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Tue Apr 4, 2017, 01:27 PM

My Email To Schumer On A DEMOCRATIC Nuclear Option

Last edited Wed Apr 5, 2017, 04:12 PM - Edit history (1)

McConnell will play dirty on Gorsuch and there's no way around this except if the Dems make a threat that scares the pants off the GOP... a rules change the next time Dems have the majority that weights each Senatorial votes as HALF of a states population. Why? Because Dems seem to represent about 33 million more American's than do the GOP so even if the GOP controls the Senate as representatives of states with a MINORITY of the nation's population... they could no longer have the power to impose or block laws wanted by the majority.

This rule change would seem to be permitted under Art 1 and technically doesn't violate Art 5 which calls merely for equal suffrage... and is silent on whether all votes must weigh the same. After all, the voters have "suffrage" but as the EC victory for Trump proves, those votes vastly differ in weight.

This being said I know this would further affect the functioning of the Senate, but then maybe as perhaps the most antidemocratic legislative body on the planet, one where a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats, the Senate NEEDS some democratic reforms. Are the Dems up to it? What's more important, to see signature Dem programs face an existential threat? Or the rules of an antidemocratic chamber? McConnell has already said for the GOP politics are more important.

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Reply My Email To Schumer On A DEMOCRATIC Nuclear Option (Original post)
eniwetok Apr 2017 OP
MineralMan Apr 2017 #1
eniwetok Apr 2017 #6
ColemanMaskell Apr 2017 #30
Amishman Apr 2017 #2
eniwetok Apr 2017 #7
onenote Apr 2017 #43
eniwetok Apr 2017 #46
onenote Apr 2017 #48
eniwetok Apr 2017 #49
eniwetok Apr 2017 #50
Amishman Apr 2017 #52
eniwetok Apr 2017 #53
Fluke a Snooker Apr 2017 #3
eniwetok Apr 2017 #14
sl8 Apr 2017 #4
eniwetok Apr 2017 #9
eniwetok Apr 2017 #12
sl8 Apr 2017 #13
onenote Apr 2017 #24
eniwetok Apr 2017 #44
ColemanMaskell Apr 2017 #31
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #5
eniwetok Apr 2017 #10
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #19
eniwetok Apr 2017 #23
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #28
kentuck Apr 2017 #8
eniwetok Apr 2017 #11
sl8 Apr 2017 #16
ColemanMaskell Apr 2017 #32
ColemanMaskell Apr 2017 #68
brooklynite Apr 2017 #15
eniwetok Apr 2017 #17
brooklynite Apr 2017 #18
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #20
eniwetok Apr 2017 #22
onenote Apr 2017 #25
eniwetok Apr 2017 #38
onenote Apr 2017 #42
eniwetok Apr 2017 #45
onenote Apr 2017 #47
eniwetok Apr 2017 #51
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #29
eniwetok Apr 2017 #39
sweetapogee Apr 2017 #40
eniwetok Apr 2017 #41
eniwetok Apr 2017 #21
onenote Apr 2017 #26
eniwetok Apr 2017 #37
ColemanMaskell Apr 2017 #33
eniwetok Apr 2017 #34
yallerdawg Apr 2017 #27
eniwetok Apr 2017 #35
eniwetok Apr 2017 #36
drm604 Apr 2017 #54
eniwetok Apr 2017 #55
jmg257 Apr 2017 #56
eniwetok Apr 2017 #59
jmg257 Apr 2017 #61
eniwetok Apr 2017 #62
jmg257 Apr 2017 #63
eniwetok Apr 2017 #65
jmg257 Apr 2017 #66
eniwetok Apr 2017 #67
jmg257 Apr 2017 #57
eniwetok Apr 2017 #58
jmg257 Apr 2017 #60
eniwetok Apr 2017 #64

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 01:33 PM

1. The Constitution envisioned the House

as the People's legislative body and the Senate as the State's body of Congress. That was deliberate. Without a change in the Constitution, there's really not too much to be done about that division of legislative power, I think.

And with Democrats in the minority right now in Congress, a Republican President and soon, probably, a conservative SCOTUS, there isn't really any "Nuclear Option" available to the Democrats in Congress.

We're going to have to win back control of Congress and elect a Democrat as President. That's the bottom line, really. We should start working on that soonest.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:20 PM

6. I'm looking for a change though the rules...

The Senate is protected in several places in the Constitution... especially a poison pill in Art 5... that no state can be deprived of equal suffrage without its consent. But suffrage is a right to vote. We have the right to vote but obviously those votes are weighted differently depending on one's choice of state resident.

The Dems don't have much leverage now EXCEPT to make a bigger threat to scare off McConnell. And the biggest threat I can think of... and one that might make the Senate democratic, is vote weighting. While never intended, it doesn't seem to be prohibited by Art 5 and may be implemented by Art 1 which gives each chamber the power to write its own rules.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:28 PM

30. How would you get a rule change passed, anyway, even if it was a valid one?

The Republicans aren't going to vote for any rule change they don't like. You would never get your change implemented by the Senate even if you came up with something reasonable.

As for vote weighting -- Like the first responder said, the House and Senate were designed as they are on purpose. The House is apportioned by population. The Senate gives all member states equal weight. If House members were voted for at large in each state, rather than by gerrymandered districts, that would make the House into the kind of model you envision shoe-horning the Senate into. And none of it is going to happen.

The best way forward is to take Congress, or as much of it as possible, in 2018.

It would also be immeasurably helpful to take state legislatures, since they are responsible for gerrymandering, sorry, redistricting their states. Focus on realistic targets.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 01:40 PM

2. That's not what was intended in the Constitution

The senate representation was never intended to be proportionate to population.

Tossing laws and bending rules is terrible no matter who does it. This so called nuclear option should have been challenged in court the first time it was proposed in 2005 by the Pubs.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:24 PM

7. please spare us the 4th grade civics lesson...

I think we ALL know what the Senate was suppose to be... though perhaps many don't know it was intended to protect the interests of the "minority of the opulent" against the majority... to borrow Madison's words. Odd how that didn't make it into the Federalist Papers.

But this is OUR nation now and the Constitution is clearly failing to provide morally legitimate government based on the consent of the governed. If there are EVER to be democratic reforms... they MUST come from the Democrats... but sadly Dems... including even the vast majority of libs and progressives here actually buy into our antidemocratic form of government.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 11:12 PM

43. If the shoe fits...

Last edited Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:06 AM - Edit history (1)

Article I, Section 3 states that each state shall have two Senators and each shall have one vote. The purpose and intent of this clause was to ensure that each state, regardless of size, has the same representation in the Senate as each other state. This is an undeniable fact supported by the history of the Constitution and the writings of the authors of the document.

The equal suffrage clause in Article V was added for the specific purpose of guaranteeing that while most of the provisions of the Constitution could be amended, the equal representation of all states in the Senate was invioable, even by the amendment process. In short, not only could the Senate not do what you suggest by a simple "rules" change, the nation as a whole couldn't do it via a Constitutional amendment.

You can operate outside the box as much as you want. But in the real world, the words of the Constitution, and the intent of the drafters of the Constitution, have meaning and in this case, the meaning is clear and has been since day one.

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Response to onenote (Reply #43)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 08:51 AM

46. Got it... you're an apologist for a defective system.

Right? So why not just admit it?

I know damn well the system was designed to be a straight jacket... and it set the politics of 1787 in cement. But this was done by people who were also in a straight jacket... having to deal with the failing Articles which which were also virtually impossible to reform. But the politics were pretty much the same and so a looser straight jacket was created, one that dealt with the defects in the Articles.


I do not respect this system for the simple reason it's FAILING to produced morally legitimate government and allows for a tyranny of the minority. I'm not going to remain blind to that fact just because the Civic Religion or people like you say I don't understand it. The arrogance here isn't on my part. It's with those who seem to believe if someone disagrees with the system... they must not understand its beauty.

It's about time Dems actually begin to value DEMOCRACY as the moral basis of government. But it's pretty clear that the Civic Religion is so pervasive... that even most liberal Dems would rather their signature programs face an existential threat than question a failing system. So... perhaps THAT is the shoe that fits you. Correct me if I'm wrong.


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #46)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:07 AM

48. If you think being called names by someone like you bothers me

you're as mistaken about that as you are about almost everything else.

Actually, being called names by you is a badge of honor. Sort of like being insulted in a Trump tweet.

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Response to onenote (Reply #48)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:28 AM

49. so you won't admit your agenda...

So I have to guess based on the evidence. Given your arguments are no different from right wingers on this topic... I think your core values/agenda is becoming ever more clear... that we are to be bound by the will of the dead... even if it's locked us into a system that's both antidemocratic and virtually reformproof. And to that end adherence to the system is more important than morally legitimate government based on the consent of the governed... or whether signature Democratic programs face an existential threat from a tyranny of the minority.

Everyone has a hierarchy of values. In mine morally legitimate government based on democratic principles is more important than the Civic Religion that rationalizes away all the defects in our system. You don't share those values. Got it. Just don't pass yours off as part off as if they were handed down on a slab or if someone disagrees they must be ignorant.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:31 AM

50. So I take it you ALSO oppose the Popular Vote Interstate Compact...

After all... it ALSO was not "intended in the Constitution".

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #50)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:47 AM

52. I have complicated feelings on it

I strongly believe in the rule of law, which makes it tricky when the system comes into conflict with itself.

And I can legitimately see two interpretations on the compact's constitutionality. One one hand, it is going against the general process outlined in the Constitution. On the other hand, it is using the leeway intentionally granted in the Electoral College to do it. Is something still unconstitutional if it is using powers expressly granted in one part of the Constitution to subvert the intent of another? I am not enough of a scholar or philosopher to decide.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #52)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 10:04 AM

53. There are greater principles than the rule of law

Our nation was founded on moral principles... not law for its own sake which if that had been the case we might still be a British colony. And the Constitution only exists because the so-called Framers went AROUND the Articles... then the supreme law of the land. They were only charged with fixing the Articles which called for unanimous consent of the states for any amendment.

But the Constitution suffers from some of the same defects as the Articles... it's antidemocratic and the amendment formula is such that the system is virtually reformproof. At some point we need to have the same intellectual independence as the Framers to have an intellectually honest debate about the strengths and weaknesses of the current system. My main complaints about it is I'd like to abolish state suffrage and that there be proportional representation in the Senate. One chamber would represent regional interests, the other ideological. It's still checks and balances but the mix is different... and it would allow more viewpoints into the halls of power. I believe the current system is intellectually braindead.



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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 01:45 PM

3. 18th Century rules compared to 21st Century realities don't jive

 

Virtually every Republican position is, at best, antiquated, and in fact serves to oppress the vast majority of progressive direction that humanity as a whole needs to evolve. The US Constitution has always been flawed in its inception by negation of voting rights to most individuals (African Americans, women, individuals under 21, immigrants), but with technology expanding at a rapid pace, there is virtually no justified reason for having a controlling body that would be considered out of the mainstream in every corner of this planet.

In short, it is not the Senate itself, but REPUBLICANS within the Senate that make the Senate the most anti-democratic body in the history of the planet, EVEN MORE than the Nazi Regime in Germany. Look it up.

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Response to Fluke a Snooker (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 03:38 PM

14. sorry... the Senate is antidemocratic BY DESIGN

If there's a key tenet of democracy it's those who represent the minority... population or voters should never be given the power govern... yet that's exactly what the EC, the Senate... even the amendment process allow. Dems never seem to get it that the reason we can't get Single Payer... or corporations are getting out of control, or there's such grotesque wealth inequality is because of the system's antidemocratic nature. For example states with 4% of the population can block any amendment... yet states with 40% can ratify one. Dems really need some long term strategic goals here to abolish state suffrage.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:03 PM

4. "... and each Senator shall have one vote."

(Bold added)


Article I
Section 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

...

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Response to sl8 (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:25 PM

9. Yawn... I know damn well what the Constitution says.

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Response to sl8 (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 03:02 PM

12. Art 1 says...


Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

So if the Senate created the filibuster rule... why not a vote weighting rule. Each state would get its Art 5 two vote suffrage, but the right to vote isn't always the same as a the WEIGHT of one's vote. Any part of the Constitution that where state suffrage is involve IS a differential weighting of votes... under the pretense that a state mysteriously isn't the people who live there.

Is this pushing the limits? Sure. But look at how the Right has REALLY pushed the limits trying to negate the Ninth Amendment and rewriting by court decision the negation of the militia clause from the Second.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 03:37 PM

13. Yawn... I know damn well what the Constitution says.

Nah, just kidding with that subject line.

Firstly, I'm not sure that the equal suffrage requirement is met by giving all States an equal number of votes, but valuing some States' votes less than others. All States are equal, but some States are more equal than others?

Secondly, consider the implications if we accept that a majority (supermajority?) of the Senate can rule on the value of each Senator's vote. If they can change the value based on the population of each Senator's state, would they not also be able to change the value of each vote based on other criteria? Say, the votes of majority party members count for 10 times that of minority party members?

(Edited to replace very bad analogy.)[/]

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:53 PM

24. Because the filibuster rule didn't conflict with the one vote per Senator rule

But giving some Senators more or less than one vote would.

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I have to ask for clarification: when you say each Senatorial vote would be worth 1/2 of the population of each Senator's state, are you saying that the number of votes in the Senate, based on the 2010 Census would grow from 100 to 308,745,538? Or do you have some formula in mind to convert this into a fraction. And how does a fraction (or several million = "one vote"? Finally, since the population of every state is constantly changing, would there be constant revisions or would it remain based on data from the previous census?

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Response to onenote (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 07:28 AM

44. when I did the calculations

Last edited Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:39 AM - Edit history (1)

I used the US Census updated population estimates for each state done in July 2016. So yes, the value of the vote totals would have to equal whatever the total population of those US states minus the DC and any territories.

Look, I know this approach is convoluted but given the the Constitution is for all intents and purposes reformproof... and NONE of the core antidemocratic features involving state suffrage has EVER been reformed... this approach assumes the Senate will remain the body that represents states and tries to impose a democratic structure on it similar to how the Popular Vote Interstate Compact tries to work around the ridiculous EC.

It's state suffrage that largely is responsible for the Constitution being difficult to reform because the formula for reform is ridiclous. States with 4% of the population can block any reform... that is if an amendment can even make it out of Congress. Because of the population differential of the states any vote in the Senate can represent states with a widely varying percentage of the population. These numbers were done using 05 census numbers but then a majority in the Senate could represent states with somewhere between 15 and 78% of the US population. Maintaining a filibuster could represent states with between 10 and 60% of the population. AND THAT'S THE ABSURDITY OF STATE SUFFRAGE.

State suffrage is a corrupting concept that undermines all democratic instincts. Not even a Bernie Sanders speaks against it even if arguably it's responsible for most of what he rails about from our losing control of corporations to vast inequalities in wealth.

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Response to sl8 (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:32 PM

31. Thank you for posting that.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:13 PM

5. I don't know

how the minority party in the US Senate changes the rules of the Senate. Please educate me on this.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:28 PM

10. who said anything about the minority changing rules...

Looking back perhaps I was not clear... the only way for the minority party now has any leverage is to THREATEN the majority party with bigger rules change once they are in power.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 04:42 PM

19. oh I see now

and you are a genius. I'm sure Senator Schumer will send you a citation for your suggestion.

Thanks!

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:31 PM

23. and your suggestion is???

Oh that's right... you don't have any. And you're moving the goal post... I answered your original question and you ignored that and moved on to another silly objection.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:20 PM

28. ouch

that really hurt.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:25 PM

8. We should not assume that every Republican will go along with McConnell to change a 200-year rule.

Although they might?

But we should proceed as if there might be a few Republicans with a sense of history of the Senate and we should ask for them to think independently and not as lemmings for their leader, Mitch McConnell.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 02:50 PM

11. the trend with the GOP is to push their agenda hook or crook

The GOP has become the party of gutter fighters... and all they care about is remaking America into Amerika.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 03:59 PM

16. Which rule?

If you're talking about the cloture rule (Rule XXII), that was adopted in 1917, although not applied to nominations until 1949.

Majority Cloture for Nominations: Implications and the “Nuclear” Proceedings[/]
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43331.pdf

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:39 PM

32. Agreed, kentuck, some Senators like McCain might not go along with McConnell on this.

That's the best hope for blocking the current threat.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 08:53 PM

68. Looks like you might be right about McCain.

This article was on LawNewz yesterday:

http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/whoever-says-that-is-a-stupid-idiot-john-mccain-has-harsh-words-for-gop-supreme-court-nuclear-option/

. . .

McCain doesn’t think the nuclear option is a good idea for the Senate, and wasn’t pulling any punches against those who think it would be a good move. “Whoever says that is a stupid idiot,” McCain told MSNBC.

Earlier on Tuesday, McCain said in a CNN interview that despite his concerns, he believes Senate Republicans will use the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, but he worries about the ramifications it could have should Democrats take control of the Senate in the future.

. . .

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 03:45 PM

15. Explain how you get this rule implemented.

The simpler approach would be to threaten to withdraw unanimous consent on any vote. The Senate would grind to a halt.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 04:31 PM

17. how is any Senate rule changed?

According to the Congressional Research Office

In most respects, the Senate considers simple resolutions changing the Standing Rules under the same procedures applicable to any other simple resolutions, or, indeed, measures of any form. Specifically, to begin with, the Senate can, in general, agree to any measure, including a simple resolution, by a majority of Senators voting, a quorum being present (standardly known as a “simple majority”). Under the Constitution, a quorum is a majority of all Senators.

How would threatening to withdraw unanimous consent on any vote help? It might bring the Senate to a halt but it does nothing to insure the Senate isn't a tyranny of the minority... in the case by those representing a minority of the US population.

I realize this is unconventional thinking... but let's never forget what the GOP has accomplished over the past 40 years through a concerted and coordinated strategy... which included gaming if not bastardizing the Constitution to suit their needs. In the face of this onslaught the only real defense is if the system is made more democratic... no more having presidents who were rejected by the People being imposed on the nation... and no more giving a tiny minority of the population the ability to thwart progressive reforms in the Senate and amendment process.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 04:38 PM

18. So you expect a Republican Majority to change the Senate rules to benefit the Democrats?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 04:43 PM

20. apparently

the answer is yes.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #20)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:30 PM

22. since you clearly don't understand...

Obviously only the GOP is now in a position to change rules... and the only leverage Dems have is to THREATEN a more drastic rule change if the GOP goes through with trying to push through Gorsuch... ONCE THE DEMS AGAIN CONTROL THE SENATE.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:56 PM

25. How is that leverage? If you assume the Democrats are going to regain control

then there is no stopping from doing what you suggest when that happens. And since your goal is to create perpetual control of the Senate for Democrats, if they were willing to do it in response to the end of the filibuster why wouldn't they do it anyway?

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Response to onenote (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 10:04 PM

38. you realize you're admitting a defect in the Senate, right?

Given Dems represent 33 million or so more Americans than GOP senators... are you suggesting the system is SO antidemocratic that they will NEVER regain control in some future election?

And no... my goal is NOT partisan... even if it sounds it because I believe more people naturally support the Demcratic-ish agenda than that of a reactionary, pro-corporate GOP. My goal is to defend democratic PRINCIPLES... that the electoral system accurately measure the will of the People... and the political system be able to implement it within a system that protects legitimate minority rights. There might be times when weighting Senate votes by population might work against Democratic-ish goals... but then the Senate is inherently a defective body. If I had a bigger wish list it would be to restructure the system so the Senate become a national parliament based on proportional representation.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 10:53 PM

42. No, I'm just pointing out a defect in your "logic"

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Response to onenote (Reply #42)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 07:30 AM

45. When you find it, please let me know.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #45)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:05 AM

47. why bother. you're incapable of recognizing it when it's right in front of you

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Response to onenote (Reply #47)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 09:36 AM

51. so you have no answer...

It's always telling when someone believes in something they consider axiomatic even if it's not... because when all their defenses for a belief don't hold up... they soon rush to this personal bullshit.

You can either have a rational discussion on the topics/ideas I've raised... or you can keep resorting to this crap.

Your choice.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:25 PM

29. I think I'm wasting my time but

there is a difference between Senate Rules and the Constitutional duties and authority of the US Senate.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 10:15 PM

39. back again?

I can always tell when someone is just against an idea when they just keep throwing out objections... and when they are answered... they just keep throwing out more and more objections.

You qualify.

A change in the Senate rules does NOT affect the constitutional duties and authority of the US Senate.

But thanks for FINALLY revealing your true agenda... that like the vast majority of even liberal and progressive Dems you can't think outside the constitutional framework even if 1: it clearly is antidemocratic 2: it's a system that blocks the Dem wish list for things like Single Payer 3: it now clearly poses an EXISTENTIAL THREAT to signature Dem programs and 4: it clearly has a GOP bias. 5: It represents the Will Of The Dead... and NO LIVING PERSON EVER APPROVED THE CURRENT SYSTEM.

I just came back from a trip to DC and this quote at the Jefferson Memorial struck a chord

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."


Clearly you disagree and are revealing to all the rather CONSERVATIVE, if not reactionary, side of the Democratic Party.

You must be proud.


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 10:36 PM

40. you must have

one very expensive crystal ball. Can see everything.

Let us know what Senator Schumer thinks of your idea.

Oh and have a fantastic day!

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #40)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 10:49 PM

41. THANKS for proving that I saw right through you!

No substantial objections... and when your weak ones failed, you rushed to personal insults.

Seems I know you better than you do.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:24 PM

21. where did I say this?

I thought it was obvious from my OP that the Dems have no leverage to keep a more militant GOP in line except to make a bigger threat to change the rules once the Dems are back in power. The added advantage is that if Senate votes are weighted, it POSSIBLY might make it more difficult for the GOP to change the rules back even if they have regain a majority of sears but which represent a minority of the US population. This is highly speculative. And its success depends on how much faith you have that Dems really represent the majority of the people.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 05:58 PM

26. It's success depends on several things

including the Democrats in the Senate collectively losing their minds and deciding to push a blatantly unconstitutional (I know, you disagree) proposal that would result in Democrats being voted out of office in huge numbers the next election.

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Response to onenote (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 09:49 PM

37. if the Constitution says....

Here's the rub... one part of the Constitution says

"...no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

Yet another says

"Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member."

So is "suffrage" the right to a vote? Does it imply a vote of equal weight? The weight of any vote of the People varies. Why? Because even a state of 1000 people would get at least 1 Representative.

Art 5 is the ONLY place in the Constitution that uses that word which at the time... or close to the time (1828) was defined as

Suffrage SUF'FRAGE, noun [Latin suffragium.]

1. A vote; a voice given in deciding a controverted question, or in the choice of a man for an office or trust. Nothing can be more grateful to a good man than to be elevated to office by the unbiased suffrages of free enlightened citizens.

Lactantius and St. Austin confirm by their suffrages the observation made by heathen writers.

2. United voice of persons in public prayer.

3. Aid; assistance; A Latinism. [Not in use.]

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/suffrage


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:43 PM

33. eniwetok, Are you a human being or a bot?

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Response to ColemanMaskell (Reply #33)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 09:19 PM

34. If you have something on the topic to say... please do.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 06:09 PM

27. It's clear the Senate was envisioned as a kind of House of Lords...

and was a concession amongst the thirteen original colonies during a freakin' revolution against the mightiest world power on earth!

Then we had the Civil War. "You can checkout anytime you like - but you can never leave."

The Senate - and the Electoral College with its ties to the Senate representation - and some other sections of the Constitution - are well past the expiration date.

We won't have this great experiment in democracy if we don't fix what's wrong when we can all see what is wrong!

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 09:28 PM

35. House Of Lords.... from the secret minutes of the Constitutional Convention

Madison essentially wanted the Senate to essentially be a House Of Lords.... in fact the whole of the Constitution is designed to give elites a veto over the People at every turn.

MADISON: "The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa, or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge of the wants or feelings of the day laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe; when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered."
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/yates.asp

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 4, 2017, 09:40 PM

36. our failing experiment in democracy

We won't have this great experiment in democracy if we don't fix what's wrong when we can all see what is wrong!


Our system has no protections against the corruption of elites who were intended to have a check on People... nor does it have any protection against the system becoming increasingly antidemocratic. When there were merely 13 states I believe the population differential between the largest and smallest population states was about 17:1. It's not about 68:1. This lack of a demographic safeguards has a grotesque effect on ANY part of the federal system that involves state suffrage... and it's so obscene that now states with less than 4% of the US population can block ANY amendment... no matter how desirable. Then there's the matter of how demographics affects politics and it's clear the system now has a clear GOP bias... with now TWO presidents being imposed on the nation that rejected them... and a Senate when Dems represent 33 million more people than does the GOP... yet the GOP has control... and COMBINED they can pack the courts with right wing neanderthals.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 11:20 AM

54. How would they make this rule change?

Wouldn't they need a majority to make a rule change?

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Response to drm604 (Reply #54)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 02:40 PM

55. of course it would take a majority

Obviously the Dems have NO power at this point because in the antidemocratic Senate it doesn't matter if Dems represent 33 million more people than the GOP. This could only be a threat to make the rule change the next time the Dems are in power... but it COULD be used as leverage NOW. The Dems don't have many cards to play.

Back in 91... whenever Thomas was nominated for the Court... he was approved by Senators who represented less than 50% of the population. He then went on to be a key vote in Bush v Gore which imposed a candidate REJECTED by the People on the nation. The currents of antidemocratic government are insidious... and we know democratic reforms will NEVER be proposed by the GOP. The question here is... regardless of this proposal... when will DEMS ever stand up for democratic principles. Sorry... all the Dems have proposed so far are bandaids and they stay away from ever suggesting the Constitution finally be made democratic.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #55)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 02:48 PM

56. The constitution is pretty clear about amendments

Takes a bit more than a majority in 1 house.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #56)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:13 PM

59. YOU say this needs an amendment...

I say the Constitution is unclear whether the Senate can pull this off.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #59)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:17 PM

61. Yes the Constitution is QUITE clear.

There isn't even some grey area to suggest it just might be possible (other than an amendment).

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #61)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:24 PM

62. you're not dealing with the term SUFFRAGE

You are still making claims without making a substantive argument.

Suffrage is a RIGHT to vote. The Alabama constitution gave everyone over 18... minus a few categories the RIGHT to vote.
http://codes.findlaw.com/al/alabama-constitution-of-1901/al-const-art-viii-sect-177.html
But in practice the weight of votes in terms of representation varied greatly. It was a way of suppressing the Black vote and it was declared unconstitutional http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/377/533.html

Technically the right to vote and the weight of each vote are separate issues.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #62)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:26 PM

63. Senators represent the States...each get 1 vote.

Period.

Getting them ejected by the people took an amendment. Changing the weight of their vote would also.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #63)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:32 PM

65. there's no point of this discussion...

all you ever do is make the same claim over and over and over without dealing with my counter arguements.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #65)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 04:49 PM

66. Sorry u r right...was getting on a plane - will go back

And read your arguments with more attention.

My apologies for being short!

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #66)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 08:38 PM

67. here are my key concerns....

The Dems have no vision of where to take the nation in 30-50 years and without a vision there will be no master strategy to get there. In contrast the far Right has a multi front, coordinated strategy going back to the 70s... and it shows. That Dem vision SHOULD be to finally make our system truly democratic... no more half ass bandaids like motor voter... but that those who represent the minority should NEVER govern.

In the more immediate moment... was my concern that the GOP have become gutter fighters and they are now using an antidemocratic president AND Senate to further turn the courts into the judicial arm of the GOP... and Dems have NO leverage to stop them... except the threat of a BIGGER nuclear option... but one that would game the system to make Senate votes more democratic... regardless of the party in control. In the current session the Dems represent about 33 million more people than the GOP.

Would Schumer ever go along? I suspect not. When someone gets that high up in the government they rarely have doubts about the system no matter how antidemocratic or dysfunctional.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #54)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 02:51 PM

57. This isn't a "rule change". Its a Constitution change.

And the constitution is fairly clear on what is needed to amend it.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #57)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:11 PM

58. that's not an argument... that's merely a claim

I've cited the relevant portions of the Constitution if not in the OP then elsewhere in the thread. The ONLY relevant section that suggests this MIGHT be unconstitutional is in Art 5 that no state be deprived of it's equal suffrage in the Senate. But suffrage is typically the right to vote and arguably it really doesn't address the weight of a vote. It's a technical argument... but we've see the Right push the limits much further... in attempting to negate the Ninth Amendment of all meaning and removing the very clear militia intent from the Second.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=suffrage

In the end Dems need to finally start a long neglected debate on whether a minority government can EVER be moral legitimate. Between the presidency and the Senate we are now facing a constitutional tyranny of the minority which IS posing an existential threat to signature Dem safety net programs.


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Response to eniwetok (Reply #58)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:15 PM

60. You are right , not an argument / it's a fact.

As you know the Constitution is QUITE clear about Senate votes.

And you even know why with regards to the purpose of the Senate in its members representing all states/each state equally.

An attempt to do what you suggest is clearly unconstitutional.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #60)

Wed Apr 5, 2017, 03:30 PM

64. again... you're back to making claims not arguments.

The Constitution was pretty clear about the Ninth and the Second amendments... that never stopped the right from trying to reframe them to suit their political agenda. In both those cases they were clearly attempting to bastardize those amendments. As with the Popular Vote Interstate Compact which leaves the EC untouched, I'm looking for a way to game the system when it comes to the Senate. I fully realize Art is somewhat of a poison pill to protect the Senate... which is why I'm proposing a work around. If you don't like it fine. After nearly 20 years of these discussions it's clear about 95% of even the most liberal Dems never think about making our system democratic... no matter how much of an existential threat the GOP tyranny of the minority poses to signature Dem safety net programs.

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