Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, November 01, 2013

Senate Filibuster: Use the Nuclear Option Already

Enough is enough!  Enough of this tyranny of the minority.  Enough of the endless  blocking and sabotaging of every nomination and every law just because somewhere, a radical “Christian” sect or a corporate donor might be offended.

Today the teabaggers are targeting Mel Watt, nominated to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Attorney Patricia Millett, nominated for the United States Court of Appeals.

Tomorrow it’ll be the two nominees for the FCC.  After that, God only knows how many bills and nominees will be derailed by the Government Shutdown Party (formerly known as the GOP).

Regarding Patricia Millett, Sen. Patrick Leahy said:

“If the Republican caucus finds that despite her amazing, stellar legal reputation and commitment to her country, that somehow a filibuster is warranted, I believe this body is going to have to consider anew whether a rules change should be in order.  If Republican senators are going to hold nominations hostage without consideration of individual merit, we will have drastic measures…”

The filibuster is NOT protected by the Constitution.  It’s been a long tradition which was originally intended for extreme cases.  It was never intended to be standard operating procedure; a weapon for every Biblehumper or corporate prostitute who wants to bring the Senate to a halt.

Get rid of it.  Use the Nuclear Option.  If Republicans take the Senate next year and Democrats are unable to use the filibuster, that’s the way it goes.

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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

I agree, but I don't think the senate democrats have the balls to do it. Reed will talk about it and then do nothing.

November 2, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: Sadly, you're right.

November 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I also think Jerry is right, but I do think it's OK to dream. LOL!

The Republican party is in disarray and those who run it are deathly afraid of becoming politically irrelevant... so with the right wing politicians feeling as if they have been backed into a corner, we are bound to see lots more desperate measures, including the use of "emergency measures" as standard operating procedure.

Tom, you're right. The left does need to do something to curb this sort of behavior while it has some power to do it.

What I hope this leads to is what should be the natural consequence, which is Obama and the left making end runs around the GOP in any case where it can be done. For example, if the president can make a bunch of recess appointments, he should go for it. The noisier among the right will shout "dictator" but those who pay attention will know better.

Keeping the Senate and gaining seats in the House? Those aren't sure things. Getting the ACA up and running during the next month or two will help. As long as the website(s) and any other major glitches can be fixed within six months or so of November (say, by April or May), the "failure" of the ACA won't be something the GOP can pounce on as much, due in part to our short national attention span. The ACA is about all they have to go on right now, so I think if we can get that fixed we'll be in much better shape (not just politically but lots of other ways).

November 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I agree, we can at least dream of the Democratic leadership growing a spine and eliminating or at least curtailing the filibuster. Recess appointments have been ruled illegal by a federal court (not the Supreme Court), so that's off the table for now.

The top priority should be getting Obamacare working ASAP. The 2014 election will be a referendum on it, so it needs to be working smoothly so that Republicans' constant threats to repeal Obamacare can be used against them next year.

November 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM  

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