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Chart showing the growth in the number of filibusters since the Senate changed its rules in 1917.
Tuesday, Jan. 22 is the day Democrats in the Senate will either vote to make that body function again, or will institute another "handshake agreement" between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell that works about as well as the last agreement.

As Reid approaches this critical deadline, here are some thoughts for him. They're actually thoughts from him over the past nine months.

  • Sen. Reid in December: “We’re going to change the rules. We cannot continue in this way. So I hope we can get something Republicans will work with us on. But it won’t be a handshake. [...] We tried that last time; it didn’t work.”
  • Sen. Reid in November: “I think the rules have been abused, and we are going to work to change them. We will not do away with the filibuster, but we will make the Senate a more meaningful place. We are going to make it so we can get things done."
  • Sen. Reid in July: “We could have [changed the rules] in the last Congress.  But I got on the Senate floor and said that I made a mistake and I should have helped with that.”
  • And in May, after Senate Republicans blocked the reauthorization of the Export-Import bank, Reid stated, “If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight. These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong—or most of us, anyway. What a shame. [...] If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rules, because it’s been abused, abused, abused.”

Reid is reportedly backing away from the idea of reinstating a talking filibuster, a rule that would require the opposition to a bill or nomination to sustain their opposition vocally, transparently, and through some hard work. That's the least that should be required of our Senate.

On the other hand, Reid is said to be considering a rule that could work to end frivolous filibusters: shifting the burden to the minority to provide 41 votes to prove they have numbers to prevent a vote, instead of forcing the majority to gain 60 votes. That too would end the ability of a single, anonymous senator to block a vote and force the opposition to own their obstruction, making blocking progress much more difficult.

The talking filibuster would be tremendous reform, and flipping the burden on blocking votes would be huge. Adopting them in combination would help make the Senate function again. At the same time, neither would take away minority rights. Votes and nominations could still be blocked by the minority, but that effort would have to once again be out in the open with floor statements and/or recorded votes.

Reid has to put forward at least one of these proposals, preferably both. He's reportedly willing to use the "constitutional option," a 51-vote majority, to pass the reform. He needs to make it count.

Please send an email to your Democratic senator/s urging them to pass real filibuster reform including the talking filibuster and/or flipping the burden.

If you don't have a Democratic senator, call Reid's office at 202-224-3542, and tell him to include the talking filibuster and/or flipping the burden of the filibuster.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's GOT to end filibusters of motions to proceed (14+ / 0-)

    At least START debate on bills.

    "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 Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:26:30 PM PST

  •  I'm betting not. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, mumtaznepal

    But Reid will say he got a swear on his mothers grave promise from McConnell this time to not abuse the cloture system.  

    McConnell and GOP will scream bloody murder if any changes are made because now is supposed to be a time or reaching out and coming together and the Dems in the Senate poisoned that well by forcing through rule changes that will take power from the minority.  

    So they have to go whole hog if they go at all and I think there are too many old dogs that are squeamish on our side.  And the GOP knows this which is why there will be no negotiated agreement.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:29:37 PM PST

  •  Of the two, I much prefer ... (12+ / 0-)
    shifting the burden to the minority to provide 41 votes to prove they have numbers to prevent a vote, instead of forcing the majority to gain 60 votes.
    That puts a significant burden on the minority to remain in continuous attendance. No way they will be able to use it as indiscriminately as they have in the past.

    So, if that's still on the table, that's good news, IMO.

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

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:39:19 PM PST

  •  I've signed the petitions and written (6+ / 0-)

    ..my senators. Both are women. It only takes a few minutes.

    Senate
    Etymology latin
    From senex (“old”); literally, a chamber of older (or senior) men.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:56:53 PM PST

  •  Seems to me Harry's signaling "or not." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Nick Lento

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:09:37 PM PST

    •  i hope you're wrong... the filibuster must be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, Nick Lento, cybersaur

      reformed if we are to have any hope of making progress in the near term...

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:41:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A watered down versoion....at best (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal, Nick Lento

    Senator Levin has apparently succeded, with his GOP allies, in killing meaningful Fillibuster Reform.

    Gridlock here we come.

  •  Don't worry, the filibuster will be history (4+ / 0-)

    when the GOP wins the Senate in 2014, once Democrats achieve nothing for 2 years by playing nice.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:00:46 PM PST

    •  Nah, McConnell wouldn't bother either... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp, Nick Lento

      with a Democratic Pres who would just veto everything.  Not to mention the extremely high odds that the Dems would then take back the senate in 2016 when Kirk in Illinois, Toomey in Pa, Johnson in Wisconsin, Portman in Ohio, Ayotte in NH, McCain in Az, Rubio in Florida are all up in a Presidential year no less.  

      If we lose the Senate in 2014, it means we lost 6 seats - which is basically the max we could reasonably lose. Meaning it would be 51-49 at best for the GOP.  Do you think the GOP 2016 class I highlighted above wants to run roughshod on the Senate only to see Pres Obama veto things left and right?  Their 2016 class would want to hide behind the filibuster of the minority as well - force 9 Dems to sign on to any legislation so that they have cover on their votes.  

      Realistically Dems would be a virtual lock to take back the Senate in 2016, and if McConnell blew up the filibuster, he'd now have to live under it.  

      "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

      by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:36:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Republican Majority Would Kill The Filibuster... (0+ / 0-)

        ONLY if the Democrats did to the Republicans what they did to us.   And that's highly unlikely.   Democrats don't play hardball politics...that's why we're in this mess in the first place.

        One side barrs no holds while the other sticks to "the high road".

        The real question is to what extent the Democrats are naive, incompetent and/or corrupted by establishments that are quite content to have the R's dominate policy.

    •  Anybody who doubts that is a fool. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Here's why it won't happen - 2014 a tough year (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, HarryParatestis, BeerNotWar

    for Dems in the Senate - Landrieu, Pryor, Johnson, Baucus, Begich, Hagan are all up for re-election and if there is filibuster reform there will be pressure on these senators to try and play both sides - appeasing Dems while also being seen as moderate/independent enough to not be smeared as "Pelosi-lovin, Obamacrat Librul" in their respective home states come 2014 races.  

    No reform means all of these Senators would need at least 5 Republicans to give them cover on any eventual legislation that passes - which will mean they have a much better chance at being re-elected, and much better chance for Dems to hold the Senate after 2014.  

    The roles will reverse in two years when the 2016 class is now facing re-election, meaning the 2010 class - Toomey in Pa, Kirk in Illinois, Ayotte in NH, Rubio in Florida, Portman in Ohio, Burr in NC, McCain in Az, Johnson in Wisconsin, Paul in Ky.

    Dems will have another chance in 2014 - they might do nothing to try and help them keep the Senate in 2014 while also making a big play for the House by really tring to drive a wedge between corporatists and teabaggers there while highlighting their obstruction.  It's harder to highlight GOP House obstruction when the Dem Senate passes a Dem only partisan bill, and the House passes a GOP only partisan bill and then both sides don't budge.

    Given a GOP House I don't think filibuster reform really matters actually.  GOP forcing 60 votes could actually help us make the case for the broken GOP House majority.  If we show we get 5 GOP votes all the time, we look like we're putting out bi-partisan bills, and the GOP won't really block anything in the Senate because they want to look like they're doing something and know the House will do their dirty work for them.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:29:16 PM PST

    •  Filibuster reform matters BIG TIME... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur

      ...especially with a Republicans House that would vote down all the hundreds of passed bills!

      Forcing the R's in the Senate to talk and to shed light on their positions and then forcing the R's in the HOuse to KILL all the good legislation would shed LIGHT on what they are now doing in complete darkness to virtually all Americans (except for political junkies).

  •  Does anyone know where Boxer & Feinstein stand? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify

    I've written, emailed, & called them but have never gotten a response.

    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 Jan 21, 2013 at 02:49:34 PM PST

    •  That's the downside of living in a blue state. (0+ / 0-)

      They don't have to take notice of "the little people". Pelosi replies, but the reply is generic.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:43:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do these "people" get paid to do nothing? They (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, pickandshovel, cybersaur

    Make more than most of us do.

    Tired of this crap, evil monsters!

    Tipped & rec'ed

  •  make them get 41 (5+ / 0-)

    I LOVE that idea

    www.dailykos.com is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:53:01 PM PST

  •  I hate to say it on a single issue, but this one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, Nick Lento

    really should be the poison pill for Dims.  Any Dim who doesn't vote to end the Republican's version of the filibuster is too dangerous to put back into office in their next bid for reelection.

    •  Dims??? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Nick Lento, cybersaur

      Maybe you should take this to Redstate.

      •  Dims is Dumb...but Marnie1's Point Is Valid... (0+ / 0-)

        ...I can think of NO rational sane reason NOT to force anyone trying to filibuster to actually TALK on the floor and make their case at length.  

        What we have now is practically an anonymous veto given to any single Senator.  That system only works among honorable decent people who would only use it in extreme and rare circumstances.  The R's have FOR FOUR YEARS abused the filibuster...it's way past time to change the rules.

        Any Democrat too naive, incompetent or corrupt to grasp that deserves to be primaried and held accountable to their voters.

  •  Lucky enough to have 2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    here in NYS.  Emailed them both!

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:21:34 PM PST

  •  My money is on "not". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SEAlifeguard

    This was precisely the progression the last time this was tried.

    I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

    by AZphilosopher on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:21:38 PM PST

  •  By Now Kay Hagan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    Has gotten enough of these e-mails from me to make her staff hate me.

  •  Finally wrote my two Senators, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, MPociask

    never too late I suppose.  I just could not keep it in anymore -- I cannot take anymore deference to the Republican party over this issue anymore.

    We cannot keep being held hostage by a minority of Senators -- and that is what has happened.

    The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld. Dorothy Thompson.

    by Intellectually Curious on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:24:05 PM PST

  •  Restore the talking filibusters, because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, a2nite, skyounkin, DSPS owl

    The filibustering senators used to give out such great recipes.  The only thing southern racist senators such as Thurmond, Eastland and Stennis were good for was to bring the best of southern cooking to the rest of the country.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:27:07 PM PST

  •  Abolish Filibuster & Anonymous Holds and (7+ / 0-)

    RETURN the US Senate to Majority Rule.

    Filibuster in the United States Senate:

    "A filibuster in the United States Senate usually refers to any dilatory or obstructive tactics used to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote."
    Senate Hold:
    "In the United States Senate, a hold is a parliamentary procedure permitted by the Standing Rules of the United States Senate which allows one or more Senators to prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor."
    Neither of these rules has any hint of democratic value to them. They are intended to obstruct the democratic process.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:28:52 PM PST

  •  I'm still undecided on how this will help anybody, (0+ / 0-)

    in the long run.  I guess that I'm asking, "What if the shoe were on the other foot?"  However, I'm liking the Jacoby Jonze comment that is 9 comments above me.

    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 Jan 21, 2013 at 04:31:05 PM PST

  •  Reid wants filibuster reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisePiper, delver rootnose

    about as much as he wanted healthcare reform.

  •  41 Votes to Sustain a Filibuster is My Favorite (6+ / 0-)

    While I would certainly like both the 41 vote requirement and the talking filibuster, if I had to choose, I would pick the 41 vote rule.

    Here's my logic.  The talking filibuster could be sustained by a few Republicans (maybe 10 or so) for long periods of time, and Dems. would also have to have 10 or so Senators lined up to sit in the chair while Republicans bloviate.

    But having cloture votes requiring 41 votes to keep a filibuster going will mean that Republicans will have to keep 41 of their 45 Senators together to continue to obstruct legislation, and our side will no longer have to hunt for 60 votes.  We can simply target 5 or more Republicans to end debate.

    "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 Jan 21, 2013 at 04:33:02 PM PST

  •  If effective filibuster reform happens tomorrow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pickandshovel, mumtaznepal

    I will (as my old sales manager would say), kiss your ass in the parking lot and give you an hour to draw a crowd.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:34:11 PM PST

  •  My vote's on 'not' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, MPociask, Nick Lento

    But that's because I think Sen. Reid still believes in the old Senate, you know, the one from when John McCain was a freshman.  That's the problem, and that's why the gentlemen's agreement is 'good enough'.  Well, not really, but you know.  

    Also, the importance of reform is that Speaker Boehner knows do-nothing is a losing game.  If he can actually get legislation from the Senate he breaks the Tea Party's stranglehold on the GOP.  

    There's no chess going on, just poor assessments of reality.

    War doesn't determine who is right, only who is left. Better be left so you can determine later if you were right.

    by Cendojr on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:44:55 PM PST

  •  Reid know what's likely to pass in the Senate, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, Eyesbright, mumtaznepal

    and that's what he'll propose. That's not difficult to understand, so why not give Reid some credit for knowing more than a DKos blogger knows about the way the Senate will vote.

    We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:47:44 PM PST

    •  the above is not to say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, CocoaLove, mumtaznepal

      that we should give up on contacting our Senators to urge them to end the silent filibuster. That's exactly what we should be doing, instead of blaming and disparaging Reid.

      We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

      by SoCalSal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:54:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reid allowed 119 votes last year.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, Nick Lento

      ..where the bill, amendment, or motion failed.

      http://www.senate.gov/...

      Allowing a vote on something unlikely to pass is fairly common for something that doesn't happen, eh?

      When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

      by Wayward Son on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:29:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For that figure to be meaningful, (0+ / 0-)

        I'd have to know how many Democrats voted against the bills. Not going to do that research right now.

        Beyond that, the vote on Senate rules/filibuster reform does not constitute the usual daily business of the Senate. Reid already took the unusual step of delaying the new session in order to get consensus on filibuster reform. He's been polling and talking to senators in the past few weeks, I'm sure, and has a very good idea of what's likely to pass.

         

        We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

        by SoCalSal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:05:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And the best way to find out.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nick Lento

          ..would be to allow a vote on multiple rules, starting with the most restrictive.  If a vote fails, that makes 120 times in the last year and one partial month that Reid would have allowed to happen.

          When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

          by Wayward Son on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:54:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  But, but, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nick Lento

      I keep reading headlines here on Kos Diaries that says Udall says he has the votes for reform. So where are they?

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:47:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  These Senators are identified (0+ / 0-)

        in the Politico article (link below, worth reading), as hesitant to eliminate the silent filibuster:

        Supporters of enacting the ‘talking filibuster’ are trying to ratchet up pressure on Reid.

        On a private call with the Bay Area Democrats on Wednesday, Merkley identified Reid as the key person in the talks, and he urged activists to target members of Reid’s leadership team ahead of their meetings next week, according to people on the call. He also characterized Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Joe Manchin (West. Va.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) as wrestling with his proposal, sources say.

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/...

        We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. -Pres. Obama, 1/21/13

        by SoCalSal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:48:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Dems are way too chickenshit to go ahead (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeW, delver rootnose

    with a talking filibuster.  I will be astonished if they do.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:49:03 PM PST

  •  My Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, DeeW, Nick Lento

    is Tom Harkin, who is One of the Good Guys.  We have this Grassley guy too, who filibusters on Twitter, but does not want to reform the Senate.

    •  Agreed, Harkin is great, Grassley not so much. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nick Lento, 2laneIA

      My senator is McCaskill she is good to go on making them do something other than hide behind the "secret hold".  My other senator is Blunt, he's a frigging birther and an ass hole. IMO

      •  And that's putting it mildly. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nick Lento, 2laneIA
        My other senator is Blunt, he's a frigging birther and an ass hole. IMO

        "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

        by gritsngumbo on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:43:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reid has a reputation (and history) as a crawfish (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Nick Lento

    when the  rubber hits the road, and he has to "shed" (or shred) the supposed "comity" of that illustrious do-nothing body.  He got returned to the Senate only because the Tea Baggers wrecked the republican electoral prospects in Nevada, not because he's such a progressive, forward thinking Democrat.

    He was right about Udall and Merkley being prophetic (and actually having a brain) about filibuster reform.  If he caves to the republicans on moderating filibuster reform by not going for the talking filibuster he's set his legacy as a wimp and liar.  

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:17:17 PM PST

  •  It'll be another gentleperson's agreement.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick Lento

    ..which might work, if the Republican Party actually had any.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:19:42 PM PST

  •  Any Dem Senator that doesn't vote to reform... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisePiper, cybersaur

    ... the filibuster rule, needs to face a primary at the next chance and make it very clear that it is the progressives that are holding them accountable for their actions or lack of action.  This issue is the difference in the senate working or doing nothing like it has been under Reid's lack of leadership.  Sorry to offend, but something has to change and we, progressive/moderate/or conservative, are going to have to push for it.

    •  There will be no vote. (0+ / 0-)

      Because Reid will not hang out the Dem Senators like that.  He'll simply say "we don't have the votes" and never specify who was voting which way.  

      "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

      by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:20:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do it Harry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeW, ferg, Nick Lento, cybersaur

    Make them talk.

    That's the whole point of the rules in the first place. The Senate is the great debating society. The purpose of stopping the majority from ending debate and forcing a vote is to ensure that all points of view get aired and discussed. That doesn't happen unless they actually talk. Stopping votes from happening is not the point. Allowing the debate to continue as long as there are still things to be said is what it is ALL about.

    Let them... Make them... talk until they have nothing left to say... and then hold the votes.

    That is what democracy looks like.

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

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:26:00 PM PST

  •  I'm betting on... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeW

    ..'Or not'

    The Democrats in the Senate are afraid they will be in the minority in 2 years.  And if they keep acting like weenies they probably will be.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:53:52 PM PST

  •  END the filibuster. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick Lento

    The GOPbags will certainly do so instantly if and when they ever take over the Senate again.

  •  If filibuster reform does not happen tomorrow, (0+ / 0-)

    the Democratic Senatorial campaign organizations should be boycotted.

  •  some good stuff here ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeW, Nick Lento


    The U.S. Senate Is Broken -- But We Can Fix It

    FixTheSenateNow.org


    link


    Pssst Senators...We Can Help You Be More Popular Than Dental Surgery!
    link


    60 Seconds: Secret Senator Interview About Our Broken Government
    link


    These videos and more, are found here:  FixTheSenateNow.org -- Resources


    Here's how the game is really Rigged.

    by jamess on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:20:26 PM PST

    •  With the CWA on filibuster reform (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Nick Lento

      After watching Bill Moyers and Company and listening to him speak to Larry Cohen the president of the Communication Workers of America on last Sunday mornings program, I think it is a good idea to start to primary these "safe senate seats" (my term).  If they don't have the spine to do what is right regardless of their self serving politics then we should look for someone who will.  This is called "holding their feet to the fire" and IMO that is what is going to have to be done to get them off their ass and get the senate working again.  Progressives should be passing that idea to them everyday, until they believe it can happen and we will do it.

  •  Real Filibuster Reform is the Key to 2014... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeeW

    It would be both a symbol of a renewed Democratic party with balls and a practical manifestation of courage.

    What the Republicans have done for the last four years could only have been done in the dark.

    We who follow politics closely are a tiny minority.  

    The reason congress is ranked below cockroaches in polls is because the Republicans have succeeded in poisoning the well of potential public good will toward government.  They LIKE the status quo in which the public doesn't adequately differentiate between the two parties.

    Real filibuster reform that forces the filbusterers to actually TALK for a LONG time would shed light on the issue's involved.  Cockroaches scatter when the lights are on lest they be squashed.

    Without an aggressively progressive political strategy, Republicans will continue to obstruct and to increase the levels of toxic cynicism.  

    It's wayyy past time to change the filibuster rules.

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