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Forum Post: Real Filibuster Reform Essential

Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 29, 2013, 2:32 a.m. EST by GypsyKing (8719)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The American People must not let the Senate get away with tabling filibuster reform. This is an issue of democracy vs. the effort to subvert democracy; it is that simple. Personally, I believe we need to carefully pick our fights, but this one has our name written all over it.

No reform can get accomplished for at least two years if this is allowed to stand. Furthermore, that lack of results will undermine the whole progressive movement, which they well know. We must put relentless presure on our senate delegations, and any senator of any party who opposes genuine reform (as opposed to the BS bill that was just defeated) have to get packing!

Get mad - let them know you're mad!

We must demand a true reform bill, and demand it be passed, now!

Burn up the phones and the petitions! Let's get this done!



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[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

My issue with this is one of process. It is of how policy is achieved, rather than of identifying goals. I completely agree, for example, with WSmith's goal below of reforming the media. It is also Essential. The point however is that until we get functioning legislative bodies that can pass media reform, it won't happen. It's that simple.

Seen in this light I think the importance of pushing relentlessly until we actually get responsive legislative bodies becomes clear.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

This, more than anything, will probably determine what progress we can make in the near future, and I don't like the way it has been handled by the Senate at all. I feel we need to really Put The Heat on them over this.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

It works both ways. It would only have taken 40 senators to block NDAA, or block conservative judges.

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 5 years ago

That's only the theory. In practice, when RATpublicans are in control, they only need 51 votes -- a scowl will set Democraplicans running. When the Dems are in power, they need 61 votes.

Why is that? I'll tell you, they are a fraud -- the Washington Generals to the RATpublican Harlem Globetrotters. The RATS are the power party, the Dems, the enabling party.

We need a real opposition party.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

You need Senators with a spine then, not just a change in the filibuster rule. Or maybe Senators that don't have an interest in maintaining the status quo.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

And the method of getting there?

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 5 years ago

We need instant runoff voting ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_runoff_voting ). This would do three things, bring many more people to the polls (since they'd feel they could at least register their true desires), second, breathe health into existing third parties, giving them something to show for their efforts, which would redouble, and third, put pressure on the two parties (the third parties would tend to become internal caucuses, as it were) to accomodate strong desires.

Also, the Democratic Party could be taken over wholesale. It's designed on a very loose district structure. Organized groups of 15-20 people could easily take over their local district.

Finally, we need to keep working the vineyards, as we are doing now. Spreading the word, pointing out truthful causes of our times' predicaments, stoking the anger.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

What Harry and Bitch McTurtle compromised on is not the reform that the Merkley-Udall plan would have been, forcing Con Cowards to stand in front of America and account for their sabotage and hostage-taking, but it is some reform that will help progress and won't come back to bite us if Cons swindle their way back into Senatorial power.

What we need is Media Reform, so Voters keep up on the RW-Con-1% shenanigans! Two NW Progressive Radio Stations were snuffed out and made 24/365 Sports, just since the 2012 election resounding defeat of RepubliCons!!

2014!!!! People: Don't go back to SLEEP!!! Monsters/Zombies Never die!!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

Point well taken, but I still believe that if the Senate retains the need for a 60% majority no progress will ever get made, and I for one intend to watch the Republican Party reduced to two VFW guys arguing in an outhouse somewhere.

I think we need this reform, very badly.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Check out the small print, it's got some very good reforms, it's also a done deal.

News Media: We need some kind of rejuvenated Fairness Doctrine!!!

RW propaganda has got to be outlawed!! What are we, 1930s Germany??

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

Sorry about the delay.

Firstly, the watered down reform bill has failed in the Senate, and so the issue is still active. Secondly, even if that bill had passed that wouldn't in my opinion make it a "done deal."

The people are the owners of this country and it will be a "done deal" when we say it is a done deal.

Thirdly, the necessity of a 60 vote margin both hampers progress and makes it much more possible for vested interest to manipulate the legislative process.

Fourthly, if we can't at this junction of our history maintain a simple majority in the senate, we're toast anyway.

Finally, The hamstringing of the Senate, after the election of so many good Senators in the 2012 election will sow apathy into this movement, and even more, general disillusionment regarding the democratic process - both a disaster in my opinion - not to mention its effects on policy.

No my friend, it's time to tell the sold our bastards in the Senate when to jump and how high.


[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Sanders Votes No on Filibuster Reform

January 28, 2013

Last week Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent member of the Democratic caucus, was the only member of that caucus to vote NO on the so-called filibuster reform package passed in the U.S. Senate.

Below is Bernie’s statement on why he voted NO.

January 24, 2013

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

This country faces major crises in terms of the economy and unemployment, the deficit, global warming, health care, campaign finance reform, education and a crumbling infrastructure – to name a few. In my view, none of these problems will be effectively addressed so long as one senator can demand 60 votes to pass legislation. The rule changes adopted today are a step forward in making the operations of the Senate more efficient and expeditious. They are not enough.

Most Americans grew up believing that in America the majority rules. That is not the case in the Senate. For many years now, especially since President Obama has been in office, it has taken 60 votes to pass any significant piece of legislation. When Lyndon Johnson was majority leader in the 1950s, he filed cloture to end a filibuster only once. Majority Leader Reid has filed cloture 390 times.

The Senate is not the House and the minority party must be treated with respect and given the opportunity to offer amendments and make their case in opposition. A minority must not, however, be allowed to permanently obstruct the wishes of the majority. That is not democracy. That is a perversion of democracy.

In my view, if a senator or a group of senators are strenuously opposed to legislation they have the right and duty to come to the floor and, for as long as they want, engage in a talking filibuster by explaining to the American people the reasons for their objection. They should not, however, continue to have the right to abuse arcane Senate rules to block a majority of senators from acting on behalf of the American people. http://www.bernie.org/news/sanders-votes-no-on-filibuster-reform/

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

We have different information regarding the passage of that bill. I am reading that it didn't pass.


There are many other current news articles saying the same. In any case, I think this issue is ESSENTIAL. We cannot let them render these new progressive Senators impotent.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Senate approves modest filibuster reform bill (better than nothing)

The bill removes a procedural impediment to reduce the number of filibusters.

The US Senate passed a modest reform bill on the filibuster late Thursday night. (Toby Jorrin/AFP/Getty Images)

The US Senate Thursday passed a modest bill to reform the filibuster.

The bill removes a procedural impediment reducing the number of filibusters and streamlining lawmaking in the upper house.

Reform passed 86-9 will bar senators from filibustering the opening debate of a bill.

Beforehand a lawmaker could filibuster any bill at any stage of its life in the Senate.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in return, Republicans were guaranteed two amendments to any bill.

Republicans have long complained that they are forced to filibuster after being blocked from amending bills.

The deal falls short of more radical options also proposed, including bringing back a rule that forces senators to remain talking on the Senate floor until they kill the bill, said Washington Post.

More from GlobalPost: Mitch McConnell filibusters himself after Dems call bluff

Four Democrat senators and four Republicans spent weeks negotiating the new rule with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell signing on.

"The outcome of this hard earned compromise will be that there will be a greater degree of comity in the Senate which would allow us to achieve the legislative goals that all of us seek," Senator John McCain said on the Senate floor, reported AFP.

The filibuster has lately been blamed for gridlock in Congress.

Senate Republicans of the 111th Congress used the most filibusters in one session ever recorded: 100 in the first 11 months.



[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

All of this aside (and I am really confused by these conflicting reports of the bills passage/non-passage) I believe we need to return the Senate to the founding principle of passage by a simple majority.

I don't believe this bill, if it has passed, has gone far enough, I don't like the notion that we should acquiesce to this as a "done deal" if it is a bad deal, even if it has passed, and I for one, sure as hell don't give a crap what John McCain thinks.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Check their skin for zipper seams

Initial jobless claims are down again to another five year low. The stock market is at five year high and closing in on an all time high. The talk on the business pages is that money is flowing into the markets like green beer on St. Pat's Day. Not that I recommend putting your pot of gold into that Ponzi scheme. December housing numbers were down sharply but pretty good for the year. If banks start loosing up on loans the pent up demand could clear the over supply fairly quickly.

President Obama has named a hard nosed prosecutor to run the SEC. Mary Jo White as US Attn for the Southern District of New York is known for prosecuting terrorists of the Bin Laden variety and the really dangerous Wall Street terrorists. We'll see if Harry Reid's new stance on filibusters and nomination holds has any effect when it comes to Obama's nominations to fill appointments. At first blush Reid's reforms fell flat after eight Blue Dog Democrats supposedly panicked over the possibility of gun control, or maybe they are just Republicans wearing human skin. In reality there are things Reid can do while still operating under the arcane rules of the Senate to make the Republicans take the blame for their obstruction, and this could give the Democrats the edge in 2014.

The billionaires have reached out from the crypt to compel the DC Federal Appeals Court to strike down Obama's recess appointments to the Labor Relations Board. Incredibly they've found a new interpretation to the Constitution because of the word 'the' used in front of the word 'recess' to mean that the Congress is only in 'recess' for about a minute every two years between the old and new Congress. A regular run of the mill 'recess' preceded' by the letter 'a' in the Constitution does't count for recess appointments. This would make null and void everything the commission has done in the last two years and make them cease operation for lack of a quorum. This would also apply to every such appointment over the past 225 years, how many of Lincolns appointments would this affect, did the South therefor win the War of Northern Aggression after all? However, the Supreme Court could rule that the opinion should stand, but carry no precedent just like in Bush v Gore.

Unions are one of the last impediments to the oligarchs solidifying their power, and they may well make such a ridiculous ruling stand. Bush v Gore was the most absurd thing the Court could do and nobody seemed to care, so there is no limit. Obama's appointments to the Court not withstanding, that's if the Senate were to confirm any of them, they haven't confirmed most of his lower Court appointments. Obama took his latest oath on the Lincoln Bible, he said words that sounded like he's become an actual Progressive. Let's see if he fights like a Progressive. http://www.prairie2.com/

From the 1861 ballad, We are Coming

If you look across the hilltops that meet the northern sky, Long moving lines of rising dust your vision may descry; And now the wind, an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside, And floats aloft our spangled flag in glory and in pride; And bayonets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music pour,

CHORUS: We are coming, we are coming our Union to restore, We are coming, Father Abraham, 300,000 more!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

Let's just restore the Senate to a functional body before we start singing hosannahs. We get where we need to be one step at a time, and I see no valid reason to allow this kind of manipulation of our institutions in order to make them more friendly to vested interest.

The 60 vote rule must end, and we must kick every Republican out - every fucking one of them! We must START by KILLING the Republican Party . . . Forever!

Then we can make progress.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8719) 5 years ago

I have to log off, I'll get back here tomorrow.

[-] -1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 5 years ago

VQKag, get back to the FEMA camps!!!!

Why don't you try to change the subject while you are at it?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

OK Trevorneumonic. Is it Unicorn season again already?