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View Diary: The clear way forward on filibuster reform: The constitutional option (105 comments)

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  •  I like it to (10+ / 0-)

    I was a little annoyed at first when it was proposed as an alternative to the talking filibuster, but the more I hear about it the more I like it. I'd still like to force them to talk, but the minority cloture requirement would still force them to be in the chamber to maintain the filibuster. Furthermore, it would retain the real value of a filibuster: it provides a mechanism by which the minority can block the majority if it tries to steamroll legislation.

    The problem has never been the existence of the filibuster. The problem is the ease with which a single individual Senator can bring the "greatest deliberating body in the history of the world" to a screaming halt.

    •  No, the existence of the filibuster is the problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueDem, elwior, eps62

      Why should a minority be able to block a majority from passing legislation?  That's the opposite of how democratically elected legislative bodies are supposed to work - you know, majority rule, and all that.

      Every Senator represents his home state.  Period.  We have 50 states, and each state gets 2 Senators.  Thus, we have 100 Senators.  If 51 Senators agree that something should pass, it should pass.  You don't get extra super special filibuster powers just because you happen to be part of the losing side of an argument.  You lost.  You still have the same power as the other 99 Senators - no more, no less.  

      Remember that the Constitution was explicitly designed to quash factionalism and the kind of "minority party" rights that the filibuster represents.  The Founding Fathers didn't want minority parties gumming up government.  

      We ought to be abolishing the filibuster entirely.  That should be the threat behind every reform - agree to the reform, or we'll just abolish this undemocratic procedure that was abolished in the House ages ago.  

      •  I Disagree.....The Filibuster Can Be Useful If.... (6+ / 0-) is not abused.

        The filibuster, at it's best, could give any single Senator the ability to hit the red switch halting the sausage making assembly line.

        Obviously, the Republicans have MASSIVELY abused and corrupted the we now MUST reform it so that no one can simply/anonymously kill legislation.   The status quo is insanely stupid and undemocratic.

        If Reid submits to some kind of milquetoast "compromise" that gets Republican votes, he will have been had.

        We need robust filibuster reform now.  If the status quo remains in place....the Senate may as well just hang it up and go home as we'll just get four more years of the same bs and the public will continue to blame both parties.


        •  Why on Earth should 1 Senator (0+ / 0-)

          Be able to stop the business of 99 others?  

          Sure, the filibuster could be useful if it weren't abused.  And if men were angels, we wouldn't need any laws.  

          But in the world we live in, everything liberal is filibuster, and the PATRIOT act wasn't.  

      •  The major problem I've had is with the anonymous (9+ / 0-)

        holds and filibusters where we don't know which Senator is blocking things.  We can't pressure if we don't know and we can't hold them to account come election time if we don't know what slimy things they did while they were Senator.  More open-ness is a good thing.

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