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Sen. Harry Reid took to the Senate floor Tuesday morning to talk about protecting the Senate minority in his filibuster reform proposal:

As the majority leader, I intend to run the Senate with respect for the rules, for the minority rights that the rules protects. [...] I'll do my part as majority leader to foster respect for the rules and traditions of our great institution. I say here, Mr. President, on this floor that I love so much, that I believe in the Golden Rule. I am going to treat my Republican colleagues the way that I expect to be treated. There's no "gotcha," no "get even." I will do everything that I can to preserve the rule and the tradtions of this institution that I love.
That pledge from Reid was brought about by the hissy fit Republicans are throwing over Reid's modest and potentially inadequate proposal to: end the filibuster on the motion to start debating a bill (though the final vote on a bill can still be filibustered) and to block conferences between House and Senate on legislation; shorten the length of time to break a filibuster; and to make filibusterers actually have to stand on the floor and talk the whole time they want to block a bill.

That statement from Reid was in answer to the main hissy-fit-thrower, Mitch McConnell, and one of his five big whoppers on the filibuster, that taking away just one of the minority's opportunities to arbitrarily block bills was an attack on minority rights. As Sen. Jeff Merkley, one of the main proponents of reform, says, Democrats remember very well being in the minority. They won't screw their possible future selves.

“The point I would make is that I’ve said from the outset is that a test of a good proposal is whether or not you could live with serving under it in the minority,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “That’s why the talking filibuster is the right way to go. McConnell has broken the social contract. His team, under his leadership, uses it constantly and silently, out of public sight. Really the proposal I put forward restores the basic elements that existed in the past, and I’m quite happy to live under that structure as a minority. … [That] has been part of every conversation I’ve had with colleagues. … If we’re in the minority and we’re blocking something, we should be accountable to the public.”
None of which will make McConnell and his fellow Republicans be reasonable about these reforms. But if Republicans were ever reasonable, then there wouldn't be a need for the reform in the first place. Republicans aren't going to work with the majority to figure out a way forward, so it looks like Reid is going forward with these procedural changes with majority rule.

Help make the filibuster a real, talking filibuster. Sign our petition.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town and Daily Kos.

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