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How the Filibuster Became the Rule
NY Times ^ | December 2, 2007 | DAVID HERSZENHORN

Posted on 12/02/2007 2:51:53 PM PST by neverdem

“MR. PRESIDENT, I rise today to address the record number of filibusters in the Senate,...”

So might begin the transcript in the Congressional Record if a senator were to discuss what may well be the most pivotal issue in American public policy these days — the filibuster and its only antidote: a cloture vote that ends debate.

--snip--

“This is a sharp increase in the use of a filibuster as a routine mechanism,” said Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan research group. “The Senate is set up culturally not to act on anything quickly. That’s a good thing. But there can be too much of a good thing.” He said he believes the current Senate Republicans have turned filibustering into a primary strategy.

The current gridlock has Democrats looking ahead, perhaps less concerned about getting to 60 on any given bill this year than with getting as close to 60 seats as possible in next year’s elections.

Republicans must defend 23 Senate seats, including 6 now held by lawmakers who are retiring, while Democrats have to defend just 12 seats and so far have no retirements. In virtually every scenario the Democrats will gain seats, though picking up nine seats seems unlikely. But if a Democrat wins the White House, Congressional Republicans would face less pressure than they do now under the Bush administration to maintain party loyalty.

The last time either party held at least 60 seats was in 1977-78, when the Democrats had 61.

Until that happens again, said Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, people can expect to see plenty of filibuster threats. “I think we can stipulate once again for the umpteenth time that matters that have any level of controversy about it in the Senate will require 60 votes,” he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: 110th; aei; cloture; filibuster; pelosi; reid; senate
I always thought that the American Enterprise Institute was a conservative think tank, much like the Heritage Foudation. If the NY Times thinks AEI is nonpartisan, then so much the better with moonbats in control. God help us if we have less than 40 conservatives in the Senate.


Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
DAWN PATROL On occasion, cots have been set up in the Senate when a long debate is expected.

1 posted on 12/02/2007 2:51:55 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
So according to the NY Slimes, the Dems have never used fillibusters, eh?

Traitorous POS scumrag....

2 posted on 12/02/2007 2:53:50 PM PST by KenHorse (I have the heart of a Liberal. I keep it in a jar on my desk.)
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To: neverdem
All we need is 34. As a practical matter what's stopped the Democrats is less the filibuster threat than their own incompetent leadership.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 12/02/2007 2:54:34 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
["..Senate Republicans have turned filibustering into a primary strategy."]

I can't recall any such articles when the DEMOCRATS turned filibustering into their primary strategy. All of the sudden, this is NOW a big problem. I really can't wait until the NY Times goes completely bankrupt.

4 posted on 12/02/2007 3:03:09 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Elections have consequences.)
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To: neverdem

What’s wrong with a filibuster?

It sucks when we are on the wrong side of it, but it is great on the other end (which we are now).


5 posted on 12/02/2007 3:03:40 PM PST by tj21807
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To: neverdem
The last time either party held at least 60 seats was in 1977-78, when the Democrats had 61.

IIRC This is coincidentally when the Democrats used the "nuclear" option and changed the votes needed for a super majority from 66 votes to 60.

No doubt the MSM were as outraged about the Dems actually using the nuclear option as they were when the Republicans thought about changing the rules for judicial confirmations.
/S

6 posted on 12/02/2007 3:04:24 PM PST by RJL
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To: tj21807
Another reason why there have been more filibusters is that the senate has created “filibuster light”. Now, all a senator has to do is to SAY that he’s going to filibuster, and the senate caves. That way, no senator misses a single night between his/her silk bed sheets.
7 posted on 12/02/2007 3:07:08 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Elections have consequences.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

Agreed “filibuster light” is lame. If they are going to filibuster make them pull a Jimmy Stewart, up all night!


8 posted on 12/02/2007 3:09:27 PM PST by tj21807
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To: neverdem
He said he believes the current Senate Republicans have turned filibustering into a primary strategy.

If Norman J. Ornstein actually made this assinine remark, then he's got zero credibility. Where was this simple scumbag during the past ten years while the rats were perfecting this "strategy"?

9 posted on 12/02/2007 3:17:23 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: neverdem
I always thought that the American Enterprise Institute was a conservative think tank

Obviously they are anything but conservative.

10 posted on 12/02/2007 3:19:18 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
That way, no senator misses a single night between his/her silk bed sheets.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

"Who's got time to sleep?"

11 posted on 12/02/2007 3:24:11 PM PST by RoadKingSE (How do you know that that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a muzzle flash?)
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To: tj21807
If they are going to filibuster make them pull a Jimmy Stewart, up all night!

Oh, but haven't you heard? That requirement has been outlawed as a form of torture, akin to waterboarding and loud Metallica CD's being played ........

/s

12 posted on 12/02/2007 3:29:33 PM PST by Mr_Moonlight
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To: neverdem

And to think Bill Frist wanted it banned...


13 posted on 12/02/2007 3:47:43 PM PST by Santa Fe_Conservative
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To: Lancey Howard

http://www.aei.org/scholars/filter.all/scholar_byname.asp

Norman Ornstein is a black sheep.


14 posted on 12/02/2007 4:50:27 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem
Now that the GOP is in the minority WATCH for the cacophonous trumpeting of the MSM disparaging the “CLOTURE RULE” thereby paving the way for the DIMS to DO for ANY VOTE WHAT the GOP didn’t have the “b@lls” to do for judicial appointees ONLY!!
15 posted on 12/02/2007 4:56:08 PM PST by PISANO
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
THere is one problem with the Jimmy Stewart filibusters:

If the Dems as a whole want to filibuster, they only need to have one guy there (or a handful at any rate), but the GOP would have to remain there in force.

If the Dems wanted to defeat a measure but couldn't, they could filibuster. If GOP Senators took a break and left, the Dems could end the filibuster and call the vote anytime there were more of them then there were of the GOP.

All the Dems need is a quorom and they can compel that.

Anyway, it's a risky thing. (Still, I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of them!)

16 posted on 12/02/2007 5:47:59 PM PST by Tanniker Smith ("What are we doing tomorrow, Hil?" "Same thing we do every night, Bill, try to take over the world!")
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To: RJL

This was not accomplished through the “nuclear option” but through a formal rules change.


17 posted on 12/02/2007 7:32:08 PM PST by RWR8189 (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: Santa Fe_Conservative

No he didn’t want the filibuster banned.

Only the unconstitutional filibuster of the President’s judicial nominees.


18 posted on 12/02/2007 7:34:03 PM PST by RWR8189 (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: RWR8189
This was not accomplished through the “nuclear option” but through a formal rules change.

Isn't that want the Republicans wanted to do, a formal rules change that was then tagged with the "nuclear option" title by the MSM?

19 posted on 12/02/2007 7:37:02 PM PST by RJL
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To: RJL
This is a pretty good summary of the situation.

It was much more complex than a formal rules change, which requires 67 votes.

20 posted on 12/02/2007 7:50:19 PM PST by RWR8189 (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: KenHorse

The only time any MSM media outlet b1tches about a tactic in use in politics is when the Republicans are using it effectively against Democrats. What a bunch of phonies.


21 posted on 12/02/2007 8:27:45 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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