Skip to comments.Why Democrats Should Fear Filibuster Reform
Posted on 01/24/2013 8:44:42 PM PST by neverdem
The latest word out of the Senate is that if Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesnt accede to changes in the filibuster rules over the next few days, Harry Reid will invoke the so-called nuclear option and change the rules with 51 votes. The most likely outcome would be outlawing the filibuster on motions to proceed, thereby forcing senators to take to the floor to filibuster bills, Mr. Smith-style.
This move, and the overwhelming progressive enthusiam for it, are head-scratchers...
Weakening the filibuster was a perfectly sensible goal for liberals back in the 1970s, when Democrats arguably had natural Senate and House majorities, and their main goal was to diminish the ability of Southern Democrats to cross the liberal leadership. But it makes much less sense today. Yes, Democrats can point to some cherished action items that were lost in the first half of Obamas term (the public option, card check).
At the same time, however, the filibuster greatly restrained Republicans ability to implement their agenda during the Bush years. Without it, they probably would have passed tort reform, ANWR drilling, Social Security privatization, school vouchers, made the Bush tax cuts permanent, and further diminished unions ability to organize. Republicans might have passed immigration reform, President Bush almost certainly would have placed Miguel Estrada on the Supreme Court, and Hispanics might be a more reliably Republican voting group. In short, in terms of policy changes, the filibuster has probably inhibited Republicans more over the past decade than Democrats.
Overall, thats what makes the move such a head-scratcher. Theres no immediate benefit for Democrats, little short- or medium-term benefit, and some potentially catastrophic downsides for them during that time frame. Unless their coalition changes in the coming decade or two, Democrats are probably more likely to rue these changes than...
(Excerpt) Read more at dyn.realclearpolitics.com ...
WTF planet does this idiot live on? Here on planet Earth, the Dems will get rid of the filibuster when they’re in charge and demand that it be put back in place when they’re not and the supposedly ‘weak kneed’ Republicans will let them. Not because the Republicans are complicit. Oh, no! No way! No how! It’s because they’re ‘afraid’ and have ‘linguini spines’ or any other excuse we can think of to stop this madness and do something real to get all these statists out of power.
It allows each party’s moderates protection from tough votes from the opposite party in control of Senate.
If they do it now then Reid can put up votes to put RINOs on the spot to help pick them off in 2014, but the same if Rs took it back with DINOs. And get judges confirmed now.
In 2005 Levin called for killing the filibuster for judges completely and called it ‘the constitutional option’.
Yesterday Bernie Sanders called it ‘the constitutional option’.
KenyanKare, 51 votes.
This guy has it right. The Dems won’t get ANYTHING past the house that the Republicans don’t want (just watch gun control, for example).
What he missed, however, is the ability of the Democrats to beat up the Republicans in the media. That was how they got away with stopping nearly everything that W wanted to do during his terms...but never, ever, got blamed for it.
But now they take a HUGE chance. If the Republicans actually run a candidate that can get the base to vote, they might just take the White House and the Senate...and with the filibuster gone, it’s GAME OVER for the Dems. And no...the Republicans WILL NOT go back to the old ways if they take the Senate...not this time.
Looks like they killed the ability to put anonymous holds on. I think that is good, we shouldn’t have anonymous and voice votes, conservative or ‘progressive’.
Personally, I think the Filibuster SHOULD be the ‘nuclear option’ only used in the most extreme of circumstances. If you aren’t going get up there and talk until hell freezes overl if you aren’t going to shut everything down, then sit down, shut up, and put it to a vote.
I agree with you...the filibuster has purpose that got screwed up when they started allowing fax in filibusters...I think the actual rep should have to get up and filibuster...not his staff...not some email...earn that pay check!
The Dems are probably also looking at 2014. If they can also take control of the House, they can pass anything and everything.
Great analysis, BobL. Agree completely!
Actually, I believe complicit explains more than cowardice.