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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:32 PM

Remember, Harry Reid: The problem goes well beyond Chuck Hagel

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/15/remember-harry-reid-the-problem-goes-well-beyond-chuck-hagel/


Remember, Harry Reid: The problem goes well beyond Chuck Hagel

Posted by Jonathan Bernstein on February 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm


snip//

In other words, Hagel or no Hagel, we’re going to keep seeing more of these “nullification” filibusters: GOP efforts to keep agencies from functioning as required by law by refusing to allow anyone at all to be confirmed.

Beyond those types of cases, any executive branch or judicial nominee can be defeated by filibuster if Republicans stay united and insist on a 60 vote standard. And perhaps the one thing that was made very clear by Republican Whip John Cornyn and others during the Hagel debate is that Republicans indeed believe in that 60 vote standard, and are willing to extend it to every single nomination. That doesn’t mean every nomination will fail, because not all Republicans oppose every Obama nomination. It does mean, however, that as long as there are “only” 55 Democratic Senators, that Harry Reid is going to have to always find 5 Republicans to go along.

That’s just not how the constitutional “advise and consent” responsibility is supposed to work, and it’s not how it ever worked before 2009.


The reform package both parties agreed to in January promised to help on one key category of nominees: those who had fewer than 40 opponents. For them, reform is supposed to expedite the process. But reform didn’t do anything at all about nominees who have simple majority support, but not 60 Senators behind them. If the Hagel nomination is a sign that we’re going to see more and more of these partisan filibusters, then Reid and the Democrats will have no choice but to revisit Senate reform — during the current session of Congress — and find some way to get those nominations confirmed and the government fully up an running.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:34 PM

1. looks like reid and obama cannot control their own party members in the senate eh? nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:46 PM

2. Reid's a loser

He's been slapped around by the Republicans until he's lost his bearings.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:53 PM

3. As always, part of a bigger strategy.

The 30-year republican meme is "Government isn't here to fix the problem, Government is the problem". And one of the best ways to ensure that agencies operate poorly or don't even operate at all is to make sure that you cripple the top of the organization.

There's no question that thousands and thousands of government employees are critical to having a functioning government. At the same time, there needs to be top leadership in these departments in many cases simply for legal reasons. If a law says that blah-blah regulation has to be signed by the Assistant Director of Widgets and there's no Assistant Director of Widgets - it doesn't matter how much great work was done in the organization...that regulation is never going to see the light of day.

And of course the next time there's a budget discussion, republicans bring up the widget department - highlighting that in the last 2 years, those 118 workers responsible for widget regulation have produced NOT ONE regulation. ZIP. What are they doing over there besides wasting taxpayer money that could be better spent supporting some tax cut for the top 0.1%, you know, the job creators.

See, just like we told you, government is the problem.

Harry cared for the Senate and the tradition of it's rules and the revenge that might come if Democrats are ever in the minority. Unfortunately, he forgot to care for the good of his country. Too bad. And this is what we get.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:56 PM

4. Reid missed a golden opportunity to reform the filibuster rules. Gets my ire up. nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:40 AM

7. I keep thinking he had a reason; we shall see. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:59 PM

8. I've read that Reid has used the filibuster system a lot, so I guess that's why. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:15 PM

5. Replace Harry Reid with Barbara Boxer before revisiting filibuster reform. :)

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:58 PM

6. Another Drowning Tactic

Keeping agencies running half filled is another tactic to drown government in the bathtub.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:04 PM

9. Harry Reid's inability to do anything is what makes him so useful. nt

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