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View Diary: Dick Durbin speaks of toothless, watered down filibuster reform (163 comments)

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  •  Durbin is still probably better than most (18+ / 0-)

    Just 4 years ago, Senate Dems let JoeMentum keep a key chair after he had publicly campaigned w/ McCain.   They're not going to pass the Merkley  reforms.  I doubt that Durbin is speaking on his own here--he probably speaks for a broad consensus of Senate Dems.

    While Warren and Baldwin coming in are very good things, we're still talking about a caucus where the likes of Schumer and DiFi hold considerable sway.  

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:32:59 AM PST

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    •  I hope you're wrong but fear you're right (26+ / 0-)

      If they don't effectively defang the filibuster, little will happen in this Congress.  That significantly increases the chance that Republicans will pick up a lot of seats in 2014, as usually happens in a president's sixth year, and that we'll lose the Senate.  

      Harry Reid is smart enough to see this coming, and that gives me some hope that a semi-meaningful filibuster reform will pass.  But I never underestimate Democrats' capacity to do stupid and self-defeating things.

      Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

      by Dallasdoc on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 06:42:01 AM PST

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      •  We all agree that filibuster reform is necessary (4+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure how many Senate Dems share our views on that subject.  I'm also not sure how much difference it would make given the composition of the House.  

        Filibuster reform would clearly matter in terms of judicial and executive confirmations, as the House has no say on those issues.  The GOP took a much harder line on the filibustering of judicial nominations in '05-'06 than Dems took the past 2 years, and there's no excuse for not changing that ASAP.  In terms of tax and budget issues, however, I'm not sure how much filibuster reform will matter.

        I wish that there had been a serious push for filibuster reform in 2009 when Dems held a solid House majority.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:40:49 AM PST

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        •  I think it would make all the difference now (7+ / 0-)

          The way to break the House Republican logjam is for the White House and Senate Dems to get on the same page, pass useful legislation and keep up the public pressure on the House.  I don't see any other way to overcome Republican obstructionism.

          Boehner has clearly decided to deal with Democrats if he can bring along enough of his caucus.  He wasn't willing to do this for most of the 112th.  That may just be a fiscal cliff expedient, but it may signal that he's tired of babysitting the world's biggest brat day-care center.

          Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

          by Dallasdoc on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:48:08 AM PST

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          •  what is this "same page" you speak of, doctor? (0+ / 0-)

            heh.

            gotta love our big Dems.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:34:08 AM PST

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          •  Right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean, Dallasdoc

            Also, when the Democrats are able to pass meaningful legislation in the Senate but it dies in the House, that's campaign fodder that will help Democrats retake the House in the midterms.  Sometimes you have to lose a battle or two to win the war and even if you know you may lose in the short term, the doesn't mean that you should stop fighting.  Much of this is about optics; does anyone think that a midterm campaign of pure obstruction will be a good thing for House Republicans?  It give House Dems something to run against.

            So yes, reform the filibuster and give that reform some real teeth.  Let the Republican-controlled House keep being the one institution standing in the way of progress.  If nothing gets done, it will not be pointless.  That may well put the final nail in the Republican brand.  It will also show that when Democrats run the Senate, they actually are able to do so without a super-majority.

            There are many advantages to real filibuster reform even if it means that Republicans in the House will continue to obstruct.  Either they will bend to the will of the voters of they will find themselves back in the political wilderness after the midterms, and maybe this time for good.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:23:18 AM PST

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            •  Why in the world do people believe this... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc
              Also, when the Democrats are able to pass meaningful legislation in the Senate but it dies in the House, that's campaign fodder that will help Democrats retake the House in the midterms.
              Please see historical record of mid-terms with a focus on 2010.

              It doesn't work that way, nobody pays attention after nonstop 2 years of Presidential campaining.

              Filibuster must be reformed, obstruction is a bi-partisan talking point.  How many House bills have been "obstructed" by the Dem Senate since 2010?  Every single one.

        •  The difference is in nominations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Particularly judicial nominations.

          What do we want? Time Travel! When do we want it? It's irrelevant.

          by NCJim on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:45:59 AM PST

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      •  If the GOP has a chance to do it we should primary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc

        anyone who votes against it this time. We should let them know that now, and start setting up a mechanism for new blood for when the GOP does away with it to prevent us from using the same strategy. Which would still not make it right. Two more years of this abuse is inexcusable. Sorry Senators, you're going to need to take more populist positions rather than rely on the fili.

    •  I think they needed him for healthcare reform. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fonsia

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:01:39 AM PST

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      •  IIRC, the ACA was passed via reconciliation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        La Gitane

        That took only 51 votes (or 50+ Biden).

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:59:29 AM PST

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        •  Only part of it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pistolSO

          Concerning the tax increases. Most of the actual bill was passed with all 60 Dems having to vote on it together.

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:39:30 AM PST

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          •  W/ Coakley's loss, weren't there only 59 Dems (0+ / 0-)

            by that point?

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:04:35 AM PST

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            •  The main PPACA was passed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pistolSO, Dallasdoc

              Shortly before Brown won, when Paul Kirk was the acting Senator. I believe it was passed on Christmast eve. The reconciliation amendment and the House version passed later, and the bill was finally signed in March of the following year.

              Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

              by MrAnon on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:08:03 AM PST

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      •  They did, plus, the Senate was on a knife-edge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        at the time.

        Al Franken had not yet won his seat. Burris had not yet been appointed from Illinois. Specter was still a Republican.

        The Dems did not have 60 votes at the time. They needed three Republicans (Specter, Snowe and Collins) to pass the Stimulus bill.

        Lieberman was a pain. He helped torpedo the public option (even though we're getting one anyway, heh heh), and insisted that if his own idea of allowing folks to buy into Medicare at 55 was put into the bill, he'd vote against it.

        But he voted with the Dems most of the time.

        Politics. Ya gotta do those nasty deals or do nothing, usually.

        Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

        by Fonsia on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:57:57 AM PST

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