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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-24-13 09:56 AM
Original message
More bs about the filibuster rule.
Edited on Sun Nov-24-13 10:19 AM by No Elephants
This is the most important and most dangerous restructuring of Senate rules since Thomas Jefferson wrote them at the beginning of our country, said Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.).

I call double bullshit. I don't doubt that Jefferson may have written the original Senate rules. (If so, I would love to see a copy, but i don't doubt Alexander on that.) However, since Jefferson also had more than a bit to do with the Constitution, the Constitution being based in large part on what Jefferson wrote for Virginia's Constitution, it's clear that the Constitution already contained the rules the Framers considered very important. And even the Constitution provides for its own amendment (although the amendment provision is too undemocratic and too difficult for modern times). So, even if all the Framers had written the rules, the rules were never intended to be difficult for the Senate to change.

Moreover, in Jefferson's day, there was no cloture rule.

In 1789, the first U.S. Senate adopted rules allowing the Senate to move the previous question which meant ending debate and proceeding to a vote. Vice President Aaron Burr argued in 1806 that the motion regarding the previous question was redundant, had only been exercised once in the preceding four years, and should be eliminated.<2> In that same year, the Senate agreed, recodifying its rules, and thus the potential for a filibuster sprang into being.<2> Because the Senate created no alternative mechanism for terminating debate, the filibuster became an option for delay and blocking of floor votes.

The filibuster remained a solely theoretical option until the late 1830s. The first Senate filibuster occurred in 1837.<3> In 1841, a defining moment came during debate on a bill to charter the Second Bank of the United States. Senator Henry Clay tried to end debate via majority vote. Senator William R. King threatened a filibuster, saying that Clay "may make his arrangements at his boarding house for the winter". Other senators sided with King, and Clay backed down.<2>

See also:

And the original cloture rule required a 2/3 vote. That was lowered to 3/5, without a bunch of faux drama about the Constitution. Moreover, in 1892, the SCOTUS held that a simple majority sufficed to change Senate rules.

So, all the faux drama about the Constitution, Jefferson and the filibuster rule is bs. (Why the hell doesn't someone in media call these people on this bs, instead of just printing the bs?)

IMO, all the reverence for the Framers is also bs. They were intelligent, but bigoted, plutocrats who wanted a federal government of the plutocrats, by the plutocrats for the plutocrats; and that is reflected in the document that they wrote and in the notes of their four months of secret meetings, the content of which was not disclosed to those who had to vote to ratify the Constitution or not aka, another thing they forgot to mention to me in American history class).

Like US politicians ever since, the Framers went as far in the direction of the plutocracy they wanted as they thought they could get away with without seeing a sequel to the revolution.

Sure, it was a step up from monarchs and emperors with boundless power, but that's about it. (Compare our revolutionary slogan with that of the French, whom we inspired: "No taxation without representation" vs. "Libert, Egalit, Fraternit." (Interesting, I googled because my keyboard has no capacity for the accent marks used in French. I got the wiki of that phrase, which advises that the phrase ""Brotherhood of man" redirects here." Brotherhood of man was not exactly the thought of the Framers, perhaps why our plutocrat politicians are so fond of trying to deify the Framers.)

The House did away with filibuster entirely (I hope without much drama).

Anyway, bottom line, the filibuster rule is anti-democratic. Not that Jefferson or any of the Framers had anything to do with the cloture rule anyway. So we can all stop clutching our pearls and grabbing for the smelling salts about the filibuster rule and the Constitution or the filibuster rule and Thomas Jefferson. Besides, JFK's admiration aside, TJ was not exactly a model of all that is good in the world to begin with. And if he were, he would deserve to finally rest in peace. Either way, enough.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-25-13 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for this.
You have stimulated my thought processes.

"So, all the faux drama about the Constitution, Jefferson and the filibuster rule is bs. (Why the hell doesn't someone in media call these people on this bs, instead of just printing the bs?)"

The reason someone in the media doesn't call out these people on their bullshit is because this bullshit is a manipulation tool that serves the .01%.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-25-13 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My pleasure.
Edited on Mon Nov-25-13 01:23 PM by No Elephants
I believe that the filibuster rule simply enables both sides to point fingers at each other, so that they are never accountable to voters for what does or does not happen when one side is in the majority. That way, they can be more comfortable serving lobbyists instead of voters.

If they have no ability to blame the "other side," even when they are in the majority, they just might have to worry about doing right by the 99%.

Joe Scarborough once said that people in Congress think they won't lose elections because of bills they don't pass. They believe they lose elections because of bills they do pass that people don't like. I am not sure that is correct, or even that he believes it. However, if people in Congress do think their seats are safer if gridlock prevails, then gridlock we will get, especially if the majority can always yelp about "obstruction" by the minority.

I am willing to risk majority rule. The present system yields lousy results, especially in the hyper-partisan atmosphere under which the coutry now suffers. Let's at least try another way.
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