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On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 12-10. Republicans unanimously voted against him, not because they have a problem with him, but because they want to force changes to the CFPB that they will not attempt through the normal legislative process.

Also on Tuesday, various Senate Republicans announced that they would block two more of President Obama's nominees: Secretary of Labor pick, Thomas Perez, and Environmental Protection Agency nominee, Gina McCarthy. They kept Susan Rice from even being nominated with their threats, then proceeded to gum up the nominations of Chuck Hagel, John Brennan, and Jack Lew and blocked Caitlin Halligan. Why? Essentially because they can. As Greg Sargent says:

One of the consequences of this maximum obstruction plan by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans is that is renders even perfectly reasonable actions by Republican Senators highly suspicious. Blunt’s hold on McCarthy is over a local issue in Missouri, something about levees on the Mississippi. But it’s impossible to know whether that’s something that Blunt is perfectly willing to negotiate with the relevant agencies, or if it’s just a cover for GOP opposition to yet another Obama nomination for the sake of opposition itself.
You don't have to think too hard to work that one out, given the GOP's track record on filibustering executive nominations under this president. The Cordray example might be the most egregious single case—they lost the legislative battle and are taking a scorched earth approach rather than accepting defeat—but taken as a whole, these filibusters reflect a broken institution. What's more, it's an institution that's been deliberately broken by the minority.

There really is only one answer: Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats have to make it clear that they're willing to change Senate rules now, mid-session.

Please sign our petition to Harry Reid urging him to reopen rules reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm shocked! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, bear83, RUNDOWN, thomask, Australian2, lcs

    It's so uncharacteristic of the rethugs to do this!  Shocked, I tell you, shocked!

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:31:54 AM PDT

    •  Reid's fault (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Man from Wasichustan

      let's sign another petition, surely the worthless wimp will finally come around.  Oh, but we wouldn't want to disturb the wonderful collegiality of the Senate, that's more important than actually governing the country.  

      But don't worry, when the Dems lose control of the Senate in 2014, after the country blames them for not getting anything done except for endless speeches, pointless petition drives, and whining about how they're helpless to stop the meanie Repubs, THEN the filibuster will be eliminated.  

      •  I don't understand why we keep pretending these (0+ / 0-)

        gutless wonders actually WANT to pass any legislation that benefits anyone who makes less than a million bucks a year.  That requires taking a position which can be used against them by the people they ACTUALLY represent: the very wealthiest PARASITES who are destroying this country.

        Nothing's getting passed because corporate America doesn't want anything passed.  The Senate is currently divided 50/50 Wall St./Main St.  Party is irrelevant in this equation.  If it became 60/40 in our favor, the rules would magically change to require 2/3.  If it became 90/10, they'd require 100%.

        Nothing will change until Corporations and the wealthy are placed on a very short leash and some people go to jail for life.  And I'm guessing any political movement that potent would be targeted with drone attacks and unlimited detention.  Probably lots of assassinations.  These plutocrats are not giving up their ill-gotten billions through any political process.  Not.  Happening.

        My name is Mitt RMoney and I'm here to sell America for scrap.

        by Man from Wasichustan on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:51:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All thanks to Harry Reid and the other spineless (15+ / 0-)

    Senators.  It's not that they never learn.  It's that they are gutless ditherers.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:33:34 AM PDT

    •  You really do have to give credit to the GOP on (16+ / 0-)

      their obstructionist strategy.  Other than, of course, the damage it does to the country.  I'm talking political credit.  It's almost the perfect plan.  

      1) They see to it that essentially nothing but a trickle of Obama and Dem's agenda ever sees the light of day and essentially bring the country's business to a screeching halt.  
      2) Then GOP rather effectively message that Obama and Dems are getting nothing done to get us out of this economic mess

      3) This message starts to take hold because the idiot American public, who can't be bothered with paying attention and actually educating themselves on the facts

      4) Dems have every opportunity in the world to reform the filibuster, but don't have near the courage it takes to do so.  GOP have known this all along.

      5) GOP eventually eeks out a majority in the Senate.

      6) Dems trip all over their conscience and morals and refuse to be the filibuster obstructionists that the GOP was all those years, even as the GOP-majority Senate begins to pass bill after bill of far right wing Teabagger batshit crazy agenda.  GOP have known this all along.

      7) IF (and it's a colossal IF) Dems ever do grow a spine to begin filibustering, GOP immediately change the filibuster rules on a simply 51 majority at the next change of session.  Dems jump up and down and weep about how they never did that when they had the chance and GOP shouldn't either.  GOP just laughs and pat the Dems on the head like the naive little children they are.

      Only potential break in that above sequence of events is GOP probably wouldn't even give Dems a chance at #6.  They'd probably just jump right to #7.

      •  That's right. You nailed it. (6+ / 0-)

        That's why the GOP believes this is a winning path.
        GOP appears strong. Dems appear weak.
        They believe voters will take it out on the Dems in the next election.
        They are probably correct.

        "The past is never dead. It's not even past". Faulkner.

        by mchestnutjr on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:26:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dems have been seen as the weak Party since (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RUNDOWN, ferg, mchestnutjr

          Vietnam War days when it comes to National Security.  While objectively that has always been false, the notion that Dems are weak is constantly reinforced by how pathetically weak they are politically in Congress.  One might say that nice guys finish last, but it's really the spineless, chickenshit nice guys who do.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it is spinelessness though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontario

        I think the system works for them in the Senate and they view the obstructionism as just a minor roadblock. It was the dinosaur Dems, like Feinstein, that were opposed to real filibuster reforms.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:14:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It takes guts to abandoned an outdated view of (0+ / 0-)

          their Senate.  So whether they are spineless with regard to facing reality or enacting rules that hurt the Repubs or possibly at a later date themselves, they are still spineless.

          I also disagree that they are dinosaurs.  Dinosaurs were vertebrates.  These people lack a backbone. They are not inveterate legislators so much as invertebrate ones ... or invertebrate inveterate ones.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:32:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand what you are saying, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            accumbens

            the issue is that they do not want the Senate to change. They are acting in their interest and against ours, the US citizens. It is worse than spineless.

            "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

            by shmuelman on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:55:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  And now the "adults" have to compromise (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        accumbens, Australian2

        And the Democrats rush right in to "save" us from dysfunctional government - and cave to everything.

        The GOP is happy with being the spoiled "children" in this whole process.

        In a capitalist democracy - every dollar is a "vote" ... spend wisely ...

        by RUNDOWN on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:21:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Harry Reid (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      accumbens, RUNDOWN, thomask, ferg

      I agree with you.  Those wimps are afraid that they will lose any power if they should lose the majority in the Senate.  If only they would realize that they have a better chance of retaining power if things get done.  Change the rules, get laws passed and people quickly confirmed.  Keep the majority.  

    •  Fuck the Incredible Folding Harry Reid,,, (0+ / 0-)

      How about instead of trying to get Harry to do something,,,
      ,,, Try to replace his congenial ass with a Senatorial Ninja.

      Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

      by olo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:29:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why don't dems drive this point home? corp. media (8+ / 0-)

    Thom Hartman makes a stronger case about how the repubs are attacking democracy by filibuster - he makes a stronger case than the democrats

    I can't for the life of me understand why the dems don't make this a really, really big issue and get it out to the main stream media

    OK now I am going to be cynical. Maybe on the edge of CT comment

    both parties want confusion to hide what they are doing as they serve the 1% and the war machine

    after learning this week about a possible $6 trillion price tag for the recent wars, and the 10 th anniversary of the disastrous Iraq war, how in the world can the "foreign policy experts" be talking about war with Iran??

    what in the world is going on?

    the 1% are no longer hiding and they are accelerating the extraction of resources from nature and from people

  •  Not only, but ... (10+ / 0-)
    ... it's an institution that's been deliberately broken by the minority.
    also through the enablement and collusion of the majority.  At this point, I don't hold the Repubs responsible.  It would be like blaming a wolf for killing an antelope.  You can't, it's what they do.  The blame at this point rests solely on the Democrats.  They could stop it, but they don't.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:38:21 AM PDT

    •  Would someone please explain to me (4+ / 0-)

      how filibuster rules can be changed in mid-session without a 2/3 vote by the senate?  Reid can't do it alone; even a majority vote by Democrats couldn't do it, according to the rules of the Senate.  And every Democrat is not going to vote to do away with or even moderate the filibuster rules, because they're scared to death that the Republicans will take over control of the Senate and impose the changed rules on them.

      What these Democrats don't understand is that the Republicans would have no problem enacting the "nuclear option" on the filibuster as soon as they control the Senate anyway.  They keep hoping against hope for comity - which ain't happening with the current crop of Republicans and those who are likely to be elected anytime soon.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:50:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's called the Constitutional Option (5+ / 0-)

        where the Senate President (Joe Biden) declares a filibuster to be out of order, refers it to the Senate Parlimentarian for a ruling, and if that ruling goes the wrong way, simply overrules the Parlimentatrian.

        Basically, Senate rules cannot trump the Constitution, and the Constitution has very specific limits on types of votes requiring a super-majority (treaties & such, not judges or cabinet members).

        It would be a dramatic & historic step - and is the very thing  Republicans threatened to do in 2006 when they had the majority and the White House.

        Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

        by bear83 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:11:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  since the Senate sets and enforces its (5+ / 0-)

        own rules, only 51 votes are required to change them, no matter what the previous rules say.

        Remember, the rules are nothing more than points of order that 51 Senators agree to follow each day. The rules are unenforceable gentlemen's agreement.

        If the Senators decided to ignore the previous rules and vote directly on a confirmation, bypassing the committees and filibusters, that person would be approved, because the Constitution only says that 51 votes are required to approve.

        The filibuster only works because each day 51 Senators agree never to hold the real, Constitutional vote until they've count 60 votes. That non-Constitutional 60-vote requirement only works because 51 Senators decide each day to make it so. (That 60 vote requirement morally subverts the Constitution, because the Constitution requires 50 votes, not 60. It's only through collusion that the 60 votes is a requirement.)

    •  Rec'd for: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN
      also through the enablement and collusion of the majority.

      "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

      by gritsngumbo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:59:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Did Dem Senators Opposed Filibuster Reform? (7+ / 0-)

    ...as in, just enough of them to prevent any meaningful reform from happening, despite a clear opportunity at the start of the current congressional session to do so?  Not even a "talking filibuster" requirement?  Looking at YOU Carl Levin, Diane Feinstein, Patrick Lehey, and just enough of a handful of others to fall just short of 51 votes.  And YOU Harry Reid for failing to use some LBJ-style arm-twisting with implied threat of dead horses turning up in your bed to get recalcitrants to go along.

    What the hell did you think McConnell and the GOP Senators were going to do; you didn't really expect them to honor their pledge to only use the filibuster in "exceptional" circumstances, when their worldview is that ANY time the dems control the senate and the Presidency is a running "exceptional" circumstance that lasts until the GOP takes control again (and next time, eliminates the filibuster so the dems won't be able to use the same tactics to frustrate their ramrodding their agenda and nominees through).

  •  But what about rules and traditions of the Senate? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, accumbens, judyms9, ferg, RUNDOWN

    Doesn't anyone care about those?  Speak up!  If the Senators get nasty with each other, like letting the majority rule, well, they might not get along as well as they do.  It would be less like a country club.

    Uh ... where are you guys?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:39:57 AM PDT

  •  That's on Harry's "To Do" list, right after (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, Joan McCarter

    the assault rifle ban.

    There really is only one answer: Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats have to make it clear that they're willing to change Senate rules now, mid-session.
     photo GlassJoe-1.jpg

    Not everyone is part of a Gestalt - Owsley Stanley

    by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:40:41 AM PDT

  •  Fucking Groundhog Day. Again. (8+ / 0-)

    Man, I'm sick of living this jackassed Harry THING over and over and over and over and over.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    No representation without taxation. Rich and don't pay? Shut up.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:43:17 AM PDT

    •  And what was that definition of insanity ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, jalapenopopper

      something about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?  The saddest part in this case is that "thing" is being a chickenshit fool.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:45:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's this kind of hamstringing congressional (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    accumbens, OleHippieChick, RUNDOWN

    acrobatics that allowed Cheney to seize more power for the executive branch under Bush.  All of yesterday's media chatter about congress doing more to take back their authority to declare war, after they handed Bush/Cheney a blank check, is just laughable.  If we had a national emergency, these clowns wouldn't be able to even back the national car out of the driveway in order to mobilize the nation.  Dems have done a pisper job of repairing the Bush damage which the RW is busily scrubbing from the history books in order to clear the way for Jebbie.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:45:40 AM PDT

    •  Because ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, ferg, RUNDOWN
      Dems have done a pisper job of repairing the Bush damage ...
      they were enablers and facilitators, nearly as guilty as Bush et al.  They'd like that whole 8 years wiped clean themselves.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:49:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reid's mistaken assumption (10+ / 0-)

    Reid is reluctant to change the filibuster rules because of the problem of what happens when Democrats are in the minority. What he fails to realize is that the GOP with any kind of majority would ram through changes to the filibuster to get what they want. They don't give a damn about the institution or tradition. It is all about getting power and using it. Just look at what they are doing at the state level.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:48:35 AM PDT

  •  i'm sick and tired (6+ / 0-)

    of being sick and tired about this. It's exhausting. We have a bit of a wait until the younger Dems get some sway and finally force change. It might be a while. But it's not just Reid.

  •  Where's the petition to replace Harry Reid (6+ / 0-)

    as Senate leader? I'm ready to sign.

  •  As someone who lives in Missouri (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN

    I just want to say I'm sorry.  I apologize for my compatriots who voted for Blunt.  I voted for Carnahan.  It was 2010.  It was an awful year.

  •  I don't see the point of signing (5+ / 0-)

    any more petitions to Harry Reid to reform filibuster. At this point, it seems like he is in collusion with the Republicans, and he ain't gonna budge.

  •  Blow the damn place up, Harry. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Parker

    Nothing more to be gained by trying to make nice with these people, who represent a rapidly dwindling minority of Americans.  They only regard civility as weakness.  Change the filibuster rule by whatever means necessary.  

  •  The GOP are doing everything possible to keep (0+ / 0-)

    people from noticing that they are bankrupt...Like we don't have eyes.

    •  They're bankrupting themselves and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skod

      trying to drag everyone down with them because "the Black guy." They've conveyed that message myriad ways, we've always suspected it, and now it's officially out there: Because we want Black guy fail. Period Everything else is bullshit.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
      No representation without taxation. Rich and don't pay? Shut up.
      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:41:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans will do anything to stop Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, RUNDOWN

    from governing. As long as Senate Democrats sit back and do nothing about it, they are complicit.

    Senator Reid, it's time to put your foot down. No more filibusters of executive nominations.

    Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    by bear83 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:15:44 AM PDT

  •  Sen Jerry Moron (Moron-K) kvetching about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    sequester....again....and again....and again on the senate floor.

  •  Another entry for the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, RUNDOWN

    "one never could have predicted" file...

    Weak Tea.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." -Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:27:49 AM PDT

  •  Endless cloture (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, RUNDOWN

    If we aren't going to have true filigbusters on the nonimees, why not have the confirm them?

    I am thinking there are enough Obama nominations that have cleared committees to start a series of cloture motions, one right after the other, into the night, all night, into the next day until McConnell's band of busters drop.

    Reid would have to be willing to take the motions and call immediate roll call votes each time. With the House we've got, it is not like a lot of other business is going to be pending.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:37:07 AM PDT

  •  Signing petitions to Harry Reid is USELESS. Havent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    we figured that out yet?  It is like masterbation.  It makes you feel better, but accomplishes NOTHING.   For Reid to do something about them would mean he would have to acknowledge failure, and he is incapable of that.  He will not be stopped until the other Dems in the Senate, depose him.  

  •  We talk around this but I have yet to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    a complete list of all the filibusters and/or holds the Republicans have made since President Obama took the oath of office.  We need specifics and for this term a ticker.  Which departments have been hampered by this obstructionism?  How exactly has the country suffered?  When are we going to get a new director for ATF?  Or better yet let's take that ridiculous requirement for the Senate to approve an ATF director out.

  •  Harry, Chuck and Dick, You can lead, and stop... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, Zinman

    ... this GOP obstructionism now.

    Your adoration for a Senate that no longer exists is approaching a derangment. Fix it. No bargaining, no threats of what-might-eventually-someday-maybe you'll do If, If, If.

    Fix the filibuster now. And the ridiculous one-Senator holds.

    Its time you muscled those remaining smaller-than-handful of Democratic Senators who are now at the forefront of what's wrong with Washington.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:17:34 AM PDT

  •  time for the nuclear option (0+ / 0-)

    One by one second amendment remedies to the Republican attack on democracy and the American people is not enough. IT IS TIME FOR THEM ALL TO GO. There might be one or two who are worth keeping but there is no use taking a chance. Some are just better about changing the message (that means lying).

  •  Reid should resign (0+ / 0-)

    Reid is either awfully, terribly bad at his job, or working in collusion with the Republicans. There won't be any significant gun control legislation while he's leading the Senate, nor will he fight for filibuster reform, since that would put him in the hot seat on so many issues. He's happy with things just the way they are.  Time to put the old guy out to pasture and bring in someone who is genuinely going to fight for progressive causes, and not the status quo.  

  •  I'm going to come out and say it. (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid has deliberately enabled this level of GOP obstructionism, has deliberately permitted the Rethuglican Party to render the Senate non-functional, including for the vital business of confirming executive and judicial branch nominees.

    I cannot say why he did it - that would be speculation into his motives with insufficient evidence to back it up. But there is no way that this is accidental, not with the track record of obstructionism that Sen. Reid can simply recall from memory, or have read to him by a Senate historian.

    Senator Reid is part of the problem. He is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party, to the Senate of the United States and to the Republic itself.

    He needs to go or be pushed out.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:30:12 AM PDT

  •  Harry is a dumb**s n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

    by scurrvydog on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:56:32 AM PDT

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