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U.S. President Barack Obama meets U.S. Senate Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, October 12, 2013. The White House urged Congress on Saturday to

Democratic filibuster reformers got a boost Wednesday from President Obama, who told senators that they still have work to do in reforming the Senate.
So my main message is one of hope. We’ve got all the ingredients to make this the American Century, just like the last one. To achieve it, though, we’ve got to make sure our political system works better. And, yes, there are all kinds of reforms that we need to do, from campaign finance to how a filibuster works, to going after Republicans hard when their main political agenda when it comes to—or main election strategy is preventing people from voting—we’ve got to push back on all that stuff. But ultimately, there are enough voters out there to deliver if we can turn them out.
There are still far too many obstacles Republicans can throw in the path of the Senate doing much of anything. Whether it's "blue slips" that give the Republicans veto power on judicial nominees before they even get a hearing, to the 60-vote margin that prevents all but the most innocuous pieces of legislation from moving forward. Even the innocuous legislation, like this bill to help provide bulletproof vests to police departments doesn't move forward because of Republican obstruction. Even bills that have bipartisan sponsorship are filibustered, sometimes by their cosponsors!

Yes, the Senate still needs filibuster reform. Thanks, President Obama, for reminding them that the job isn't done yet.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 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 Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

  •  What's the downside here? (6+ / 0-)

    It's pretty clear that the filibuster is already dead for Democrats. It was Republicans who invented the concept of the 'nuclear option' for the filibuster back during the Bush administration when they held the majority.

    Now that Democrats have 'gone there' by partially eliminating it, why would Republicans preserve it once it proves inconvenient?

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

    by Demi Moaned on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:39:53 AM PDT

    •  right now we may need that filibuster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js

      if that will be the only way to keep an odious judge of the Fed bench.

      Seems to me I heard something about this here  just the other day,  regarding PBO's choice for a judge in Georgia.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:09:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it won't. Why do you assume that the Rethugs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eztempo

        won't eliminate the filibuster the second it is used once they get in power?  Face it, the filibuster is useless in the hands of Democrats so why not eliminate it now and do some good rather than wait and let them eliminate it later?

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

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri May 16, 2014 at 01:36:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No, the senate needs to eliminate the harmful, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, slakn1, whl

    extraconsitutional filibuster. To quote an otherwise icky British person to the 1653 Rump Parliament:

    You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
  •  Glad to see the prez speaking out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, TofG, eztempo

    on repub  sabotage again, especially the need for reforms in the Senate.

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Fri May 16, 2014 at 10:44:19 AM PDT

  •  Yeah but... (5+ / 0-)

    It seems kind of stupid for years to go by with Republicans blocking everything and then finally getting around to doing something about it right before an election where Republicans stand to make great gains and perhaps get control of both houses.  

    Go ahead and do it I guess, but too little way too late.

    •  Talking tough after the consequences of doing so (0+ / 0-)

      are minimized.  Now what is that called .......?

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

      by accumbens on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:02:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's kind of worse than that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott5js, PhilW

        If the Democrats end the filibuster and then wind up a minority in the senate they both look stupid and let the Republicans off from looking bad for ending the filibuster themselves.  

        In a larger sense, even if they end the filibuster the House isn't going to pass anything the Democrats want anyway, so until we can fix that it seems more like politicking than governing.

  •  If a filibuster is where a Senator stands before (0+ / 0-)

    the Senate, and says a bunch of rubbish, what do you call it when a Senator stands in front of the Senate and speaks?

    By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution.

    by HarryParatestis on Fri May 16, 2014 at 10:46:57 AM PDT

  •  Joe Biden: "The Senate needs more cowbell." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    accumbens
  •  There's no benefit to killing the filibuster... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, scott5js

    ...on legislation, right now. The GOP controls the House. Might as well wait to see if the Democrats retain the Senate.

    Even if the GOP would kill it if they took the Senate, it doesn't do any good for the Dems right now.

    •  Well, unless... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alice kleeman

      ...someone thinks the filibuster is wrong on principle because, for example, it allows the minority to have some influence over the wishes of the majority.

      If, on the other hand, someone just wants to kill the filibuster when their side is in the majority and exploit it when their side is in the minority, they obviously have no problem with the filibuster per se but rather just want to use/block the use of it for their own manipulative reasons and not offer the other side the same benefit.

  •  Filibuster = minority rule (0+ / 0-)

    Eliminate minority rule, rewrite the archaic Constitution, and regain hope for this nation.

  •  The optics? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    accumbens

    The optics are actually pretty crummy because Dems have spent the past 5 years blaming the filibuster for things like the corporatist crap that the ACA turned to be.   It begs the question: if Dems were going to kill the filibuster, why did they wait so long?  Why not back in 2009?

    •  Because they are spineless? (0+ / 0-)

      My bet is they won't do anything about it now or in the foreseeable future.  With less than a handful of exceptions a bunch of invertebrates.

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

      by accumbens on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Filibuster was a convenient excuse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilW

        for shit like jettisoning the public option and failure to close Gitmo, neither of which I believe Obama was ever willing to expend political capital on.   But now I'm guessing Obama feels he no longer needs that excuse because it's pretty much a done deal that the Repubs will keep control of the House.   That will serve as all the excuse he needs.   Also, he might be worried that his precious Patriot Act extension will be filibustered next year, so prolly a good idea to be safe and get rid of the filibuster.   We can't endanger the survival of the Patriot Act, now can we?

  •  This guy is still using (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    accumbens, PhilW

    'hope' as a message???

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Fri May 16, 2014 at 10:58:26 AM PDT

    •  Good one. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

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

      by accumbens on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:06:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "this guy" has delivered on hope, approximately 20 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, TofG, Jeff Simpson

      million can attest to this to date in terms of healthcare reform. And many others who have benefited from electing him. "This guy" has done well for this nation, despite facing more obstructionism and sabotage, perpetrated by a portion of the government, than any other President has faced in the history of the union....

      Yes..."this guy".

      •  Poooooooooorrrrr Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        He's had the worstest of all!

        Of all the people in the entire world, across all existence of humanity, poor BO had it the baddest of all, facing the meanest of people,  the most difficult problems ever!!!

        ACA was a republican plan.  

        And I'm glad repubs obstructed him on some items, in particular, his efforts to gut the safety net.

        I wish they would obstruct him on his latest effort for repubs, his nomination of some right wing nut to some judgeship.  PATHETIC!  

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Fri May 16, 2014 at 08:07:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ahh, so you are glad Republicans obstructed the (0+ / 0-)

          President so he could appoint a Right-winger.... Because, let me guess, you are a Right-winger?

          Since becoming President, Barack Obama has helped the lives of women, he has provided them with contraceptive care, gays...he has helped to eradicate DADT, the sick...he has enabled millions of them to gain access to healthcare despite terminal illnesses and pre-existing conditions.... and the youth...because through his expanding of Pell Grant, many can gain access to a college education as well as stay on their parents healthcare plan until age 26.... He has placed two women on the Supreme Court, saved the car industry, and stopped the nation from sliding into a second Great Depression.

          But see, we know, based on your history of authoring snide and condescending remarks about Barack Obama that you are far superior than he is.... Of course you are! Because, you see, while he has been out making a difference in the lives of tens of millions of people,  you have been  able to do something far more impressive...sit in front of a computer all day and call him "PATHETIC!".

          I know it goads you to see him on teevee prancing around the White House, but, don't lose hope! He will leave office in a few years, where he will just go on to being even more lauded not only by the millions of people who elected him to the highest office in the land, TWICE...but, even worse, by the entire world....

          In the meantime, let's exhort the Republicans to block him some more, we have to do something about that legacy thingy... Yeahhhhh team!

  •  Interesting ... (0+ / 0-)
    And, yes, there are all kinds of reforms that we need to do, from campaign finance to how a filibuster works, to going after Republicans hard when their main political agenda when it comes to—or main election strategy is preventing people from voting—we’ve got to push back on all that stuff.
    Not to get too psychological or anything, but I find it interesting how inarticulate he gets talking about going after the Republicans hard.  Wouldn't signal some kind of block or anything would it?  Maybe they just scare him or the thought of going after them scares him.  As they say, just sayin'.

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

    by accumbens on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:00:55 AM PDT

  •  Harry has gone a great job. (0+ / 0-)

    Banging the Rethugs back to where they belong.  Any vote, no amendments offered by the opposition.  One does has to speculate, if this is the way, then should the Senate be lost, has precedent been set?

    I thought the Senate was to be the preeminent deliberative body, in the whole world?

    Doesn't seem there's much deliberation or debate anymore...

    Oh well, Kochs.  

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:09:44 AM PDT

  •  Never trust a scalawag from the GOP (0+ / 0-)

    Allowing any form of parliamentary nonsense by members of the Grand Obstruction Party is folly.

    The Constitution has only a tenuous relationship with "The Standing Rules of the Senate" and "The Senate Manual."

    Rules of the Senate

    Sometimes "The Senate Manual" actually exists. Other times it cannot be found!!!

    As you can read in the link cited, a Manual for the 111th session has not been produced/printed or distributed.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:17:51 AM PDT

  •  Of course Republicans don't want the police (0+ / 0-)

    bulletproof vests. That would give them an unfair advantage over the militias.

    Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

    by shoeless on Fri May 16, 2014 at 11:22:11 AM PDT

  •  Wouldn't it be hilarious (0+ / 0-)

    if we all cheer for the elimination of the filibuster and then find out it was done so Obama could finally pass his Grand Bargain with the Repubs and cut Social Security.   Boy would there ever be egg on our faces.

  •  well, yeah. (0+ / 0-)

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:27:38 PM PDT

  •  Let's win in November 2014 first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilW

    I am not on board with complete abolition of the filibuster. Liberals have been known to use it.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri May 16, 2014 at 01:13:28 PM PDT

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