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The Huffington Post is reporting that Senators Reid and McConnell have agreed to a scaled-down filibuster reform proposal. Scaled-down is generous. This proposal not only does nothing to reform the broken filibuster, but could make the Senate even worse.

This proposal, which sadly will probably be enacted today or tomorrow, would make only the most minor changes to Senate rules. Forget removing the undemocratic 60-vote requirement for all pieces of legislation. That wasn't even in the most ambitious reform proposals. The idea, proposed by Senators Merkley and Udall (NM) that Senators should be forced to hold the floor and hold Jimmy Stewart-style filibusters? That's gone. How about the very modest reform of putting the burden on 41 Senators to sustain a filibuster, instead of the current requirement of 60 Senators to defeat a filibuster? That too, has been abandoned.

So what does this proposal contain? The motion to proceed can still be filibustered, but debate can end on it immediately if Mitch McConnell and 8 minority Senators sign on. Once cloture has been invoked on the motion to proceed, the motion itself must be voted on immediately. The post-cloture debate time for most Presidential nominees has been cut, as has the debate time for district court judges. There have also been some modifications to the rules about motions to go to conference. Finally, Republicans, in exchange for approximately nothing, will get the opportunity to propose two amendments on all bill.

This all leaves reformers like myself mystified and disappointed. Basically, it came down to the fact that some Democrats, and most notably Harry Reid, don't really want to change the rules of the institution. They are basically fine with the way it is working, apparently. Either that, or they're too afraid that the rules will come back to bite them when they're in the minority. I've always said, in the long-run progressives generally want action from government, conservatives generally want stasis. The filibuster, therefore, is a long-term impediment to our goals. Other great Kossacks like KagroX and Chris Bowers have pointed out that this deal is better than nothing, and that progress takes time. I get that, I just expected better.

Finally, I should just mention how absurd it is that we're making deals with and trusting Mitch McConnell, the man whose number one stated goal was to make Obama a one-term President. The principle of negotiating with him is almost as bad to me as the final result.

Poll

Are you satisfied with the Reid/McConnell Filibuster Deal?

5%4 votes
94%74 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Democrats are idiots! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FraidKnot, Roadbed Guy, Ryvr, DavidMS

    The second the republicans get in he majority they will change the filibuster rules to suit their agenda and Democrats will cry in their oatmeal!

    All you have to do is pay attention to how Republicans have governed in WI, MI, and VA to see that they dont care about anything except getting what they want at any cost!  They ram everything through against the will of the people!

    Democrats are weak and stupid and naive!  Either that or just bought off and playing kabuli theatre with the Republicans pretending that they care about the people!

    Tired of this crap and tired of Democrats as much as Republicans..

    Get rid of all of them and start over!

    Until they get money out of politics. nothing will ever change!

    •  Agree. Here's essentially what it boils down to. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      josmndsn

      Recent GOP activities:
      - Countless bills to overturn Obamacare:  Check
      - Countless bills to restrict abortion rights:  Check
      - Countless bills to restrict womens' rights:  Check
      - Gerrymandering to steal elections:  Check
      - Restricting voter rights to try to steal elections:  Check
      - Electoral college tampering to steal elections:  Check
      - Union busting to steal elections:  Check
      - Criminalize abortion as "Tampering w/ evidence": Check
      - Nearly 400 filibusters in 10 years: Check
      - A zygote is a person with full rights:  Check
      - A corporation is a person with full rights:  Check
      - Etc., etc. etc.

      Dems:
      - Meaningful filibuster reform:  Gosh. Tough one, but we're going to have to pass, even though we're the majority, because people may think we're too extreme for using the legal, "nuclear" option to make the Senate actually function.

  •  Surprise! Surprise! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, valadon

    Someone act surprised, already!

  •  Those Senators that support the real (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, bleeding blue, The Hamlet

    changes should vote against this proposal.

    Hey dumb dumbs, if tax cuts created jobs, we would have so many jobs that we would glady let the illegals come in.

    by hkorens on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:01:34 PM PST

  •  you need a "No, Hell No" added to your poll. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    Hope gets dashed again.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:04:48 PM PST

  •  amazing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo

    after all the discussion, this is the result.
    I mean the Merkeley bill was pretty weak.
    I can't even find anything redeeming about this one. Is it an improvement in any way?

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:05:36 PM PST

    •  CREDO criticizes the deal in a statement. (0+ / 0-)

      from huffpo

      UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. -- CREDO, another group that had been pressuring the Senate to pass strong filibuster reform, criticized the deal in a statement.
      "In 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sold out Senate Democrats by striking a 'gentleman's agreement' with Republican Minority Leader McConnell instead of pushing for strong filibuster reform," said Becky Bond, CREDO's political director.

      "And now he's done the exact same thing, again. When will Democratic Leadership learn the lesson that Republicans will not negotiate in good faith?"

      "The bipartisan deal Sen. Reid struck is a compromised bait and switch deal which he and Sen. McConnell call filibuster reform, but we know will do next to nothing to actually fix the filibuster."

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:11:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once again Dems snatch defeat from the jaws of (0+ / 0-)

    victory.  Yet another self-imposed loss.  Once more Dems fold while holding a royal straight flush.  Yet again Dems bring a rock to a gun fight.  Another example of Dems tripping and falling over the glorious "high road" while the GOP continually limbo underneath it and keep their agenda moving right along.  

    I'm guessing what ultimately kept Dems from growing a pair on this reform is that they kept envisioning the day in the future in which they are in the minority.  The cruel irony in that is that even when Dems are in the minority, once again it's their wonderful moral high ground that keeps them from even using the filibuster anyway.  What a joke.

  •  The other wonderful side benefit of this turd is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aznavy

    all this Dem tough talk once again turns out to be a total bluff.  So guess what happens next time Harry Reid tries to pretend he's Harry Callahan?  Mitch will tell him "Sorry little Harry, not buying it.  Go fuck yourself!  And if you keep pushing I'm going to call your boss to send over Biden in your stead to do my bidding".

  •  Seemed like a pretty quick death to me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    Less than 24 hours between the time Reid announced it was probably dying to the time it was finally pronounced DOA.

  •  So let me get this straight. (0+ / 0-)

    Recent GOP activities:
    - Countless bills to overturn Obamacare:  Check
    - Countless bills to restrict abortion rights:  Check
    - Countless bills to restrict womens' rights:  Check
    - Gerrymandering to steal elections:  Check
    - Restricting voter rights to try to steal elections:  Check
    - Electoral college tampering to steal elections:  Check
    - Union busting to steal elections:  Check
    - Criminalize abortion as "Tampering w/ evidence": Check
    - Nearly 400 filibusters in 10 years: Check
    - A zygote is a person with full rights:  Check
    - Etc., etc. etc.

    Dems:
    - Meaningful filibuster reform:  Gosh. Tough one, but we're going to have to pass, even though we're the majority, because people may think we're too extreme for using the legal, "nuclear" option to make the Senate actually function.

  •  Monied interests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Hamlet

    gave them an offer they couldn't refuse....and to hell with the rest of us. Our Congress is comprised of a den of thieves...with very few exceptions.

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:41:00 PM PST

  •  How Do We Know Reid Himself Opposed Reform? nt (0+ / 0-)

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

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:42:31 PM PST

  •  call em out! Why do Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    need 60 votes and Republicans only need 51?  Answer how that is fair.  I will no longer vote for an OLD Democrat.  Clean house.  Harry Reid should have been primaried.  The crook Democrats need to go also.

    "Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared. " ~ Henri Nouwen

    by Paddy999 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:39:29 PM PST

  •  I think we can see that it's the senior leadership (0+ / 0-)

    of the Democratic Party, along with their allies in swing state seats, that keep blocking fundamental change whenever the opportunity presents itself.  They are the creation of the triangulation game, using the insanity of the Republicans to play the reasonable centrist to both sides.  The problem for us is they don't fear us as much as we fear the Republican base.  That has to change.

    "Something in the way, yeah." Kurt Cobain

    by The Hamlet on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:57:24 PM PST

  •  "I just expected better." ... LOL ... (0+ / 0-)

    Get used to it.

    Every 2 years they say they'll  stop the dysfunctions of the Senate...  

    They raise our expectations...

    They solicit our input...

    They encourage us to write and call our Senators...

    Then, they do nothing to come close to meeting our most minimal expectations!

    Back to being an exclusive club of political obstructionists, with Harry Reid being the led obstructionist for the Senate Democratic Caucus.

    It's all about power.  

    Majority leader can also be the Minority leader with the next election.

    The filibuster and secret holds are the tools of power of the minority, which neither the Majority or the Minority want to give up.

    They DON'T represent us by keeping the filibuster and secret holds in the Senate rules.  It is solely for their own need for power.

    Getting elected should be sufficient power.  

    Exercise majority rule to get things accomplished and be reelected.  

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:13:30 PM PST

  •  Harry Reid must go (0+ / 0-)

    sign the petition - Harry Reid must resign: https://t.co/...

    thanks

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