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From TPM:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday threatened to revisit the Senate rules amid the latest Republican filibuster, his second such threat this month.

(snip) €œIt is things like that that will cause the Senate to have to reassess all the rules because right now they accomplish so little, Reid said on the Senate floor. I'm disappointed.

Senator Reid is disappointed? I'm pissed. First, before you even finish reading this post, please go ahead and sign the Daily Kos petition calling on Reid to stop "threatening" to reopen the debate of fixing the filibuster, and to just do it.

As TPM noted, this is not the first time, even this month, that Reid has made such a threat. The first was when Republicans filibustered Caitlin Halligan's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court. And did that threat get Republicans to back down? Nope.

Some have evoked the classic image of Charlie Brown, who repeatedly falls victim to Lucy Van Pelt and her unquenchable need to pull away the football just before he can kick it.

Others have brought up the great philosopher, George W. Bush, who "won't get fooled again."

I wish I was clever enough to come up with something truly original (the best I could do was a Led Zeppelin song):

But what I can do is remind Senator Reid of one popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Oh, and this:

Seriously, the time has come for the Democrats in the Senate to do what they should have done in January, namely to change the rules of the Senate and enact the Merkley-Udall filibuster reform plan:

1.Eliminate the Filibuster on Motions to Proceed: Clears a path to debate by making motions to proceed not subject to a filibuster, but providing two hours of debate.  

2.Require a Talking Filibuster: Forces Senators who filibuster to actually speak on the floor, greatly increasing public accountability and requiring time and energy if the minority wants to use this tool to obstruct the Senate.

3.Expedite Nominations: Reduces post-cloture debate on nominations from 30 hours to 2 hours, except for Supreme Court Justices (for whom the current 30 hours would remain intact).

4.Eliminate the Filibuster on Motions to Establish a Conference Committee: Reduces the steps to establish a conference committee from three motions to one, and limits debate the consolidated motion to 2 hours.

Some of us might like to see even stronger filibuster reform, but at least this proposal was under public discussion in January, and, according to Merkley and Udall, got significant support within the Democratic caucus, tantalizingly close to a majority. Now is the time for the waverers to come on board, and for Harry Reid to make the change. Stop threatening, and start doing. NOW.

PS-Please check out my new book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity, published by Potomac Books, where I discuss Barack Obama's ideas on racial, ethnic, and national identity in detail, and contrast his inclusive vision to language coming from Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh and (some) others on the right. You can read a review by DailyKos's own Greg Dworkin here.


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