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View Diary: This chart will make filibuster reformers feel optimistic (100 comments)

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  •  Do you have any examples (6+ / 0-)

    of what Democrats blocked?

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:00:18 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  RCP Srticle by Sean trende mentioned - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, Adam B
      At the same time, however, the filibuster greatly restrained Republicans’ ability to implement their agenda during the Bush years. Without it, they probably would have passed tort reform, ANWR drilling, Social Security privatization, school vouchers, made the Bush tax cuts permanent, and further diminished unions’ ability to organize. Republicans might have passed immigration reform, President Bush almost certainly would have placed Miguel Estrada on the Supreme Court, and Hispanics might be a more reliably Republican voting group. In short, in terms of policy changes, the filibuster has probably inhibited Republicans more over the past decade than Democrats.

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

      by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:05:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure there were (16+ / 0-)

        any bills on a few of these things. SS privatization never made it out of the House.  A better counterfactual would be things actually filibustered.  Estrada would've no more made Latinos a reliable Republican voting bloc than Thomas did for African Americans.

        But of course, if Republicans really wanted something and Dems filibustered, they would threaten the nuclear option (which they actually did, winning concessions), and failing that, they would just use the nuclear option.  It's ability to protect us is overrated.

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

        by David Kaib on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:37:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's a question of proportionality. (5+ / 0-)

        Democrats did indeed use the filibuster on occasion to block some of the Bush administration's worst excesses.  Overall, however, their use of the filibuster did not come close to paralyzing the Republicans' efforts to push their policies.  The examples you cite, while correct, seem to me to be the exceptions that prove the rule.

        In other words, Democrats and Republicans use the filibuster in fundamentally different ways.  For Democrats, use of the filibuster has been the exception, whereas for Republicans, it has been the rule.  We therefore have to choose between simply accepting Republican obstruction because Democrats might occasionally use the filibuster when they're in the minority, or amending the rules so that the Senate Democrats can actually get something done when they're in the majority.  I tend to favor the latter, if for no other reason than we need to fill the huge number of vacancies on the federal bench.  

        I also think that once the Republicans recapture the Senate, they will either abolish the filibuster altogether or get the Democrats to cave in to their demands by threatening to do so, just as they did before.  Again, this comes down to a difference in the way the two parties operate.  The Republicans care only about winning and being effective.  The Democrats are worried about protocol, tradition, and trying to appease an unappeaseable opponent.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:46:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That is pure unabashed horseshit. It assumes (11+ / 0-)

        that the mere existence of the filibuster magikly caused the GOP not to push those issues, without any evidence whatsoever that such was the case.  That's why the key word at the beginning and end is "probably", because there is no factual basis for any of the assertions.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:56:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Major bs in that list -- several of (8+ / 0-)

        Those Bush proposals did not get close enough to the senate floor to be filibustered.

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