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Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 12/23/2010

Harry Reid devising plan to press forward with filibuster reform, aide says

By Greg Sargent

Still more good news for filibuster reform: Harry Reid is in active discussions with his caucus about moving forward with reform in the new year, and is currently devising a plan to do just that, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells me.

At a caucus meeting this week attended only by Senators and no staff, Reid and fellow Dems devoted a significant chunk of time to a discussion about specific ideas on how to proceed, the aide says.

Word of Reid's machinations comes after the National Journal reported yesterday that all the returning Democratic Senators have indicated support for efforts at reform, and are urging Reid to press forward at the start of the new year.

Though Reid has said in the past that he's generally supportive of reform, it has been unclear whether he would support active measures to make it happen. But the senior Dem leadership aide says Reid is already working on specific steps forward.

"They are already talking it through and devising a plan," the aide said of Reid and fellow Dems, adding that Reid is having "conversations" with other members of the caucus "about the best way to move forward."

The aide declined to say which specific reforms Reid favors and wouldn't specify a timetable, saying it would tip the Dems' hand to Republicans. Various ideas making the rounds include everything from propoposals to make senators actually filibuster to tinkering with the vote number threshold to start and end debate. Dems are also coalescing behind the so-called "constitutional option," which has it that each new Congress has the right to set its own rules by simple majority vote.

This is the Senate, of course, so plans can always change or even disappear without a trace. But it looks like Reid is gearing up to try to make reform happen.

More from the Washington Post

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World: Embassy attacks in Rome injure 2
Opinion: Obama the great, or so he says

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Next: The forgotten accomplishments of the 111th Congress

Comments

Hey Republicans, aren't you glad your "Tea Party" faction brought Sharron Angle forward to defeat Harry Reid?

There is a lesson there for 2012. Do you get it?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Democrats should be careful what they wish for here. My reading of the history of the filibuster and the rules of the Senate is that while they do tend to make the initial enacting of large scale social legislation more difficult, over the long run it has benefited progressives more than conservatives by making the barriers to repeal a lot higher.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse


With all this talk of Obama's "accomplishments" NOTHING ABOUT JOBS

NOTHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY


The democrats care more about the gay agenda than GROWING THE ECONOMY


Obama's National Security team is clueless and what does Obama do? He goes on vacation again


There is gross incompetence at the highest levels of our government and all the democrats want to do is PRETEND that Obama is "accomplishing" things and give each other high fives. The democrats aren't qualified to govern, they aren't even adults.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse


BREAKING NEWS


Bombs explode at the Swiss and Chilean Embassies in Rome


Obama's Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper will find out about these BOMBINGS sometime late this afternoon.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will now be organizing voter suppression systems everywhere they deem such might alter electoral results. Most of this will be below the radar other than for possible cases where an error or a foolish move brings such a project to light.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 23, 2010
------

That's what liberals call redistricting when Republicans do it. Perfectly legal, however.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Brigade is going to spend the whole day posting a nasty comment to everyone else's posts? Do he really not have an original thought? Does he do anything besides attack people?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

After last year's national security fiasco, Obama thought it would be a good idea to have Diane Sawyer interview the Three Blind Mice

Obama's two major areas are National Security and the Economy

We are now being told to believe that Obam has all these "accomplishments" and yet Obama has done nothing on JOBS and we are supposed to believe that the best he can do on National Security is the Three Blind Mice


.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Is there even a single person in DC who believes that a strategy other than the "Constitutional Option" would actually get passed?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | December 23, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

jnc -- it may have been in the past, but that was because the Senate was once a place where people respected procedures, and the filibuster was by and large rare and not abused. However, this session it was abused outrageously, and in effect, nullified the way the Senate had formerly operated. Therefore, it must be reformed to prevent further abuse.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Brigade is going to spend the whole day posting a nasty comment to everyone else's posts? Do he really not have an original thought? Does he do anything besides attack people?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 12:42 PM


________________________________

Fiona ALL you have been doing for weeks is make nasty comments

You

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Brigade is going to spend the whole day posting a nasty comment to everyone else's posts? Do he really not have an original thought? Does he do anything besides attack people?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

________________________________


Fiona


You are the problem on this board now


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I would hope that both parties could participate in reforming this horribly broken system. Regardless of which is in the majority, the nation's business still needs to be done.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | December 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Shrink

You should be more concerned with your left wing wackjobs

Do you get it?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster is an insult to the very idea of democracy.

It has always been a powerful tool of the reactionaries and conservatives for thwarting the will of the people, epecially in the 20th and 21st centuries.

It has caused inalculable damage the country time and time again. It's high time this outdated parlimentary rule was ended.

Posted by: toc59 | December 23, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

jnc -- it may have been in the past, but that was because the Senate was once a place where people respected procedures, and the filibuster was by and large rare and not abused. However, this session it was abused outrageously, and in effect, nullified the way the Senate had formerly operated. Therefore, it must be reformed to prevent further abuse.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, over in the House, the Tea Party thinks they are going to hold the GOP's feet to the fire on transparency. Good luck with that, guys...
-----------

The GOP's New Transparency Rules Might Not Be That Transparent

This does not please the Tea Party.

"If there are loopholes used by the GOP to circumvent transparency, you can be sure that Tea Party Patriots across the nation will make it known to Republicans that such behavior is unacceptable," says Mark Meckler, co-founder of the influential Tea Party Patriots, in an email to me. "This is not about the philosophy of the majority party, this is about the role of citizens. We will watchdog the system, and we will find a way to close any loopholes. In addition, any elected officials attempting to use loopholes to circumvent the expected transparency will quickly find themselves exposed to wrath of a public fed up with the games of politicians."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/gop-transparency-rules-may-not-be-very-transparent.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"My reading of the history of the filibuster and the rules of the Senate is that while they do tend to make the initial enacting of large scale social legislation more difficult, over the long run it has benefited progressives more than conservatives by making the barriers to repeal a lot higher."

Nonsense. Repealing Medicare, Civil Rights Laws, Social Security, these have NEVER passed in the House, which has a simple majority requirement.

The reason these laws aren't repealed is because THEY ARE GOOD LAWS. Once they pass, they work exactly as their proponents promised. And people like these laws because they make their lives better. The hysteria tactics of these laws' opponents are quickly proven to be nonsense once these laws go into effect.

Rights of citizenship for black people made America a better place for everyone to live. Medicare did not take away Americans' freedom, in fact it did the opposite for millions of elderly Americans. Same with Social Security. For goodness' sake, even right-wingers are running on promises to keep government from ruining Medicare!

That's why these laws haven't been repealed. It's not because someone is abusing Parliamentary rules. It's because they work.

Posted by: theorajones1 | December 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse


'You are the problem on this board now'

lol. the braindead spammer projects.


Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

IDK. I'd really like to see how they plan to change rules before I put any sort of support behind this.

It could possibly give the radicals on the right a gateway to privatizing everything in the Govn't so the extremely greedy people out there can game the system even more.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

just when you thought wingers couldn't get any loonier, they do:

"Top social conservative Bryan Fischer is outraged that "President Obama wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to the Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords."

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

People like Fischer are stuck in a pre-civil rights era.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 23, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

While I HATED the horrendous-to-progressive agenda filibuster, I would think TWICE Democrats because of the change of power in the House AND the increase of Republican votes in the Senate. IF God forbid a trillion times the rancid party of inhumanity and racist thought were to gain it all, the filibuster could prove very handy as we do to them what they have done to us more than any party in history. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the Bible says that is so now doesn't it?

I would not give Republicans ANYTHING not even the POSSIBILITY of taking the ball down the field. I say Democrats, close ranks and SHOW the spine you have.

Posted by: natalierosen1 | December 23, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I do! I think the Republicans can get much, much loonier. Angle's candidacy and near victory is a sign of things to come.

While the Democrats were embarrassed by Alvin, the Republicans embraced Bible Spice as a viable alternative to that card carrying commie Coons.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I rly think filibuster reform is thinking on a short term basis. The Chamber of Commerce is purchasing out Congress slowly and once they control enough of the members, they will gut every social net in our system and try to tear down labor and pay standards to further enrich their membership.

They want nothing less than a labor force here in the U.S. that will compete pay wise with China and India.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Here is a nifty chart you might like, demonstrating the way the abuse of the filibuster has grown. It has always been used far more by republicans, to thwart the will of the majority.

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/cloture_motions/clotureCounts.htm

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

mike: "I'd really like to see how they plan to change rules before I put any sort of support behind this."

Yeah, me, too.

There are a couple of changes that I would definitely support:

No anonymous holds for any reason. Complete transparency on holds.

No holds on nominees for an unrelated issue. IOW, Mary Landrieu's hold on the OMB nominee because of her stand on Gulf drilling would be prohibited.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 23, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade--Surely you know that the 20th century Civil Rights legislation was passed by liberals and moderates and that party alignments are far different now than they were then--and in large part because of that legislation. So who are you trying to persuade differently?

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 23, 2010
-------
caothien9 added:
"he'd hve us belleve that the Dixiecrats didn't all become Repblicans after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, exactlly as he said they would."
-------

AllButCertain, you should stop reading so much of caothien9's nonsense. It will cause your brain to atrophy. You toss around terms like liberal, moderate and conservative as if you know what they mean. Anyone who opposes change may by definition be labled "conservative". When Dems vote against tax cuts for wealthy Americans, do they do it because they are "conservative"?

Yes, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms became Republicans. Most of the Dixiecrats remained with the Democratic party. They're dead now, not hiding out in the ranks of the 2010 Republican party, regardless of what liberals say. And don't bother linking to some liberal hate site where some idiot co-signs the lie.

Ask yourself why the Southern Dems like Fulbright would have "all become Republicans after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act." 80% of the Republicans voted FOR CRA. Hardly a welcome environment for Dixiecrats. Racists like Robert Byrd, Al Gore Sr., George Wallace, et al. didn't become Republicans. Byrd and Gore tried everything to torpedo the CRA. AFTER (not BEFORE) CRA, Dems needed the votes of African-Americans, so many of them got religion and repudated (sic caothein9) their racists pasts. However, they continued to put their pants on one leg and a time even after blacks started supporting them.

You might also want to check black political alignment BEFORE the CRA. Don't let it worry you though, some blacks even supported the South during the Civil War. Stockholm Syndrome I suppose.

"In Oct. 1952, photocopies of sworn affidavits allegedly made in 1944 by members of the Missouri Ku Klux Klan supported their charge that President Harry Truman had once been a member of their Klan chapter. Walter Winchell’s release of the documents created an uproar."

"blacks rendered their own verdict when in 1936 they abandoned their historic allegiance to the Republicans, the party of Abe Lincoln, and moved in large numbers over to the Democrats, the party of FDR, where they have been ever since."

"When Franklin D. Roosevelt had his first opportunity to name a member of the Supreme Court, he appointed a life member of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Hugo Black, Democrat of Alabama."

"Despite his later denial of holding any prejudices, Black was an active member of the KKK for several years. He participated in Klan events throughout Alabama, wearing the organization's characteristic white robes and hood"

"Persuade differently?" Obviously not with facts.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Brigade is going to spend the whole day posting a nasty comment to everyone else's posts? Do he really not have an original thought? Does he do anything besides attack people?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 12:42 PM
------

Do you have anything to actually add to discussion? I thought not.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

All, my rundown of all the forgotten accomplishments of the 111th Congress, which are also very significant:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_forgotten_accomplishments.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 23, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I certainly agree with you mike, on the Chamber's agenda and their success so far... and you may be right that this would be short term gain and long term loss. I would hope tht any change would be carefully deliberated.

As far as the Chamber is concerned, it's too bad that the press does not report that one of the main thrusts of Chamber activity is promoting outsourcing of American jobs, primarily to China and India. They hold US seminars teaching business leaders how to do it.

I intend on moving to Ontario myself, because I think the corporations are going to suck this country dry and then leave looking for new victims. They're off to a good start.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

rancid party of inhumanity and racist thought


_______________________

This not civil discussion.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote,
"I know it is not really proper to be insulting to folks on the right here who express opinions which I find really stupid by saying that I find the opinions really stupid. But they are and so I will."
------

Feel free, Bernie. You've found a kindred spirit in caothien9. Maybe he'll invite you for a weekend of debauchery in the hovel. I hope you won't mind if we occasionally say that your (and his) opinions are really stupid. If you guys use the troll hunter enough, you can just talk to each other and won't have to touble yourselves with anyone else's opinion.

Posted by: Brigade | December 23, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse


This is well worth ANY fight! Self-imposed Senate rules have ground the nation to a halt by giving every Senator veto power over every issue. There should should be a way for the minority to be heard and to - on RARE occasions - be able to hold back legislation, but when it becomes standard operating practice - as it did under the GOP the past two years - it has to be addressed head-on.

The most galling part is that the minority can sabotage legislation and then say "Hey, it wasn't us in charge!"

Posted by: jack824 | December 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course the village idiot Reid wants to abolish filibusters - All good tyrants try to eliminate opposition.

Posted by: NO-bama | December 23, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The fluttery hysterics that make up most of the Dem contingent in the Senate are now doing all sorts of shadowboxing to hide the fact that they've been effectively rendered neutral.

And with 2012 coming up and this simple-minded oaf in the Oval Office, they can only do voodoo on the economic side of the fence. The GOP are just as bad, as they immediately betrayed their Tea Party conservative wing.

RainForestRising has the right analysis,
" With all this talk of Obama's "accomplishments" NOTHING ABOUT JOBS NOTHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY
The democrats care more about the gay agenda than GROWING THE ECONOMY
Obama's National Security team is clueless and what does Obama do? He goes on vacation again
There is gross incompetence at the highest levels of our government and all the democrats want to do is PRETEND that Obama is "accomplishing" things and give each other high fives. The democrats aren't qualified to govern, they aren't even adults."
With shitheads like Lugar, who needs a filibuster. The what-me-worry RINOs like Dick and Lisa Murky and the Maine Bobbsey Twins all assure the Dems of allies in the trenches.

Posted by: djman1141 | December 23, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Use to be two things you could count on: death and taxes. To that list we must add a third thing: Right wing nut jobs will post on thw WP blogs against Obama no matter what the issue; no matter if it actually helps America; and no matter if a few with brains among the republicans support the idea with their votes.
These idiots should be very glad that this isn't the socialist society they claim; for if it was they would have been locked up and/or shot long ago.
These idiots can also thank the REAL constitution, not the one they wet dream upon (the one printed over a Palin poster), which gives them freedom of speech.
Yes; those 3 things are now assured.

Posted by: easysoul | December 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Rather short-sighted. In 2012, the Senate flips Republican (Dems defending 23 seats to the GOP 10). Then what do you say when the GOP just continues your new filibuster rules and uses them on you?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | December 23, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

fiona is full of fecal material with her graph & description:
"... It has always been used far more by republicans, to thwart the will of the majority.

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/cloture_motions/clotureCounts.htm"

Of course, a cursory look at the chart reveals that from the seventies until the late '90s, the Demonrats used the filibuster and cloture almost all the time. So fiona is the lying skank she calls out everybody else to be.

Posted by: djman1141 | December 23, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope that Obama and his family are sitting on the warm sunny beaches in Hawaii enjoying their Christmas vacation while millions of parents have to look at the faces of their children and explain to them why Santa has passed them by this year.

All I want for Christmas is 2012!

Posted by: AlwaysIndependent | December 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't it seem strange when the Democrats had the 60 vote majority the filibuster was ok but now they have less of a majority and it needs to be done now????? Mr Reid and his backroom deals are killing this country and the lame duck session needs to be ended period.

Posted by: ren51 | December 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What will happen, of course, is that Dirty Harry will try to pass something which will benefit the Dems. . .only to come back and bite them when the Republicans are in control of both houses after the 2012 election. Go for it, Harry!

Posted by: lou4747A | December 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The recent census results bode well for the Republicans for the upcoming 2012 elections. They will definitely sweep the South and most of the Mid-west seems to be beyond Obama's reach. He will always have California and New York to go to to lick his wounds. There they will welcome him with open arms, but they can't save his presidency. California has more or less separated itself from the Union. They certainly went against the grains in the mid-term elections - the entire nation turned right and kicked out scores of Democrats from Congress, states and municipalities - but not Californa - they stubbornly went their own way - into the leftist ditch. May the rest in peace as they languish in their own doo doo.

Posted by: Tommypie | December 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"All I want for Christmas is 2012!"

Republican nutbars think they get to have the White House because they won some seats back from their devastating losses in 2008.

Well, who are you going to run? Who is supposed to beat Obama in 2012? Pawlenty? Barbour? Why don't you run an ignoramus like Palin and see what happens.

Get ready, you'll have to stomach four more years of American President Barak Hussein Obama screwing with his wife in the Lincoln Bedroom and vacationing at taxpayer expense on Hawaii's beaches. Go ahead and shoot yourself if you can't stand the idea that Obama isn't Santa.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Just want to comment on the narrow-mindedness of many posters here. The biggest problem I see today in a meeting of the minds, is a lack of respect for another opinion. Many of the written thoughts here are not original and merely serve as talking points that have been pulled from organizations' websites who provide the talking points.

Unless you really have something worthwhile to provide, refrain from posting anything, please.

Posted by: ellequint | December 23, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

As predicted the dems saved all the garbage that couldn't stand the light of an election for the lame duck. Now giddy with success they want to change longstanding Senate rules to regain the absolute control that the people have denied them. I remember when the democrats use to claim to be the party of the people. Now all they do is thwart the will of the people.

Posted by: roamin44 | December 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

As predicted the dems saved all the garbage that couldn't stand the light of an election for the lame duck. Now giddy with success they want to change longstanding Senate rules to regain the absolute control that the people have denied them. I remember when the democrats use to claim to be the party of the people. Now all they do is thwart the will of the people.

Posted by: roamin44 | December 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

As predicted the dems saved all the garbage that couldn't stand the light of an election for the lame duck. Now giddy with success they want to change longstanding Senate rules to regain the absolute control that the people have denied them. I remember when the democrats use to claim to be the party of the people. Now all they do is thwart the will of the people.

Posted by: roamin44 | December 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid won his re-election fair and square. Really.
I'm also wondering why he didn't introduce this legislation while his party was in complete control?

Posted by: robtjonz | December 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This would be yet another massive win for Democrats and the American people. I don't know what has gotten into Obama and the Dems, but I applaud them for their recent string of victories.

Posted by: SmallBusiness | December 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Reid changing the Senate rules is to allow confirmation of shady appointees. It won't do him much good otherwise with the house in republican hands.

He tries to abuse things like majority rules it will set a precedent to allow republicans to do so when they have a good chance to take the Senate in 2012.

What's funny is the MSM acts stupid and fails to tie together filibusters and the "efficient Congress" in the lame duck.

The filibuster served a good purpose. When democrats FINALLY showed some bipartisanship they got republican votes. That's how it should work not a "majority rules" mentality with the winner being the party paying its special interests (pick a party) and the loser always being the American people.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"At a caucus meeting this week attended only by Senators and no staff,"

No staffers? You mean Politico won't have any paid spies in the room?

That's fresh.

Also, it is getting humorous how the pro trolls from the right are all on holiday, and there's no one left to write anything remotely intelligent, all we have remaining is the wannabe's and obsessives who really REALLY give us all a big laugh.

Posted by: JEP07 | December 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"At a caucus meeting this week attended only by Senators and no staff,"

No staffers? You mean Politico won't have any paid spies in the room?

That's fresh.

Also, it is getting humorous how the pro trolls from the right are all on holiday, and there's no one left to write anything remotely intelligent, all we have remaining is the wannabe's and obsessives who really REALLY give us all a big laugh.

Posted by: JEP07 | December 23, 2010 5:14 PM
==================
Feel free to explain the ties between the lame duck session and filibusters.

Isn't it true that the lame duck session of congress was very productive?

Could that be because after 2 years democrats finally made some bipartisan compromises?

Shouldn't that be how our government should work and shows exactly why the filibuster is useful to prevent one party from passing wide ranging legislation with no thought of compromise?

Remember if democrats change the rules you can't come back whining later when republicans get the majority that it isn't fair. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Posted by: Cryos | December 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I keep asking, why hasn't H Reid been impeached on bribery charges? The last I have heard or read the bribery is against the laws in all 50 States. Maybe not in the brotherhood of corruption in our Government. Reid did bribe two other Senators for their Votes on a bill that violates the Constitution and the Bill of rights. The Senators of my State New Mexico also aided and abetted this bribery and I am going to keep asking this question, why hasn't Reid been impeached for the corrupt person he is. It all goes along with violation of our rights as citizens of this Great Republic.

Posted by: ChefRobert | December 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

'I keep asking, why hasn't H Reid been impeached on bribery charges?"

Ask Sharron Angle what she meant by juice. Go ahead, ask her.
What did she mean?

Republicans, you could have beaten Reid, but you decided to vote for Angle instead. Heh, heh, bribery charges. Are you all that stupid?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Weren't the current filabuster and 60% supermajority brought in after democrats lost majority for the first time in something like 60 years? Now that they are again a minortity they want to stack the deck in their favor yet one more time. Are the Republicans really srupid enough to let them do this? Especially after Nov. 2.

Posted by: IQ168 | December 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Reid's plan is nonsense. Why would the Republicans support filibuster reform and give up their only way to stop tax and spend Democrats? The Republicans now have more than enough votes to filibuster any bill or any judicial nomination. Why would they want to give that up?

Posted by: Dodgers1 | December 23, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Nonsense. Repealing Medicare, Civil Rights Laws, Social Security, these have NEVER passed in the House, which has a simple majority requirement.

The reason these laws aren't repealed is because THEY ARE GOOD LAWS. Once they pass, they work exactly as their proponents promised. And people like these laws because they make their lives better. The hysteria tactics of these laws' opponents are quickly proven to be nonsense once these laws go into effect."

Wrong. The reason they have not been repealed is that too many Americans have become DEPENDENT on them. Your assertion that they "work exactly as their proponents promised" is revisionist history - I'll use Social Security as an example.

Proponents of the Social Security Act of 1935 promised the American people that the SS tax imposed on them would initially be 1% and would slowly grow to 3% by 1948. Another promise was that it would guarantee every American a comfortable retirement with dignity. That is what our grandparents were promised by FDR.

What we have today is a system that sucks over 15% of wages (7.6% from your paycheck, another 7.6% from your employer so it's not available as a wage to you) and certainly does not provide a comfortable retirement without significant supplements.

Yes, the filibuster can impede progress. When Republicans proposed a transformation of the Social Security program from the current insurance model to a far more flexible and equitable annuity model in 2006, Democrats launched a FUD campaign and, yes, threatened a filibuster that effectively sank that reform. As a result, we now face either more tax increases, a further reduction of benefits or, most probably, a combination of both. This is unfortunate, as even Frances Perkins herself once promoted an annuity model for her pet program: "For those now young or even middle-aged, a system of compulsory old-age insurance will enable them to build up, with matching contributions from their employers, an annuity from which they can draw as a right upon reaching old age."

This pattern of over-promising and under-delivering on programs is a legislative hallmark of which both parties are guilty. It is a result of a pervasive mindset of implementing programs with no concern whatsoever about longterm sustainability or even constitutionality. The filibuster is a last-resort tool that a single senator can invoke as a matter of principle to do what is right when the tide of popular and/or political power is against him or her. To do away with the filibuster is to do away with one of the last safeguards against mob rule.

Posted by: teisenmenger | December 23, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster rule is essentially the only thing that still binds the character of the Senate to its original design - deliberative body protective of the rights of the minority. What you call "progress," dummy, I call "rot."

http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
"Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

Posted by: joefigliola1 | December 23, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The filibuster rule is essentially the only thing that still binds the character of the Senate to its original design - deliberative body protective of the rights of the minority. What you call "reform," dummy, I call "rot."

http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
"Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

Posted by: joefigliola1 | December 23, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Why would Reid want to change the rules in the senate? Well, it's his way to get around opposition from the senate conservatives. However, he should keep in mind that the republicans once thought of changing the rules to get bills passed when they were in charge and they will get the majority again and Reid's rules will apply then also. He should beware of unintended consequences. He just might turn the republican majority loose on his progressives when the time comes.

Posted by: gfafblifr | December 24, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I fervently hope Reid's attempt to water down current filibuster rules are themselves filibustered so Reid can try to fix (destroy) something else that works.

Posted by: hungrypirana | December 24, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a first class joke and a enemy of the USA.

Posted by: bigpainter | December 24, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

fiona5.. You have it WRONG the majority is NOT the PROGRESSIVES that are only 20% tops of the populace.. it is the MODERATE OR MODERATE RIGHT.. which makes what the Republican's were doing was REPRESENTING the MAJORITY.. something the PROGRESSIVES know NOTHING about..

Posted by: lcky9 | December 27, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

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