Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time to End the Filibuster

When Republicans were in control of the Senate they only had 55 votes. Now, though, with Democrats in charge, for some reason the Republican cry of an up or down vote has gone out the window. 70% of legislation has faced a filibuster. Essentially our Congress is dysfunctional and Republicans are obstructing virtually everything.

If our country is to move forward and address our massive problems, it's time to get rid of the filibuster and freshman Senator Tom Udall, is bringing the issue up and it's gaining momentum.

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14 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

Democrats had 60 voted, they could push through whatever they wanted. The problem was the 60 of them could not agree.

It's fun blaming "rethugs" but they have no power.

I wish the dems would just ram through their entire cap and trade, big giv health care and let the chips fall where they may. We'll find out what America thinks this November...

Bruce Fealk said...

The fact is that the filibuster has been used on 70% of major legislation, which has made the Senate dysfunctional.

Democrats really didn't have 60 votes even before MA. Lieberman is an independent and often votes with Republicans, as well as some conservative Democrats, so the 60 votes was more a myth than anything.

Democrats don't always vote as a block, like the Republicans do.

vomamike said...

I would hardly call the Republican "just say no" stance admirable, but party discipline they have. But are we so shallow as to think in terms of numbers? It is no more admirable to laud their discipline at obstruction then it is to laud the Democrats for being "independent". Let us take health care reform - statistically, there should have been some Republicans whose philosophy regarding this subject, would lend itself more to the Democrats efforts. It is as if the Democrats were voting their individual states as would be expected of any legislative body, but the Republicans - regardless of their states needs, voted in lock step with the RNC position of obstructing EVERYTHING the Dems do. When you have a record number of filibusters - or more accurately threat of filibuster, it becomes very obvious that the Republicans have a mission of obstruction solely and not just that of philosophical differences. In the end, it is not a case of opinions being offered and compromises reached - as any normal legislative body should achieve, but one of pure spite and political strategy without ANY regard for the wants and needs of the people. For too long, our Congress under Democratic control has tried to be "Mr. nice guy". It is patently obvious that has gotten us no where. Time to DO what the last election mandated - CHANGE. I submit that we need to move MORE to the LEFT - not to the Right. Unfortunately as was the case in Massachusetts, voters seemed to have "cut off their noses to spite their face". Instead of sending a message, they have enabled more of the same obstructionism the Republicans have become famous for.

Silverfiddle - I agree with you - the Dems should "ram through" their agenda and find out if this is what the voters want come this November.

Drew said...

I think it would be very unwise to eliminate the filibuster. If the Republicans were ever to regain power we would be S.O.L. I think we need to look at this realistically, and not just "live in the moment". What was it Bush called it (or maybe it was Will Ferrel's brilliant caricature), strategery? LOL

We HAD the supermajority, that is just a fact. You can blame Lieberman and the rest of these Blue Dog bastards, but we had it and we should have been able to push through whatever we wanted.

Now, WHY couldn't we push it through? It's the Democrat's bill, it's WRITTEN by Democrats FOR the people with all of our ideas, so what was the problem? Do we really want Republican input in our legislation? Are we really going to say that the fault was because we didn't have any stupid Republican ideas in this bill?!?!

I'm a progressive, born and bred, so it astounds me when I hear other so-called progressives insinuating that we need ANY input from Republicans! We're the damn majority here people!! Or at least we WERE. Squandered opportunity at every turn.

Bruce Fealk said...

Drew, I disagree heartily. Which ever party is in power, it shouldn't take 60 votes to get anything done.

The fact is the Republicans are now abusing the filibuster and the Senate is now dysfunctional.

The Democrats never really had 60 votes anyway. Lieberman votes against many Democratic legislative efforts and some of the conservative Democrats fall off on major legislation.

51 votes should be enought go get things done.

Drew said...

Bruce, we HAD Lieberman! We had a supermajority! He was going to vote for it, hell he DID vote for it! We do NOT need Republicans trying to take credit for our accomplishments. If we had one Republican vote for it, that Republican would have been known worldwide as the Republican who saved health care reform! Come on man, THINK! And like I said, if the Republicans EVER got 51 in the Senate and we did away with the filibuster I shiver to think of the legislation they would push through. WHY do we need Rethuglicans?!!?

vomamike said...

There is a bill (?) or suggestion by some Congressman that every session of Congress, the rules regarding filibuster be revisited - further that the number of Senators needed to pass legislation by incrementalized until at some point it becomes a simple majority to pass it. Wish I could remember the details but it sure sounded reasonable to me at the time I read it.

Bruce Fealk said...

Mike, watch the Rachel Maddow video again. The Senator explains it very well.

Drew, if the Republicans get the majority again, they will ram things through, regardless. They managed it with only 55 votes because Democrats are not the obstructionists that Republicans are.

djtyg said...

The problem isn't with the filibuster. The Senate Dems don't need 60 votes to get anything passed, they can get it done through reconciliation with 51.

Even without the filibuster, all you would see are the old Democrats like LIEberman, Landrieu, and Nelson giving a bunch of bullshit excuses for not getting the job done.

djtyg said...

Welcome to ODP, Drew.

Drew said...

I was going to try to comment on here last night but my computer has been giving me fits. I was finally able to watch the video for this, and I see what you are saying now Bruce. It is obsene the way the Rethugs are using the filibuster, or rather the threat of filibuster. Djtyg does have a valid point though. It does seem like the blue dogs would just find another way to hold us hostage.

Thanks for the welcome djtyg! I actually visited this site several times a while ago, but have been sidetracked with some doctor's visits and other events, so I finally got back here. Looks like you guys have been keeping the Progressive Light lit in my absence!

Jay-Ney said...

I see you welcomed Drew. Where was my love when I came on here? Djtyg you just gave me shit because I wasn't one of you. I still don't know why you let that assmunch Silverfiddle on the blog. To each his own. I can see that djtyg isn't that bad if all those assholes on the bonsai blog hate him. But don't think because of my sex that I wont bitchslap you if you get lippy with me again djtyg. Other then that I'd like to see what you SE Mich Progressives are all about. I've never been to Oakland Co. I hear it's a lot richer then Flint. Got to go.

Bruce Fealk said...

Welcome Jay-Nay. I don't remember your being here before, but welcome. Sorry for the oversight.

Jay-Ney said...

Bruce I'm J.Higgins. I go by my nickname or just J. My "boy toy" got me set up on the google account. You know how that works. wink wink. I do have to give it to you Bruce at least you take the fight to those neo-cons. I thought you were a pussy but you have done some big things back in the day.