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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:33 AM

 

The real reason Democrats won't try to change the filibuster rules

is that with the way it is now they can avoid passing progressive legislation that will anger their corporate sponsors and blame it on the Republican Party. This is all a game put on for voters who know they have no choice but to vote for the lesser of two evils.

43 replies, 3435 views

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Reply The real reason Democrats won't try to change the filibuster rules (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 OP
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #1
Atman Jan 2013 #5
Cleita Jan 2013 #10
LonePirate Jan 2013 #11
Sirveri Jan 2013 #38
connecticut yankee Jan 2013 #12
yurbud Jan 2013 #40
Atman Jan 2013 #41
yurbud Jan 2013 #43
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #7
Atman Jan 2013 #17
Cleita Jan 2013 #8
zeemike Jan 2013 #14
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #28
onenote Jan 2013 #34
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #39
vi5 Jan 2013 #2
Atman Jan 2013 #3
no_hypocrisy Jan 2013 #4
tridim Jan 2013 #6
Cleita Jan 2013 #9
Jakes Progress Jan 2013 #15
sadbear Jan 2013 #13
lefthandedskyhook Jan 2013 #33
Atman Jan 2013 #42
iandhr Jan 2013 #16
Atman Jan 2013 #20
xxxsdesdexxx Jan 2013 #36
AlbertCat Jan 2013 #25
Atman Jan 2013 #37
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #18
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #26
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #29
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #30
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #19
woo me with science Jan 2013 #21
librabear Jan 2013 #22
bemildred Jan 2013 #23
plethoro Jan 2013 #24
onenote Jan 2013 #27
Bigbluebrush Jan 2013 #32
bvar22 Jan 2013 #31
indepat Jan 2013 #35

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:36 AM

1. Ah - so Democrats are just as bad as Republicans?

What about the argument that in forging a weapon for themselves, they have to hand that weapon over to the Republicans if they get the Senate back sometime?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:44 AM

5. No one saying to ELIMINATE the filibuster.

It serves a purpose and can be invoked by either party. But this phony super-majority crap, and being able to just e-mail in a mere threat to filibuster must end. If you're passionate about a cause, be a real Senator, and filibuster! Stand before your colleagues and state your case.

Even if the GOP gains control of the Senate, Democrats would still be able to filibuster. But they wouldn't be able to do it strictly to obstruct every bill before them.

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Response to Atman (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:53 AM

10. Yes, a political science prof and acquaintance of mine called it being

ruled by the minority. He was referring to CA gridlock in our Assembly and Senate because of super majorities required but it applies to the federal government as well.

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Response to Atman (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 09:28 AM

11. I am saying we should eliminate the filibuster.

We as Democrats are fooling ourselves if we think the filibuster will remain standing if the Repubs ever regain control of the Senate. If they do regain control, the filibuster will be history. They will not tolerate the same obstructionism they have perpetrated for years.

We might as well kill the filibuster and attempt to enact some change and progressive ideas while we are in power. Doing nothing is not acceptable.

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:19 PM

38. I'm sure the gerrymandered Republican controlled house will get right on that.

No real point to killing the fillibuster since we can't get anything through the house, the time to do it was 2009.

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Response to Atman (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:02 AM

12. But isn't it only good for two years?

I thought the filibuster rule had to be voted on the "first day" of every new session of Congress.

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Response to Atman (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:42 PM

40. why not eliminate it? If the purpose is to protect minority, that's role of the Supreme Court

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Response to yurbud (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:50 PM

41. You mean the Roberts/Scalia Supreme Court?

You a funny, funny man!

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Response to Atman (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:29 PM

43. they are certainly going to protect the wealthy minority

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:48 AM

7. The Senate rules worked for 200 years.

 

It was never perfect but good legislation was passed. (Social Security, the Federal-Aid Highway Act, and Medicare to name a few.) The filibuster was rarely used. Why is it only now that a 51 vote majority is considered a "weapon"?

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:17 AM

17. "Why is it only now that a 51 vote majority is considered a "weapon"?"

Because Harry Reid is a horrible leader.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:49 AM

8. No but since they are beholden to their corporate sponsors even

more so than the Republicans (we have a harder time raising as much campaign money) they really can't piss them off very much. This won't end until we get campaign finance reform and we won't get that until we rise up in huge numbers and force them to do it because they can't ignore us anymore.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:08 AM

14. Exactly.

There is only one scenario I can see that will change things...that if a few million people descend on DC prepared to stay until the congress eliminates the power of money in politics.
and that seems like a fantasy in today's world....if someone tried to make that happen the PTB wold bust it up with the power of the government

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:29 AM

28. When was the last time the Dem's used it effectively? ANd how often?

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:15 PM

34. 2006? The last time the repubs held a majority in the Senate.

The Democrats used the filibuster technique when they were in the minority in the Senate, but not nearly as often as the repubs have used it the last several Congresses. The Democrats did use it to successfully block several republican judicial appointments before the controversy over filibustering judges was resolved by the so-called Gang of 14 compromise in Spring of 2005. It was successfully used, albeit sparingly, after the Gang of 14 deal to block some bush nominations and legislation. For example, John Bolton's nomination was successfully filibustered in 2005 (although he received a recess appointment thereafter) and a bill permanetly repealing the estate tax was successfully filibustered in 2006.

But there is really no comparison in how its been used the past few years by the repubs and its use by the Democrats during the bush presidency.

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Response to onenote (Reply #34)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:38 PM

39. It seems the cost/benefit lies in ending the filibuster.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:37 AM

2. Bingo

Hit the nail on the head. Without the "Oh what can we do? We passed the best legislation we could/sorry we couldn't pass it because of the fillibuster" excuse they'll be left standing there having to actually be accountable to their base.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:38 AM

3. I think you might be on to something.

Oh well.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:40 AM

4. That's not only passive-aggressive, it's disingenuous.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:46 AM

6. Both sides do it!

You sound like Michael Steele.

Lame.

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Response to tridim (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:50 AM

9. In this case both sides are doing it.

You can't ignore what is blatantly very plain to see.

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Response to tridim (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:11 AM

15. Both side do.

You sound like you don't really have an argument to make so you just call names and make casual comparisons.

Let's do it this way. Do you believe that Democrats in Congress do not pass legislation and fail to pass legislation for reasons that benefit large donating entities? See arguing that would be substantive.

I think that the majority of those in Congress of both parties are far too beholden to the money sources and willing to bend things to assuage and court those interests. Do you believe that is not the case?

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:05 AM

13. If it doesn't happen, you're right, this probably is the reason.

Fuck filibuster reform!!! We need serious election finance reform. Filibuster reform is a distraction from overturning Citizens United.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:52 AM

33. "We need serious election finance reform."

Very true, and Citizens United only made a horrible problem much worse. The real solution would be fully taxpayer funded elections. Those tax dollars would offer the best possible value to taxpayers by making us the real boss again. Instant runoff voting would make it even better, and while we're at it... REVOKE corporate personhood once and for all. All other legislative issues are secondary IMO.

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Response to lefthandedskyhook (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:55 PM

42. The money tree goes to far. TV stations, ad agencies, real estate...

Who'll stop the rain? The only people capable of doing so, directly or indirectly, have a stake in the profits. Local elections should be LOCAL, not part of the 24/7 news cycle, but then Cable Newz loses money. The political ad agency I worked at employs nearly 30 people during election season, then lays everyone off except a skeleton staff until the next election -- but the owner is a multi-millionaire, and the place rakes in fortunes doing hundreds of races all over the country. All these guys rent campaign headquarters. There is a whole infrastructure based upon the cash from elections. And the people feeding from the trough aren't about to help stop it.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:11 AM

16. No

Its because there are a lot of Democratic Senators who have spent time as the minority party. They feel that if they are ever part of the minority again they would want the filibuster as a weapon

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Response to iandhr (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:26 AM

20. But the WILL have the filibuster as a weapon!

They say if you carry a gun, never point it at someone unless you are prepared to use it. The current filibuster super-majority is a gun that just has one of those flags that pops and says "BANG!" It is harmless, but everyone pretends it's real.

If a Senator wants to filibuster, he/she must be ready to have someone standing at the podium for thirty hours making their case. Put some teeth into. Either party would be able to do it, but now every one of these clowns has an expensive fundraiser cocktail party to hurry off to, so none of them are willing to actually USE the filibuster -- they just e-mail in a threat to use it, and Harry Reid says "Oh me, oh my...what will I do" knowing full well they don't have what it takes. There really is no filibuster anymore, just a threat of one which requires a cloture vote. That is nonsense.

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Response to Atman (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:12 PM

36. Atman is 100% correct. It still allows the minority to filibuster, but they'll need to explain

why they are obstructing so that the American people know their reasoning.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:22 AM

25. the filibuster as a weapon

The filibuster is a tool to prevent tyranny of the majority. THE GOP IS ABUSING IT and using it as a weapon.... not the Dems.

It needs to remain in some form.

All it would take is some simple adjusting.... like you can only filibuster a bill.....not a vote to bring the bill to the floor. And a limit on the number of filibusters you can do in a session.... to make you ration them and not just filibuster any ol' thing. Also.... if you're gonna filibuster, you must actually do it, not just threaten to do it.

Seems easy to me.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:18 PM

37. Perfect. Good ideas.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:21 AM

18. Where is this Progressive legislation of which you speak? n/t

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:30 AM

29. I( don't think ...

that OP makes your case ... In fact, it rather nicely makes my point.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:33 AM

30. You're not familiar with all the progressive legislation coming out of the GOP house

and being blocked only by the current filibuster rules?

Come on, now! There's tons of it.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:21 AM

19. good point

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:30 AM

21. K&R Thank you: The Democratic Party's Deceitful Game

The corporatists who work in both parties are very, very slick at what they do.




http://www.salon.com/2010/02/23/democrats_34/

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 11:24 AM UTC
The Democratic Party’s deceitful game
They are willing to bravely support any progressive bill as long as there's no chance it can pass

By Glenn Greenwald

Democrats perpetrate the same scam over and over on their own supporters, and this illustrates perfectly how it’s played:

.... Rockefeller was willing to be a righteous champion for the public option as long as it had no chance of passing...But now that Democrats are strongly considering the reconciliation process — which will allow passage with only 50 rather than 60 votes and thus enable them to enact a public option — Rockefeller is suddenly “inclined to oppose it” because he doesn’t “think the timing of it is very good” and it’s “too partisan.” What strange excuses for someone to make with regard to a provision that he claimed, a mere five months ago (when he knew it couldn’t pass), was such a moral and policy imperative that he “would not relent” in ensuring its enactment.

The Obama White House did the same thing. As I wrote back in August, the evidence was clear that while the President was publicly claiming that he supported the public option, the White House, in private, was doing everything possible to ensure its exclusion from the final bill (in order not to alienate the health insurance industry by providing competition for it). Yesterday, Obama — while having his aides signal that they would use reconciliation if necessary — finally unveiled his first-ever health care plan as President, and guess what it did not include? The public option, which he spent all year insisting that he favored oh-so-much but sadly could not get enacted: Gosh, I really want the public option, but we just don’t have 60 votes for it; what can I do?. As I documented in my contribution to the NYT forum yesterday, now that there’s a 50-vote mechanism to pass it, his own proposed bill suddenly excludes it.

This is what the Democratic Party does...They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it. They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do? We just don’t have 60 votes).

The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation. They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it. One minute, it’s Jay Rockefeller as the Prime Villain leading the way in protecting Bush surveillance programs and demanding telecom immunity; the next minute, it’s Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer joining hands and “breaking with their party” to ensure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General; then it’s Big Bad Joe Lieberman single-handedly blocking Medicare expansion; then it’s Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb joining with Lindsey Graham to support the de-funding of civilian trials for Terrorists; and now that they can’t blame Lieberman or Ben Nelson any longer on health care (since they don’t need 60 votes), Jay Rockefeller voluntarily returns to the Villain Role, stepping up to put an end to the pretend-movement among Senate Democrats to enact the public option via reconciliation.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:31 AM

22. Both parties play this game

 

Let's just up and face it. Nobody in congress wants to fix our problems.

Our congressfolks campaign every time on the same platform, regardless of party. How many republicans campaign on an abortion platform and get elected as a result? Have any of them really done anythign substantial to end abortion? And why would they? If they ended abortions tomorrow they might lose have their votes. Our president ran on a progressive platform too. Look how much he got done in his first term.

Look at what the tea party or the occupy movement accomplished. Those grassroots movements had the biggest chance of affecting the democratic process of anything I've ever seen in my lifetime and only the tea party had any real results. Republicans in congress didn't like it because the biggest impact was in republican states anyway. They threatened the status quo.

I for one am tired of it. For the first time in my life I am completely disillusioned with the democratic process and disgusted with the results.

Flame away on this one folks: I can take it.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:38 AM

23. Yep, it's a racket, it's always been a racket.

Nothing in the Constitution about it, other better-run democratic nations get by fine without it. A fancy song-and-dance to hide stalling of the public business.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:47 AM

24. Exactly. The MIC are still in charge.........nft

 

........

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:25 AM

27. Can the Senate pass whatever legislation it wants even though the House is controlled by repubs?

Don't get me wrong, I want to see filibuster reform. But the idea that Reid is preventing in order to prevent progressive legislation from becoming law is kinda silly unless you think Harry Reid has some magic way of getting progressive legislation through the House.

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Response to onenote (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:39 AM

32. Yes, there's still the House

It's politically silly to take on the political heat of bending the filibuster rules when it results in no big-picture gain in power.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:33 AM

31. What would the Democratic Party have done without Joe Lieberman for a convenient Judas?

"...but its ALL Joe Lieberman's fault"
Old Traitor Joe was well rewarded for this role as Judas in the Kabuki Theater.


"The Arkansas primary fight illuminates some unpleasant though vital truths about the Democratic establishment "
"So what did the Democratic Party establishment do when a Senator who allegedly impedes their agenda faced a primary challenger who would be more supportive of that agenda? They engaged in full-scale efforts to support Blanche Lincoln. Bill Clinton traveled to Arkansas to urge loyal Democrats to vote for her, bashing liberal groups for good measure. Obama recorded an ad for Lincoln which, among other things, were used to tell African-American primary voters that they should vote for her because she works for their interests. The entire Party infrastructure lent its support and resources to Lincoln — a Senator who supposedly prevents Democrats from doing all sorts of Wonderful, Progressive Things which they so wish they could do but just don’t have the votes for.

<snip>

What happened in this race also gives the lie to the insufferable excuse we’ve been hearing for the last 18 months from countless Obama defenders: namely, if the Senate doesn’t have 60 votes to pass good legislation, it’s not Obama’s fault because he has no leverage over these conservative Senators. It was always obvious what an absurd joke that claim was; the very idea of The Impotent, Helpless President, presiding over a vast government and party apparatus, was laughable. But now, in light of Arkansas, nobody should ever be willing to utter that again with a straight face. Back when Lincoln was threatening to filibuster health care if it included a public option, the White House could obviously have said to her: if you don’t support a public option, not only will we not support your re-election bid, but we’ll support a primary challenger against you. Obama’s support for Lincoln did not merely help; it was arguably decisive, as The Washington Post documented today:"

<much more>

http://www.salon.com/2010/06/10/lincoln_6/





You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:06 PM

35. Definitely infinitely the lesser of two evils since a right-of-center corporatist government is

infinitely better than a bat-shit crazy way-off-the-right-end-of-the-chart fascist government.

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