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View Diary: Four reasons to feel proud of, and excited by, the filibuster reform fight (274 comments)

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  •  I'll be proud as soon as the Democrats (21+ / 0-)

    accomplish something that hasn't been massively watered down by the Republicans or corporate interests.  They have majorities that we give them through our hard work on elections and continually refuse to use them.  Or look at polls telling them of majority support for the Democratic Party platform.

    Perhaps this is just a game to give us the illusion of democracy without any actual democracy in order to keep us, our torches, and our pitchforks off the streets.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:17:20 PM PST

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    •  That's kind of the point (0+ / 0-)

      The whole system was designed from the beginning to allow the minority to "water down" legislation.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:56:12 PM PST

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      •  Not to the point of no qualitative aspect (0+ / 0-)

        That excuse is old, tired, and debunked above via Aaron Burr and the filibuster.

        It's like confusing the CRA of 1964 with the CRA of 1957 and then proclaiming the failed result of the CRA of 1957 as inevitable even though the CRA of 1964 made it through a filibuster while keeping enough quality to be the most significant reforms since the 13th and 14th amendment.

        These zombie excuses need to stay dead.

        I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

        by priceman on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:24:41 PM PST

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        •  Arron Burr and the filibuster (0+ / 0-)

          is the proof that the Senate is intended to be the place stuff goes to die. He just found another way for it to do its job, as designed.

          47 is the new 51!

          by nickrud on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:20:49 AM PST

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          •  Wrong. The House of review... (0+ / 0-)

            was meant to review not kill legislation. Aaron Burr and the filibuster is a folly that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution as I said.

            I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

            by priceman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:51:43 AM PST

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            •  I find it in the part (0+ / 0-)

              where each house sets its own rules. By the standard you're using Committees that kill legislation before it comes before the entire body would be unconstitutional. A minority prevents the majority from deciding.

              47 is the new 51!

              by nickrud on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:21:59 PM PST

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              •  There is a majority vote in those committees (0+ / 0-)

                and even despite what I'm quite aware of in the Constitution about Congress making its own rules(yet my statement is still accurate that the filibuster is not there) there is still a good argument that the filibuster is Unconstitutional. laid out by one of the best lawyers on the subject  Emmet Bondurant.

                You seem confused on the roles of the House and Senate. The Senate is there to make minor amendments and changes which is why it doesn't fund government, the house does. It wasn't meant to dictate what legislation lives or dies; only for a minority voice, not an Oligarchy which is what you're excusing now as if ti was always that way but it simply wasn't even looking at the amount of cloture motions filed from the past to now.

                I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                by priceman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:44:31 PM PST

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                •  Madison doesn't agree (0+ / 0-)
                  The necessity of a senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions. Examples on this subject might be cited without number; and from proceedings within the United States, as well as from the history of other nations. But a position that will not be contradicted, need not be proved. All that need be remarked is, that a body which is to correct this infirmity ought itself to be free from it, and consequently ought to be less numerous. It ought, moreover, to possess great firmness, and consequently ought to hold its authority by a tenure of considerable duration.
                  http://constitution.org/...

                  I don't think he was talking about 'minor amendments and changes'. It was and always has been about being the voice of the Oligarchy. It was designed that way.

                  My recognizing it doesn't mean I support it, by the way. Direct elections have reduced the oligarchical aspect but doesn't remove it.

                  47 is the new 51!

                  by nickrud on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:20:18 PM PST

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                  •  I think you're reading too much into that (0+ / 0-)

                    Federalist 58

                    In all cases where justice or the general good might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority. Were the defensive privilege limited to particular cases, an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences. Lastly, it would facilitate and foster the baneful practice of secessions; a practice which has shown itself even in States where a majority only is required; a practice subversive of all the principles of order and regular government; a practice which leads more directly to public convulsions, and the ruin of popular governments, than any other which has yet been displayed among us.
                    And Federalist 22 from Alexander Hamilton whom was basically the father of the Senate.
                    But this is not all: what at first sight may seem a remedy, is, in reality, a poison. To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. Congress, from the nonattendance of a few States, have been frequently in the situation of a Polish diet, where a single veto has been sufficient to put a stop to all their movements. A sixtieth part of the Union, which is about the proportion of Delaware and Rhode Island, has several times been able to oppose an entire bar to its operations. This is one of those refinements which, in practice, has an effect the reverse of what is expected from it in theory. The necessity of unanimity in public bodies, or of something approaching towards it, has been founded upon a supposition that it would contribute to security. But its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of the government, and to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.
                    Both are rejecting a Supermajority Congress which is what you are attempting to state was always the purpose with regard to the Senate. This is well argued by Emmet Bondurant(pdf). The Senate is there to give the minority some representation but not to overrule the majority by causing the need for a Supermajority to pass everything which is where we are now with the filibuster.

                    As he points out there's also a SCOTUS case to argue against the Senate making this rule in United States v. Ballin, the Court held that while “the Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings,” it “may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights.”

                    I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                    by priceman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:01:28 PM PST

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                    •  no, I think Madison (0+ / 0-)

                      spoke the simple truth. The Senate, by definition (giving low pop states equal status) is an undemocratic institution. Hamilton lost on this in the Constitutional Congress and arguments in the Federalists Papers were a losing cause. Many ills have come from this (think Henry Clay's influence) and we've been living with it ever since.

                      I think it's a fight worth waging but the last real dent in it was back in 1917, when cloture was first introduced (http://www.senate.gov/... is a lucid and brief description of what came before and what came after). Everything since has just been a nibbling at the edges. 67, 60, whatever. It doesn't matter the number, the Senate is doing what it has always done - be a bulwark for the empowered class. Oligarchs, if you prefer that label. Me, I just prefer to call them the monied.

                      47 is the new 51!

                      by nickrud on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:57:17 PM PST

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                    •  oh, and about the 58th (0+ / 0-)

                      remember the audience: a high pop state that needed reassurance that their influence would still be felt, proportionally..

                      47 is the new 51!

                      by nickrud on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:02:52 AM PST

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                    •  And finally :) (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm not arguing in favor of keeping the filibuster - just arguing that the filibuster is a consequence of what the Senate was intended to be.

                      47 is the new 51!

                      by nickrud on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:04:18 AM PST

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