Right wing Democrats caving on Senate reform and ending filibuster. (HousesofProgress)

This is one issue we should be hammering here at openleft, and driving screaming mad dems to phone, email and shout at their representatives. We need action to drive the reform of the Senate.


A possible deal might seem like welcome news to Democrats frustrated by the lethargic pace of legislating in the Senate, but rules-reform advocates have become likewise exasperated with the state of their leadership's negotiations.

For starters, an informal deal is, by definition, unofficial. While aspects like ending secret holds would be incorporated into the rules, the reduction in the number of filibusters wouldn't. "The whole thing could blow up again in a couple months," said one operative who has lobbied the Senate on rules reform. "They are getting nothing."

Democrats, this operative added, would have been able to secure bigger, longer-lasting changes had they been willing to exercise what is known as the "constitutional option" -- the parliamentary maneuver that allows a simple majority of the chamber to set its rules at the onset of a new session.

But a top Democratic Senate aide, whose boss supports rules reform, said that as of Monday "there were definitely not 51 votes for the constitutional option." Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) hinted as much over the weekend.

Sadly, the Senate is a Good Old Boys Club and there's no effecting that.
I'm afraid this was always a lost cause. In 2009, these very same people made the rules that allowed the GOP an essential veto over the Senate. Yes, these very same Democrats, who are ideological more attuned with Republicans than their own Party Base gave that power away.

Add in the fact that the Senate is essentially a closed system free of any real (small-d) democratic impulses and this was not going to change.

The rest is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Senate Dems will now crank up the Excusinator 9000 and try to pretend there were valid reasons for not taking responsibility for the way things work there.

How many times has Harry Reid angrily thumbed his nose at his own party base whenever they demanded something sane or decent from him? Did no one get the memo?

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

If there was enough will
Senate Democrats could agree to hold the government hostage and filibuster everything until the rules get changed.  That requires fewer votes (but more dedication to the cause and a willingness to accept collateral damage) than the "constitutional option".

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

And _that_ is what we must demand.
Sayiong that is the way it is, or are you surprised, or they suck, are all caving in exatly the same way as the right wing dems are leading the cave on reform.

Be correctly outraged, be honestly upset and demand reform of the Senate.

We need action items at openleft!


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Would you guys be lobbying so hard if the majorities were turned the other way?

I would accept
An agreement that ends the filibuster effective January 2013, raising the stakes for the 2012 elections.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
In fact, I would support Republicans controlling the Senate for 2 years if it meant permanent reform of the filibuster, i.e.

- requiring filibustering Senators to be present and speaking
- requiring cloture to be defeated by 41 votes rather than passed by 60

The argument that "oh we can't have filibuster reform because then Republicans will pass scary stuff" is not only so stupid, but completely anti-democratic.  Being in a democracy means that, yes, sometimes the "bad guys" will win and be able to do "bad things", because the people want them to.  Hey, if we're so worried about Republicans taking over, why not just get rid of elections?  Let's pass a law saying only Democrats are allowed to run for office.

[ Parent ]

Open Left Campaigns



Advanced Search

Powered by: SoapBlox