Skip to main content

I'm a political junkie, but being in the military it's hard to contribute.  Maybe if I didn't care about "rules" or "regulations" so much I could do more, but I like my job and the liberty policy of "stay out of newspapers, hospitals, and jail cells" has served me pretty well thus far.  Anyways, now that everything's done here's some things I'm thinking.  

Policy > Politics
I read this site every day over the last few months, but once the conventions started I was pretty much silent since anything I said would be an explicit or implicit endorsement of one candidate or the other, and US Military members are not allowed to do that.  Now that we're set for the next... while, I guess, I can type once again.  Hooray!

The election also showed this too me.  No one thought that the GOP would lose seats in the Senate this year, at least not until fairly late into the long campaign.  All the external factors were against a big D win, and most of them were still present this week.  Fortunately for progressives, the policies of the GOP came up and made a bigger impact than any other external factors.  Or, in the top race's case, the utter lack of consistent policy ideas beyond "make America better."  

Tax Returns - R.I.P. 2012
I think this will end up being the most lasting effect of this campaign.  The Romney campaign gambled that the population wouldn't care about his tax returns not being released, and he was right.  Despite bucking a longstanding precedent he still won a ton of states and didn't really pay a price for it.  Red states still voted for Romney, blue states still voted for Obama, purplish states voted for the incumbent... which is kinda what the polls had been suggesting since... [checks 538] yeah, ever.  I really don't think we'll see tax returns brought up on insider vs insider elections unless there is some monumentally positive thing in the releaser's returns.  To paraphrase Chris Rock, you're supposed to pay your taxes, what do you want, a cookie?

If a non-insider (someone who isn't fabulously wealthy and hasn't been involved in politics before) runs, it might be able to be forced as an issue.  Just as long as Sen. Reid isn't doing the forcing.  Speaking of Senator Reid...

Senate reform is required, but will it happen?
Sen. Reid has been promising filibuster reform this congress, and he has more than enough votes to pull it off before the congress begins.  Will he, and what form will it take remain to be seen.  The simplest solution requires no rule changes at all and is outlined below.

Sen. A: I move we vote on Backlogged Judicial Nominee #24601
Sen. B: I haven't heard enough debate to make an informed opinion.
Sen. Leader: OK, we'll stay on this until you can make up your mind.  Who wants to talk first?  
I think it's called the motion to proceed, but I'm not sure.  The filibuster is a valuable and useful tool, but it's purpose is to bring the public into the Senate debate, not to stall votes.  If Sen. Reid doesn't allow the Senate to move on to other business the Senate will grind to a halt because Sen. X has to go on record saying he wants it to.  The public will get mad, everyone from both parties gets involved, and every time there's a vote the obstructionists will spend political capital to stop the Senate from moving on to something more productive.  Spend a couple weeks "debating" a non-controversial judicial nominee and I don't think you'll do it again.  Plus the Senate makeup will change after the following election.

Cliff Diving
Dramatic sport.  
Also, everyone's taxes are going to go up, at least for a little while, in January.  The Speaker has made clear he's open to new revenue from the Confidence Fairy, but not from actual government revenue sources.  Oh well.  If Senator Reid is willing to jump he'll find himself in a much better bargaining position.  Unfortunately I'd guess about 90% of the population (including myself) believes he'll have a hard time convincing the Speaker that Sen. Reid's just crazy enough to do it.  There's also that little problem of "Will he actually do it", completely separate from the psychological issue.  Ultimately the Senates problems stem from leadership that believes the Senate can function like it used to even though the conditions that allowed cordial bargaining no longer exist.  There's no bargaining, it's simply playing chicken with taxpayers as the victims, and that's a game that Democrats have been poor at in recent memory.  

So yeah, I'm glad it's all over now and we can focus on policy again.  I'm still not sure how much policy can actually get done, but if Sen. Reid follows through on his tax and filibuster threats there may be just enough of a "Shit just got real" reaction to let policy proceed.  

Poll

Odds on filibuster reform same as...

22%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
11%1 votes
11%1 votes
22%2 votes
11%1 votes
11%1 votes
11%1 votes

| 9 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site