Skip to main content

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) attend the unveiling ceremony of a statue of former U.S. President Gerald Ford in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Robe
Say what, now?

Politico reports on one of the latest across-the-aisle exchanges of fire over the looming filibuster reform fight, under the headline "GOP warns of shutdown over filibuster."

Well, what else is new, right? Not only is partisan disagreement over, well, just about anything now a matter of course, but it can hardly be said that a Senate shutdown constitutes any departure from the norm.

But if you read this story backwards, you'll get to the bottom of my own headline much faster.

Here's a digest of what you'd see, reading the story the traditional way. That is, from the beginning:

A partisan war is brewing that could bring the government to a screeching halt as early as January — and no, it’s not over the fiscal cliff.

It’s all about the filibuster.

[...]

Here’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering: banning filibusters used to prevent debate from even starting and House-Senate conference committees from ever meeting. He also may make filibusters become actual filibusters — to force senators to carry out the nonstop, talkathon sessions.

And Republicans? Well:
Republicans are threatening even greater retaliation if Reid uses a move rarely used by Senate majorities: changing the chamber’s precedent by 51 votes, rather than the usual 67 votes it takes to overhaul the rules.
Says who?
“I think the backlash will be severe,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the conservative firebrand, said sternly. “If you take away minority rights, which is what you’re doing because you’re an ineffective leader, you’ll destroy the place. And if you destroy the place, we’ll do what we have to do to fight back.”

“It will shut down the Senate,” the incoming Senate GOP whip, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, told POLITICO. “It’s such an abuse of power.”

So there you have it. Democrats are threatening to change the rules, and Republicans are threatening to strike back, because Democrats are taking away minority rights.

How so?

What Reid appears most likely to do is push for an end to the filibuster on so-called motions to proceed, or the beginning of a debate on bills or nominations. If Reid goes this route, senators could still filibuster virtually any other aspect of Senate business, including any movement to end debate and call for a final vote on a bill.

And Reid is strongly considering pushing for other filibuster changes, too — most notably requiring senators to actually go to the floor and carry out an endless talking session, rather than simply threaten them as they do now.

So, the rights the minority is outraged about losing are: 1) the right to block debate from beginning on bills or nominations, though they can still filibuster those bills once debate begins, and; 2) the right to block all Senate action without actually having to go to the Senate floor and say anything at all.

Life's tough!

Still, isn't it a genuine loss for Republican senators not to be able to block bills and nominations simply by waving a hand at them? Wouldn't it be wildly unpopular with them to force them to actually take the floor and talk about what they're doing?

Well, here's where reading backwards comes in. Here are the two final paragraphs in the story:

But Democrats don’t think the changes will prevent the minority from exerting its rights. And if Democrats push through their “talking filibuster” plan, both Barrasso and Coburn say they’d be willing to go to the floor and make their objections heard.

“I’ll filibuster any way I can,” Coburn said. “If you want to filibuster, you ought to be willing to get out and earn it. I don’t have any problems with that.”

Wacky, isn't it? Democrats propose changing the rules so that Republicans will still have the right to filibuster any bill or nomination, only they'll have to actually go to the floor to do it. And Republicans say they're willing to do exactly that.

Obviously, that's terrible, and the Senate is going to be destroyed. Too bad. We were once so close to finding bipartisan compromise. And then, tragically, we found it.

Clearly, this must be stopped. Let it never be said that Republican obstructionism was reflexive and pointless.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This is the Grandpa(and Grandma) Squad (23+ / 0-)

    The GOP just ain't gonna have the Stamina for a protracted real filibuster and they know it and they're scared of this rather than just a simple lowering it from 60 to 55 votes.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:35:31 PM PST

    •  Think of the cross marketing promotions though! (27+ / 0-)

      "This 13th Hour of the Republican Filibuster brought to you by No Doz." And, much later, "This 27th Hour of the Republican Filibuster sponsored by Depends."

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:44:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  This Proposed "Reform" is Just Worthless! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fiona West

          NOTHING short of ending the filibuster once and for all will work! This proposed "reform" accomplishes NOTHING!

          History Lesson: From 1946-1965 Southern Democrats filibustered EVERY Civil Rights measure brought forward and NOTHING passed the Senate that wasn't approved by racist Southern Democrats.

          Liberals (including Northern Republicans) backing integration tried repeatedly without success to break the filibuster.

          In those days Senators had to talk on the floor to filibuster, just like under this proposed "reform".

          But, GA Sen. Richard Russell divided the racists into teams of 2. Each senator would talk for 3 or 4 hours in a shift and then recognize his colleague who would blather for another 3 or 4 hours -- until the next shift came on.

          It was the LIBERALS who were worn out, because they had to be on duty, sleep in their offices and never leave the Capitol Building -- ready to invoke cloture and cut off debate at any time.

          The filibusterers were perfectly rested, because all they had to do under Senate rules is be "on duty" 1 out of every 4 days and talk for a few hours. The rest of the time they were at home in their states!

          Every filibuster until 1965 succeeded when the Liberals gave up and were worn out! In 1965, northern Senate REPUBLICANS finally joined with Liberal Democrats to defeat the filibuster. REPUBLICANS actually cast the decisive Civil Rights votes!

          The IDIOTIC notion that it's going to be one lone Senator filibustering like Mr. Smith goes to Washington is what seems to be behind this proposed "reform." It's going to be 45 of them! And they won't have ANY TROUBLE AT ALL BLOCKING EVERYTHING!

          Moronic! All this will accomplish is take the Senate BACK to the way things were in the 1940s-1960s!

          Republicans are RIGHT! They WILL have no trouble standing up in shifts all night and talking, if that's what it takes!

          •  But you're missing the larger picture (7+ / 0-)

            Those Senators were willing to do this about one issue. With the current state of affairs the Senate effectively blocks efforts on multiple fronts. Everything from tax policy to appointing federal judges is held up by their silent filibusters. Yes, the old filibuster was a horrible thing, but I can't believe the current crop of assholes could muster talking filibusters for a 100 or more federal judges. Do you? That's the real problem with the current system, it's so fucking easy and politically painless they do it constantly.

            To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

            by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:09:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why not? Their goal isn't to do the government's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              isabelle hayes

              business, but to keep Democrats from being able to carry out their agenda, whatever the voters may have decided.

              Or if they don't filibuster 100 federal judges, but still filibuster anyone Obama proposes for the Supreme Court, a few other key judges and appointments, and major laws -- is that okay?

              No.

              THis "reform" is way too weak.

              If, as it seems, some Democrats (like Reid) are unwilling to completely do away with this "Senate tradition," then at the very least limit the number of filibusters either party can engage in to a very low number per Congressional session (2 years).  Perhaps 2 or 3.  And make them talk.

              The filibuster used to be an extraordinary, rarely used tactic.  REform is worthless unless it restores the filibuster to that status again, and keeps it there.

              Better yet, the length of a filibuster should be limited as well.  Give it a week.  Make it another delaying tactic, useful only a few times a session.  Theoretically, it would give the minority a way of calling attention to an issue they feel strongly about, time to get their objections out to the public and let the public reaction be heard.  That's all the minority can legitimately expect.  The Senate is supposed to be run by majority rule.

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:03:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Limiting it to 2 or 3 effectively eliminates it (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dzog, rainmanjr, isabelle hayes

                Because the majority party would just introduce 3 or 4 separate bills about essentially the same thing and eventually get their way.

                I prefer the proposal that requires rising numbers of senators opposing cloture to actually be on the floor when it is invoked. That would take care of the problem of 2 senators at a time obstructing everything.

                But in reality, changing the filibuster from invisible to highly visible is a great improvement. Many republican senators do not have the luxury of gerrymandered districts that their house colleagues have, and putting the crazy obstruction on display would be a problem for them.

                •  I don't trust the power of visibility to control (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  isabelle hayes

                  Republican obstruction, and I dread seeing the Dems waste their one chance at filibuster reform, and thereby gamble the effectiveness of this second term, which is crucial in certain ways (in dealing with climate change, for instance; we have a limited window to make basic infrastructure changes in time).

                  But the idea of requiring Senators who oppose cloture to be on the floor when it's invoked -- that has real potential.

                  --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                  by Fiona West on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:49:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Pay off the deficit in 2 years!!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, JML9999

        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

        by glorificus on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:10:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Papa John's & Godfather's can send in pizzas (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TKO333

        makin' it all 'Murican and all that (even though I don't think I'd have the heart to make even Senate Repukes eat that shit!).

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:25:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Plus it'll be on C-SPAN for all to see (9+ / 0-)

      Just think of Inhofe or Demint talking stuff and the populace actually finding out how crazy they are.  They don't want that.

      "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

      by Rolfyboy6 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:21:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an excellent point. (6+ / 0-)

        Right now, all the general public really knows of the filibuster is what they've seen in either/or/both:

        1 -- Jimmy Stewart's character in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

        2. -- "The Stackhouse Filibuster" episode on "The West Wing."

        Both, much loved "traditional" understandings of the filibuster and both exemplifying "lovable/likable" fictional characters, espousing noble causes...

        Let these GOPuckers actually have to show up and defend their preference for the current "lazy filibuster" process...

        I would luuuuuuuurve to see that.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:33:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, It's NOT an "Excellent Point"! (0+ / 0-)

          NOBODY watches C-Span. And even FEWER will watch during GOP filibusters.

          Republicans have paid ZERO price so far from obstructing everything and won't pay any in the future!

          Do you think that "blocking the implementation of Obamacare" is going to be unpopular with the imbeciles back in Tennessee?

          Fox News will lead the cheering section, and inside the hermetically sealed bubble that is the Mainstream Media it will be "both sides fault that they can't find common ground."

          And they will blame Democrats for making the GOP hold their breath.

          NOTHING will change if they tie the Senate up for years with this crap!

          THE ONLY CHANGE will come when they just eliminate the filibuster entirely. Period.

          NOTHING short of the Nuclear Option will work -- AT ALL!

          And our Democratic imbeciles led by Harry Reid just won't pull the trigger!  

          •  I am. Somebody. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oliver Tiger

            pft.

            You are not correct.

            pft some more.

            "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

            by Marjmar on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:14:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree. Merkeley's proposeal would work fine (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dzog, rainmanjr, pelagicray

            They haven't paid much price because the filibuster is completely invisible right now. That would change if they did have to actually speak continuously. And Merkeley would require that larger numbers of senators actually be participating. Sure, C-span gets low viewership, but the video would play on every newscast in America and the sillier stuff would get internet play. It would get attention in part because it's an easy story, has good video to show, and would also be useful in campaign ads (because of how ridiculous a real filibuster ends up being when they have to talk that long).

          •  There's always YouTube (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rainmanjr, pelagicray

            Mitch McConnell's rule abuse over the last 6 years or so has been mostly invisible.  And that's just the direct effects; the majority didn't even try to do certain things, since they knew the GOP would block them.

            If this didn't matter, McConnell would be fine with it.

            Simply by making it possible the know that the Senate is being closed down by Turtle Clown and the rest of his circus troupe increases the cost of obstruction to the GOP.  Perhaps not all that much, but enough to make it visible.

            I'm not sure what good the filibuster does any more, and folks like Diane Feinstein need to tell us what the hell that might be.  But the rules changes being proposed will certainly make it more clear when these people are throwing their next temper tantrum.   Which can only help.

            [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

            by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:13:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Even worse, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, JML9999, elginblt, rainmanjr

      Those republican gasbags will have to LISTEN TO EACH OTHER bargling on and on, ad nauseum, for hours and hours, and HOURS!  And the best part is WE CAN TURN C-SPAN OFF WHILE THEY DO!  Hah!
      And is this the first time I've ever heard Sen. Coburn being concerned about the rights of minorities?

      •  Yes, Sen. Coburn is generally supportive of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, elginblt

        majorities unless his party is in the minority.

        Such a walking pile of merde.

        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

        by glorificus on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:02:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let it also never be said (10+ / 0-)

    that Republicans make any sense whatsoever. Especially when caught in the web of their own rhetoric.

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:36:03 PM PST

  •  But is the talking filibuster such a good idea? (14+ / 0-)

    It still chews up a lot of time.

    One proposal I heard on Fresh Air (I think it was from Norm Ornstein) was: change the rules to require 40 votes to sustain this filibuster rather than 60 votes to impose cloture. That puts the burden on the filibustering party to sustain their numbers onsite at the Senate. They might not find it so convenient to do so except on matters of great importance to them.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:38:50 PM PST

    •  If they're going to intentionally waste time... (14+ / 0-)

      they should have to put a face on the time waster(s)...

      My guess is, there would be much less time wasted, given the fact that most of those currently doing the obstructing are too chickenshit to even identify themselves, much less single themselves out...

      This is a great idea:

      require 40 votes to sustain this filibuster rather than 60 votes to impose cloture
      But it should be in ADDITION to a talking filibuster requirement, IMO...

      Baby, where I come from...

      by ThatSinger on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:46:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And here's the link to (5+ / 0-)

        the Fresh Air episode in question. And here's Norm on the topic:

        The whole idea behind Rule 22 as it is ... is that you could have a minority, not necessarily a partisan one, feel so intensely about an issue that they're willing to put themselves on the line, to debate around the clock, to sleep on mattresses outside the chamber, to take the issue to the country.

        What's happened since the rule's change in 1975, and especially in the last few years, is you don't have to do any of that. You lift your little finger and say, 'I intend to filibuster,' ... and to stop that process, the majority needs to produce 60 votes. We had a spectacle, a couple of times in the last Congress, where Democrats had to bring in 92-year-old Robert Byrd, out of his hospital bed basically ... to provide that 60th vote. And instead, if you basically say, 'If you want to keep blocking action, [to] keep debate going, you have to consistently provide the 40 votes' — it's different.

        It used to be that before we had this last change, it took two-thirds of those senators [who were] present and voting. So if the majority said, 'You want to bring the place to a halt, we'll do that, we'll go 'round the clock,' [then] the minority had to keep its members around — because if they didn't show up, you could get two-thirds of 50 ... members of the majority to stop debate and move forward.

        Now, the minority only has to keep one or two people around to note that there's no quorum of a majority of members, and to block unanimous consent action. And it's the majority that has to keep its members on the couches and the mattresses going around the clock, so it doesn't work in the traditional fashion.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:57:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It ALWAYS WAS that Way! (0+ / 0-)

          What changed in 1975 was lowering the threshold for cloture from 67 votes to 60.

          But, all along, the majority had to be "present and voting" which means that it's the MAJORITY that gets worn out sleeping in their offices and rushing out onto the Senate floor, every time the filibusterers suggest the lack of a quorum for a vote.

          It's the majority that gets worn out, NOT the filibusterers!

          45 Republicans can divide up into  22 teams of two.

          If each Senator has to filibuster for 4 hours at a clip then each day they only need 3 teams -- or 6 Senators, plus one or two leaders to manage things.

          I.E. each GOP Senator will be "on duty" for about 8 hours once a week!

          That is why this proposed reform is worthless!

          •  I think you're confused or at a minimum ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray

            you're confusing me about what you're referring to.

            The rule used to be two-thirds of those present and voting to impose cloture. That came to 67 in a full Senate but it was pro-rated for members absent. When the change came it was to 60 as you say, but that was irrespective of the number of members present.

            It is this requirement that imposes a burden on the majority. And Ornstein's proposal reverse that by requiring 40 votes to sustain a filibuster irrespective of how many members are voting. It requires the minority to be in constant attendance and their filibuster can be broken with a small number of opposing senators present.

            But if you're referring to the talking filibuster, I agree with those who say it doesn't really accomplish anything

            "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

            by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:02:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  And here's Jonathan Bernstein on ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, Rolfyboy6

        why the live filibuster is overrated. His bottom line:

        Republicans have already proven that they're willing to delay appropriations for troops on the battlefield, and they've already proven that they're willing  to engage in pure, pointless obstruction, when they forced the reading of an amendment during Christmas week even though there was actually nothing at stake in moving the final vote back a few hours.  An actual filibuster, with Republicans talking for the CSPAN2 cameras, wouldn't be a problem at all for them -- unless, of course, the item they were blocking was popular among their constituents.  But if that was the case, they wouldn't be blocking it in the first place!  

        ...

        One last time: if the majority has the votes for cloture and allows obstruction to kill a bill or a nomination, one can fairly criticize the majority for caring more about other things than for the failed measure.  If, however, the majority does not have the votes for cloture, and there is minority determined to conduct a filibuster, then forcing the minority to actually hold the floor cannot -- will not -- break the filibuster.  Claims otherwise are just not correct.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:05:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This argument is flawed imo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pelagicray

          Bernstein appears to be arguing that the Republican senators will never fold and continue to obstruct because they only care about republican primary voters. This completely ignores the nature of many senate contests from states that are not deep red (e.g. NC, AZ, NV, ME, etc.). Are senators from these states going to throw their lot in visibly with extremist positions? Sure, when it's invisible there is no cost, but when it's visible it's not such a simple decision. The recent senate failures of real die-hard teabaggers should illustrate the problems of visible extremist views and the clear flaws in his argument.

          It also assumes that people would actually watch the republicans making their points on c-span. Junkies might, but most of the public will get a summary of what's happening on the news, with the sillier segments getting more buzz. It's not a clear winner for the minority in that case at all, but the fact they are obstructing would get some news play and internet buzz, so it's not clear to me why the majority wouldn't just let them go on for a while until they break.

    •  I suspect one thing that terrifies them is what I (5+ / 0-)

      mentioned elsewhere and deals with requiring Senator X from the great state of Y have stand up and actually make news, put a face to the yammering individual working to block even veteran's benefits or such other hot button items and there will be a whole lots more silence and cooperation. These folks aren't suicidal quite yet. As I said there:

      At least that would get the jackass crew willing to burst bladders for the 1% in the spotlight, in the news, rather than "filibustering" hidden in the shadows only the most hard core C-Span watcher would notice. The word "filibuster" is "Dutch word meaning 'pirate'" so lets make those opposing say an Obama tax cut after all the Bush ones expire fly the black flag for all to see. Put them in the spotlight, turn the Obama campaign machine loose in their districts and campaign hard to evict them from seats in 2014.
      Right now the thing is so common, so easily done from the shadows that nobody much knows anything about the obstructionists. Even Senate lights for C-Span are great disinfectants in this case so make them face the cameras and face those spotlights.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:21:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like Ornstein's idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demi Moaned

      Certainly, if they're going to stop the Senate from doing business, then the needed procedure cannot be routine.  Or you'll have sociopaths like McConnell derailing the will of the voters.

      The Senate is already enough of an anti-majoritarian institution.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:17:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who'll notice if they follow thru on their flaccid (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, nellgwen, eps62, Marjmar, elginblt

    threat(s)?

    You mean that well-oiled, smoothly-operating dynamo known as the US Senate might be rendered dysfunctional by a dysfunctional minority?

    That would be WAY different from what we've seen since January, 2009...

    Oh Noes!!!

    Baby, where I come from...

    by ThatSinger on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:42:30 PM PST

  •  I oppose Filibuster Reform (0+ / 0-)

    It's looking like the GOP is finally maturing and ready to come to the table, so tactically, it's really bad form to upend the rules of the Senate right when they appear to break ranks.

    Also, the public is on our side, and this will be seen as overreach, it will backfire horribly.

    We need to have a national conversation of tax rates not Senatorial procedures.

    I agree in principle, but the timing is off, and as I said before, strategically it will backfire big time.

    •  Um, no. (15+ / 0-)

      How can you say that the GOP is "maturing" when they spout nonsense like this? This is in no way any different from what they have been doing since 1994. This is hardly overreach; instead, it is playing to that public support, who can hardly be said to have endorsed gridlock. Ever.Your concern, however, is noted.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:49:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be crass, (0+ / 0-)

        the strategy is fucking stupid.

        Senate Republicans, and there enough to make the Senate hospitable again, Corker, Collins, Kirk, Murkoski, Graham, Alexander, are far more eager to cooperate than the House G-O-Tea.

        If you are going to go after the Senate GOP first, then you are destroying all of the leverage the election has granted you.

        The key here is to win over the Senate GOP, isolate the House and force the party to fight itself, not unite them over bullshit procedural rules that 95% of Americans don't know shit about.

        •  Show me some evidence (6+ / 0-)

          that any R elected since 1994 is willing to cooperate. Any substantive vote, taken at any time. You can't, because none have been made. There is no such thing as "win[ning] over the Senate GOP"; that's delusional.
          Getting rid of the filibuster is the only leverage we have to pass worthwhile legislation.
          They will fight itself regardless of what we do; they've proven that.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:12:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  True Centrist, what country have you been (5+ / 0-)

          living for the past 4 years?

          How many Republicans voted for Obamacare? How many are saying not NO but HELL NO to raising revenue through tax increases?

          Tell me again how the Rs are getting more reasonable, because your arguments seem REALLY FUCKING STUPID.

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:07:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Without Senatorial procedure reform... (10+ / 0-)

      a national (and more importantly RATIONAL) conversation of tax rates is simply not possible... and a plurality of Americans understand the "who and why" of that...

      Baby, where I come from...

      by ThatSinger on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:49:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call me cynical, (12+ / 0-)

      but I'll believe that Repugs are willing to honestly work in a constructive fashion to address necessary legislation when I see it. I have zero confidence that they will follow through in any meaningful manner. Even those who are right now saying that they no longer bow to Grover Norquist. I'm just not ready to accept that Lucy's going to let me kick the ball this go round.

      I say change the rules and make the Repugs stand up and do their fillibustering publicly.

      "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

      by aggressiveprogressive on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:53:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry about the timing but, the reform must be (8+ / 0-)

      applied during Senate change over.  
      The circumstances of public support for Democratic policies over Republican policies will still stand no matter the timing of filibuster reform.  Considering that the Democrats have the mandate to make changes, they better do it.
      Republicans are seen as obstructionists by the majority of American voters, so if they dig in their heels now about the fiscal cliff, they will be seen as the obstructionists regardless of the status of the filibuster.  Now is the time.

      •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

        the Democrats don't have a mandate for filibuster reform and that is overreach. They have a mandate for a second chance to get taxes fairer and jobs created, if they put consolidating power over both of those then 2014 will be painful.

        Here's how it will play out:

        -The Dems make a unilateral move to change long standing Senate procedures to weaken the filibuster.

        -The GOP throws a hissy fit, noting 2 things which are 100% correct: 1. This has never been done before and 2. What about jobs? jobs? jobs? (You can bitch about how they're opposition is also unprecedented--but two things--they are not in charge and that was the past--this is a brand new Congress.)

        -The effectiveness of those talking points will unite Congressional GOP to stop the Dem power grab--aka all of these soft "I was wrong" quotes coming from GOP Senators stop and the vitriol will return tenfold.

        -The public support weakens as the GOP effectively defines the Dem move as a power grab, misinterpreting the 2012 elections, and not focusing on jobs.

        -The Dems cave as moderate Dems like Landrieu, Conneley, Manchin and some 2014ers who are facing tough battles distance themselves from the power grab.

        -The first battle of the new congress is an embarrassing Dem defeat that was entirely self-inflicted.

        -The entrenched and unified Congressional GOP now raise their demands for the Fiscal Cliff discussions.

        This story has played out before, you folks really need lessons on when to choose your battles.

    •  Congress has an abysmal approval rating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marjmar, pelagicray

      and there's constant bitching that the Senate hasn't passed a budget, or much of anything for that matter, in ages. Filibuster reform is needed to change that.

      What's more, the reforms Reid has proposed are pretty reasonable. Filibusters should be for debate as originally intended. As such, Senators should have to take the mic to make them. Secondly, Senators should not be able to use the filibuster to prevent debate; that's just silly.

      Finally, many Democratic Senators and candidates, including Tammy Baldwin here in Wisconsin, ran using filibuster reform as an issue. The only backlash will be from whiny Beltway pundits who can't vote for Senate anyways.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

      by fearlessfred14 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:07:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are they more or less popular than syphilis now? (0+ / 0-)

        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

        by glorificus on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:12:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know where to find STD approval ratings (0+ / 0-)

          but they are less popular than Nixon was during Watergate. They are still more popular than Blago in 2009 or themselves in 2011 (approximately equal ratings BTW).

          Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02. "You're damn right we're making a difference!" - Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

          by fearlessfred14 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:25:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, this was a comment from a politician before (0+ / 0-)

            the 2008 or 2010 election, to the effect Congress' approval ratings were really close to VD.

            I was wondering if any new info has come out since the election.

            "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

            by glorificus on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:57:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  There are drugs for syphillis (0+ / 0-)

          and sometimes, fun was had in the getting of the infection.

          I'm not sure there's any cure for the GOP leadership in the Senate, and near as I can tell, they're no damn fun at all.

          [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

          by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:21:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I do not think we can depend on GOP maturity. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus

      And I believe The Public knows that.

      The GOP has repeatedly shown us that it does not care what most Americans want or believe. If it did our country would have universal healthcare, a balanced budget, and would have long ago stopped talking about taking away access to abortion that well of over 60% of Americans believe is and should be a right.  I don't see that changing because they lost this last election. They were, after all, quite successful in the previous election.

      I also think the public will see reinstating the filibuster requirements they saw in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" will be seen as what it is - correction of an error.

      An error that gave so much power to the minority, that the U.S. Senate ceased to be a democratic institution.

    •  Oh gosh, it's the right thing to do, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify

      But not NOW
      -the Democrats Epitaph

    •  This needs a snark tag (0+ / 0-)

      If you're joking, we should call it a snark tag on your comment.

      And if you're serious, well, can we put the snark tag on your account?

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:19:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  conciliatory remarks on Meet the Press (0+ / 0-)

      not the same as seeing Republicans actually vote that way. I'll believe that they are changing the least bit when I see it in a roll call vote that actually matters.

      "Did they really think that we wouldn't notice? Nice try-- but we got you!" Rev. Al Sharpton

      by growingMajorityMN on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:47:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To quote an esteemed Kossack (0+ / 0-)
      the Filibuster: This procedural fuckstick has ruined the finest and most cordial body of Congress. The House has passed healthcare reform, financial reform, educational reform, and climate change. The Senate? zilch.
      That was you, back in January of 2010.  The filibuster, as currently constituted, does not serve the function intended.  To the extent that the filibuster serves a purpose, it is to enable the minority to maintain a voice in the conversation.  It is not intended to enable the minority to obstruct any any and all Senate business.  You, in a different comment recently, cautioned against assuming that this victory was more than it was.  In that context, the GOP calculated, in 2008, that obstruction was an effective strategy.  And it was, electorally speaking.  What makes you think they will calculate differently this time?

      This is not filibuster reform, it is simply reconstituting the filibuster to the form it was intended to have.  I fail to understand the political risk in so doing.  If you wish to bring cordiality back to the Senate, this is a necessary first step.

      Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

      by aravir on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:11:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is Alice Through the Looking Glass. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, eps62

    And for the GOP, "Words mean what I say they mean. Nothing more and nothing less."

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

    by TRPChicago on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:53:10 PM PST

  •  Filibuster? Duct tape. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    If necessary to get to VOTE!

    duct tape on their yammering mouths.

  •  The GOP threatens a Government shutdown ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, conniptionfit

    over what's being served in the senate cafeteria.

    Meatloaf?  How OUTRAGEOUS!

    "Livin' in a city where the hungry feed the famous" - Ramsay Midwood

    by ChrisS on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:59:52 PM PST

  •  What part of "Yes" don't the GOPers understand? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:00:29 PM PST

  •  At this point in time, (0+ / 0-)

    before negotiations over the so-called Grand Bargain are over I think any talk of filibuster reform is ill advised. We may need the filibuster to avoid destruction of Social Security and Medicare.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:01:47 PM PST

    •  If a majority of Senators and (0+ / 0-)

      Congresspeople are willing to pass those bills into law, and the public lets them stand and get re-elected forevermore, then the majority of the public has spoken. And finally, if the Supreme Court lets it all happen, then so be it. Minority rule is not democratic, regardless of the outcomes.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:08:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't really think that the majority of Congressmen/women really represent the majority of the people but rather well entrenched financial interests. In particular, any cuts in SS benefits, a program that has provided this nation with a 2.5 trillion dollar surplus since the last time it was "reformed"  is nothing but an added tax on the first $106,000 of earned income whether the "majority" is aware of it or not.  I would welcome any senator to draw a line in the sand, filibuster any "Grand Bargain" and stand up for the majority of Americans. Across the board cuts, and returning tax rates to Pre-bush era rates would be preferable to the long term screwing of wage-earning Americans.

        "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

        by irate on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:25:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, but that's the system (0+ / 0-)

          of governance we have. You want revolution? Go for it.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:33:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  filibusters CAN exist with different rules (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, irate, pelagicray

      they should just change them to require actually defense of the floor. Now they just phone in a standing objection to everything. Put a face to it and make the obstructionists invest something of themselves to actually defend their indefensible bs

  •  And if the GOP had won the Senate? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, glorificus, METAL TREK

    You don't think they would be planning the same vote or worse (no filibuster at all) right now?

    Pass the reforms now or the GOP will the next time they are in power.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:02:16 PM PST

  •  Just think of all the wonderful... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, mbayrob, METAL TREK

    rape-related sound bites a GOP "talking filibuster" could generate.

    ;-)

  •  Too much Waldman perhaps? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alpaca farmer

    I've been listening to DKos radio pretty often lately and half way through reading this story, I realized I was hearing Waldman's voice in my head.

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:03:48 PM PST

    •  That's funny because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lawstudent922, chuck utzman

      I was just now thinking the same thing.  David writes very much like he speaks.  I wish that more folks on this comment thread had been listening to David over the last couple of weeks.  The discussion could have been a more informed one, I think.

      Alpacas spit if you piss them off. I'm somewhat less patient.

      by alpaca farmer on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:39:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  MCCONNELL KEEPS TALKING ABOUT COMPROMISE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, glorificus, mbayrob

    Today I read a quote from him saying that filibuster reform would make it difficult to compromise.

    On the 380+ filibusters mounted in Obama's first term, how many of them actually led to a compromise, as opposed to a delay or blockage?

  •  Avoiding the inevitable impasse over... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify

    confirmation of another Supreme Court Justice in Obama's second term requires this change.  

  •  I read this over the weekend... (0+ / 0-)

    and the last two paragraphs had the strongest impact on me.   I even turned to my boyfriend and said, "guess what I just read on line, senate republicans want filibuster reform."

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:07:27 PM PST

  •  This is actually a pretty good thing for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fearlessfred14

    Republicans, so I wonder if they're serious or shaking their fists and making noise for the benefit of the folks back home.

    The chances are pretty good that Republicans will take back the White House in 2016 and, possibly, the Senate by 2018.

    In the meantime, weakening of the filibuster allows them to make noise with less risk of nation-killing consequences.  Better still, it creates good cover for them to become relevant again:

    "Look, they were going to pass that bill with me or without me.   I did what I could to make it less horrible, but that meant working with the Devil"

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

    by dinotrac on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:09:51 PM PST

    •  I thought you were going to say "John McCain" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray

      After watching the GOP lose ground in 2010 and 2012, I'm not so sure that the GOP looks at 2014 as their salvation.

      Also, given that the rules can be set at the beginning of the session by a majority vote according to the rules of the Senate, what makes you think they need to worry about changing the rules back to whatever they like once they would get a majority in the body?

      Reid and the rest of the leadership need to lead, and do something with their majority.  That's about the only thing they can do that will protect the institution.  Worrying over much about a future GOP majority won't help.  It might even make that majority more likely at an earlier date.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:28:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said 2016, and the GOP gained a lot of (0+ / 0-)

        ground in 2010.  They took back the House of Representatives and made major gains at the state level all around the country.

        2012 was a bust because the GOP blew their opportunity.

        2014 probably will help them out a bit, but fatigue and no incumbent won't set in until 2016.

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

        by dinotrac on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:24:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans Are Constantly Angry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray

    Republicans are constantly angry about something.  Sen. John McNasty is only one example, unfortunately.  They remind me of an old Spike Jones record of several decades ago.  "I love you for your even disposition -- always mad."

    What this country desperately needs to do is vote out of office all of the obnoxious little spoiled brats and replace them with mature adults.  Wait a minute -- didn't we take a teensy step in that direction three weeks ago?

  •  Just heard David Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    on Hannity's show trying to inject facts and reality into Hannity's head. I just love it when a RWNJ radio host is flabbergasted by one of their own who suddenly goes off script with facts and truth. Hannity couldn't tried to shut him down fast but to his credit Limbaugh kept fighting back with the truth.

  •  Let's be honest. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray

    We all know already that the REpublicans don't care at all about fillibuster reform or Democracy or Minority rights of any sort.   They only care about power and censoring or getting rid of anyone who disagrees with them.

    That's why when they are in power, they threaten the "nuclear option" with barely any provocation at all.  But when somebody wants to reform the fillibuster to prevent their record-shattering obstruction, suddenly they are outraged.   Not about the fillibuster but about their own impotence and inability to understand reality.

  •  A recently posted blog by Greg Sargent on the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mbayrob

    Washington Post site titled "Full speed ahead on filibuster reform?" contains this:

    it’s worth reiterating that there is a set of actual facts about GOP filibustering and the Dem response to it that shouldn’t get lost in all the false equivalence BS we’re certain to hear:

    1) The extent of GOP filibustering is unprecedented. This chart shows that cloture motions (a rough measure of filibustering) suddenly spiked during the Obama years. Yes, they also spiked in 2007-2008, but according to Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, the vast majority of those filibusters were mounted by Republicans, presumably to block legislation designed to embarrass George W. Bush. (Indeed, the motions to end filibusters during that period were filed mostly by Dems.)

    2) The nature of GOP filibustering is unprecedented. Ornstein says this is true in two ways: First, in the extensive blockading of what used to be considered routine Senate business. And second, much of the filibustering is part of a concerted party strategy. “You’re not just looking at filibusters done by rogue senators or factions, like southern Democrats in the 1950s,” says Ornstein. “It’s the first time we’ve had a wide range of filibustering by a whole party.”

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:38:59 PM PST

  •  Shut down the Senate? (0+ / 0-)

    The Lynch Mob already shut down the Senate, which is why the majority wants to amend the rules to make it more difficult for them to repeat their behavior.  Children who misbehave should be punished.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:49:33 PM PST

  •  A couple of changes I wish they would implement (0+ / 0-)

       1.  Require filibuster content to be germain to the bill or nomination being filibustered. No reading the phone book.

        2.  Require at least 10 minority members be present on the Senate floor during the first 24 hours, 20 during the next 24 hours and the entire minority contingent subsequently.

    If you are interested in the history of the filibuster check out the following link. It's rather a long read: about 65 pages.
    But it describes what happened every time changing the rules was tried.

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/...

  •  Bipartisan compromise? (0+ / 0-)

    What kind of crap is that? Bipartisan means that two dueling groups of partisans have compromised the needs of the People. Stopping the filibuster is the nonpartisan thing to do. Not stopping the filibuster is the bipartisan thing to do. What a load of crap. When did our discourse become so unconnected to reality that we can't tell the difference between nonpartisan legislative action, and bipartisan legislative action?

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:58:54 PM PST

  •  Reid needs to retain the Genie Option (0+ / 0-)

    Given the general contrariness of the current crop of GOP Senators, they might well try to shut the Senate down out of spite.  Reid would be wise to keep open the option to further revise the rules (the Genie Option: wish for more wishes) if GOP persists in being anti-democratic.


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:12:16 PM PST

  •  You know of course if the GOP ever takes over... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mbayrob, pelagicray

    ... the Senate, the very first thing they will do will be to get rid of the filibuster completely.

    •  Yep. A foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dzog, pelagicray

      Blue Dog Democratic minds.

      If Turtleman gets a fragile majority of one, he'll gut the filibuster so fast it will spark blue with Cherenkov radiation.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:34:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harry (0+ / 0-)

    do it.....

    It will also make watching CSPAN more entertaining.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:28:19 PM PST

  •  Out of touch (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party has lost all credibility and trust of the public through their mind blowing display of partisan intransigence during the payroll tax debate. That Capitol Hill Republicans cannot agree on a measure in a bipartisan fashion to save the country from fiscal disaster and that is desperately needed by working Americans is unacceptable. The GOP is out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans, and out of touch with reality. Their hatred for Obama is beginning to have blowback.  -  progressive

  •  The Constitution gives the vice president the (0+ / 0-)

    tie-breaking vote. Filibuster rules effectively nullify this Constitutional provision. It seems to me that it's reasonable for the Senate to make their own rules, so long as those rules don't contravene the Constitution.

    Be that as it may, why not require any filibuster to include X number of votes from the other side to take effect? This would go a long way towards preserving the rights of the minority without giving them the absolute power to shut down the Senate.

    You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. --Bob Dylan-- -7.25, -6.21

    by Tim DeLaney on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 03:55:20 PM PST

  •  Harry Reid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tim DeLaney

    simply must stand up strong, change the filibuster rules without hesitation.
    There's no need to sing any harmony here.

    Take the bully pulpit, make a short, terse statement ending with something Dick Cheney said a few years back.

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:07:26 PM PST

  •  Bring it on, you losers /nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Train Leaving the Station (4+ / 0-)

    They can kick and scream all they want, but as David said on his show, Senate Republicans only have two options on Day One of the next session:

    1. They can try to negotiate with senate Dems. on filibuster reform to try to avoid being shut out by the Constitutional Option;

    or

    2. Simply oppose any reform and get shut out by the Dems. use of the Constitutional Option.

    Once Dems. demonstrate that they have 51 votes for a reform package, Republicans can either get on the train or get run over by it!

    "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 Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:46:48 PM PST

    •  Throw Mama McConnell From The Train!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray

      and the rest of the minority leadership along with him.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:35:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Timid "Reform"! (0+ / 0-)

    Here's how I'd reform it:

    (1) Bills would come to the floor in order first by number of Senators sponsoring the bill, and second to that in the order they go in the hopper.

    (2) There would be no motion to proceed, they would simply come up in priority order as above when the previous bill came to a final vote.

    (3) Each Senator would be given one one-hundreth of the floor time available for debate. They could talk their whole time on one bill or split it over a number of bills. When they ran out of time, they'd shut up.

    (4) All bills and all amendments to bills would be decided by majority rule (with the VP breaking ties, as it says in that old, musty document).

    (5) To get an amendment considered, you'd have to get a majority vote to consider it.

    (6) If a minority wanted to prevent a bill from being passed by the Senate, they'd have to convince a majority that their rights were being violated by it.

    I think if I went to the Republicans with this proposal, I could probably get a reasonable compromise out of them. But, if not, well, there's always the first day of the session.

  •  There is an embarrassing amount of ignorance (0+ / 0-)

    on display in this thread. For those who are really interested in the facts, I highly recommend Kargo In the Morning last Weds. & Thurs., & this Monday.
    Today's program was especially good, in that it brings us up to date on the status of the proposed changes.
    I really think this issue is much more important than the Fiscal Cliff discussion so far. Without a change in the filibuster rules, the R's will continue to cripple the functioning of the Senate.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:49:55 PM PST

  •  To me.............................. (0+ / 0-)

    we need  to separate the "filibuster" discussion into two tracks; one in regard to Presidential nominations and the Senate's "advise and consent" responsibility and the second in regard to legislation in general.

    In the case of the former, any proposed changes in the Senate rules to do not ensure that (1) there is no longer secret holds on nominees and (2) every nominee gets and up or down vote on the floor are worthless.  

    No secret holds period! If a Senator does not feel a nominee is right for a position they need to say so openly and publically and give their reasons. If they don't want them in the job; they need to convince their colleagues to vote against the nominee in committee or on the floor.

    As I understand in the case of the latter, at one time Reid was only talking about eliminating the ability to filibuster the question if bringing up an act for debate and leaving the possibility on filibuster on the vote for passage itself. Am I wrong?

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:05:05 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site