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View Diary: Reid about to cave on filibuster reform (254 comments)

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  •  Ask Dick Lugar. (20+ / 0-)

    That may have currency with Democrats, but that "Senate Traditions" defense just wont fly with Republican base constituencies. It is highly likely that the only Democrats who would even participate in a filibuster of GOP legislation are ones their base considers mortal enemies.

    Do you really think the GOP is going to tolerate Elizabeth Warren gumming things up and settle for a shoulder shrug and "Senate traditions?" No way. These guys have proven they can take out GOP Senate incumbents in the primary whenever they want.

    They get the Senate, goodbye filibuster.

    •  I completely agree that there are a (6+ / 0-)

      number of "newbies" on the Republican side who would be willing to do away with the filibuster on a partisan votes -- just like there are a number of Democrats, especially the newer additions to the Senate, who are willing to do away with the filibuster on a partisan vote.  But just like the Democrats have a handful of old school types who aren't going to do something like that on a partisan vote, I think the Republicans have their old schoolers in the Senate as well.  

      •  Who? (15+ / 0-)

        Only person I can see is Collins. Grassley is scared to death of his crazy base (chosen by caucus) and we know McCain has no principles. Hatch just barely made it past the crazy in his state. He certainly wont be fighting back.

        All these other guys are new, post Newt...many of them coming out of Newt Gingrich's House.

        I'm just not seeing who would fight McConnell on this. And rest assured...if Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and the other cast of characters (including incoming Capito) demand an end to any opportunity for Democrats to obstruct the majority, they will get it. Stat. McConnell has every interest in making Harry Reid look stupid. Comes as no cost to him.

        And there even might be a few principled Democrats who will go along with it just for the purpose of being consistent.

    •  Nope. (9+ / 0-)

      Most we can lose in 2014 is 6 seats, giving the GOP a 51-49 majority.  And they're sure to give it back in 2016 when Kirk, Portman, Johnson, Ayotte, Toomey, Rubio, McCain are up in a Presidential year.  

      So these GOP senators will want the cover of cloture votes where they'd need 9 Dem Senators to vote for any measure.  

      Kirk and Murkowski are two that I see would block any radical change attempt.  And even if they didn't and GOP did a complete power grab - they give the majority back to the Dems in 2016, and while 2015 and 2016 would suck, Pres Obama does have veto power.  So they'd get little out of their power grab, and then give it back to the Dems the next congress while risking a Dem President along with it, OR handcuffing the incoming GOP President with an empowered Senate Dem Caucus.  

      What does "fixing" the filibuster do this year except leave Landrieu, Pryor, Begich, Baucus, Johnson, Hagan exposed? Or is that your end game?  Because Sen. Lincoln looked so damn good in her re-election in 2010.  Because the House is still a teabagger majority so we're not getting any progressive legislation though.  

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

      by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:54:45 PM PST

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      •  It's all about the nominations in my book (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lava20, elwior, sharman, fhcec, FistJab, askew, Kevskos
      •  Lincoln is gone. Are we better or worse? (14+ / 0-)

        Obviously better in my view. Much, much better Senate caucus.

        Secondly, I haven't met a single Senator who lost a Democratic primary because of a procedural vote on a Senate rule. That's the sort of thing Republicans can punish their leaders for because Republicans don't mind primarying their leaders. Democrats don't do that.

        If those Democrats lose, they wont lose over the filibuster. They'll lose because of their votes. Nothing in filibuster reform requires them to vote for legislation that hurts them politically.

        For example, I know Hagan can't vote for gun control. I get it. She shouldn't have to vote for it. But we shouldn't have no votes at all...that certainly wont help her on either side of the ledger.

        •  Lincoln was exposed when we had 60 seats... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, Pluto, elwior

          because then she had the power to do or not do things.  She ended up pissing off all sides.  

          If there was filibuster reform it would mean Landrieu, Pryor and the rest would have the power to stop Dem legislation, and wouldn't have the benefit of GOP cover by having to supply 5 GOP votes for cloture.  Landrieu and the rest would try to pull the legislation to the center in the Dem caucus and get excoriated for it - while any and all legislation gets no GOP senate votes (because it wouldn't need any) and thus painted as far left (like the ACA was) and that would be used to great effect against Hagan, Landrieu, Baucus, Begich, Johnson and Pryor.  

          Lincoln voted with Dems at least 60% of the time - Boozman votes with the Dems probably 0% of the time.  So while it might feel better that Lincoln was defeated, it doesn't serve the Dem agenda any better.  

          And that $10M wasted on Halter's primary challenge would have been much better spent giving Sestak ammo to fire back with rather than having no money and getting framed by Toomey and allowing Toomey to frame himself.  

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

          by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:26:15 PM PST

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          •  Sestak was never short of money. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, JesseCW, Kevskos

            That's a myth. Sestak had all the firepower he wanted. He just didn't turn out the Democratic vote in his state...a vote that was obviously there.

            If any of these people you named lose their seats, it wont be because of their "pulling Democratic legislation to the center." If anything, us flaying them for that will help them in their states. None of them is facing a primary challenge because none of them is as odious as Lincoln was.

            No...if they lose it will be because of a Republican wave...and none of their votes will make a difference in that instance. Pryor is probably gone in any instance. The rest will win for lack of tough opponents, with Hagan probably being the toughest hold.

      •  Secondly, (7+ / 0-)

        we don't know what is going to happen in 2016. The economy might be shit and we might have Cuomo vs. Christie, in which case we will lose 40 states including mine.

        We can't do that kind of dumb shit. We need to use the power we have while we have it. Or else, we wont.

        •  Power to do what with a GOP House? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, elwior, fhcec

          This great power you want is nothing but easier/quicker path for judicial nominees, maybe NLRB appointees and the full term gig for the CFPB head.  

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

          by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:21:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Plenty. (18+ / 0-)

            We could possibly have two seats coming up on the Court and a ton of lesser judicial seats that need filling. There are a slew, literally a smorgasbord of lower level appointments that need to be confirmed. Finally there is important legislation that we need to get through that we can crack the GOP (as has been demonstrated this year) if we had some muscle on the Senate side of things.

            The overall point is that "keeping the powder dry" almost never works out as planned. When youv'e got use it or lose it. Waiting around for a better day that might not come is silly and pointless. What are we to do since there is a GOP house? Sit on our hands?

            Finally, using our majority where we have it is the key to winning back the House. Not sitting on it and doing nothing.

          •  Well, those are kind of big things (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, fhcec

            The way I see it, the most important part of being the President (at least the head of government part) is that you get to put people you like into positions of power.  Not to mention the fact that these are the people who are supposed to be running the government.  So I hear what you're saying in a lot of ways, but appointments matter to me.

            There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

            by slothlax on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:07:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We know what will happen in 2016 if the status (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, blueoasis

          quo isn't changed.

          The economy will be shit for the bottom 90%.  There's no might about it, if things go on as they are.

          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 01:40:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Now that would be interesting, because once R's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, elwior, Kevskos

      remove it, when they lose control again (as they eventually will at some point), then they have done the Dem's dirty work.

      I think both sides get nervous on this one, it's just that right now it is the Dems that get to show the nervousness.

      That being said, I'd really like to see the talking filibuster.  Would play equally hard for both sides when they are in the minority.

    •  Not "goodbye filibuster" when the GOP takes over (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy, elwior, 3goldens, cpresley

      It's just "so long."  It will be back as soon as Democrats retake it after that.  Fair is fair, right?

      Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
      -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:55:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is why I am going to give them... (0+ / 0-)

      the Senate.  I am going to vote against Feinstein and Boxer until Harry Reid is no longer majority leader.  The filibuster has got to be fixed.  If my party (the Dems) won't do it then let's hope the other party will so we can put an end to our current dysfunctional Senate.

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