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I would not necessarily say that were they to vote against gun control directly, given the politics of their states.

But this was a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to debate.

No one who is willing to filibuster a motion to proceed to debate belongs in the Democratic Party.

there are things that are beyond the pale for a Democratic

We believe in having the debate so the American people can here the arguments

The unwillingness to have that discussion has been typical of the obstructionist Republicans in the Senate since Obama was elected President.

That anyone still in the Democratic caucus is willing to do this in unacceptable.

I wonder if the fathers of the two Senators in question, both distinguished public servants with no lack of political courage, could conceivably approve of what these two have done.

Please don't tell me that we need these men to hold the seats.  If these two are so in thrall to the NRA, on what other issues will they betray the Democratic party?

I have no personal connections with either state, and as a retired teacher whose wiofe is battling cancer my resources are limited.

So that will tell you how important I think this is when I tell you I commit here and now to $100 to any Democrat of stature who will commit to primarying one of these gentlemen. The offer is good for one candidate per state.  The candidate must agree to the following

1.  eliminate the double filibuster - no further filibustering of the motion to proceed
2.  require a talking filibuster where 41 Senators must remain on the floor in opposition to the action to sustain the filibuster.

I hope I am not alone.

I don't care.

I'm in.

What about you?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 08:59:42 AM PDT

  •  Alaska and Arkansas (8+ / 0-)

    Not exactly friendly Dem territory and not exactly anti-gun states.  I'd rather have these two than an actual Republican in these red states.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:05:40 AM PDT

  •  Naaa... there are times I feel that way (4+ / 0-)

    but this isn't one of them. The vote passed 68-31. They gained political cover in what will be a very tough re-election year for them. It's just the way the game is played... whether we like it or not.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

    •  bullshit (5+ / 0-)

      they can get the political cover by arguing against the bill and the amendments

      and they can argue forcefully - and I would say given Alaska's libertarian leanings successfully -  that in a Democracy we need to be willing to advocate for our beliefs and try persuade others, not to start the process of suppressing discussion because it can be used against arguments we want to make as well.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:16:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok... *shrug* (2+ / 0-)

        But this one still doesn't bother me. Rather, that we had only 2 Democrats cross the aisle on this is impressive to me.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:19:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  bullshit: bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        So you don't agree with they way these senators played the game.  That is not sufficient for you to call bullshit on a self evidently correct analysis of the situation.

        •  not self-evidentiary (5+ / 0-)

          again, I am making this point about filibustering the motion to proceed

          I have said nothing about filibustering a final vote, have I?

          One of the key principles I thought people here agreed on was that the double filibuster and the way the Republicans have used it is unacceptable.

          Allow the debates.

          Then we can have a further discussion on actual filibusters.

          If you feel that strongly, have a talking filibuster - on the actual bill or amendment, not on the motion to proceed.

          That still protects the rights of the minority.

          By the reasoning that is acceptable, so is eliminating early voting and imposing registration requirements that fall more heavily on those who would vote for your opponent.  It is a rationale that the ends justify the means.

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:26:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except that it was a vote that caused no harm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice

            and allows them to go back to their very rural gun-toting constituencies and say they voted for their perceived interests. Whether I like it or not that's just the way it is and in this case it caused no harm whatsoever.

            I am far more bothered by Harry Reid blocking filibuster reform all by himself or not allowing Feinstein's assault weapons ban to be a part of this up front. That has a very real effect that is very damaging. That is the sort of thing that gets my dander up.

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:54:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It did cause harm. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              teacherken

              We need to be honest about that.

              We can't let every Senator who makes a bad vote claim that their vote wasn't the one that was decisive. Once we fall for that line, there is no accountability for anyone.

              •  I strongly agree with this comment - and further (0+ / 0-)

                people have to be willing to stand for something

                if the NRA or any other group is successful in making a vote on allowing debate to be scored as a vote on the merits of the legislation, we might as well forget about moving this country forward.

                If, as Chuck Todd said on Hardball, there were a number of Republican Senators who did not want to vote No but were afraid of how it would be interpreted, then it is time for them to show some courage and tell the NRA they stand for the United States - which includes a Senate that is supposed to be the world's greatest deliberative body, but with some of the current Republicans is fast becoming dysfunctional and a joke.

                Similarly, the idea of not allowing things to come up in the House of which a majority of Republicans do not approve even though a majority of the body does is to place loyalty to party above loyalty to country, it is shameless, and needs to be called out.

                "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

                by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 04:13:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The issue isn't 2 senators who fled here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, Dump Terry McAuliffe, aliasalias

        The issue is the party's basic lack of conviction.  These votes are part and parcel w/ the following:

        1) A new presidential budget that appears to be unpopular here;
        2) The gun bill getting watered down just to get this far knowing that it will get watered down that much more in the House;
        3) 15 Senate Dems urging the president to approve KXL;
        4) The numerous WH signals indicating that KXL approval is virtually certain;
        5) The failure to do anything meaningful about filibuster abuse by the GOP;
        6) The president dining w/ 12 GOP senators picked by Johnny Isakson (w/ his 100 ACU rating and 92 Christian coalition ranking) in the latest attempt to reach out to The Party of the Crazy;
        7)  Pelosi indicating that she's open to discussing chained CPI; and
        8) WJC, Obama, and Biden all extolling the CFC during the DNC last year.

        I could go on, but those 8 points just came to me off the top of my head.  While there is no excuse for Pryor and Begich voting no, this sin is venial in the overall context.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:33:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The strategy of running conservaDems in redstates (9+ / 0-)

    fails again, and again, and again.

    Sure you may win the seat, but you're guaranteed to lose it eventually because the ConservaDems we run in these seats will never be able to out sellout a fully sold out Republican.

    Instead of fighting for progressive ideals they try to out Republican a real Republican, a strategy that loses even when it wins.

    Instead of ceding the debate and trying to win on conservative terms and framing maybe trying to win on a progressive platform in states like Alaska, South Carolina and Arkansas will have a stronger effect. We could call it a 50 state strategy.

    I can't imagine the excuses Harry Reid would have to come up with if he had 50+1 actual progressives standing behind him.

    Regulate banks, not vaginas

    by MinistryOfTruth on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:10:07 AM PDT

    •  WORD (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kharma, Chi, nargel, tgrshark13

      Jesse: you nailed it. Why would red staters vote for a fake Democrat when they can vote for a Republican? I am tired of the party having loser candidates like Harold Ford that lose anyway. There is an assumption that Democrats in these red states have to be conservative. That is wrong. Maybe if voters actually had a good progressive candidate in those Red States, they would vote for them. We need to find real Matt Santos' and not assholes like Evan Bayh.

    •  Willing to take a pass on Begich (3+ / 0-)

      only because he is on our side on so many other issues like Social Security for one.  And this is coming from someone who lives 10 minutes from Newtown.  Overall Begich is on our side more often that not, by a wide margin.  He's a good senator from a very libertarian state and I know I'm not going to agree with him on everything buy more often that not I will agree with him.

      Pryor OTOH is one of the Conservadems who has consistently undermined the Dem party at several opportunities, DOMA for example.  He'll compromise the principles of the party if it'll get him elected.  I would much rather sacrifice his seat and use the money wasted there on getting a more progressive Dem elected elsewhere who will likely back filibuster reform in 2015.  Like in say Maine where Collins is somewhat popular but susceptible to a primary on the right.  If she was Lugared, the Dems would very likely steal that seat.  I would be working on some serious ratfucking in Maine to make that happen rather than waste my time on Pryor.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:43:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Write off Prior but Begich can still win in Alaska (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitownliberal7

    IMO, Bill Halter might have held Blanche Lincoln's seat had he not lost the run-off (after winning the primary). Prior is going down in flames. OTOH, Begich has a good chance of winning, especially if Joe Miller wins the GOP primary.

    •  Halter would have lost by 30 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      instead of Lincoln's 20. He couldn't even get a majority of Democrats to support him. Why do you think Republicans would?

      •  probably a wrong analysis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, nargel

        he failed to win the primary because Bill Clinton came in heavily for Blanche.  Are you going to argue that had Blanche lost Clinton would have supported the REpublican?  Do you think keeping the seat Democratic might not have been sufficient justification for CLinton to get involved?

        ALso remember, labor was unwilling to offer Lincoln support, they supported Halter in the primary, and would have been all in for him in the general.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:28:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What if, what if, what if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger

          The fact of the matter is Halter lost the primary. We can come up with all kinds of hypotheticals that the outcome would have been different, but they both would have lost in 2010.

          •  not the issue (0+ / 0-)

            I am responding to a claim that Halter would have lost by 10 points more than did Lincoln and I am disagreeing with that analysis

            she never had a chance to win the general

            that was known going in to the primary

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:17:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Halter did not "win" the primary (0+ / 0-)

      In the the three way race, it was
      Lincoln146,579  44.5%
      Halter 140.081  42.5%
      Morrison  42,695  13%
      '
      In the runnoff, it was
      Lincoln 130,898  52%
      Halter 120,923 48%

      If every Halter voter in the primary had come back in the runoff, he would have won the runnoff.

      The matchup against Boozman (my rep at the time would have been a classic anti-Washingtom campaign.  Boozman was a 5 term rep.  An Arkansas centered campign, as oppposed to a Washingtom centered one, was the only thing he had to fear.

    •  There's no way Halter would have won (0+ / 0-)

      Not  given, the trends in Arkansas and the very bad year it was for the Dems in general. Plus whoever had won the primary would have been damaged goods for the general and Halter is more out of step with Arkansas politics than Lincoln was.

  •  The Democratic party's insistence that the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texas Lefty

    party should select candidates and everyone needs to fall in line is un-democratic. If voters are to have a real choice, there should be primaries for all positions.

    Political parties are becoming anachronistic. Unless they can figure out how to make themselves useful, we don't need them.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:16:53 AM PDT

  •  As a resident of Arkansas (5+ / 0-)

    And occasional commenter here, I feel I can cut Senator Pryor some slack.  Four years ago, Arkansas was represented by three Democrats in the house (and one Republican, sadly in my district), and two Democrats in the Senate.  Now Mark Pryor stands alone.  

    Pryor already has a target on him.  He may go down next year regardless.  But with eight votes beyond required margin for cloture, a vote for cloture for him had little upside, and huge downside in short-term strategy.

    teacherken, I respect you and your writings as a former teacher myself.  But you are calling for a Mourdock of the left, allowing a Donnelly (or more likely a Warren) of the right to be elected in the place of Pryor.

    I would prefer to have (at least) one blue voice from Arkansas in Washington.  If you look at what is happening in our state legislature, you know what our voters are capable of.  Imagine their reaction in the general if their "acceptable" Democrat was replaced by someone far to his left based on his vote on this procedural move.

    •  he could have had all the cover he needed (0+ / 0-)

      without filibustering the motion to proceed.  It does not matter how the NRA scores it - look at their track record in the last election.

      And as I note upthread, he can say that he believes we should be willing to hear the arguments of those with whom we disagree and offer ours to try to persuade them.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:30:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Suicide (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, ancblu

    The bench in those states aren't all that deep and the territory not all that friendly. These two are better than anyone who'd win on the GOP line and probably whatever Dem could mount a primary challenge wouldn't be much better.

  •  DON'T primary them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu

    The only Democratic incumbent Senator that should be possibly primaried is Max Baucus and the person who should primary him is Brian Schweitzer  (I'm basing this on each's poll numbers).

    Begich has been a great Democrat on a number of issues and he has earned a pass and this diary reeks of FireDogLake and their brand of Tea Partyism and you're better than that, teacherken. (Yes, FDL is the left-wing version of the Tea Party, deal with it.)

    I don't like Pryor, but if anybody can hold Arkansas and stop Republican control of the Senate, Pryor could.   I think he's in for a very tough race but with the stakes so high, we need to give him a pass like we give Democrats like Mike McIntyre a pass.

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 11:00:49 AM PDT

  •  Just Remember this Comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger, ancblu

    in November 2014 when Alaska and Arkansas have elected Republicans (which could happen whichever way the primaries go) and you're looking at Senate President Ron Paul.  Need I say more?

    •  Ron Paul is never running again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nargel

      and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate is the senior serving member of the Majority party, which Rand Paul is not close to being

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 12:28:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your diary pov is wrong ... on so many levels (0+ / 0-)

        In Alaska:

        - There is no credible primary opponent for Begich;
        - If you knew anything about the AK Republican party, you would not be so cavalier;
        - Begich has been a strong supporter of important Democratic and progressive issues .... and a leader in veterans' care and protection of social security ... among other laudable political efforts;
        - "We" (Blues, progressives, Democrats, liberals, left-of-center independents in Alaska or elsewhere) are supposedly(?) NOT single issue voters because we supposedly(?) "see the bigger picture" (DADT, reproductive choice, marital equality, social safety net ... and the list goes on right to who's next up on the Supreme Court);
        - Most everybody of every political stripe here owns firearms and the state has been at the far margins of expanding rights -- even to the point of the legislature passing clearly unconstitutional prohibitions against enforcement of federal laws;
        - The majority of our rural communities do NOT have FFL dealers and throughout the state many! sale transactions are private;
        - One of the most (the most?) moderate Republicans in the Senate -- Lisa Murkowski -- joined him ... and doesn't that signify a thing to you?

        You are demanding a purity standard without any real appreciation of the local politics, actual senate practices on both sides of the aisle, the DOA likelihood in the House of anything that might emerge from the Senate side or of the consequences for the Democratic caucus by losing two more Senators ... and all for a probable Pyrrhic victory on the single issue of a motion to proceed.  What happened to the reality-based community concept?

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