Skip to main content

My final, for now, letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  If you can stomach it, continue below the squiggle for the disappointment...

Senator Reid,

I am deeply saddened by today's surrender to Minority Leader McConnell and the obstructionist Republicans on the filibuster.

The Senate is all ready a magnificently unrepresentative body.  That Wyoming has as much representation as California is more than enough protection for minority rights in that body.

But no.  Instead of using the power that a majority imparts to put in place rules that allow that majority to exercise its electoral mandate you have chosen to give an undeserved gift to the powers of obstructionism.

The filibuster is an accident of history born of a badly written minor change of rules with unanticipated consequences two centuries ago.

I recognize that there have been a handful of instances in modern history where the power of a minority to block legislation has been in the best interest of the ideals we and our party share.

But far more often it has been used to block substantial in the best interests of the American people.

Without the filibuster we would have serious and substantial reform of the healthcare system of this country instead of the watered down provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  

Without the filibuster Republicans would not be able to block the President from naming a director to run the ATF, or hogtie his judicial nominations.

Historically, the greatest achievements of the filibuster have been to delay or defeat civil rights legislation.  Hardly a legacy worth preserving.

I am sure that you chose to sustain the filibuster in order to preserve it for a day when Democrats are in the minority.  In that you could not possibly be more misguided.

Are you utterly unaware of the torched earth tactics embraced by your opposition?  Are you ignorant of their willingness to nakedly embrace any advantage an push any power to its limit?

Right now the the Republicans enjoy a substantial advantage in the House of Representatives only because of their terrific abuse of the power to draw Congressional districts at the state level.

Look out of your office window across the Potomac River at Virginia, where just this week Republicans have voted to redraw Congressional districts in midterm in violation of the Constitution of the United States to strengthen their grip on the levers of power.

Look at Virginia and other states, including my home state of Pennsylvania, where Republicans wish to use those gerrymandered districts and rewrite rules for the election of the President of the United States to their own advantage in the defiance of popular will.

And you still believe that these people are partners with whom you can negotiate in good faith in order to preserve the filibuster for your own potential future use?

Senator Reid, the second that the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, whether one seat or a hundred, is the second that they will discard the filibuster and put in place rules that allow a simple...and Constitutional majority of 51 votes to enact whatever they may please.

Senator Reid, if you believe otherwise for the tiniest fraction of a second you are a fool.  As you clearly are not a fool, I cannot begin to imagine any rational explanation for today's abject surrender.

I can only hope that today you did not set the stage for a Gerrymandered States of America, where a determined minority is able to impose its will upon the majority of Americans forever.

Shame on you.

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

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:25:45 PM PST

  •  Everything about Harry Reid's conduct (3+ / 0-)

    since the election kind of makes me believe the local rumors here in Nevada that this is his last term in office.

    When Obama was running for re-election he was all full of big talk and even bigger promises, swearing he wouldn't do x, y, and z, which he just did, blatantly, and now he's just, back to the Harry Reid of the post 2006 to 2008 period. Milquetoast. Looking tired.

    He's just not acting, or legislating, like a man who is going to face what he faced in 2010 again in 2016 when he would be potentially running vs. Brian Sandoval instead of a Teahadi pie in the face or a lame incompetent Nevada GOPer pretending to be a Teahadi.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:54:28 PM PST

    •  If he plans for this be his last hurrah... (6+ / 0-)

      You might think he feel liberated to take the opportunity to fight the good fight for our side.

      Sad if true.

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

      by Notthemayor on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:57:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

        I would want to go out in a blaze of epic win.

        It appears Harry Reid doesn't, because he swore up and down that what he did on filibuster reform wouldn't go down that way. Up to and including the handshake deal aspect of it. Sad.

        I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

        by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:03:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sad? Yeah, sad. AND INFURIATING. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kevin k, unfangus, Notthemayor

          Nice Kabuki when the "Leader" leads us down the primrose path. Now the President's progressive agenda can sit and spin like Harry does, goddamn it all. Goddamn him. I've had it.

          I can only hope that today you did not set the stage for a Gerrymandered States of America, where a determined minority is able to impose its will upon the majority of Americans forever.
          He did. He fucking DID.

          I ♥ President Obama and have his back.
          Hands off SocSec, Medicare and Medicaid. NO subsidies to rich Corps.
          Rich pay more, bloated DoD steal less. End war on Afghanistan 01/01/14.

          by OleHippieChick on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:37:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What is really sobering about this (6+ / 0-)

      is that I don't know how Obama gets a Supreme Court nominee in place if, say, Kennedy, Scalia, or Thomas were to die unexpectedly and the balance of the court were in play for a generation.

      The GOP has paid a price with the public in terms of their reputations, but no price for all the bad faith, bad behavior, and shit they have pulled in the bodies they occupy. If anything, the House staying GOP due to gerrymandering in encouraging more bad behavior and Tom Delay shit not less.

      Imagine if, say, Clarence Thomas had a stroke out of the blue and died.

      Would Obama be able to get anyone in place?

      I'm not so sure they would.  

      They might not even let him replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg with a middle of the road center lefty like Sotomayor or Kagan, keeping the status quo, without hijacking the process now that they can smell the Presidency being rigged for a few terms due to the nightmare of several states having an electoral college fix put in so a Democrat can't win.

      This is going to be a tough decade for us.

      We better get our game faces on for a lot of ugly shit to come.

      I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

      by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:01:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It was devastating to watch (8+ / 0-)

    Rachel Maddow on Jan 24 as she documented Harry Reid's repeated lies as to his plans with regard to filibuster reform. The idea of another "handshake" deal with Mitch McConnell is sickening beyond description.

  •  Interesting list of "no" votes (6+ / 0-)

    on the "reform" package: almost all the no votes were cast by Tea Party nut jobs except for Bernie Sanders

    Crapo (R-ID)
    Cruz (R-TX)
    Flake (R-AZ)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Heller (R-NV)
    Johnson (R-WI)
    Lee (R-UT)
    Paul (R-KY)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Rubio (R-FL)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Scott (R-SC)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Toomey (R-PA)
    Vitter (R-LA)

  •  Demand Harry Reid step down (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, josephk

    sign the petition - Harry Reid must resign: https://t.co/...

    thanks

  •  Is there a way to blame this on Obama again? (0+ / 0-)

    It would make so many happy.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:44:39 AM PST

  •  reid is on McConnell's golden penis. I knew reid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin k

    would never reform the filibuster. Everything from his mannerism to his whining voice said so. He's just a sorry MF. After almost 400 filibusters over just 4 years, Reid agrees to a deal that he and McConnell have agree (ignoring Democrats and take his sorry ass running to McConnel with his tail between his legs) that a bill is not controversial. Harry Reid, all bills and nominees are and have been controversal. McConnell nor any republican confederate, will ever agree on shit! Sorry MF. Reid makes me physically ill.

  •  Can the senate fire reid's sorry ass? Does Nevada (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin k

    have recall ability? Reid just drove a stake in the hearts of liberals and Obama's vision for the next 4 years. But who gave him the senate leadership position anyway? More than republicans are working against Obama.

    •  Stake in the heart (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notthemayor
      "Reid just drove a stake in the hearts of liberals and Obama's vision for the next 4 years."
      Indeed, this "compromise" occurs as a fist in the gut.  As Democrats -- as Obama supporters -- what are we fighting for, anyway?

      Apparently the answer is, "We are fighting to preserve the status quo to the benefit of Republicans."

      It stinks.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site