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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 07:09 AM
Original message
Senate must ease filibuster rules
Senate must ease filibuster rules

Popular notions of the U.S. Senate filibuster, the practice of talking bills to death or delaying their passage, tend to come from film, such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or from legendary past examples. ...

In the past, senators actually had to stand on the floor and talk all day and all night to keep debate going. That naturally limited filibusters.

In the last decade, however, filibusters havent worked that way. The Senate allows silent filibusters the mere threat of a filibuster to force the majority to assemble 60 votes to cut off debate and move legislation. These pseudo-filibusters, or obstructionism on the cheap, have turned the filibuster from a tool of last resort to a regular part of Senate procedure. ...

No longer do senators attempt to put together a majority coalition to carry the day. They threaten filibusters and the business of the Senate grinds to a halt.

<snip>

In our constitutional republic, the majority is supposed to rule, with checks and balances to prevent rash decisions. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 22, the fundamental maxim of republican government requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.




http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20121130/OPINION0... (reprinted from the Sacramento Bee)

The article approves of Reid's position of modifying the filibuster. This is nonsense, IMO. The checks and balances on the Senate intended by the Constitution on a majority of Senators is not a minority of Senators, but the House, the President and the judiciary.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. I signed a petition to modify the filibuster rules.
Edited on Fri Nov-30-12 08:59 AM by Enthusiast
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I am just a cynic.
I think the day when anyone in elected office paid any attention to petitions, polls, etc. is gone, if indeed it ever existed.

Take the public option. Obama ran on a strong public option, saying it was the ONLY way. Oh, and no mandate. He won the primaries over Hillary, who ran on a mandate. And then he was elected--the most significant poll of all.

While he was meeting with health insurers, Big PHARMA and big health care, the public was polling at 70% in favor of a strong public option. (I don't know if anyone even bothered to poll on the mandate, but, if they had, it had to have lost big.)

As things started looking bad for the public option, there were no end to calls and emails to Senators, Congresional Reps, and the White House. I personally contacted both my Senators, my Rep and the WH at least once a week; and I know that I am not alone. There were also demonstrations, including by doctors and nurses.

None of it mattered.

If I am correct that no one pays attention, I think circulating petitions, email chain letters and the like is dangerous, in that it gives an illusion that we are controlling our own destiny, that they are listening, and that by doing things like that, we are engaging in a form of activism.

I don't think we are. If I am correct, it's better we know it.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I understand that calls and petitions
won't work in a government to the highest bidder. I keep trying though. :banghead:
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-12 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Until Obamacare passed, I kept trying too. Forwarded emails like crazy, even though I hate to
spam people or ask them to do something for me, voted in online polls every time a poster asked me to, etc.

I communicated with government hundreds of times more about the public option than I did in all my life combined up to that point.

Here's the thing: in liberal Massachusetts, only Kennedy's staff was ever gracious. Kerry's rarely even sent a form email to acknowledge receipt of my comments. Maybe once, when they sent back a very long letter on the general subject that had nothing to do with what my email had mentioned. That was also true of Mike Capuano, whom I absolutely approve of in every other respect.


Kerry's staff used to be arrogant to callers, too, until after he lost the 2004 election. (I am thinking someone finally told him in person that they were not helping him.)

I think if you want a flag that has flown over the Capitol building (allegedly) or a passport expedited or something like that, contacting them may do something for you. Their political positions are locked in by their career advisors, their caucus and lobbyists.

I think savvy people who urge us to contact our Senators or whatever are doing so to perpetuate our belief that our opinions actually matter to these clowns apart from elections. And even elections are fixable.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. More like a Realist
Choice is just an illusion they give us to keep the Great Unwashed from using the Rich as Lamppost Ornaments.

The Late Prophet Carlin said it well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-12 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Perhaps I am just a terribly and repeatedly disappointed optimist.
He is really on the money, isn't he? Literally, on the money.

It's amazing that people pay money to hear things like that and applaud and cheer, but then go home and do absolutely nothing.

Consciousness-raising really has its limits, doesn't it?



If anyone actually cares, I think they need to fund a citizen's think tank so we can hire smart people whose full time job it is to figure out what the fuck we can do about this, if anything. Then give people an action plan.

'Cause without an action plan, we're just playing with ourselves. But, we're too busy trying to survive to come up with action items.

Part of me thinks it's way too late. We are never going to beat all the think tanks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, the Foreign Relations Council, AND politicians of both political parties who supposedly represent us.

Then again, Carlin did give action items in that clip. He said, "Forget about it. Go home and be happy with what you have because you are never going to beat them." Or words to that effect. Maybe forgetting about it and being happy with what we have are the only realistic action items.

Thing is, I still want to believe there is a way out, much as my little girl self did not really want to know Santa was not who I thought he was.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-12 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. "a terribly and repeatedly disappointed optimist"
That would describe me.

There is a way out. Even some on the right are starting to recognize that we are on the wrong course. If we all work hard at it maybe we can make Carlin wrong. Maybe not.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/revenge...
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-12 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. "The Reality-based Community."
Someone gets it. Good article. You should post this on DU3.

Perhaps there is hope.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-12 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. We are a 'Think Tank.'
The main reason I left DU3, was the perceived inability of the far-Left and marginal Teabaggers to compromise on their ideology.
I got tired of barking at the Moon.

I resigned from the CIA in protest, for their inability to accept that they could be wrong. Their mindset was still locked in a loop at the Bay of Pigs, and nothing was going to change that. They even admitted it, and told me it didn't matter if I was right.

That's an interesting quote: "Forget about it. Go home and be happy with what you have because you are never going to beat them."

It's a Reich-Wing admonition, if you look at it from a reality-based viewpoint. Maybe that was the whole point of his spiel.

So, the audience, knowing he is right, goes home and does nothing. Great.

I am Santa. All I need are a lot of Elves.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-12 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I have not seen too many far left posters at DU. Not even many liberals, just
Edited on Mon Dec-03-12 12:51 PM by No Elephants
a relative few who are basically FDR Democrats, rather than center right Democrats.

A term like "far left" I reserve for Communists and Socialists. And I am not really sure what "radical left" means.



On a message board, failure to compromise does not bother me. Message control, does, however, make me want to stay away.

If I cannot have my say on matters of politics, though, I see little to no point in posting on a political message board.

I respect that this is Democratic Underground and therefore obey the rule about not advocating for votes for anyone but a Democrat. Beyond that, though, I want to say what I think; and the admins never banned me for that. I have a feeling though, that I would be censored and maybe banned at DU3. In any event, I am not too interested in trying to find out because I think I would self-censor, as I did at DU@ about third parties.
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