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U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVa) departs after a classified intelligence briefing with members of Congress on the crisis in Syria on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Sen. Joe Manchin doing his favorite thing.

Another Politico story, and more on their favorite theme of doom for Democrats, so take all this with a big grain of salt. They foresee a Republican Senate in 2015, run not by Sen. Mitch McConnell and controlled by the nihilistic hostage-takers like Ted Cruz, but by—you got it—the supposed moderates.
Much like the last four years of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s tenure, when the Nevada Democrat relied on picking off swing Republicans, a GOP-led Senate would almost certainly be closely divided. A Senate led by Mitch McConnell and a narrow Republican majority would empower a small band of moderates like Joe Manchin, a conservative West Virginia Democrat, who GOP leaders would be forced to woo to pass anything at all.

A GOP majority would still have to depend on Democrats to break 60-vote filibusters—which means that conservatives’ biggest priorities would be unlikely to succeed. Still, Republicans would have free rein to block and stymie President Barack Obama’s nominations to key Cabinet and judicial positions other than the Supreme Court. […]

If Republicans win the Senate, McConnell (R-Ky.) — the prospective majority leader if he wins reelection — would be in a bind: stuck between demands of the tea party and moderates in both parties who are willing to strike a deal. Enter Manchin, who exemplifies the type of Democrat that McConnell would have to work with.

“I am who I am. I don’t fit anywhere,” Manchin said of his politics, too conservative for most Democrats but too liberal for most Republicans. Even so, he’s considering donating to GOP incumbents who share his centrist tendencies.

Well, that's certainly a nice little opportunity for Manchin do to what he does best, posture. (And by no means, do not miss Charlie Pierce on Joe Manchin.) But it's pretty much bullshit. The so-called moderates—particularly among Republicans—are not going to hold any more power in a McConnell-controlled Senate than they have so far. You've noticed how much difference Susan Collins or Kelly Ayotte or Rob Portman or Lisa Murkowski have made in influencing the GOP? Yeah, me neither.

What's going to really happen if McConnell manages to be re-elected and enough Republicans win to flip the Senate is that the filibuster will be summarily eliminated for everything, legislation included. And it's not going to include any of the protections for the minority that Republicans have been whining about. Because Ted Cruz. The current crop of Republicans want nothing but scorched earth.

Which argues a great deal for the current Senate, the one Harry Reid still leads, to look seriously at the filibuster reform proposals that would still have some protection for the minority—like keeping the filibuster but making it actually count by making it a talking filibuster. Of course, it also argues for running smart in 2014, and not losing the Senate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:12:38 AM PDT

  •  If the Senate ends up split 50-50... (10+ / 0-)

    would Joe Lieberman get to cast the deciding vote in Politico world?

  •  Why would McConnell kill the filibuster in 2015? (5+ / 0-)

    Given that Obama will veto any of the steaming piles of stupidity and cruelty a GOP Congress would pass by a 51-vote majority, I think it more likely that McConnell leave the filibuster alone, or even makes a show of reinstating some of what the Dems wiped away, until after the 2016 elections.  

    It wouldn't harm the GOP agenda, which doesn't exist and would be vetoed anyway.  And it gives McConnell a chance to wax disingenuous about how reasonable and bipartisanly he and the Republicans are compared to that tyrant Harry Reid.

    Of course, the moment they have a working majority and a friendly president, the filibuster is deader than King Joffrey.

    He'd see everything! He'd see the big board!

    by General Turgidson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:36:34 AM PDT

    •  Have to disagree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, Glenn45

      First of all, it would remove any power for the minority, and it will demanded by his caucus.  Secondly, you state

      It wouldn't harm the GOP agenda, which doesn't exist and would be vetoed anyway.
      .  If by "It" you mean changing the filibuster, that is simply a Senate rule change and not subject to either concurrent affirmance in "the other body" or Presidential veto.

      I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:42:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "It" referred to (4+ / 0-)

        the effect of leaving the filibuster in place for the 2015-2016 Congressional term.  

        Obama isn't signing the Ryan budget, or Obamacare repeal, or further destroying the Voting Rights Act, or any of the anti-woman stuff they're so fond of lately, or....you get the picture, no matter how many times the GOP sends him a bill passed by 51 Senators.

        You may be right that the caucus will demand it and that may win the day.  But it doesn't make political sense to do it in January 2015.  The GOP have subjected us to an epic (and continuing) whinefest when Reid finally did what he needed to do.  To turn around and kill the rest of the filibuster the moment they take the majority would look pretty hypocritical, even for these clowns.  Of course, that alone wouldn't stop them.  But why do it then, when they won't be able to use the power to actually pass their agenda?  

        I think McConnell, disgusting piece of elephant guano he may be, is clever enough to hold off on pulling the trigger until the GOP can get its 51-vote legislative abominations signed into law, and earn some atta boys from the aspiring Broders in the media for his heroic restraint.

        Fortunately, given the promising 2016 Senate map and the prospect of a formidable Hillary Clinton campaign (or perhaps someone talented enough to knock her off again) humiliating whatever bile-soaked hairball the GOP primaries cough up in the general election, we may never find out what Mitch would do with a unified Congress and GOP president.  Nay, we MUST not find out.

        He'd see everything! He'd see the big board!

        by General Turgidson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:56:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have to come down... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur, Glenn45, ivorybill

          ...on ItSCS's side on this.

          I'm thinking McConnel's guess is that his party's political purposes would be better served by a string of vetos and subsequent Obama-bashing over them. He's already been rehearsing that act for the last three years on Harry Reid for not taking up House bills.

          •  The history has been (0+ / 0-)

            that the GOP is willing and able to accelerate obstruction given the opportunity. I think they may well get rid of the filibuster and try to blame it on the Democrats for having restored a simple majority for judicial nominations.

            It is true that if they win in 2014, they may lose the senate in 2016. But they are counting on obstruction and preventing the Administration from functioning. It is their electoral strategy - prevent the government from working and blame the dysfunction on the Democrats. At the end of the day, they benefit more by destroying government than we do.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:16:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, indeed, General. (0+ / 0-)

          I've been urging this for several months now.

          we may never find out what Mitch would do with a unified Congress and GOP president.  Nay, we MUST not find out.

          Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

          by G Contractor on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:10:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no filibuster stays (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikePhoenix, DannyX

        To big a chance for them to take assuming that the democrats would take back the senate in 2016. If they kill the filibuster it's gone forever and democrats will be able to pass all sorts of legislation when they get back in power.

    •  Maybe, maybe not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrismorgan, METAL TREK

      I think he could get rid of the filibuster to save some face with the crazy right wing, even if he knows the President would veto everything.  Plus, then the GOP could pass their budgets without DEM support and blame Obama for the fallout when he vetos it.  It would no longer be the "do nothing congress"

      •  Fair points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, METAL TREK

        See my further-explained reasoning above, but you may be right that it'll be a gesture to the braindead teabaggers in his caucus.  

        The GOP's actual agenda, when explained with any amount of detail, is less popular than athlete's foot, so I am skeptical that Mitch and Orange Julius would bother passing any major teabagger-approved bills that will face a certain veto.  It gives Obama a chance to explain what exactly a GOP-passed bill would mean to regular people and why he's vetoing it, and give Democratic candidates a chance to run against real, actual GOP priorities, make a stark contast, and articulate a positive agenda.

        Granted, the Democrats suck at doing this effectively, so maybe the GOP would have more to gain by "doing something" than sitting around screaming about Benghazi or whatever.  Tough to game that out.

        He'd see everything! He'd see the big board!

        by General Turgidson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:04:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly.. it would be Obama shutting down the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G Contractor, gunnarthor

        government.

        And the same thing holds true for all kinds of legislation.  Bills would breeze through a united Senate and House only to hit a brick wall at the White House.  The optics would be less than desirable, especially if they can manage to bring moderates like Manchin on board to vote for these bills.. you only need a couple of votes to be able to label something "bi-partisan".

        The news would be bleating: "President Obama today vetoed yet another bi-partisan reform bill.." blah blah blah...

        Of course, Obama would be a lame duck and it would be no big deal to him, but it might become their argument for putting a GOPer in the White House in 2016.

        •  You may be right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G Contractor, JJ In Illinois

          I'd like to think this stunt would be too transparent for even the Broderists in the media to ignore, but I've been disabused of that notion by now, I think.

          I still think the Democrats would have a chance to make political hay out of the GOP actually passing their wish list of political abominations.  But Democrats are pretty good at missing opportunities.  And you definitely have a point that the GOP will regularly peel off Manchin or Heitkamp or one from that crew.

          He'd see everything! He'd see the big board!

          by General Turgidson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:31:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  To jam BO & Ds. Want defense? Tax cut for the ric (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      h or you can veto 'funding for the troops', Mr. BO.  Now apply that to everything, every single bill with every Thug poison dream attached.  

      Then the media screams 'Its BOs fault!' or "Why can't he compromise?!"

      And the country lurches right, Democrats get depressed and Thugs slip thru even more abominations to voting rights, etc., in the States while everyone is looking elsewhere.

      Its been done before.  Heck, Ds did it to W after 2006, tho to a much lesser extent than Thugs will to that 'blah' person in the WH as they, like the racist mass-murderer this week, talk about 'taking their country back'.

      •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

        I wasn't thinking of it so much as the GOP attaching odious poison pills to routine must-pass bills.  You're right that they'll pull stunts like this every chance they get, and probably win the spin war over it too.

        I think my logic holds with respect to them proactively passing their wishlist, standing on its own - it would go nowhere, risk exposing just how wretched their ideas are, and the Dems would have a chance to run a clear "choice" campaign against that agenda.

        But to the extent they can tack horrible things onto other necessary bills and then dare Obama to veto, say, defense spending (with perhaps some Obamacare-damaging rider attached)  They'd probably kill the filibuster for the chance to do this at every turn.

        He'd see everything! He'd see the big board!

        by General Turgidson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:37:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republico: all the Santorum that's fit to blogs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, a2nite

    Politico multimedia box

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:41:29 AM PDT

  •  Filibuster won't die (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    Mitch won't kill the filibuster knowing that they are going to lose the Senate again most likely in 2016.

    Republicans have played it perfectly in that they won't ever have the blood on their hands for killing the filibuster because they will get the Democrats to do it for them just like with the nominations.

    Come 2016 they will be in the minority again and then obstruct everything a President Clinton wants to do, getting the Democratic majority to pull the trigger on the filibuster.

    They play a better long game than we do, and this will be another example of it.

  •  I wouldnt be so sure about the filiibuster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    being eliminated if GOP takes the Senate in 2014.

    What would be the point of that since Obama would be president and could veto what he wanted? It's unlikely any major GOP legislation could get the two thirds required votes to overcome a veto.

    Senate GOP would only eliminate the filibuster to make things easier for a GOP president.

    The other problem is that it's quite possible that Dems win back the Senate in 2016 and we get President Clinton. Does the Senate GOP want to establish the precedent of getting rid of the filibuster if that is in their future? Especially when, again, there is little to gain from removing the filibuster in 2015-2016.

    •  The filibuster limit will disappear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32

      faster than Sarah Palin from the governorship of Alaska for some of that sweet TV money.

    •  it's politically stronger to force a veto (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32

      If Republican bills are filibustered in the Senate, it looks like the Republicans failed (because most people don't pay attention to filibusters.)

      The main reason to not kill the filibuster is if McConnell is confident the Senate Democrats won't use it, which is conceivable (gotta keep the powder dry.)

  •  This is a hack piece (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobbygoode, TofG, waterstreet2013

    done by a non-partisan political website (yeah right), trying to tell moderates not to worry about a repub majority.  I was shocked by it this morning too.

  •  There's something about..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikePhoenix, waterstreet2013

    ....Very Serious Centrist Senators Who Sternly Lecture About Budget Deficits that absolutely give mainstream news commentators massive erections.

  •  if we can GOTV and the Dems can stand and run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, MikePhoenix

    on Obamacare and they SHOULD, and we use fear, just as the GOP does,  esp. as it relates to how the GOP wants to completely GUT the safety net,and how the GOP taught us, how to use fear, then we shouldn't have to think about a purple or a red Senate, right?

    •  We need to build virtual communities by district (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      If OFA became a grass roots organizing tool to build virtual percent captains in each district with communities of debate and activism, then the GOP/Tea would be dumped back in the back waters they arose from.

      The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

      by Grey Panther on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:57:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah yes, fear. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill

      "You HAVE to vote for Democrats or the Republicans will get in and they'll destroy everything and it'll be all your fault!"

      Yes that always seems to work with voters, in lieu of simply voicing your support for policy that will actually benefit them. Just like in 2010, right? Fear sure worked on all those moderates and independents.

  •  What filibuster? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    The minute the filibuster becomes a roadblock to the GOP, especially if they control the House, Senate and Presidency, it is gone.  Of course they will blame the Democrats and say it is because the Dems got rid of the filibuster for nominees, but trust me, nothing will stand in their way.  Just look at states where they took control in 2010 to see how it will go.  

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:51:45 PM PDT

  •  Come Nov Dem will still hold Senate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katesmom, MikePhoenix, TofG

    I know it is against all pundit ball gazing of DC conformity, but come November when the counting is done Dems will still hold Senate. Will make gains in Congress -

    The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

    by Grey Panther on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:54:43 PM PDT

    •  Right now looks like McConnellless senate will be (0+ / 0-)

      52-52 Democrats. Politico piece is practically pointless. Pitiful.

    •  I've been thinking the same thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grey Panther

      I think we'll prevail in the Senate come November. For example, look at Pryor in Arkansas. He was considered the most vulnerable not too long ago & now he's up. His opponent is BEGGING for debates. And we all know the one begging for debates is USUALLY the one who's behind. I know Pryor is a Conservadem but the fact he's ahead still says a lot.

      And let's look at governorships. Sam "I'm More Jesusy Than You!" Brownback is down in f**king Kansas, of all places.

      This isn't just me being wishful either. I saw all this here on Kos a few days ago.  

      And let's not forget the GOP's ability to pull the most craptastic of candidates from their clown car. Think Aikin, Mourdock, O'Donnell, etc.

      So I think we lose seats but ultimately keep the Senate. I say we make gains in the House but don't retake it. I also think we take some governor's mansions.

      I don't see it being 2006 & 2008, but I don't see it being 1994 or 2010 either.

      Of course, this all depends on a good GOTV effort on our part. I could be wrong but that's how I see it.

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:32:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I LOVE this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, ivorybill
    A GOP majority would still have to depend on Democrats to break 60-vote filibusters
    Ha! Do they really believe the 60 vote threshold for filibusters would remain?

    Yeah sure - that would fall faster than John McCain latching onto another Sunday morning show.

  •  THIS is a moderate Senate, PolitThug. Lying liars (0+ / 0-)
  •  I gotta laugh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikePhoenix

    :Sign the petition to end republican obstructionism".

    "Oh, Guys, look: The American People want us to stop obstructing everything.

    I guess we have to stop now."

    LMAO.

    As if.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:06:48 PM PDT

  •  And/Or auto-cloture ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... if 66% of those Senators making up the quorum in answering a quorum call voted for cloture, cloture is in immediate effect.

    In effect, upgrade the cloture from 3/5 of Senators duly elected and sworn INSTEAD OF 2/3 of Senators present and voting, into 3/5 of Senators duly elected and sworn OR ELSE 2/3 of Senators present and voting, and the latter continuous through the course of the filibuster.

    That would force the minority to keep more than one night watchman and one spare on hand, so whether the filibuster is talking or not, a large share of the blocking minority would has to be within reach of the floor.

    And by making quorum calls risky would go hand in hand with talking filibuster reforms.

    And by forcing the minority to keep 1/3 of a quorum on hand, would free a substantial share of the majority to be away from the floor, though with an ever present threat of all showing up at once if the minority contingent drops below 1/3 of all available Senators.

    Its, of course, a biased reform, since the kinds of issues where Democrats would wish to filibuster are more often the kind where they'd rather attract the public attention that goes with a more active filibuster. Endless quorum calls are what you went when you want people to be so bored with the process that they don't pay attention to the issue.

    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

    by BruceMcF on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:14:41 PM PDT

  •  First of all the only "purple" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    seem to be in the Democratic caucus, and have been for years - Manchin, Landrieu, Pryor from Arkansas, even at times Feinstein, Tester from Montana follows in the Baucus footsteps. Thankfully Baucus, Nelson, Lieberman and some others DINOs have gone away. None of those Repubs mentioned I'd call "purple", certainly not Portman or Ayotte. In any case, Politico is about as toxic an abomination on the discourse as Fox; perhaps worse because they pretend to be reasonable. Why MSNBC populates it's pundit spots with them I don't know (other than some lucrative lazy contract). As for Dems, they need to both fight (in court) and sidestep the voter ID crap and bring those 14 hour lines if necessary, and make this speculation moot. And yeah, if they succeed in getting their 51, you can bet they'll kill the filibuster in the first HOUR of 2015. They don't know from nuance, but have no doubt calculated a way for it to all work in its favor for the benefit of Adelson, Koch and others. And probably with some big help from Joe "Purple" Manchin et al.

  •  What moderate republicons? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikePhoenix, ferg, TofG, waterstreet2013

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:16:56 PM PDT

  •  I seriously doubt turtle man will be in the next (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G Contractor, TofG, waterstreet2013

    Senate. The very thought of Congress controlled by Cruz and Cantor should be the greatest selling point for a Democratic landslide this Fall.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:23:32 PM PDT

    •  The richest irony (0+ / 0-)

      would be if Grimes beats McConnell and that makes 51 democrats.  Be still, my beating heart!

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:21:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does he have a 3rd party RW ticket to deal with? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill

        If not that, the success of the ACA in Kentucky and his basic unpopularity there should be enough to send him to pundit land.

        Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

        by J Edward on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:32:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Politico is Just Trolling (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, a2nite, METAL TREK

    First, McConnell is never going to be Majority Leader because is going to get beat by Allison Grimes.  Second, when Grimes wins that means Republicans have to flip seven seats to gain control.  Aint. Gunna. Happen.

  •  McConnell is getting tarred with this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    This is taking hold because Beshear has make Kentucky one of the leading success stories, both for the insurance exchange and for Medicaid Expansion.

    Neighboring states are seeing big echoes: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee.

    Obviously, the Red States in this list are up at bat for sea changes to White low-income voting patterns. The grandparents and great-grandparents of these folks voted for Democrats and FDR religiously -- that's where they belong today.

    Flyers work like chain letters. Copy-and-hand-out what you like.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:42:31 PM PDT

  •  There are no Republican moderates (0+ / 0-)

    There are loud-mouthed, just plain cynical extremists, and cowards. If Collins et al were truly moderates, they'd have changed parties a long time ago.

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 04:47:00 AM PDT

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