicans to stymie half their agenda.  Maybe they didn't want to pass their agenda, or maybe they just weren't willing to part with the advantages they think they get personally from the filibuster in order to get that stuff, but they could have done it at any time.

  •  so what you're saying is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, HeyMikey, claude, erush1345

    that Obama dared the gop and they took him up? Then Reid botched his counter and had to take rather extroidinary measures to keep DEMOCRATS from embaraassing the president? Maybe they should talk ocassionaly so the left hand knows what the right is doing? Sheesh, amature hour.

    •  Mmmm... yeah. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bwren, HeyMikey, claude, erush1345

      Yeah, that's really pretty much it.

      •  Dems self-inflict another grievous wound. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        From the diary:

        The problem with that, though, is that many Democratic senators had enough problems with the AJA that they wanted to consider at least a few amendments to the bill as it now stands, and having a quickie vote on it in the form of an amendment to a completely different bill doesn't really allow for that.

        So, if I understand correctly, Dems have won the spin cycle by looking tough, but the bottom line is that the Dems are so fucking insistent on their own egos that they won't come together to support the President's agenda, i.e., the only agenda that has the slightest hope of making any difference to the zillions of unemployed and desperate Americans. Worse than completely fucking incapable of legislating; now the only fucking thing they can agree on is that they're fucking proud of refusing to legislate.

        I refuse to vote for a third party. But it's shit like this that gives them credence...perhaps with enough voters to tip an election.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:30:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some more reporting... (6+ / 0-)

          HuffPo coverage (that I'll add to the main post) says the real fight was over a different amendment, and that Dems had in fact agreed to take the hit on the jobs bill amendment.

          And I think they do generally support the president's agenda. But it seems they prefer a different mechanism for paying for it than he first proposed. So they want to change that.

          •  ???? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345
            I think they do generally support the president's agenda. But it seems they prefer a different mechanism for paying for it than he first proposed. So they want to change that.

            Perhaps (once again) I don't really understand what's going on. But it looks for the moment, to me, like this:

            1. The Dems had one chance in a billion of actually breaking a GOP filibuster and passing a jobs bill worth a damn in the Senate.

            2. The Dems win the lottery and their chance to pass a jobs bill in the Senate falls into their laps.

            3. They refuse to do it, because said jobs bill is not perfect.

            4. So now we're back to #1.

            I don't know why I care. It wouldn't have passed the House anyway. It would've been a sharper campaign stick, that's all.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:40:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  'Cause it won't pass in the house we're better off (0+ / 0-)

              with a better bill. One we primp and shine to where to the American public it looks like a good deal and it's the only real plan out there. Remember, the Neocons' can't have anything much good coming out of the evil government.

              So let them vote against jobs and we do this over and over, ask what's their plan? Please explain to us Senator how 10 years of mega tax cuts and deregulation ended up giving us the worst job creating since the 1930's.

              And people don't have 13 months to wait for jobs. We need them by Christmas. Pass the word. This is where the GOP's crapping on government can become a serious liability. Until the bill can be passed it needs to be the issue of the year or even the election. It never was going to land on Obama's desk untouched. So what at this point?

               Our side then keeps putting it back in in different forms. The thing is for the American people to see the GOP protecting the millionaires. We aren't pointing out loudly enough that the Republican jobs plan failed for 10 years. We the people though are reminding most Republicans that they are part the the 99%. Not just exclusive teabaggers. I bet the Neocons will cave and then we just have to continue through the election with more legislation that proves their hypocrisy.

              •  Nice theory. Dems just shot it down. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Noodles

                That would be great! Except what just happened is the DEMOCRATS killed the President's bill. Not only did they kill it, but they made a big show of how tough they are in killing it. The GOP don't even have to defeat us; we're defeating ourselves.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:51:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  or Obama's ego (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          was such that he wouldn't coordinate with DEMS? Actually I am sure Obama just wanted a shiny campaign toy to use. He's never had a real expectation of this ever passing. Nor does (obviously) the congressional DEMS. But they think they can use us 'cause we got no where else to go :-\
          Sigh ...

          •  Obama's ego? I doubt it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hkorens, Matt Z

            He's the one guy in Washington who will ignore the details, indeed some main points, in order to get a deal done.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:41:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  so why did he demand (0+ / 0-)

              the the GOP pass a bill that no one proposed, nor, had DEM support?

              •  Where are you coming from? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                demgem, We Won

                Obama did propose a bill. Some Democratic Senators did not like the way his bill paid for the expenditures, so they want to change just that aspect of the overall bill.

                McConnell just wanted to embarrass the President by forcing a scenerio whereby certain Democrats would not vote for the bill. The the Republicans could then say there was BI-PARTISAN support to kill the bill. I.e., no one likes it and the President is a fool for wasting his time.

                Hey dumb dumbs, if tax cuts created jobs, we would have so many jobs that we would glady let the illegals come in.

                by hkorens on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 08:17:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  becuase (0+ / 0-)

                  Obama Immediately went on the campaign trail  saying the gop had to pass his bill. There was no bill. there will be no bill. The dems didn't like it and would not sponsor it. So McConnell took advantange of the poor coordination. They need to get their campaign act together if they do not want to be embarrass themsleves. Or stop trying to be so clever.

                  "McConnell just wanted to embarrass the President by forcing a scenerio whereby certain Democrats would not vote for the bill. "

                  Exactly

                  •  Congress Dems are idiots. (0+ / 0-)

                    No party discipline. All ego. Bill has to suit them perfectly, or they'll be happy to let nothing happen.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:47:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Senate Rules can be changed . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

       in any way, at any time as long as it is politically feasible.
    With a 2 party system tho, both sides are a'skeert of what might happen when the other party comes to power. Of course, we're not allowed to speak of third parties here on DK.

    •  Well, one party is scared. (4+ / 0-)

      I don't know that the other one really is, anymore. They were a few years ago, but things have changed pretty dramatically since then.

      I've never really believed that a third party would change things much, though. You can have as many parties as you want, but what counts when it comes to changing the rules is how they vote in the Senate. And there are only two options there: yes or no. No matter how many parties you have, you only have two choices when it comes to voting. You can have a thousand different reasons for choosing one of the two options, but two options is all you get.

      I kind of think of that as the reason we end up gravitating toward two parties. Even parliamentary systems tend to gravitate toward two coalitions. There are procedures you can adopt that make it easier or harder for different proposals to come up for yes or no votes, but it's still yes or no in the end.

    •  why would dems be afraid of a standing (0+ / 0-)

      filibuster requirement?

      The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

      by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty confusing stuff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pstoller78, stolen water

    I was watching the debate and the Democrats (Leahy, Schumer, Reid) were complaining about having to get 60 votes to fix a misplaced comma on a trivial bill. They said the "filibuster" needed to be saved for major bills, not every bill.

    So it certainly sounded they were looking at the 60-vote cloture threshold, but by Waldman's description the actual event tonight really had little to do with it.

    "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

    by Carnet on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:21:15 PM PDT

    •  I'm hoping though this is an indication as (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carnet

      to the level of their (Leahy, Schumer, Reid) frustrations with the GOP, while this may not be the "nuclear option" in full I think it may greatly increase the chances of the real deal being used if the GOP keeps up the 24/7 bullshit.

    •  why can't they require it to at least (0+ / 0-)

      be a standing filibuster?

      The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

      by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:30:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How pathetic is it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hkorens

    something as little as this is all we get to cheer about from our public officials.  No wonder the OWS movement is exploding.

  •  David, I can appreciate your tempering of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarackStarObama

    hyperbole, in as much as Reid's action today only impacts the particular procedure that was at hand, but, as you point out, he walked through a door that hasn't been opened in three and a half decades. This is huge, and if Harry's got the courage (and Obama gives him permission), it's one little baby step more to get the filibuster ruled unconstitutional. And, as I postulated in the other thread, there is no reason to believe the Republicans WON'T take that step the very first day they regain the majority. We have nothing to lose by yielding to the inevitable and exploiting it for the remaining period of time left of Democratic control of the Senate.

    "I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues." Uh, Mr. President, and if the bill DOES raise "serious revenues"?...

    by WisePiper on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:33:35 PM PDT

  •  No sense doing this halfway (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisePiper, pstoller78, Miggles, Matt Z

    If they want to say we went nuclear, fine. Let's fill the Federal bench.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:40:03 PM PDT

  •  I've read this twice... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    and I've got no clue what it means.

    Can AJA now pass with 50+1?

    Seems like all Reid did was avoid the fake vote on the AJA tonight. If that's all, is it really all that big of a deal?

  •  Thanks for the explanation David... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure many people besides me were confused.

    "Congress has not been able to fix these flaws so far, so I will." - President Obama, 9/23/11

    by BarackStarObama on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 06:58:39 PM PDT

  •  David, Is the Gentlemens Agreement Dead? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Matt Z

    I certainly hope so.  As Schumer pointed out in his post-vote speech, the Republicans quickly reneged on their part of the agreement to not filibuster motions to proceed, requiring 60 votes to do almost anything (or to "drink a glass of water" as Schumer put it).  So one of the few times the Dems. reneg on their part of the deal and fill the amendment tree, Republicans go bat shit and try to change the rules mid-stream.

    I hope the lesson learned from tonight is that gentlemens agreements with Republicans aren't worth the toilet paper they are written on.  I also hope when the next opportunity presents itself to change the Senate rules at the beginning of the next Congress to truly limit the filibuster as Senator Merkley proposed at the beginnning of this Congress, folks will remember how worthless gentlemens agreements are when it comes to this group of Republicans!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 07:51:11 PM PDT

  •  so republicans will still get away (0+ / 0-)

    with nonstop filibusters?

    The protesters are conservatives in this sense, they call for the rule of law. The real radicals are the rapacious oligarchic class. ~ chris hedges

    by stolen water on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:28:37 PM PDT

  •  But couldn't having new filibuster rules a nice... (0+ / 0-)

    chip to play if we need to. They've scronked the hell out of it, abusing it substantially. Now historically perhaps Democrats relied on it more. But we shouldn't have to do that much if we get back to practicing populist governance where the people's ear is the one that really counts for your political success.

    But just the threat, especially if there are good reasons to take back a house of congress that is technically ours, might be all we need to force much more compromise.

    It needs to be reformed. A few tactical filibusters should be allowed but it should be a small finite number. And there should be rewards for not using them too.

  •  Who was the chair? (0+ / 0-)

    Who was the chair that made the ruling that got overturned?

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 05:21:15 AM PDT

  •  Democrats shoudl stop wprrying about it. (0+ / 0-)

    Why are Democrats preserving the filibuster? The next GOP majority will end the filibuster. Write that shit down and stick it on your fridge.

    Democrats are only preserving the filibuster for Republicans. There will not be another Democrat filibuster... so get over it, chumps.

    What Democrats should have done (change the rule at the beginning of Congress) but didn't because they we too scared... that will be first order of business when the Republicans control the Senate next.

    I agree that it's not particularly courageous to solve a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless, or don't have lobbyists, or don't have clout.

    by teknofyl on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 07:20:53 AM PDT

  •  "I think that's way overstating the case" (0+ / 0-)

    well that's good because all of us are very very much against the nuclear option. . . . or we were. you know. . . before

    dk - que os tomad los pretzels. se haced fuertes y agiles, niños

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