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Old 11-26-2012, 11:38 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Filibuster Reform Is Upon Us

dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Not really.

Harry Reid is seeking two reforms: kill the filibuster of the motion to proceed, and turn the non-speaking filibuster back into the speaking filibuster.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...0ab3_blog.html

Full speed ahead on filibuster reform?
By Greg Sargent
Posted at 05:04 PM ET, 11/26/2012

On the Senate floor today, Harry Reid offered the clearest confirmation yet that he will move forward with filibuster reform at the start of the new Congress. He confirmed he is proposing to “do away with filibusters on the motion to proceed,” which was already known. He added that under proposed reforms, Senators who want to filibuster will have to “stand up and talk about it.” That means Reid supports the “talking filibuster,” the proposal to force filibustering out into the open — on the theory that this will make it politically more difficult.

There’s some debate over whether the latter proposal is likely to be effective. Jonathan Bernstein has argued that it’s absurd to imagine that Republicans would balk at publicly holding the floor.

That aside, now that there will be a massive spin war over the meaning of reform — Mitch McConnell railed today that Dems are planning a “naked power grab” — it’s worth reiterating that there is a set of actual facts about GOP filibustering and the Dem response to it that shouldn’t get lost in all the false equivalence BS we’re certain to hear:

1) The extent of GOP filibustering is unprecedented. This chart shows that cloture motions (a rough measure of filibustering) suddenly spiked during the Obama years. Yes, they also spiked in 2007-2008, but according to Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, the vast majority of those filibusters were mounted by Republicans, presumably to block legislation designed to embarrass George W. Bush. (Indeed, the motions to end filibusters during that period were filed mostly by Dems.)

2) The nature of GOP filibustering is unprecedented. Ornstein says this is true in two ways: First, in the extensive blockading of what used to be considered routine Senate business. And second, much of the filibustering is part of a concerted party strategy. “You’re not just looking at filibusters done by rogue senators or factions, like southern Democrats in the 1950s,” says Ornstein. “It’s the first time we’ve had a wide range of filibustering by a whole party.”

3) Filibuster reform would not do away with the minority’s ability to filibuster. The “talking filibuster” reform and the nixing of the filibuster on the motion to proceed would only make it harder to use procedural tactics, under cover of darkness, for the explicit purpose of stalling the Upper Chamber’s business. The minority would still be able to block the will of a simple majority on the vote to end debate. These are not very meaningful restrictions on the “rights” of the minority.

At any rate, now that Reid has made such a vocal push, it’s hard to imagine that Dems won’t move forward on day one of the new session to change the rules with a simple majority vote. Looks like it’s on.

***************************************

UPDATE: It’s also possible that unilateral action on the rules by Democrats to change the filibuster may not happen, if Dems and Republicans reach a deal. As Ornstein emails me:

Quote:
In 1975, we had the threat of one party action to change the rule, and it led to a bipartisan compromise. That could happen this time, despite the rhetoric — a bipartisan move to eliminate filibusters on the motion to proceed, a few more changes, and in return, a guarantee for the minority on at least some amendments on bills.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by FD View Post
Filibuster fans, do you think we should add it to the House rules?
I would say no. The House has too many members, and does not the tradition of the filibuster like the Senate does. In addition, House members are up for re-election every two years, so they are in campaign mode much sooner and more vigorously than their Senate counterparts.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:13 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Great question...
The house used to have a very similar " disappearing quorum" rule. It was removed in much the same way the senate is trying now.

I fully support these changes. Protect the filibuster, but make it mean something. Right now the senate is a 60 vote institution. This will make it hard to just filibuster every bill because you're not in power
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:02 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by FD View Post
I agree with returning to the true filibuster system. Let the minority have that ability to stop things, but make them stand on the floor and defend it, not just anonymously place a hold on anything and everything. I'm glad the Dems have come around on filibuster reform after fighting it in 2006.
Was it just reform or were the Republicans trying to completely do away with it? If it was reform to the same exact tune then yes it is hypocracy on the Dems part.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Chief Gump View Post
Was it just reform or were the Republicans trying to completely do away with it? If it was reform to the same exact tune then yes it is hypocracy on the Dems part.
Its not hypocrisy when Democrats did not abuse the filibuster to anywhere close to what the Republicans have.

Do away with the filibuster. It does nothing but create a tyranny of the minority and add to gridlock. It creates an unfair burden to pass legislation. It was not created by the founding fathers and is not in the Constitution. The filibuster was created as a mistake by Aaron Burr of all people. Originally a simple majority was needed to stop debate on an issue. Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federal papers that the founding fathers had considered a super majority to pass legislation but considered it too great a burden to govern with.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:35 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
Its not hypocrisy when Democrats did not abuse the filibuster to anywhere close to what the Republicans have.

Do away with the filibuster. It does nothing but create a tyranny of the minority and add to gridlock. It creates an unfair burden to pass legislation. It was not created by the founding fathers and is not in the Constitution. The filibuster was created as a mistake by Aaron Burr of all people. Originally a simple majority was needed to stop debate on an issue. Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federal papers that the founding fathers had considered a super majority to pass legislation but considered it too great a burden to govern with.
Why should anyone care whether it was created by the founding fathers? Are you also opposed to women and blacks having the vote?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:36 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Gump View Post
Was it just reform or were the Republicans trying to completely do away with it? If it was reform to the same exact tune then yes it is hypocracy on the Dems part.
Republicans wanted to eliminate the filibuster altogether for judicial nominations in the face of unprecedented and outrageous obstructionism from Reid and company in 2005. Democrats are trying to eliminate it for some procedural motions and end dual track legislation but keep the filibuster for others. I think both proposals are good ideas.

The hypocrisy is equal on both sides, and it regards how the majority can change Senate rules.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by FD View Post
Republicans wanted to eliminate the filibuster altogether for judicial nominations in the face of unprecedented and outrageous obstructionism from Reid and company in 2005. Democrats are trying to eliminate it for some procedural motions and end dual track legislation but keep the filibuster for others. I think both proposals are good ideas.

The hypocrisy is equal on both sides, and it regards how the majority can change Senate rules.
It is on both sides, but this time it is nothing more than an attempt to gain an unlimited credit card~
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Why should anyone care whether it was created by the founding fathers? Are you also opposed to women and blacks having the vote?
Uh...bringing up blacks and women in an argument using the founding fathers is not exactly a position of leverage~
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:52 PM   #54
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All due respect, but that doesn't seem to be much of a hinderance in state legislatures.
well, no kidding.

State senate districts are all gerrymandered to hell so that most state senators are safe. Its obviously not possible to gerrymander the senate, and we have a ton of competitive states.

Your fears are completely unfounded. A senator who flees the senate in any but a dark blue or red state is dead.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:22 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
Uh...bringing up blacks and women in an argument using the founding fathers is not exactly a position of leverage~
I'm not sure what you think I'm saying. My point is that there's no reason to revere each and every position the founding fathers might have had (to the extent that they had a consensus). And it's particularly weird when a liberal tries to play the founding fathers card.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:39 PM   #56
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I'm not sure what you think I'm saying. My point is that there's no reason to revere each and every position the founding fathers might have had (to the extent that they had a consensus). And it's particularly weird when a liberal tries to play the founding fathers card.
You and I agree on this subject. However when you bring up the founding fathers saying they created something with the implication being they ( the left) are dismissing the thoughts of the founding fathers and the add "women and blacks" into the argument you have immediately lessen your argument. The founding fathers were derelict in their treatment of both~
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:59 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
You and I agree on this subject. However when you bring up the founding fathers saying they created something with the implication being they ( the left) are dismissing the thoughts of the founding fathers and the add "women and blacks" into the argument you have immediately lessen your argument. The founding fathers were derelict in their treatment of both~
That was my point.

In this case, the left (whoman69) was not dismissing the thoughts of the founding fathers, he was citing them.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #58
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That was my point.

In this case, the left (whoman69) was not dismissing the thoughts of the founding fathers, he was citing them.
Fair enough that missed my bat...I apologize~
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:06 PM   #59
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I'm not sure what you think I'm saying. My point is that there's no reason to revere each and every position the founding fathers might have had (to the extent that they had a consensus). And it's particularly weird when a liberal tries to play the founding fathers card.
Because only conservatives can? Conservatives are not all patriots. The latest Congress certainly proved that. You're all over the board on this issue. There is no sense to requiring a 60 % majority to allow anything to pass. We've only had five Presidents that ever got 60% of the vote.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #60
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Because only conservatives can? Conservatives are not all patriots. The latest Congress certainly proved that. You're all over the board on this issue. There is no sense to requiring a 60 % majority to allow anything to pass. We've only had five Presidents that ever got 60% of the vote.
So the conservatives in Congress are not patriots because they opposed the President's policies?
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