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Recently, U.S. Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) ended the filibuster rule for executive appointments and federal court appointees, leaving the filibuster in place for legislation and U.S. Supreme Court nominees only. I do not believe he did it lightly because Democrats certainly want to have that option if Republicans somehow manage to gain control again of the Senate, but I believe Republicans in the Senate gave him no choice.

I understand that Democrats during the George W. Bush administration, misused the filibuster rule a few times to block Bush's nominees but never to the level that Republicans have used it to not only block Obama's executive appointees and judicial nominees, but also to block any meaningful legislation. They did so out of a desire to block President Obama from a successful presidency, without regard for the good of the nation at large.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remarked in an op-ed piece in USA Today saying,

"The Republican majority considered deploying the "nuclear option" at the time to end Democrats' filibustering, but ultimately (and wisely, in my opinion) declined to do so. Then-Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., made this plea: "I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don't make the (same) kind of naked power grab."

Well, Thursday they did."

Then he went on to say,

"And why? Because they were intent on doing so all along."

I have to wonder why Sen. McConnell would think that Senate Democrats intended to break the filibuster rule all along. As far as I can tell, they should have done it long ago and not only for executive appointees and judicial nominees but also for all filibusters, perhaps leaving a limit on how many are allowed in a given time. Republicans have shown their disdain for President Obama repeatedly, and they have refused to accept that they are in the minority in the Senate, using their filibuster power, not to just to block unreasonable legislation and unqualified nominees from being seated, but to cause Obama to be an unsuccessful president, along with the Democratic Party in general.

It is time that Republican lawmakers, not only in the U.S. Senate but in the U.S. House of Representatives and in state houses across the land, start moving in the direction the nation is moving and stop their self-serving obstruction. The GOP has shown that it is not interested in what Americans care about or want, only that it gains power and holds onto its control over our government on all levels. Its members have done this by gerrymandering, creating voter ID laws, cutting the number of polling places and voting hours in poorer and likely Democratic neighborhoods and any other trick they can use to keep power in their own hands while ignoring the will of the People.

Now Republicans lawmakers, like Mitch McConnell, are angry because their power in the U.S. Senate has been usurped by Democrats wanting to move forward with the nation's business. I do not stand on the side of Democrat Senators when they do the same thing while they have been in the minority, by abusing the filibuster rule. The rules of the Senate are meant to give fairness to the process, no matter who is in power or who is the minority, and it is not a tool to batter the other party with in order to further one party or others' own agenda.

If Republicans do not like the idea of the Democrats taking away their right to filibuster, then they need at least to respect the Office of the President if not the man and they need to respect the majority enough to be fair in how and how often they use the filibuster rule. If they manage to regain control of the Senate and then further deplete the filibuster rule, by also banning its use on U.S. Supreme Court nominees and legislation, then they will be acting like children seeking revenge and further corrupting the rules. These are rules that they have themselves corrupted since the election of Barack Obama to the White House, misusing the rules of fairness to be unfair instead.

The U.S. House of Representatives, under House Speaker John Boehner, has already become nothing but a useless body of people, who no longer seek to improve the country or handle the nation's business. Let us hope that the U.S. Senate can rise above that same partisan insignificance and prove instead to be a glimmer of hope in the sea of disenchantment for the nation it serves.

This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:07:10 AM PST

  •  Should have been done long ago. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, fidlerten

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:17:26 AM PST

  •  We weren't going to see any progressive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valion, Victor Ward, fidlerten

    legislation sent to the President for at least another year with the GOP in charge of the House, but we also won't see anything like the immigration reform bill that came out of the Senate either. There will be no bipartisan legislation passed in the Senate for the balance of this congressional session.

    The time to change the filibuster rule was on the first day of the new session of Congress. Everyone agrees that changing the Senate rules on the first day can be done with 51 votes.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:17:39 AM PST

  •  This definitely belongs (0+ / 0-)

    in the "No shit, Sherlock" category.  Do we need diaries that rehash the blatantly obvious?

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:27:53 AM PST

    •  The Real Question SouthernLeveller, (0+ / 0-)

      Do we really need someone who thinks they need to go around putting others down? If you do not like reading my articles, then you are welcome to write your own, or is trolling instead, your favorite thing to do?

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 10:17:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't troll (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I do write my own diaries.  And putting you down was probably gratuitous so I apologize.

        But from the week before the "nuclear option"/Constitutional option until now  we've seen dozens of these kinds of diaries, most of them far more informative. So, I didn't think yours added anything new.

        "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

        by SouthernLeveller on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 11:22:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I accept your apology... (0+ / 0-)

          but unless you yourself have something to add that is substantial, I do not see the purpose of your criticism.

          My article, though it has anything new to add or not, was only to share my opinion, and in doing so, spark conversation on the matter.

          I certainly do not mind criticism as long as the criticism has something to offer that is substantial. Perhaps my article is not substantial but if it is to be criticized for not being substantial, then the criticism it is given should be substantial at the very least.

          Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

          by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:03:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats never misused the filibuster on GW Bush; (4+ / 0-)

    instead they involked it quite rarely to block a few of the more batshit crazy judicial candidates.

    And I for one wish to hell Democrats had demonstrated the spine to filibuster  mysogynistic troglodytes like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, whom we are now stuck with until who knows when.

    •  I agree Ralphdog... (0+ / 0-)

      that we should have filibustered Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia but I also think Democrats have overused their power to filibuster in the past too.

      Democrats have come nowhere close to taking advantage of the filibuster rule as much as Republicans have, but I remember well their hold out on qualified candidates during the Bush administration, which of course has given Republicans the idea they can go even further for a president they hate so much but can't quite understand why they do.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 10:24:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  7 nominees (3+ / 0-)

        Seven .  That's how many of George W Bush's nominees were filibustered. They blocked 2 of Reagan and NONE of Pappy Bush's nominees.

        For President Clinton, the Republican had blocked nine nominees, so actually Democrats hadn't blocked as many nominations at the Republicans had when they threatened to go nuclear.

        Now, please explain your assertion that Democrats have overused the filibuster. Yes, they have used it against specific candidates and probably for philosophical reasons. That's what the filibuster is for.

        "That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff ' Amy Pohler

        by Annie B on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 10:36:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As far as I'm concerned, (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think the filibuster rule should be used more than 3 times a year at the most. I also don't think Democrats has abused it that much, but I'm also trying to be fair. If being fair means saying Democrats have overused it to some degree, then they probably have.

          I also understand that Republicans will use everything Democrats do, in any way, shape or form to justify their abuse of any and all rules, though they be Senate rules or rules that govern voting practices. For example: Gerrymandering is something both parties have done but Republicans have gone way overboard, but they will justify their use because Democrats do the same.

          The point is, we cannot hammer Republicans over the head for something and not take at least some blame ourselves, because then we come off looking like we are blind to our own faults. If that is the case, then Republicans will always be stubborn and so will Democrats and everyone ends up doing nothing but blaming the other party. That is not what we need for our elected representatives to do, just play the blame game and get nothing at all done. Someone, somehow, has to compromise and part of compromising is everyone accepting at least part of the blame for the stalemate we're in and then go forward from there.

          Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

          by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 11:22:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yessss. Because Republicans are sooo reasonable. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's long past time we stopped even pretending the Republicans are reasonable opponents, stopped trying to be the 'adults in the room' and recognized what's really going on.

            We are in mortal combat with a bat-shit insane party of corporate weasels, maniacal religious fundamentalists (including folks who for real want to bring on Armageddon), and climate change denialists. If the Republicans get their way, it's game over for attempts at mitigating global warming.

            When our great grandchildren survey the coming environmental holocaust in 2085, they will look back on such genteel Democratic behavior the same way we look at Neville Chamberlain now. I shit you not.

            •  So You're saying Ralph... (0+ / 0-)

              That we should all just throw up our hands and give up trying to compromise at anything. Instead, we should all just go to our separate corners and be just as uncompromising as the Republicans.

              There are Republicans who are willing to compromise but they are not the ones controlling the show now. But just because the GOP is in the hands of uncompromising children, does not mean that we need to act the same as they are and act like children who simply cannot get along.

              It is important, if we are to accomplish anything in this country, that we continue to offer a hand out to Republicans and hope that somehow the ones who are the adults in the party step forward, or else we are all lost and our nation will continue to spiral out of control, dragged down by radical politicians who care nothing about the nation or its people, only their own success at keeping their jobs and their fortunes.


              Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

              by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:12:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How often have Republicans been 'reasonable'? (0+ / 0-)

                How many Republicans voted for the 2008 Stimulus package? How many for the Affordable Care Act?

                A few Republican votes can be 'peeled off' now and then, but the party as a whole has gone completely insane. The answer is not to keep compromising with maniacs. It's to stand our ground and start fighting back.

  •  And now Democrats will win majorities again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, fidlerten

    ...because they have no choice.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 12:27:31 PM PST

  •  Anybody who doubts for an instant the GOP.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .... will completely eliminate ALL filibusters within seconds if it takes control of the Senate again, is a fool.

    The GOP will use the nuclear weapon without hesitation. Every minute the Dems delayed (or delay) using it is simple self-destructive masochism.

    •  MichiJayJay, (0+ / 0-)

      I am sure they will and our Congress will drift further from being able to take care of the nation's business.

      Let's just hope that somewhere, better heads will prevail, but I just don't know when that is going to happen, especially when I hear negative voices coming from both sides of that every happening.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:17:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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