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Debt ceiling?  Gun control?  Whatever it is, put it on the back burner.  Nothing can be more important over this next two weeks than pushing Harry Reid and the Senate Dems to enact REAL filibuster reform.  It'll decide almost entirely whether the next two years are spent solving big issues, or instead spent spinning our tires and getting watered down half measures that solve little in exchange for chipping away at the safety net.

As we speak Carl Levin and a cadre of knuckleheads are attempting to water down reform, and in fact potentially invite more gridlock.

The time for pressure is now.  Call Harry Reid and your senator.  Let them know they should support Senator Merkley's reform plan.  Let them know that the days of "Gosh, if only we had 60 votes we could do something" are over!

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it is more important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle

    Then would you be willing to trade significant policy concessions, such as on gun control, to get filibuster reform that you desire?

    •  I don't think that's what the diarist is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, mightymouse

      suggesting. He's talking about what we should be putting pressure on the Senate over.
      Obviously all that is important, and all that can be obstructed by one Senator if we don't get filibuster reform.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:52:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's what I am suggesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        misslegalbeagle

        The logical consequence of filibuster reform being more important than policy is that filibuster reform plus a compromise on policy should be preferable to no filibuster reform and an unlikely reaching of policy goals.

        This is actually a road I would like to explore, as to what policy compromises are worth giving up in order to enact serious process reform that would have us perhaps worse off in the short-term, but better off in the long run.

        •  I don't see how giving up on gun regulations would (0+ / 0-)

          help get filibuster reform.
          Right now you have bipartisan determination to do something about gun violence. There's no policy whatsoever that is going to erase the image of those children who were murdered from the public consciousness.
          It's got its own space.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:02:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a purely hypothetical scenario (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            misslegalbeagle

            It doesn't have to be gun control.  That was just something that was mentioned.

            My point is, if filibuster reform is sufficiently desirable, then we should be willing to compromise on policy if that is the only way to make it happen, should the opportunity arise.

            •  I agree. Compromise temporarily. (0+ / 0-)

              Until we can once and for all GET THEM OUT OF THE WAY. (sorry for screaming).
              But I do think the gun thing is a special case that won't be subject to the same wheeling/dealing as everything else.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:53:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  No compromise is necessary. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          schuylkill, mightymouse, unfangus

          If they choose, Senate Dems could vote any reform they choose with 51 votes.  All they have to do is choose.

          Instead they are waffling with the idea of a watered down reform that Republicans will like also, to make reform seem "bipartisan".  Considering how Republicans obviously don't care about looking "bipartisan", and how there is obviously little political price to pay for being very partisan these days, one has to wonder what Levin and his cadre thinking.

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

        I do care about Gun Control, and quite a few other issues, which is exactly why filibuster reform needs to be our top priority right now...  it will decide whether these other issues get addressed at all, never mind whether we get effective solutions.

        Remember the health care debate?  Imagine if we'd done filibuster reform in 2008, and there was no excuse to not put Single Payer on the table.

        •  Well, at the time, single payer would have (0+ / 0-)

          eliminated a massive industry which has very, very deep roots on Wall Street and the global economy.

          Single payer would have created a global depression.
          not recession,... depression.

          We will get single payer, by gradually starving the Ins industry and changing the standard for health care delivery.

          We could have begun a "public option", but we will get it eventually, thru the exchanges.

          But you're right. If it hadn't been for the Senate Stall on Health care, we would have had time to get to the "Energy bill", which was also a big 21st century infrastructure/ jobs/ clean energy bill.
          We wouldn't be talking about the "fragile recovery" and "vaginal probes" and the tea party, etc.
          We'd be setting up the health care exchanges with public options, and putting everyone back to work,... and closing Gitmo...etc.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:12:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  With Filibuster Reform, we can get Senate action (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schuylkill, mwm341

    Senate action on all crucial bills, including climate issues, energy, gun control, saving Social Security, Medicare, etc. etc.

    So let's get to work for the first big victory of 2013.

  •  Point out to Feinstein that her assault weapons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341, mightymouse, unfangus

    bill is dead without filibuster reform. Phone her, write, & email. Boy I sure wish we weren't stuck with her.

    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 Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:17:49 PM PST

  •  I don't think it matters at all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout

    As long as the GOP has the House (and they will for the next decade due to census/gerrymandering) whatever comes out of the Senate wouldn't go anywhere with the GOP House without being pulled right to the center in conference.  

    Also there is a real possibility the bills would get more conservative because only needing 51 votes, GOP offers amendments that would appeal to the Warner/Baucus/McCaskill/Manchin/Landrieu/Pryor wing of the caucus - things like the Balanced Budget Amendment could be added to a Senate bill and pass, and would obviously pass the House and then it would be on Pres Obama to veto.  

    Only area where any reform would matter would be on Presidential nominations - so make a change in this area, but don't bother with the rest.  

    Hell, Dems could lose the Senate in 2014 - Pres Obama facing a GOP House and GOP Senate with these filibuster reforms would make his last two years hell and he'd have to veto bills and shut down the government to save Obamacare.  

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:19:23 PM PST

    •  For those politicians who truly want to govern now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mwm341, Amber6541

      Worrying about what Republicans would do in 2014 if they won the Senate, probably seems trivial.

      I know I wouldn't want to be obstructed from doing my job now when I could lose my job in 2014 anyway.

      I'd also think that accomplishing something would improve your prospect of getting re-elected.

    •  If the republicans win in 2014 they will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus

      get rid of the filibuster anyway so what difference does it make?

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:03:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would make a lot. Because they'e fighting it (0+ / 0-)

        right now, so even if they had the gall to do it, it would give Pres Obama a lot more leverage to veto the hell out of a lot of GOP bills and explain that he won't pass anything unless they have 60 Senate votes - like the GOP forced the Dems to operate under for six years and raised a huge stink about in 2012 to block any change.  

        President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:36:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yea, I just don't buy it... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Leaving aside that especially given current House GOP infighting there's always potential to peel off enough votes to get things passed...  

      I just find this paralyzed Senate mentality exhausting: "We hold the senate, so lets keep rules in place that keep us from accomplishing anything, because you know, someday they might run things and try to accomplish something."

      Perhaps instead we could just trust democracy.

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