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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:55 AM

Four reasons why the latest Democratic ploy to change the Senate filibuster might actually work.

Make ’em Talk

Four reasons why the latest Democratic ploy to change the Senate filibuster might actually work.

By David Weigel


Nobody spits out the word efficiency quite like Mitch McConnell. Every morning this week, the Republican leader has stood behind his desk in the Senate and warned of Democratic tyranny. He’s pronounced the “e” word with contempt so thick it practically fogs his glasses.

“In the name of efficiency,” he said on Monday, “their plan is to use a heavy-handed tactic that would poison party relations even more. In the name of efficiency, they would prevent the very possibility of compromise, and threaten to make the disputes of the past few years look like pillow fights.”

The next day, he characterized Harry Reid’s position as: “We have to make the Senate more efficient, and we have to violate the Senate’s rules to do so, so that he and his colleagues in the majority can implement more easily their vision for America.”

The “heavy-handed” tactic in question is filibuster reform. In 2013, on their third attempt in eight years, senators might actually tweak the filibuster. To understand why Democrats might actually pull this off, you have to understand what “this” is. Democratic aides describe a small number of connected changes, which could be voted through on Jan. 3, the day the new Senate convenes. Only 51 votes are needed to set Senate rules at the start of the year. After that, it would take 67 votes. Democrats will have 53 seats, and two independents who’ve announced they’ll caucus with them.

Currently, the motion to go to ...

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http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/11/filibuster_reform_and_harry_reid_four_reasons_a_democratic_plan_to_change.html?wpisrc=newsletter_rubric

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Four reasons why the latest Democratic ploy to change the Senate filibuster might actually work. (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
WI_DEM Nov 2012 #1
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #2
dmosh42 Nov 2012 #3
Texin Nov 2012 #5
patrice Nov 2012 #6
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #8
dmosh42 Nov 2012 #9
pnwmom Nov 2012 #12
SouthernDonkey Nov 2012 #13
Skink Nov 2012 #4
Filibuster Harry Nov 2012 #7
Johnny2X2X Nov 2012 #10
PoliticalBiker Nov 2012 #11

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:10 AM

1. Where was the 'compromise' in the last four years, McConnell?

You are the one on record as saying your main goal and the main goal of the GOP was to make obama a one term president.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:13 AM

2. "agita" a great word late in the link. I hope the dems give Mitch a lot more of it

along the path to filibuster reform.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:32 AM

3. Has Reid laid out how this filibuster plan would really work?

After the talking filibuster, would 51 votes be enough to take up the bill for discussion and vote? Or would 60 votes still be required?

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Response to dmosh42 (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:53 AM

5. I don't think this version of "reform" would actually change the required 60 vote total.

I might be wrong about this, but my understanding is that the whole idea with his plan is to force a senator who is holding up/blocking an up or down vote to actually take the floor and tell the rest of the senate and the people of the country just why the hell they're doing it. It's intended to blow their damn covers and allow the voters to see this kind of crap just for what it is. They've been able to hide behind rules that allow them throw up roadblocks without having to explain - and in a recent incident - keep their identities secret.

Frankly, I don't think it goes far enough. I think Reid and the Dems should just go full on nuclear with this. At some point in time, I fully expect it would come back to bite them on the ass (just like Teddy Kennedy's 1994 change in MA's method of replacing Federal lawmakers' vacant seats is working against Kerry now in his purported cabinet appointment); however, the rethugs have abused the filibuster to block the will of the people. It's high time that they revert the rules back to the ones they started with.

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Response to Texin (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:15 PM

6. +1

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Response to Texin (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:49 PM

8. +1 nt

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Response to Texin (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:05 PM

9. Thanks and I agree with your thoughts.....

because if it doesn't require a simple majority after the filibuster, then the Repukes won't have to do more than say, "Good Morning", and proceed to the vote which would still require 60. Very unclear.

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Response to Texin (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:56 PM

12. Not just that. It would eliminate filibusters before debate can even begin,

a tactic Rethugs used throughout the last four years so that bills were never even considered, much less voted on. There were other changes, too, but that's the main one I recall.

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Response to Texin (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:28 PM

13. +1

Lets get the assholes out in the open. If you are there to do the peoples business, the people need to see you actually doing it. I'm sick of all their obstructionist tactics!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:45 AM

4. In the mean time

If we can use the filibuster to prevent a grand bargain i'm all for it.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:32 PM

7. I think his plan still has 60 votes to break it but look how fun it would be to see the Rs stand and

talk and talk and talk. And on C-span? And on all the news outlets? Hey Rs if you are serious about a filibuster then stand up, show the american people, and talk. You are not allowed to do it and go sit back in your offices.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:15 PM

10. Sounds good to me

I real;ize that the Dems may be in the minority in the Senate at some point, so I would be hesitant to do away with the fillabuster all together, doing this would make whoever is fillabustering accountable to the American people.

I am completely comfortable with Dems explaining themselves, so why not Repubs?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:44 PM

11. Besides the Filibuster...

... another rule needs changing...

Get rid of the super-majority crap.
Aside from the Filibuster, and no arguement that the filibuster has made a large contribution to the bottleneck in getting anything done, but the need for a super-majority to get anything passed is ridiculous. THAT has to be changed as well.
It's time to go back to the simple majority rule as it was originally designed.
Majority rules, not super-majority rules.
Businesses don't set policy by super-majority, neither should congress...

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