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View Diary: Filibuster Reform Open Thread (91 comments)

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  •  Doesn't matter with a GOP House (0+ / 0-)

    Dems lose the Senate with filibuster reform because it makes Landrieu, Pryor, Baucus, Johnson all pull a Blanche Lincoln and piss off both sides and get a Quixotic primary challenge that accomplishes nothing other than guarantee their loss.

    If there was reforms, it would make these senators the decision makers and they'd have to please two masters - Dem voters and enough moderates/centrists back home who would want to see an independent streak out of them and that is impossible to do.  

    So no reform means they get the cover of 5 GOP Senator votes on any measure, so they can't possibly be attacked/smeared as signing off on a far left agenda if five Republicans have also signed off to get cloture.  

    And what would be the point to sacrifice the senate majority in 2014 when the GOP holds the House anyways.  It's not like the GOP Senate obstruction is the only thing standing int he way of progressive legislation like they were in 2008-2010.

    Pres Obama and his agenda are much better off holding the Sen majority in 2014, and not having to face a GOP Sen and GOP House.  

    And before anybody argues that McConnell will change the rules the first chance he gets in 2014 realize that just like 2014 is a tough year for Dems, 2016 will be a great year for Dems with Johnson in Wisconsin, Toomey in PA, Kirk in Illinois, Ayotte in NH, Portman in Ohio, Rubio in Florida, Burr in NC, McCain in Az all up in a Presidential year.  So McConnell changing the rules in 2014 sets up the Dems then living by those rules or making their own in 2016.  

    Not to mention McConnell would need 51 votes (50 wouldn't be enough as Biden is tie breaker), so assume the Dems lose 6 seats in 2014 (Landrieu, Pryor, Johnson, Baucus, Begich and Hagan), so now we're at 51-49 - but McConnell loses one vote in his caucus for the changes and they don't happen.  And the GOP's 2016 class will want the cover just like our at-risk Dems want now.  Would Kirk vote to change the rules, and then vote for a far right agenda knowing that he'll get destroyed in his 2016 re-election bid if he did?  Any and every GOP Senator on a 51-49 split would own every one of their Senate votes explicitly as they could have been the difference maker in blocking it and how would each and every vote play back in their blue/purple states in a coming Presidential election year?  And any legislation that they personally blocked would probably gin up a primary challenge not unlike the one Lincoln faced in Arkansas.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:52:02 AM PST

    •  Explain to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      why this would piss off the Dems? Why would it threaten the at-risk Senators from reelection? I understand the math 2014 vs. 2016 you list ... but this is not an issue that would change voters minds (not Dems, and not Independents in my mind). If anything, a talking filibuster would help illustrate to people ... just like me ... into the drama and dynamics of the Senate, to hear exactly why Senators want to vote a bill or nomination down.  I think this would help in the re-election process because the Reps would be hung with their own words (not hiding behind a paper filibuster)... words that would end up on the internet, in ads, etc.

      •  It hurts people like Landrieu (0+ / 0-)

        here in very red-state Louisiana.  

        The filibuster prevents her from having to vote in the most contentious situations on the most contentious issues.  

        If a very contentious, high-profile, polarizing issue comes to the floor of the Senate, she has a choice: (1) vote with the left, and kill her chances for re-election; or (2) vote with the right, and prompt a primary challenge, where she would be forced to the left and kill her chances for re-election.  

        If this very contentious, polarizing issue were going to become law with that Senate vote, it might be worth it to Democrats to sacrifice Landrieu, and others like her, in the interest of getting that bill signed into law by the President.  But it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to force here into a vote that, for her, is a lose-lose proposition if the vote is ultimately meaningless because the legislation won't get past the Republican House.  If the Democrats controlled the House, it would be different.  

        That's why Democratic Senators in red states who have to run in 2014 might not support filibuster reform.  

    •  It absolutely does matter. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, Albanius

      Obama can't get his judicial and other nominations through the Senate right now. There is a judicial vacancy crisis and the GOP Senators don't care.

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:02:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You'll have to dig really deep into history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      to find me a sitting Senator who lost an election because of a vote on Senate rules.

    •  Nice Political Decision (0+ / 0-)

      But I thought our representatives were supposed to be looking out for the country.  A minority of the Senate has been holding up almost all business of government over the last 3 years.  That's not good for the country and that's why we need to get this done.  A very smart mentor once told me:

      "The best politics is to do the right thing."
      Natalie Meyer, former Colorado Secretary of State

      She was right when she said this to me 30 years ago and she's right today.  

      Your calculations and political talk ignore the right thing for the country, and frankly, that's exactly the problem we have in Washington today.  So my advice to you.  Think about why you care about politics and what you think it should really be, then apologize for your totally ridiculous post above.

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