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With Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-NE) announced retirement, it is looking increasingly possible that the GOP will retake the Senate. If that were to happen, will Mitch McConnell tolerate Democrats using the unanimous consent rules to tie up the Senate the same way he did while he was in the minority?

I suspect that a newly empowered GOP Senate majority will seek to use the opportunity to change the filibuster rules to prevent the sort of nonsense we've been seeing from the likes of them. And you know what? Good.

I, for one, would very much like to see Republicans do what Democrats didn't have the courage to do in 2007, 2009 and 2011: Turn the Senate into a functioning body of government where the majority rules. Simply put, you cannot have a functioning government where it takes a super-majority to do even the most mundane, routine tasks. Where you can't even get something as basic as an up or down vote. Where you have to constantly concoct these ridiculous "gangs" and "super-committees" because regular order is broken.

Politicians should have to account for their votes. It is time to accept the obvious fact that "gentlemanly comity" is a joke and a relic of a bygone era. Let the majority rule and let the voters take account. Almost certainly this is going to result in legislation I and most Democrats would not prefer.

In fact, I think most of the country will hate what the Republicans do with an empowered majority as much as they hate what is being done in the House. That is an even more compelling reason to support the end of the filibuster for good. It is pretty clear the current Democratic majority just wont do it, excepting a few noticeable occasions when they have illustrated that it can be done. If it takes Republicans winning the Senate to bring it about, then so be it.

This ridiculous 60 votes crap must come to an end and let the chips fall where they may.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.


If the GOP wins the majority, would you support them if they ended the filibuster?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Would you really (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, ColoTim, Deep Texan, pollwatcher, ljb

    wanna take that chance? Yeah, their policies would be bad but they will be lasting policies. People are going to have to suffer through that. The only way I would support it is if we have retake the house and keep Obama in the WH. But imagine if we lose all 3? Think about the consequences with no filibuster...

    •  So you make decisions not on principle but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      situationaly only? Your ethics/morals the same way?

      Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:36:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it comes to changing (9+ / 0-)

        my decisions to make sure that some radicals dont stop poor people from eating and keep the middle class solvent, then yes, I will.

        Here is my moral positions and ethics, and I have never changed them: My morals are to heal the sick and feed the poor, period. So if my make decisions contrary to principles to make sure that happens, so be it but that is my bottom line.

      •  Principle?! This is about fascism, not principle (5+ / 0-)

        Have the Republicans shown any principles what so ever when it comes to political campaigns, or voter suppression laws, or immigration racism, or a gazillion other things?

        You give these fascists this kind of power, and they'll pass laws so that Democrats can never get back into power, and there will be blood in the streets over what they will do to this country.

        •  They Are Going To Be In The Majority! (8+ / 0-)

          They can eliminate the Filibuster if they want to. There is NOTHING that can stop them, except bleating from the doomed. And when has a "shocking lack of comity and regard for Senate traditions" stopped a Republican Jihad?

          The Senate Parliamentarian would have to rule, but that ruling is advisory. And of course Republicans would scream in rage if the Parliamentarian ever ruled against them so they would be openly threatening the "ref."

          If Obama wins then Biden would be the President of the Senate, and could issue a ruling that the rule change could not be made (it would be a horrible precedent but he could do it). He might do so if the Parliamentarian ruled against Republicans (which is doubtful) or he might just do it (causing massive hissy-fits among the villagers and dire threats of revenge from Republicans).

          But, that ruling from the Chair could be over-ruled by a simple majority. That would be "breaking precedent" but so what? Republicans were willing to do this just to get Bush judicial appointments through.

          Does ANYBODY think they wouldn't go NUCLEAR to "repeal Obama-Care?" They will. Nothing will stop them -- except possibly a Democratic commitment in advance never to use the filibuster at all. That might happen of course.

          The ONLY remaining question is whether Democrats would feebly undo the "damage" to the institution by re-instating the filibuster if they regained control. My bet would be a sudden "I'm simply SHOCKED at the lack of comity in the U.S. Senate." Followed by a move to re-instate the filibuster so Republicans can use it to block any attempt by Democrats to govern.

          And all the villagers will cheer at the "bi-partisanship" shown by Democrats in cutting their own throats.

          •  the situation with hcr would be the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, chazz509

            big test of whether they would do it.  A lot of repubs in the senate will of course not WANT to get rid of the filibuster, but the pressure to repeal hcr would be intense...BUT, at the same time, the medical industry, which has a LOT of pull with the senate repubs, would REALLY REALLY NOT want to repeal the hcr bill and have to start all over--the vast majority of the big players in the industry, including virtually ALL of Pharma, are very invested in getting the bill implemented.  Starting over would be a nightmare for those groups.

            So there would be all of these countervailing forces pushing them towards getting rid of the filibuster and towards not getting rid of it.

            Personally, I don't think they would get rid of the causes individual senators to lose so much of their power.

          •  They say they want to "repeal Obamacare", but (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaintC, chazz509, Matt Z, Laconic Lib

            they don't. They won't. It's a campaign slogan, if he's re-elected it will be pointless.

            •  Exactly the OPPOSITE is True! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If Obama is re-elected he would veto any attempt to repeal "Obama-care", and Republicans alone won't have 66 votes to over rule the veto. Even with a few treacherous Democratic "Centrists" they wouldn't have that many.

              So, they get a FREE vote! "I voted to repeal Obama-Care!" CAMPAIGN slogan, but knowing all the time that they won't anger big-Pharma because the bill will be vetoed by Obama.

              On the other hand, if Romney wins they are screwed either way. They will be forced to repeal it, but then we still have the problem of health care to deal with -- and they will anger major health care industries which stood to make billions of $ off the new bill. But they will all have campaigned on it and their base will demand it.

              I guess that "whatever health care you can afford" is the new norm.

          •  no big deal if Obama re-elected (0+ / 0-)

            He will just veto every bill they pass and they won't have votes to override. If Romney wins the country is doomed.

      •  All ethics and morals are situational. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's shocking how few people understand that.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:28:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mine aren't. I'm not perfect but will readily (0+ / 0-)

          admit actions of my own that were unethical or immoral.

          But again, we're not really going that far..unpricipled.

          Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:29:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then you are blessed to have lived a life (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tytalus, pstoller78

            that has been very black and white. For most people that is not the case.

            Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

            by psilocynic on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:31:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Situational and relevatistic ethics and morals (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laconic Lib

              does not mean black and white decisions and actions. It does not mean absolutist thinking. Where did you get that meaning? Situational ethics means changing your ethics to fit  the situation rather than relying on some categorical principles. Like it is not ok to steal unless you are hungry. Everyone has probably experienced making decisions that they would, under other circumstances, find unethical. If you justify it however, with "the ends justifies the means" or some other rationalization, that is situational ethics.

              "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

              by shmuelman on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:27:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  True. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          Anybody who claims otherwise is a fool or a liar.

          If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, then Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

          by Bush Bites on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:43:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No need to insult with a generalized statement. (0+ / 0-)


        Also, I can kill you with my brain.

        by Puffin on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:12:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As he said, people will suffer if the gop gains (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        control. However, I think the filibuster is an undemocratic gimmick. We can probably effectively oppose the gop agenda without it if we fight hard enough and win public support in the process.
        The Senate on both sides has been lazy, corrupt, indifferent. That's been laid bare in the last few years.
        It's up to the Dem Senators to restore integrity to the institution. The current gop is totally incapable.

      •  there's nothing ethical or principled (0+ / 0-)

        about choosing to hurt millions of people just to be able to claim situational consistency. At least not from where I sit.

    •  Nothing to fear (16+ / 0-)

      Democrats don't filibuster - they keep their powder dry.

      We have little to lose from ending the filibuster, because only Republicans use it.

      "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by bear83 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:40:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But them you have to agree that the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, bear83

      current crop of Republicans are doing what they think they need to do to keep people from suffering through liberal policies.

      You can't say that you are for changing filibuster only when Republicans are in the minority and not when Dems are in the minority.

      If the American People elect a majority Republican Senate, so be it.  Apparently that is what the voters want.  Abuse of the filibuster still wouldn't be good...even though I wouldn't like the crap coming out of the Senate.

      •  The Democrats wont filibuster them. (15+ / 0-)

        That's the problem. The Democrats will practice "comity" and not be obstructionist when they are in the minority. But the Republicans will when they are.

        What's the result? Policies that always, over time, move in the GOP's direction.

        •  If that's true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          then what is the Republican motivation for changing the rules? Is this diary an expression of hope that they will do it by mistake?

          There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

          by tytalus on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:07:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If that's true then why bother to worry (0+ / 0-)

          about Democrats holding the Senate?

          See, this is where these existential discussions end up going.  It isn't like I don't think that your prediction that the Democrats would go all "collegial" and "keep their powder dry", but it begs the question of why we would bother to lift one finger or give one dime to any Democratic Senate re-election campaign with the exception of a few - and it is not clear whether even those few would step up to the plate and mount a filibuster or just simply rock the damn boat a tiny bit.

          Remember that if Obama prevails in his second bid, that he can veto, but do we think based on his record so far that he would?  That option seems to have been largely taken off of the table and no one is calling for that stopgap to be denied the President.

          Anyway, my gut says that this is a risky time in American politics to be going to a "winner take all" model - especially in the Senate because so little real political heat touches them.

          •  No risk, no reward (0+ / 0-)

            What if Dems hold the Senate and the White House and win the House?

            Without filibuster reform, Republicans will continue to block all progress in the Senate and reinforce the notion of the do-nothing Congress.

            With reform, Dems could actually get something accomplished and start showing voters that Congress and government can work.


            "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by bear83 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 01:25:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that I am feeling too cynical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to productively participate in this debate.

              I have a hard time envisioning a "reward" given the political and ideological leanings of the large majority of the Senate.

              What I see is a split along the lines of 50% crazy, 25% stupid, 23% not so bad and 2% pretty good.  

    •  IF..... we give the keys to the car to the GOP (0+ / 0-)

      DO you agree they will crash the car?

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 03:33:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lasting how? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Matt Z

      Anything a Congress does  can be undone by a subsequent Congress.

      The assumption is that if the GOPsters actually enacted their program, the public would revolt and turn them out.

      Of course they could adopt voting restrictions and pack the  courts so it would be harder to undo, but we are trusting that even that (which did not happen under Bush when they had both Houses and the Presidency) could be undone.  Barring someone taking over as a dictator (which would require them winning the Presidency)  it can be undone.  And again, even Cheney couldn't perfect a takeover.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:57:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I'd take the chance (0+ / 0-)

      It takes a 2/3 majority of the House to override a Presidential veto.  Obama may not get much of what he wants put in to law, but it will make him more responsive to his own base.

      He will realize that without an enthusiastic base to help push his legislation and vote for his political Party, he will be solely defense and a poor President to posterity.

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:35:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It really doesn't matter what we think! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd be willing to guarantee you that should the republicans take the Senate, and I still can't quite even fathom that, the filibuster will be eliminated in the first 30 days.

      There is no way the republicans would allow the Democrats to do to them, what they did to us. And they won't care what the people of this country think. They play hardball. All the time!

      In the long term, I see a positive in this. They will use this new power to pass all sorts of draconian laws that the general public will hate. They will over step their bounds. Just like republicans have done in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. And the people will finally stand up, just like they have in those states, and fight back with a fury.

      To ask whether we would support it, is rather a mute point in my opinion. A better question is, will that new power republicans bestowed upon themselves end up destroying them and bringing with it a better future for the country?

      Frankly, I'm all for it! I wish the Dems would have had the courage to do it, but the republicans doing it will be part of their eventual downfall. I can already hear their cries as the country votes them out of office 2 years down the road when they are back in the minority. "We should have never eliminated the filibuster, look what it has done, we must re-institute the filibuster immediately!"

      And that is the point where we laugh in their faces and hope that they have finally destroyed their party for good. Of course, I could be wrong on this. I believed we should have never won the presidency in 2008. Had we lost, the republican party would have had to take full blame for they did to this country and every American in the country would know it as fact. By winning in 2008, the republicans were able to plant a seed of doubt.

      Let them remove the filibuster. In the long term, it will be good for the country!

      Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by reflectionsv37 on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:58:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It goes without saying... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DKinUT soon as the rules are changed, all Senators will moderate their stances on issues. Once they actually vote directly, as part of a majority or minority, once their stands are known, rather than hidden behind votes on procedure, voters will be able to see more clearly whether their Senator is representing them. So, yes, let the chips fall where they may.

    •  Fix the system. (0+ / 0-)

      It's not working.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 05:40:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The door swings both ways (0+ / 0-)

      I would support the end of the filibuster because I know any Republican majority would be short-lived, especially if they were not reined in by any kind of supermajority constraints. Then, when the Democrats took back the Senate, the filibuster would already be long gone with zero chance of the Republicans getting it back.

      The filibuster has been used far more in history to block liberal agenda items. Just because sometimes it has been used to block the Republican agenda doesn't make it good.

    •  That nuclear option (0+ / 0-)

      I think that the argument for supporting an end to the filibuster rests as much on the fact that the Rs don't respect it while they have the majority, as that they are obstructionist and use it to the hilt when they are in the minority and the majority Ds do respect it.

      The last time the Rs held the Senate majority, they got the Ds to unblock Dubya's Federalist Society stooge judicial appointments by threatening to end the filibuster if the Ds persisted in actually using it to block the appointments.  The Ds, mediated by that Gang of 14 nonsense, backed down, conceded that the filibuster was not the right of the minority, to be used at its sole discretion, but was to be used only under "extraordinary circumstances".

      Why would you imagine that the Rs would not follow the same logic if and when they retake the majority?  Have they gotten more moderate since the last time they were in the majority, and used the nuclear option to keep the Ds from using the filibuster?  Do you think their caucus will be more moderate, more willing to let Ds have our way, if some Teabagger tide carries them into the majority this year?

      I would agree with getting rid of the filibuster even if it were going to be available equally to both parties.  I think brooklynbadboy is right, we need a govt that can function, a govt that has both the responsibility to govern and the power to govern.  Sure, with the trifecta in R hands, and no filibuster, that team could go to town and double down on every crazy element of their agenda.  Not good in itself, but good in that the electorate will finally see what the Rs are really about, and if they really don't like that, as all good Ds expect, then they'll throw the bums out next election and we can have sane govt, but this time sane govt that can actually govern.

      But we don't actually have to decide whether the risk of letting the Rs have untrammeled control for a season outweighs the upside of perhaps getting accountable govt back.  We already know that a R majority will not let itself be trammeled by the filibuster.  Thers is absolutely no downside to ending the filibuster, because it is a weapon that only one party gets to use, and that party ain't us.

      We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

      by gtomkins on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 07:13:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  (a) Ben Nelson retiring does not (9+ / 0-)

    make it increasingly likely that the Republicans will retake the senate; that seat was lost regardless of Nelson's decision.  

    (b) The Republicans will probably reform the filibuster rules at their first opportunity.  That's how the modern Republicans work.

    And songs be heard, instead of sighs.

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:31:46 AM PST

  •  Yes, 1000 times, yes. (15+ / 0-)

    The fact that the Democrats deliberately did NOT end the filbuster, or at least change it to a lower threshold, TWICE, when given the opportunity, proved to me beyond a shadow of doubt that they are complicit with the Republican's in what has been done to wreck any progressive legislation.

    Especially at the start of THIS congress, with two years of proven obstructionism to completely prove that the Senate Republicans would continue to use the "painless filibuster" to stop all legislation.

    The filibuster cost us the Public Option, among other things.  Having 60 Democratic Senators wasn't enough to get House bills passed into law!  

    It's an utter corruption of the way the Constitution lays out the working of the Senate and it SHOULD be unconstitutional.  But the Democrats made sure to leave it in place, deliberately!

    2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

    by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:33:28 AM PST

    •  Reforming the filibuster won't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009, barleystraw

      eliminate the corruption that has permeated our government, but it is at least a baby step to making needed changes. Until big money is not allowed to buy politicians nothing much will change. Real campaign finance reform won't happen as long as there is a 60 vote threshold in the Senate.

      But real change won't happen in this country until the American people use the power they were given. Voting has consequences, and that concept is dawning on more and more people. The American people are slowly waking from their lethargic, consumer and media driven stupor and realizing that their government no longer works for them. OWS is the spark that has lit a small, flickering fire. Will it blaze or be snuffed out? We shall see.

      "If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again." Groucho Marx

      by Ruh Roh on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:49:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What 60 Votes? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, TBug, PsychoSavannah

      There were NEVER 60 Democratic senate votes.  Senator Byrd was hospitalized and Senator Kennedy croaked and the idiots in MA gave us Scot Centerfold....(presumably they'll come to their senses and elect Elizabeth....)

      No 60 votes. ever.

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:08:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well technically they 60 for a couple of months, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lucy2009, HeyMikey, tytalus

        just after Franken was sworn in and before Brown was voted in. In theory. I don't know how many votes Byrd was able to cast. In practicality you are absolutely right.

      •  Are you making that up? (3+ / 0-)

        Because it's a verifiable fact that from July 7 2009 to August 25 2009 there were 100 Senators.  40 Republican, 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 58 Democrats.

        The exact same numbers apply from Sept. 25th 2009 through February 4 2010.  100 Senators.  40 republicans.  2 Independent's who caucus with the Democrats.  And 58 Democratic Senators.

        Whether all 60 of those would vote to kill a republican filibuster or not is a separate issue.  

        I maintain that there are ALWAYS enough "moderate" Democrats to fulfill the requirment for a rotating cast of villians crossing the aisle to side with Republican filibusters on bills the Democratic Leadership doesn't actually want passed.

        If they wanted to get rid of the filibuster they could have done so, in Feb. 2008 and again in Feb 2010.  That they chose not to speaks volumes to anyone who cares to listen.

        2.1 million Texans voted Democratic in the 2010 midterms. How many people in YOUR state voted D in 2010?

        by Rick Aucoin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:28:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely. I like your framing, too. nt (4+ / 0-)

    Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:34:49 AM PST

  •  Republicans won't do it either. If they manage to (12+ / 0-)

    retake the Senate in 2012, it will be by a razor thin margin.  They didn't do it in 2005 when both houses AND the White House were Republican.

    The only way they'll change the rules is if a Republican wins the White House and they'll want to be able to appoint the nastiest anti Democracy judges they can.  They'll want to pack the courts for two generations.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:35:10 AM PST

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

    No matter what, somehow the Democrats will continue to be obstructed.  The ReThugs, not so much.

    Scientific Materialism debunked here

    by wilderness voice on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:35:19 AM PST

  •  I'm certainly not willing at this point (8+ / 0-)

    to concede the Senate (or even Senator Nelson's seat for that matter) to the GOP. However, if it results in changes in the way things are now done in the Senate, it will certainly provide something of a silver lining to what will otherwise be a very dark cloud. Even if they don't get rid of the filibuster, at least then bring back the real filibuster. Make people go down on the floor and chatter non-stop, night and day until somebody blinks. But none of this "Gee, I guess I don't have 60 votes right now to advance the bill, so let's move on" nonsense.

  •  Of course yes. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheMomCat, TBug, Lucy2009, barleystraw

    Somebody needs to stand on principle.  Republicans lack the morals to do so, and Democrats lack the spines.  It's got to start somewhere, so it may as well be here.

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.." - John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. We are the 99%.

    by IndieGuy on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:39:32 AM PST

  •  While I do not believe (6+ / 0-)

    That Democrats will not filibuster, I do support ending the filibuster. I am a principled majoritarian. And if the GOP does very unpopular things, it only makes it easier to reverse.

  •  Given that Democrats don't make use of (6+ / 0-)

    the filibuster and practice obstructionism the way Republicans do and that filibuster reform is simply the right thing to do... yes, I support it even in the face of a democratic minority.

    Besides... doing the right thing might actually win some elections for Democrats and keep them in the majority.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:42:48 AM PST

  •  They would only do away with it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, ColoTim, tytalus, Iberian

    if there were a Republican president to sign their legislation, and make appointments. I think Obama will be re-elected, and the Dems will take the House back.

    The only Dem Senate seat I'm willing to write off would be NE (such that it is), with the R's needing to hold MA and NV. A worst-case scenario to me would be 50/50.

    •  newdem - time to make some money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If you think the Dems will keep the Senate, and take the House, there is a money making opportunity for you. The Iowa Electronic Market, a real money market on political outcomes run by the University of Iowa, has both investments waiting for you. If you pick correctly each "share" of the winner receives $1.00 in Nov 2012 after the election. The "shares" are liquid and trade every business day. Shares for the Dems to take the House and keep the Senate are both trading in the 25-30 cent range. So you can make 3+X your investment on each of those potential outcomes.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:08:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scary thought, BBB, but I get your point. (0+ / 0-)

    Only thing that'd put my mind at ease about it is winning the House and holding the WH.

    But I'd like to see Dems consider giving the people of NE a little credit. Let's not assume they're a majority morons. With the right candidate and a good messaging campaign, maybe the folks of NE can be persuaded that a progressive Dem would be a good thing for them and their families.

    Then again, I have no problem running a closet progressive as a blue dog if s/he can win and is willing to accept that if s/he votes as a loyal progresives s/he may well not get re-elected. If all we can get out of NE is one progressive Sen for 6 years, I think we should take it.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:48:18 AM PST

    •  Hang On... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, OnlyWords, TBug
      But I'd like to see Dems consider giving the people of NE a little credit. Let's not assume they're a majority morons...If all we can get out of NE is one progressive Sen for 6 years, I think we should take it.

      So don't assume the that the people of Nebraska are morons, but hope they're dumb enough to elect someone pretending to be a blue dog so they can be a progressive once they get there?

      I can't imagine that any of the actual progressives in Nebraska with enough name recognition to win an election* would be able to fool anyone once they got on the balllot.

      * The existence of whom is purely speculative

      •  They may in fact be unreachable to (0+ / 0-)

        an open progressive. If that is the case, then they are dumber than I thought.

        If they are that dumb, then yeah, run a progressive as a blue dog. Ya gotta be sly about it, sure, they may turn out to be dumb but that doesn't make them braindead.

        Maybe we recruit someone with little name recognition but who has enough going for her/him to overcome that particular obsticle.

        OR, and this would be tough to pull off, find a Republican who would switch parties once elected.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bottom line, I don't want to see us lose the Sen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Whatever it takes. I'm just trying to think outside the box.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:35:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wait a minute, this is almost as bad as (0+ / 0-)

      Blue Dogs running as Democrats. I only say almost because I am a progressive. Our political system is totally screwed up because moneyed interest control of districting and phony politicians pretending to be anything to get elected. To act like these people only enables the current system. We have to have some standards if only to dispute the false equivalency between Dems and Repugs.


      "a closet progressive as a blue dog if s/he can win and is willing to accept that if s/he votes as a loyal progresives s/he may well not get re-elected."
      •  I understand, but I fear we are on the brink of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TBug, peptabysmal

        the GOP, should they win the House, Sen & WH, making moves to screw the system up even worse so Dems will never again see majorities. I fear WI. OH, MI, & FL on a nationwide scale. Pulling the wool over the eyes of GOP voters, where it can be done and if that's what it takes is something I have no issues with.

        I'd like for my nephew and neices and to not be doomed to the GOP vision for this country.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:51:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Have Literally Always (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Muskegon Critic, Iberian, TBug

    Supported a cloture rule change, from the first day I learned what the cloture rule was.... regardless of who controls the Senate.

  •  No, I don't support it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, TBug

    I think the chart you added to the diary demonstrates the real problems, like excessive use, and fake filibusters that occur by cloture vote and not by the actual practice. The Senate is capable of functioning as it's shown in the past. The choice to abuse the filibuster didn't require a rules change to occur and it doesn't require one to go away. Republicans are doing it because it works, and because they're not paying for it.

    Both parties have options short of changing the rules. I think the Democrats should use some, like campaigning on the demonstrable Republican obstructionism. Like calling the bluff on a filibuster instead of going on vacation. I don't think we need a rules change to get people to hate what Republicans are doing. Approval ratings on Congress seem to suggest they're earning hate just fine. It would be nice if Democrats would capitalize on it.

    The rules change is a solution, but a lazy one. Seems to suggest that the obstructionism is legitimate. I think it should be a focus of shame. But perhaps if Democrats are incapable of making that work, then destroying the filibuster is the only remaining option.

    That's pragmatic, I suppose.

    There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

    by tytalus on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 10:56:11 AM PST

  •  I didn't favor the Dems changing the rules (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, SpamNunn, PatriciaVa

    And if the GOP takes the Senate, which I think is highly probable, I don't favor changing them while McConnell is the leader of the Senate. I personally like the 60 vote rule in the Senate. It requires major legislation to be bi-partisan.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:00:35 AM PST

    •  Mandated "bipartisanship" = rule by minority (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, TBug

      Just look at California and the 2/3 super-majority requirement to raise taxes

      •  The 2/3 majority to raise taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has been in effect in California for over 100 years. Most Californians have shown time and again that they support a super majority to raise taxes, although that question will be tested again in Nov 2012.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:21:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Allow me to correct your typo (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        supercereal, Eric Nelson
        Mandated "bipartisanship" = rule tyranny by minority

        And that's strictly a GOP trait, I might add.  I do not recall many (any?) cloture votes failing while the GOP held the Senate majority in the mid-2000s.  But even when the Dems had 59 solid votes in the Senate, any bill or Senate confirmation had to pass through a 60 vote wall of Republican solidarity.

        Cloture / supermajority votes need to go.

        We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

        by Richard Cranium on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:35:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about when the minority it totally ignored? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Is that better? I would rather offer protection to the minority (as Madison mentions in The Federalist Papers) than ignore them for any majority formed on a whim.

        by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:55:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Any bill that is bipartisan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      is almost certainly awful or insignificant.

      Anything worth fighting for is going to be partisan.

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

        Social Security was bipartisan. Medicare was bipartisan. Most of the major accomplishments have gone through the sausage grinder and included compromises to various interest groups.

        by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:56:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Social Security wasn't bipartisan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          Please go back and look at the Congressional debates over the original Social Security Act and you'll see that very few Republicans crossed the line in either chamber to support it. And it was a major issue repeatedly raised by Landon against Roosevelt in 1936.

    •  It requires at least a supermajority. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      People may not like it because it is slow and cumbersome, but this is by design. Not every whim of a political party in power at a given moment should become law of the land. If you think it is inefficient how the Senate is run now just wait until wide sweeping legal change happens every election cycle.

      by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:54:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tom Udall (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TBug, PsychoSavannah

    His abandoned proposals kept the 60-vote filibuster, but made it harder to employ.  Stuff like you have to have the 41 votes against on the floor.

    I think that's the way to go.  You don't want to eliminate all means for the minority have a say, but it should be hard enough so it'll only be done on a (relatively) small number of high priority cases.

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:02:32 AM PST

  •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

    Let them govern how they wish and let us govern how we wish and then let the people decide which was is better.

  •  You Also Can't Have a Functioning Country (7+ / 0-)

    under Republican rule.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:06:51 AM PST

  •  I'm all in favor of majority rule. So when do we (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, Lucy2009, supercereal

    amend the Constitution so that not every state gets the same number of Senate members?

    The nine most populous states contain slightly more than half of the total population. The 25 least populous states contain less than one-sixth of the total population.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13:58 AM PST

    •  never (0+ / 0-)

      As long as 3/4 of states have to ratify a new amendment to the constitution.

      In short, there are (if I remember correctly) only 12 states that have their senate numbers reduced, and 38 that get them bumped up.  In short, you would need a bunch of state legislators to vote to reduce their power in Washington....ain't gonna happen.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:41:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Worse than that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib, Empty Vessel

        There is an entrenching clause, in the US constitution, that prevents a state being deprived of its equal representation in the Senate (in the sense of the same number of Senators as every other state) without its own consent.

        I would interpret the clause as requiring every state to consent to an amendment providing for more equal representation by population in the Senate, before the change could become effective.

        A more sneaky way of trying to change, by the ordinary amendment process, would be to first repeal the entrenching clause (which is not itself entrenched - the people in 1787 did not think of the idea). Then you can institute representation by population, in the Senate, with only three quarters of the states consenting.

        The other thought, by the nineteenth century Populists, was that the Senate could be abolished without infringing the equal representation rule (as every state would then have an equal zero Senators).

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

        by Gary J on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 06:16:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Would be great, but probably wouldn't happen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009, PsychoSavannah

    The GOP establishment relishes the teabaggers' extremism when there are no "real" consequences for them, a la the debt ceiling fight. But the leadership is capable of thinking long term and most likely do see the demographic handwriting on the wall 10-15 years down the line.

    They will nuke nominee filibusters if Romney wins the WH but will leave the main practice in place regardless, IMO.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:23:24 AM PST

  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama will have veto and the current situation is unsustainable. Rules should have been changed before, they should change Jan 2012

  •  I'm not sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The filibuster as it stands has to go.

    But I would be cautious about doing away with it completely. Perhaps it could be changed with adding a requirement that filibusters must not be single party? The independent Senators would then be the ones who decide whether something is filibusterable or not.

    I don't know.


    My new favorite RIGHT WING website: It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

    by pucklady on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:36:50 AM PST

  •  I'm with you 100%, BBB! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This bullshit in the Senate is NOT working, and it needs to stop now.

    It will be tragic and destructive if the GOP overtakes the Senate, but at some point we have to take a stand for change, and this is one of the ways to get that done.  

    Personhood Advocates, Forced Birthers, and GOP policies, ensure that for many, quality of life begins at conception and ends at birth...

    by Lucy2009 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:38:23 AM PST

  •  I don't think that the filibuster rules will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    change, no matter who is in charge.  The Senate likes the cloture motion, as it promotes compromise, and the Senators from the little states will never willingly give up their only real "juice".  

    People always hate the 60 vote rule, unless they have 60 votes.   Thus will it ever be.  

    Little rule I live by: "Never trust a dude in a tunic."

    by SpamNunn on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 11:45:19 AM PST

  •  What makes you think a Democratic Minority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would attempt to use the current filibuster rules for anything relevant? Bush didn't have any trouble with the Senate even when it was in a power-sharing situation (or, rather, none of any significance).

    The problem is that your basic premise--Democrats are opposed to the Republican agenda--is flawed. They want to be the ones with the power, but their end goals are similar.

  •  Reform, not end, filibuster. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    I support scaling the filibuster back to its historic role, when it was very rarely used.

    There are a number of ways this could be done without ending it entirely. The most obvious would be to require  cloture motions to proceed to a vote quickly and unconditionally; and to require 60% of all sworn Senators to be physically present and voting against a cloture motion in order to defeat it.

    There are other possible mechanisms as well.

    "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 Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:02:38 PM PST

  •  Democrats won't filibuster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We already have seen Democrats being coerced out of using the filibuster when they are in the minority.  So, my guess is that Republicans will leave it in place, and push their agenda without needing 60 votes.  

  •  Richard Cranium said it well in an earlier post, (0+ / 0-)

    but I'll say it a little differently.  The chance of either party's eliminating the filibuster is extremely slim.  While eliminating the filibuster would advantage the party in power in the Senate, each party recognizes that it will lose power at some future time and will not want to be without the "fair advantage" of the filibuster when that happens.

  •  Yes. When a tool is broken beyond repair, you toss (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles Yet I'm not sure that a super majority requirement under rule 22 for cloture was ever a useful tool in the first place. It seems to have been a tool to insure the staus quo more than anything else imo.

    Besides that, the filibuster only works if both parties respected it's terms of use. The republicans of late never did really, which left the left at a disadvantage from the start. If one party has a very different definition of "comity". collegiality, or even a basic sense of either two it can't work equitably.

    Also: The filibuster is only one of many tools to fight the opposition. We don't need it. It takes one senator to stop unanimous consent for instance

    We need to get back to a constitutional majority rule. If a majority senate republican agenda is anything like the house, the backlash will hurt the republicans far more than it will help them over time.

    Note: Bob Kerrey [sp], (if he runs) or another Democrat may not have much chance in Nebraska (according to some pundits), but Clinton had 2 senators there at one time, so it's not impossible.

  •  Yes, I do. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fix the Senate once and for all.  It's not like the Democrats ever actually stand up for us by filibustering the important stuff, anyway.

    It's a tool only Republicans use effectively.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 12:53:51 PM PST

  •  A compromise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana

    Keep the filibuster, but the one(s) filibustering actually have to take the floor and hold the floor until one side or the other gives in.

    If you're not prepared to actually filibuster, no filibuster for you.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 01:28:17 PM PST

  •  Easy vote of YES on my part. The filibuster has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    never been used for progressive good.  It is famous for being a tool of far-right bigots like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms.

    Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

    by Miggles on Wed Dec 28, 2011 at 02:59:32 PM PST

  •  I couldn't answer your (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Bush Bites, cocinero, Laconic Lib

    poll as written. I think "would you support them..." is too gross for me. But I do support the act of getting rid of the filibuster and I've supported that for a long time. Even if it's that party who ends up getting rid of it, fine.

    Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

    by indiemcemopants on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:34:42 PM PST

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

      Truth in voting.

      Let the American public see what kind of people they're sending to the senate.

      If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, then Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:41:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No matter who it hurts? (0+ / 0-)

      Imagine an unfettered Republican House and Senate for a minute.

      by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:50:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The House is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laconic Lib

        anyway because the filibuster is a Senate rule.

        And I am imagining it. And the fear of it doesn't make me want to keep a rule in place that blocks democratic action simply because Republicans are obviously bad.

        Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

        by indiemcemopants on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:58:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are also a Republic. (0+ / 0-)

          A Republic (as articulated in The Federalist Papers), that is suspicious of pure democracy.

          The nature of being democratic does not mean an action ought to be sanctioned. The Senate is designed to ensure nothing becomes the law of the land without sustained public and political pressure. Pure democracy doesn't work.

          A great deal of awful behavior has been justified under the shroud of majority rule and democratic action.

          by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:05:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't understand? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib

            No one is talking about implementing pure direct democracy. This rule change is but one rule change that will make it easier for the Senate to pass any legislation at all. None of the other Senate rules will be affected and there will still be debate on topics.

            But if a majority of the Senate wants to pass a bill it will be able to. I fail to see how this is a problem. The Founders certainly didn't implement a 60 vote rule.

            And a great deal of bad behavior, like trying to block the Civil Rights Act and other civil rights legislation, was not just a byproduct of the filibuster - it was the reason for it.

            Bad things will happen either way, and especially so since Republicans are turning even more extreme. This is no reason to suspend democratic rule or make it a lot easier to block lawful government reforms just because we worry about the kind of legislation Republicans would pass with 51 votes.

            And besides, they already pass what they want. Democrats rarely used the filibuster. I mean Republicans are even breaking their Gang of however many people people deal and filibustering totally credible court nominees. The rule is in place and there is only one party using it and our party keeps making 'deals" and "agreements' to avoid using it. The filibuster is allowing Republican legislation to pass and allowing conservative judges to get confirmed while blocking even remotely liberal legislation (and even that's a stretch these days ) and vaguely moderate court appointees (also basically a stretch.)

            Meanwhile civil rights legislation keeps failing or getting watered down. DADT had zero protections for gay and lesbian servicemembers because that would have required 60 votes to pass. It just repealed the law. And the regulations (which I read, by the way) just crossed out the sections related to gay and lesbian servicemembers and witch hunts. There has been no ENDA, no DOMA repeal. And the lack of civil rights protections goes further than just LGBTs. The Dream Act failed 55-41. Would have passed with no filibuster. Other immigration issues won't even come up for a vote. Not only have women's rights bills failed but they codified the Hyde Amendment in the health care bill because they needed more than 60 votes for a better bill (we were told.)

            So the filibuster is basically service its original purpose, though everyone's certainly nicer about it these days.

            Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

            by indiemcemopants on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:19:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  They won't change the rules (0+ / 0-)

    unless they also win the White House.

    There's no gain, otherwise.

    Obama will veto bills that the dems would have filibustered.

    Why take even a small PR hit with no benefit.

    We will not be looking at filibuster reform until the next time a single party controls the House, Senate and White House.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:37:13 PM PST

  •  While we are talking hypotheticals, I would prefer (0+ / 0-)

    that the Democrats win 61 seats in the Senate and THEN votes out the filibuster and the hold system.  

    THEN let the chips fall where they may.

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:39:40 PM PST

  •  Agree. (0+ / 0-)

    There's also too many people in the middle who think "well, I don't really support all the repub policies, but the dems will stop them if they go too nuts, so I'll vote repub anyway, cos it may keep my taxes low...."

    This will bring Truth to voting.

    (Hate the "I, for one, " construction though.)

    If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, then Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:40:09 PM PST

  •  I say filibuster 'em 'til you see the whites of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites

    their eyes.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:40:14 PM PST

  •  The Repugs will change the filibuster rule (0+ / 0-)

    in a heartbeat. They've proven over and over again that their nothing more than a bunch of authoritarian nutjobs.

    "He's the one, who likes all our pretty songs. And he likes to sing along. And he likes to shoot his gun. But he knows not what it means" - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:43:35 PM PST

  •  "If the GOP wins the majority, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would you support them...?" NO!

    whether they end the filibuster or not.

  •  This a dead-ender mentality. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cera, kcc

    There will certainly be many people harmed by a Republican Senate/House unfettered by any procedural stop-gaps. Do you consider them in your calculus?

    A deliberate Senate is perfectly designed to to slow down things. The fact is that any legislation ought to have to go through some heavy lifting before we just pass it because one election cycle shat out some ideologues.

    The faulty notion is that one or even two election cycles indicate the "will of the people" that must be bowed down before in the Senate and House.

    I admire your consistency in even hoping Republicans have that unfettered power in the Senate, but I resolutely oppose the idea of turning the Senate into a smaller version of the House. If they were supposed to be so similar why have two chambers?

    If our laws can be so dramatically rewritten with each election cycle we won't last long as a Republic. As frustrating as the Senate can sometimes be it is a necessary evil.

    by Common Cents on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:43:49 PM PST

    •  The filibuster is not "law" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib
      If our laws can be so dramatically rewritten with each election cycle we won't last long as a Republic. As frustrating as the Senate can sometimes be it is a necessary evil.

      The filibuster is one of the Senate's procedural rules. Those rules are subject to change by Senate vote. Eliminating or modifying the filibuster would make the Senate more democratic in terms of majority rule; eliminate obstructionism and make the Senate more productive in terms of laws passed.

      Of course, that could also mean that a future Democratic minority could not prevent republicans from dismantling Social Security or eliminating corporate taxes...

      The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

      by SoCalSal on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:20:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My rule is the more democratization the better. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Yes, I expect Republicans to nullify Dems - voters or elected - by hook or by crook every chance they have. Indeed, I'd embrace elimination of the filibuster even by the opposition. Always more democracy. Stand and be counted.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:44:11 PM PST

  •  You either swear by or swear at the Senate, de- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kcc, Matt Z, joe wobblie

    pending on where you stand on an issue.  The filibuster is the single most infuriating and necessary protection we have against the mass rush to judgement that the House is capable of.

    Right now, the Senate is deadlocked and the principle of comity is gone; the diarist is right about that.  But that is best addressed by aggressive efforts to educate the public on who is abusing a necessary legislative tool  rather than getting rid of the tool itself.

    An analogy: a scalpel in the wrong hands poses a serious danger to a patient.   To mitigate the danger, you get it into the right hand, but you don't get rid of scalpels.

    Happy New Year, BrooklynBadBoy and all!

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:44:56 PM PST

  •  While it will be horrible for America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, Laconic Lib

    We really need a one sided govt so people can see just who isn't on there side.  This close government in the Senate just leads to a lot of back-slapping bipartisanship bs that really isn't there.  If the GOP pulls out all of the stops for 2 years then the American people would get to decide if they want there personal destruction at the polls  

    •  Hear! hear! (0+ / 0-)

      (Excuse me.....NYE libations are kicking in.)

      If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, then Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:46:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I actually don't think the filibuster (0+ / 0-)

      ... does a damn thing to encourage compromise, at least as it's being currently abused. It actually discourages it. As long as the Republicans have the "strength" (I guess that's what you call it, though it's morally weak, in my opinion) to vote as a monolithic bloc and stop anything the Dems want to do, why would they compromise? The Democrats as the party "in charge" (oh, what a laugh, even when the numbers said so), are going to get the brunt of public ire just because things aren't better, or better enough.

      Republicans have no incentive whatsoever to cooperate with Democrats, even in areas in which agreement could be reached. It's easy to say no and do nothing, and it's much easier to fool the public into re-electing you and repudiating the Dems, because things suck and all you have to do is say if the Dems are so great, why do things suck? If there are no actual votes to defend or boast about, you don't "own" the economy, you don't "own" foreign policy, so if everything sucks, you had nothing to do with it. And trying to explain to the public that doing nothing can contribute to things sucking, and that good legislation that could have made things better didn't happen because of obstructionism, is a much more difficult task (especially in a media culture of false equivalence, he said/she said, "fair and balanced even-handedness).

      "Well, things wouldn't suck if we'd done X" is a much harder argument to make convincingly than "Things suck, and THEY didn't fix it." The latter is at least observably "true." The other is a thought experiment. No, the filibuster in its current form and as it's currently employed, is actually an anti-compromise agent of hyperpartisanship, not one of compromise that encourages comity, cool deliberation or cooperation.

      I don't particularly favor eliminating it, but I like something like Harkin's graduated filibuster that eventually becomes a majority vote, or a requirement that filibusters be the real deal with cots on the Senate floor and raspy-voiced senators reading the phone book and peeing in a jug. It should be a tool of last resort for particularly egregious or ill-thought legislation, not a routine means of political gamesmanship. A REFORMED filibuster would slow down but not paralyze the process. Eliminating the filibuster might be getting rid of a useful tool in dire situations. But the filibuster as it stands now is poisonous and anti-democratic.

  •  Don't count your chickens before they vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    I don't think Scott "Centerfold" Brown is going to hold onto his seat, and there are a couple of other opportunities to upset the GOP applecart. It could wind up being a wash, or even a net gain of 1 or 2 seats for the Democratic Party. We won't know till the votes are cast and counted - and keep an eye on those counters!

    Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

    by TheOtherMaven on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:45:54 PM PST

  •  Seems to me that many here don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This isn't about eliminating the filibuster. This is about making Senators have to WORK for a filibuster.

    Right now the "60 vote" threshold that so many of our elected officials hide behind, is nothing more than a procedural rule adopted by the Senate.

    In essence, it ASSUMES that the minority party will fillibuster every bill that it opposes (which wouldn't actually be the case, given the risk of looking like a bunch of assholes).

    In order to override a fillibuster and invoke cloture, the Senate needs 60 votes. So their current procedure just cuts to the chase, skips over the time-consuming process of a fillibuster, and determines whether or not 60 votes would be there to override it.

    No fuss, no muss, and not a single name needs to be read out of a phonebook. But then, that just leads to outright abuse of the rule, since Republicans can keep bills from coming to a vote without risking any sort of negative publicity.

    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 Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:47:57 PM PST

  •  Dems showed they don't have the balls to do it (0+ / 0-)

    The Senate is broken and we need a constructional amendment to abolish the Senate.  

    But what Senator would vote for it?

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:49:27 PM PST

  •  If (when) the Dems. retain the Senate Majority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When the Dems. retain the Seante majority this argument needs to be made and made force-ably to the Dem. leadership before January 2013 when the Senate sets its rules for term.

    For any Dem. Senator who again stands up and says they are afraid to set a precident by changing the rules since that might come back and bite them in the ass someday when their in the minority, I say:

    Do you really think these Republicans won't change the rules to screw the Dem. minority if they have the chance, regardless of whether Dems. limit the filibuster or not?

    You bet your sweet ass they will!

    "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 Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:51:01 PM PST

  •  Absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

    It's about time the American people get exactly what they vote for.

    Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

    by Pluto on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:52:17 PM PST

  •  Why don't we just... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...get rid of the Senate completely?  Congress is a failure; let's change it to a unicameral Parliament.

    "To call a starving man free is to mock him." --Jawaharlal Nehru

    by demomoke on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 03:53:43 PM PST

  •  What?!? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, Alice in Florida

    The Democrats have all the ammunition they need against the Republicans to win a 60-65 seat Dem Senate.  The question is, as it always is, whether they will USE that ammunition or not.

    •  Doesn't answer the question. (0+ / 0-)

      Do you favor eliminating the filibuster, come what may?

      I certainly do.

      Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

      by GreenSooner on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:03:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The founders (0+ / 0-)

        did NOT want absolute majority rule. That tends to lead to things like communism, fascism, naziism... it leads to oppressed minorities. And in a nation ruled by corporations it leads to open fascism, a tiny ruling class and disposeable serfs.

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:14:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If they wanted 40 Senators to stop everything (0+ / 0-)

          the filibuster would exist as an actual Constitutional construct.

          It doesn't.

          "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

          by Wayward Son on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 05:38:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not in this election... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I don't know what planet you're on, but we're defending 23 seats, and the GOP are defending only 10.  In case you're under a rock, the electorate are not exactly happy with incumbents of either stripe this year.  I don't know if we'll lose the Senate, but there is no way in fucking hell we gain 7 seats.

      "To call a starving man free is to mock him." --Jawaharlal Nehru

      by demomoke on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:05:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nelson plus senate seats up for re-election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Democrat Seats up for Re-election 2012

    Daniel Akaka, Hawaii
    Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico
    Sherrod Brown, Ohio
    Joe Manchin, West Virginia
    Maria Cantwell, Washington
    Benjamin Cardin, Maryland
    Thomas Carper, Delaware
    Robert Casey, Jr., Pennsylvania
    Kent Conrad, North Dakota
    Diane Feinstein, California
    Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
    Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
    Herb Kohl, Wisconsin
    Claire McCaskill, Missouri
    Robert Menendez, New Jersey
    Ben Nelson, Nebraska
    Bill Nelson, Florida
    Debbie Stabenow, Michigan
    Jon Tester, Montana
    Jim Webb, Virginia
    Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

    Two Independent Senate Seats up for Re-Election 2012
     Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut
     Bernard Sanders, Vermont

    Republican  Senate seats up for Re-Election 2012

        Scott Brown, Massachusetts
        John Barrasso, Wyoming
        Bob Corker, Tennessee
        John Ensign, Nevada
        Orrin Hatch, Utah
        Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas
        Jon Kyl, Arizona
        Richard Lugar, Indiana
        Olympia Snowe, Maine
        Roger Wicker, Mississippi

    Mitt Romney is most interested in privatizing Social Security and Medicare so his 1% Wall Street buddies can get their hands on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

    by anyname on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:05:50 PM PST

    •  i thought Leiberman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, anyname

      was retiring at the end of his term...? Also Ensign, though I expect he'll be replaced by another R.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:49:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think CT will actually benefit the most as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Lieberman retires and they actually get a real Democrat to fill that seat. And MA could very well go back to the Democratic seat it should have been and should always be. I truly think Casey should be Ok in PA, people generally like him.  But I can see where MO could change hands and Claire might lose there and a few others that could be a problem. But I see Democrats picking up maybe 2-3 but they cannot afford to lose any and I think they will lose a few.

  •  I'll never understand why Dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Laconic Lib

    can't lock arms when its important the way the Repubs can.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:11:33 PM PST

  •  The level of dumb amongst (0+ / 0-)

    progressives is shocking sometimes. This post displays it in bold.

    When it advantages the far right everyones all about "oh we have to be principled!" .. when it benefits the left "we have to be pragmatic!".

    The level of stupid, and cowardice sometimes is just shocking no wonder we/you keep getting smacked around like b***

    A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

    by cdreid on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:12:32 PM PST

  •  The only way (0+ / 0-)

    The public is ever going to know how shitty Republican Senators are is if they actually vote to do things, and then they are on record as having voted for or against __.

    House Republicans have voted for or against a whole lot of terrible things this year, because their votes have "counted" even if legislation doesn't pass the Senate or get a Presidential signature.

    I'm so fucking tired of a Senate that does not a fucking thing any more; Why even have Senators if all they're ever gonna do is take votes on whether they should vote on something????

    To say I would "support" Republicans implies that I support Republicans, but really, if the silver lining of a GOP majority in the Senate is that they axe the filibuster and the ridiculous 60 vote threshold, I'd take it.

    Of course, preventing a GOP majority would be better overall, but the rules have got to fucking change if we want to make any progress in this country.

  •  Federal Judge seats for Orly Taitz and Michelle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bachmann. Get some strict Constitutional constructionists on the bench instead of liberal activists. That's what no filibuster means to me.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:17:47 PM PST

  •  Only thing you can count on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the Republicans do take control of the Senate, you can expect them to change the filibuster, and if they do that you can count on them changing it some way that benefits only the Republicans to the detriment of the country.

    Count on it.

  •  I know I'm in the minority on this score... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kcc, wishingwell, Matt Z

    But I never favored the Democrats changing the filibuster rules and obviously I would not be in favor of the GOP doing the same.

    Just because a number of kooks on both sides of the aisle have sought to abuse the rule does not mean it needs to be done away with.

    Perhaps if American voters spent a little time doing their homework on the people they vote to send to Congress and started electing individuals who actually know how to govern, these rules would not be such a hot debate for silly fodder.

    "No, I'm being judged against the ideal. Joe Biden has a saying: 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative." --President Barack Obama, 12/11/11

    by smoothnmellow on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:21:14 PM PST

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

    "If the GOP wins the majority, would you support them if they ended the filibuster?"

    I would support the end of the filibuster, but it's unlikely I'd support anything else they do!

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:21:21 PM PST

  •  Given how craven Democratic senators have been, (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine them ever standing up to the Republican bullies, no matter what side of the majority they're on. Just wait and see; a Republican majority in the Senate will pass legislation authorizing summary execution of illegal immigrants without trial and the resumption of slavery. The Democrats will then retake the Senate...and fold like a Wal-Mart deck chair for every Republican filibuster.

    Count on it.

  •  pessimist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, liberaldregs

    If the economy continues to improve, we win big in 2012.  Ten months is a long time--today's polls will look very foolish by November.  Heck, 3 weeks ago, Newt was the king of Iowa.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:31:26 PM PST

    •  good point Mel and not long ago, Cain was their (0+ / 0-)


      10 months in politics is a long, long time. We have seen things drastically change in a week or two weeks.

    •  That's why I don't think they'll do it (0+ / 0-)

      The only shot the Rs have at the Senate is because of the math (lots of D seats up, lots of D vacancies).  If it weren't for that, it would be a good year for us.  So McConnell is going to be looking at a fairly narrow R majority in the Senate.  We have as good a shot at a House majority as he has at a Senate majority (I think both houses will flip) and the Republicans appear to be self-immolating at the presidential level.

      And, yes.  The R's have a long term problem at the presidential level.  They've pretty much eliminated themselves from contention this year.   If they send Santorum or Gingrich out, they're not just getting Obama re-elected but they're giving Hillary Clinton a good shot in 2016.  

  •  What's good for the goosed is good for the gander. (0+ / 0-)

    No way should Democrats not use the tools - the silent filibuster and the closeted cloture have indeed been effective tools! - that The Others used to achieve their goals. And no way can those Senate GOP hypocrites validly object, for they have shown that very way.

    Unilaterally rejecting what precedent has made usable is foolhardy! No, just foolish, not hardy.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:35:17 PM PST

  •  The Republicans will change the filibuster rule (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Escamillo, chrismorgan

    if they get 51. It won't matter what we want.
    We must not let them get the majority. What they have done to our country is despicable. They ought to all be put out on a raft in the middle of the ocean and left to drift.
    They're beyond contempt.

    They are engaged in massive voter suppression efforts as we speak. When will Dems and progressives wake up and understand that they are an existential threat to our lives and our democracy?

    If they win the Senate, whether it matters about the filibuster rule will depend on how many Senators they will have up for re-election in 2014? Will the circumstances be reversed?
    Also, if Obama wins, he'll still have the veto for the really bad legislation that will be coming.

    I think we have an opportunity to win back the house and really deliver a mortal blow to the gop this time. We should be steeling ourselves to do that and go toe to toe with them every step of the way.

  •  I support filibuster rules reform no matter who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Escamillo


    Lea: "You're not going to fly into an asteroid field, are you?" Han Solo: "They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?"

    by Kimball Cross on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:49:02 PM PST

  •  Republicans aren't going to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, liberaldregs

    eliminate the filibuster...they know they'll need it again someday.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 04:53:26 PM PST

    •  However (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      The GOP used reconciliation to pass their budgetary matters with majority vote, and the Democrats then repealed reconciliation to make it easier for the GOP to fillibuster them. Thus, I disagree with you. If the GOP eliminates the filibuster, they can bank on that the Democrats will reinstate it when they gain control of the senate again.

      This will happen because the GOP plays to win, while Democrats believe in fairness. It's just in their nature for this to happen.

  •  I, for one, welcome our new Republican overlords! (0+ / 0-)

    It's a Simpson reference.

    Somebody had to say it.

  •  I voted no (0+ / 0-)

    I do not now, nor have I ever supported an end to the filibuster.

    In fact, should the GOP win, I would hope Democrats would use it more often than the GOP did.

  •  My biggest fear is them getting 60 votes. (0+ / 0-)

    and the, the  fillibuster would not matter.  I think the fillibuster works both ways, it works against the extremes on both sides.

  •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP will change the rules to make fillibustering easier. They will also reinstate reconciliation rules so that budgetary matters can pass with a majority vote. However, when the Democrats take back control, they repeal reconciliation rules and make it easier for the GOP to fillibuster again. History has followed this pattern, and there is no reason to believe this is going to change.

  •  Except for lifetime appointments. (0+ / 0-)

    Those need to remain subject the filibuster because they are lifetime.  For the same reason it takes 2/3rd for treaties, constitutional amendments and the like.

  •  Just understand the risks (0+ / 0-)

    I'd oppose it if Obama didn't get re-elected and we didn't get control of the House back.  If Obama gets re-elected and shows some sign of a backbone, then I'm inclined to let them try it.

    I don't think it's going to happen.  McConnell has a decent shot at getting control of the Senate, but it won't be a big margin and he'll be looking at Obama as a lame duck President for the next four years.  In the mean time, there is immense resistance to repealing the filibuster among much of the neo-confederate white supremacist base (and McConnell is himself a neo-confederate white supremacist).  So he's not going to go there: once it's gone, it's gone.  In the meantime, the Rs have proven themselves very adept at using obstructionism as a weapon and there's no reason for them to give up a situation that works to their benefit.

  •  This is a be-careful-what-you-wish-for moment. (0+ / 0-)

    I could support a rule that requires the old fashioned talking filibuster, but not a simple majority rule.  That way lies more evil mischief.  The majority can be wickedly, viciously wrong.

    Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

    by CarolinNJ on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 05:45:27 PM PST

  •  Pragmatism demands 100% support (0+ / 0-)

    regardless of who does it.

    I would prefer Dems do it.  But if they're too cowardly/corrupt I'll be PRAGMATIC and accept it from anyone.

    "Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." Sun Tzu

    by gila on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 05:57:31 PM PST

  •  Then what reason do you have... (0+ / 0-)
    In fact, I think most of the country will hate what the Republicans do with an empowered majority as much as they hate what is being done in the House.

    ... to believe that they might take the Senate in the first place? Why do you replay the same delusion ("this will be the election when Americans finally realise what the GOP is all about") year after year, Congress after Congress, Presidential term after Presidential term, instead of simply realising that most of those who vote GOP know exactly what they are about and want that. They agree with them.

  •  umm (0+ / 0-)

    I would NEVER support the GOP.

    "Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." -Melvin Udall

    by hoof32 on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 06:20:35 PM PST

  •  don't end the filibuster ... reform it (0+ / 0-)

    INstead of having 60 yes to proceed to  voting on the bill,

    Demand that 40 (or better yet 45) Senators present on the floor vote NO and that NO only holds for as long as they are on the floor...all 40 of them.  

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 06:49:12 PM PST

  •  Yes. Even if that happens (0+ / 0-)

    We will take it back and the filibuster as it is currently is as undemocratic as all hell.  We should have already eliminated it imo.

  •  Why Wait? (0+ / 0-)

    Knowing this is what they plan to do anyways, why wouldn't the Dems head this off after the break, pass a boat ton of popular appointments that are being held up, and just get it over with. Why does only one party play by rules and common decency?

    There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

    by Irixsh on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 08:32:48 PM PST

  •  Mend it, don't end it (0+ / 0-)

    There are good reasons to require a supermajority in certain situations, but I agree that currently it's way overdone.  I would adopt various proposals already out there such as requiring the filibustering senators actually to be in the chamber 24/7.  Also I would progressively lower the hurdles with successive votes a few months apart, possibly ending with a simple majority, but only after a regular election so that voters have had the chance to engage the debate.

    I support this no matter who's in charge.  Any changes have to be palatable whoever's in power -- anyone who doesn't understand this is a fool.  Sure, bad stuff could pass, but if it's really unpopular it can be repealed.  And good stuff can finally pass too.

    And why the fuck couldn't it have been the Dems doing this?  Like in '09 when it could have made a giant difference?  Oh, I remember, because so many elected Dems don't want that.

    Obama 2012 - Stay The Course! Yip! "This election's not about ideology, it's about competence"

    by dackmont on Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 08:47:57 PM PST

  •  gotta to laugh (0+ / 0-)

    only on the left could we think this way.  yeah sure, go ahead and end the filibuster and watch the gop dismatle everything.

    screw it, i say if the gop won't cooperate then given your scenario (which I hope isn't true) dems shouldn't cooperate.  how is getting bad things done, good for anyone?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 03:53:56 AM PST

  •  I think the fillibuster is needed (0+ / 0-)

    It was used responsibly prior to Obama's election.

  •  Obama should campaign on this (0+ / 0-)

    He should say do we really want the GOP to totally control the govt? Re-elect president Obama to make sure we have a check on radical republicans.

  •  I never thought we should eliminate the filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    but that we should make there be real pain involved in invoking it. Forget this painless and proforma voting for cloture.  A bill gets a vote unless someone gets up, stops all work in the senate and makes a case for it not being voted upon for X hours and then calls for the sixty vote over ride of his objection.

    That way both sides have a means of stopping the most egregious actions and choices of the majority. But it cannot be used without difficulty and real consequences for those doing so - neither of which exist now.

    So even though I agree the Senate rules need to be changed, we have to disagree with how.

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