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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:17 PM

Of filibusters, the six year curse, and the 2014 midterms

In light of the failed/diminished (depending on whom you asked) filibuster reform this week, many are wondering over the reason behind Reid's apparent capitulation from a position of power.

Did Harry Reid do a Benedict Arnold? Was Reid doing the NRA/banksters/corporations' bidding?
Did GOP asked for a favor in return for future new gun control measures, considering successive defeats in Congress would've placed many of the GOP legislators in precarious primary battles?

Or, did Reid, and other senior Democratic members, based the decision on the six year curse? Less it be forgotten, every two-term American president over the last 100 years (with the exception of Clinton) shed seats during the midterms, and in the process, lost control of either the Senate and the House, or both.

Was this a calculate, defensive Democratic move?

♦ Wilson (1913-1921), Democrat
1918 : On the fifth year, the Democrats lost six seats in the Senate and 25 seats in the House

♦ Coolidge (1923-1929)
1926: On the third year (fifth, if we include the two years of Warding), the Republicans lost six Senate seats and nine House seats

♦ FDR (1933-1945), Democrat
1938: On the fifth year, the Democrats lost five seats in the Senate and 72 seats in the House

♦ Truman (1945-1953)
1950: On the fifth year, the Democratic party lost three Senate seats and 28 House seats

♦ Eisenhower (1953-1961)
1958: On the fifth year, the Republicans lost ten seats in the Senate and 48 seats in the House

♦ Johnson (1963-1969)
1966: On the third year (fifth, if we including the two years of Kennedy), the Democrats lost three Senate seats and 47 House seats

♦ Nixon/Ford (1968-1976):
1974: On the sixth year, 1974, the GOP lost 48 House and 3 Senate seats.

♦ Reagan (1980-1988)
1986: On the sixth year, the GOP lost 5 House and 8 Senate seats

♦ Clinton (1992-2000)
1998: On the sixth year, the Democrats gained 5 House seats and retained all their seats in the Senate

♦ Bush Junior (2000-2008)
2006: On the sixth year, the GOP lost 30 House and 6 Senate seats

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Reply Of filibusters, the six year curse, and the 2014 midterms (Original post)
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 OP
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #1
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #2
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #5
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #7
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #8
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #11
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #12
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #13
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #14
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #16
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #18
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #21
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #3
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #4
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #6
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #9
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #10
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #15
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #17
Cosmocat Jan 2013 #28
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #30
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #19
Hippo_Tron Jan 2013 #20
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #23
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #22
world wide wally Jan 2013 #24
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #25
world wide wally Jan 2013 #26
Cosmocat Jan 2013 #29
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #31
dsc Jan 2013 #27

Response to FleetwoodMac (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:33 PM

1. Nonsense. The GOP will do away with the filibuster when they are in power

They did it before. Why wouldn't they do it again?

Democrats are such patsies. They don't even put up a fight.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 PM

2. When, why

"They did it before"

When?

"They don't even put up a fight."

Why?

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:37 AM

5. See post #4

When = 2005

Why = Democrats never have any backbone and the Republicans know it.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:00 AM

7. It was a non-binding agreement to reduce the likelihood of filibusters on judicial nominations...

... and a bipartisan one at that - not an attempt of "doing away" with the filibusters.

As to the why, I have a sturdy backbone, along with every other Democrat I know. Wrt to the Senate, if you think that people like " target="_blank">Cardin, Bennet, and " target="_blank">Donnelly have no backbone, then I really don't know what to say.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:06 AM

8. WE weren't trying to do away with the filibuster

The plan was to keep the filibuster rule, retaining the requirement for 60 votes to force cloture. The only significant change was to require a talking filibuster.

The "non-binding agreement" was a hostage-taking exercise. The GOP was threatening to simply ignore the Constitution and change the rule mid-session. Had the Dems not continued in their complete capitulation, the GOP would have gone back to that same position. So there was nothing at all "non binding" about that unless you consider the threat of a hostage being shot in the head being non-binding.

The point is that the GOP did it before and they will do it the next time they are in power. Reid using that as an excuse is 100%, total, unadulterated bullshit. He was in the Senate at the time. He knows this is true.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:09 AM

11. But you said it has happened before?

It clearly hasn't.

And the non-binding agreement was just that - a bipartisan non-binding agreement on the subject of judicial nominations involving 14 Senators with absolutely no formal authority to speak for either party, but significant enough to affect the voting process. Further, equating the agreement to a gun to the head is an extraordinary over exaggeration. For one thing, at the time, the Senate had 55 Republicans, and 44 Democrats.

Even if the Democrats did not agree to the nomination of Brown, Owen and Prior, nothing even remotely that significant could've been passed. Instead, in return, the Republicans in the Gang agreed to "make no commitment to vote for" either Myers or Saad - two nominations that was opposed by a majority of Democrats.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:06 AM

12. Yes it has. I gave you specific citations.

The fact that they were able to coerce the Dems into caving without having to even cast a vote is irrelevant.

They did it before and they will do it again. Reid wimping out won't make the Republicans any nicer the next time.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:27 AM

13. You said...

"Nonsense. The GOP will do away with the filibuster when they are in power"
"They did it before. Why wouldn't they do it again?"


You have failed to corroborate that statement.
The only citation you provided is a bipartisan deal involving 14 Senators over the nomination of appellate court judges that paved the way for the appointment of three and derailment of two nominations (which fulfilled the Democrat's demands). There was no "caving" there, and there was certainly no attempt to "do away" with filibusters.

I'm sorry, but your assertion rings hollow.

In addition, your explanation on why Reid agreed to this deal was because they were "patsies", "wimping out", or because Democrats "never have any backbone."

With all due respect, these aren't really serious arguments you're presenting here.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:48 AM

14. There was no attempt to "do away with filibusters" this time.

Go ahead and believe what you want to believe. Makes no difference to me. The facts are clear enough. In 2005 the GOP made it clear they were prepared to go outside the Constitution to eliminate the filibuster altogether in mid-session until the Gang of 14 negotiated limits of the filibusters. The GOP will do this again. Anybody who thinks they will not is simply not paying very much attention.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:40 AM

16. I'm only quoting your own assertions

Look, no one has attempted to "do away" with the filibuster, even in 2005.
Look it up again. But I sense you already realize this as your own statements have been gradually evolving.
And believe me, I pay VERY close attention - hence why I asked you "When?"

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:16 PM

18. You must be spending time with Alice in Wonderland

I know perfectly well what happened in 2005. It is exactly as I have described it, and there is no ambiguity in the record today. The GOP threatened to eliminate filibusters using an extra-Constitutional power grab. We cannot cay for certain whether they would have pulled the trigger because 7 Democrats came to the rescue and caved preemptively. That's what Democrats do.

I'm finished with this conversion. There is nothing more to discuss if you insist on denying the factual history.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:27 PM

21. No sir, I suspect you don't really understand what transpired...

Your earlier comments betray your lack of grasp of what the Gang of 14 was about. For the record, not that I am defending the GOP, but they never "threatened to eliminate filibusters using an extra-Constitutional power grab." Even the "nuclear option" you posted to tx4obama was wrongly interpreted.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:57 PM

3. When did the GOP do away with the filibuster?






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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:35 AM

4. 2005. And they threatened the so-called "nuclear option"

which is to say they would simply ignore the Constitution. That is different from the "Constitutional option" which is what Reid was considering. I.e. the Constitution says the Senate can set its own rules on the first day of the session with a simple majority. The Nuke option was threatened mid-session. It was entirely Unconstitutional, but as usual, the Democrats wet their pants and capitulated.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_14

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:43 AM

6. Ah okay, but that was an 'agreement' but not an actual official change to the Senate rules


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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:08 AM

9. There was voluntary capitulation under threat of a hostage-taking action.

What is your point?

The point is this is not a hypothetical. We know the GOP will screw with the filibuster rule the next time they get in power because they did it the last time they were in power. So Reid's excuse is bullcrap.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:12 AM

10. I didn't have a point. I was just talking outloud - that it wasn't a voted upon rule change...


... like yesterday.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:55 AM

15. As soon as the GOP gets 51 in the Senate they will change the rules to suit themselves

 

and give the finger to the Democrats.

Only fools think they will not and Harry is one of the biggest fools in Leadership right now.

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:41 AM

17. Change what rules specifically?

I would like to know why is it you think I am a fool.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:29 AM

28. Seriously - does anyone doubt

if Mitch McConnell become the was the new Senate Majority Leader by a 51 to 49 margin, that at 12:01 am on the first day of congress, he would not alter the filibuster rules?

We have these ass hats trying to change the electoral vote counts in democratic leaning states that they got into power at the state level by decades of some of the most blatent gerrymandering possible.

Does anyone REALLY doubt that Mitch McConnell, perhaps the most cynical politician in DC, would not do this?

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:21 AM

30. Maybe not at 12:01

Remember, last time they did it mid-session, which would have been completely unconstitutional if the Dems had not capitulated to allow the GOP to have what they wanted without actually changing the rules.

Let's assume (hypothetically) that the GOP wins back the Senate in 2014. (And their chances of doing that go way up when the Dems act like patsies.) There would be no reason to fight that fight in 2015 because Obama will still be in office and can veto anything the GOP passes he doesn't like.

The next good chance for them to change the rules is in 2017 if we have a Republican President. But the point still stands. They will do it the minute it suits their needs, and Reid wimping out because of "precedent" makes not a single bit of difference.

And really, Harry and the other Senators who backed off must understand that. The only rational conclusion that any thinking person can draw is that this has nothing to do with precedent and everything to do with the Dems wanting to have a good excuse for not getting anything done themselves.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:19 PM

19. The 6 year curse is total hogwash.

To start there are other years when the party with control lost seats. And Democrats lost control of the House during Obama's 2nd year in office.

Those other times when they so called curse occurred they didn't have the nutbags we have now trying to run on the other side.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:24 PM

20. "Curse" is hogwash for sure, but the reality of midterm elections is not

Midterm elections both in the 2nd and 6th years go heavily favor the party out of the white house. The exceptions for 2nd year midterms are 1934 and 2002. Both were extraordinary circumstances, just as 1998 was.

But I agree we should change the rules anyway, because Republicans are either going to change them next time, or Democrats are not going to use the filibuster in order to stop them from changing them.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:33 PM

23. Unfortunately the time for the filibuster rule change is past.

But we need to remember the 7 Senators that would not get on board with it.

Anytime the Republicans start to abuse the filibuster or sway from the agreement we need to not just slam the Republican Party but the 7 Senators. Slam the 7 Senators by blasting their district offices with phone calls.

There is no reason why we can't gain and possibly take back control of the House. IMO We need to have good candidates that have good campaigns. We probably have a better chance of keeping control of the Senate.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:31 PM

22. Curses do not exists, but observable trends do

Even if ruling parties do lose seats in the first midterm elections, it still does not negate the demonstrated pattern of the second midterm.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:35 PM

24. The disturbing thing about this is that IF the Republicans ever do gain control of the Senate,

they will eliminate the filibuster the first time Dems use it.

The only possible redeeming value in the current situation is that the Senate is almost inconsequential so long as the Republicans have this kind of lock on the House. Can you think of so much as one thing the Senate has passed that the House has approved?... Me neither.

So the filibuster loses its punch right now when you think about it, but I still wish Harry had some bigger balls just so we could be constantly be putting the House on the spot and keep showing voters who is doing all the obstruction.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:58 PM

25. I too wanted a deeper reform...

But I think there is a fear of what the future might hold.
Filibusters provide an avenue for the minority party to exact a measure of control on Senate proceedings.

Collectively, we're doing really great in the polls right now, and we should retain the Senate in 2014.

But, just imagine for a moment if there was a sudden turnaround in support, due to some unforeseen event (terror attacks, for instance). There are 33 Senate seats up for grab in 2014 - 20 of those are Democrats, and 13 Republicans. A six-seat swing could give the Republicans control of the Senate. That is a scary prospect - more so since they have the House.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:13 PM

26. Exactly. But that was my point.. The Publicans wouldn't hesitate to turn change the rules if they

got the upper hand.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:31 AM

29. Right on both accounts

McConnell would not even bat an eye if he had a 51 to 49 leadership in changing the rules.

BUT, with the House almost mortally locked into a R majority right now, maybe you want the senate to be clogged up.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

31. Only if there is a Republican President.

No point of going through that if there is a President who will veto your bills.

But maybe I'm giving Obama way too much credit. If the Dems were afraid of their own shadow regarding the filibuster, then maybe Obama would be afraid to use the veto.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:52 PM

27. In 1998 we lost three seats and gained three seats

including losing one incumbent (Mosley-Braun). We netted zero seats but took out incumbent Faircloth and D'Amato.

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