Thursday, January 24, 2013

Filibuster reform fail - Updated

I suppose real filibuster reform was always a fool's hope as long as over-long entrenched Senators hold the power. It's not that they didn't pass a bill in the Senate, it's just that it did practically nothing to replace the most broken gear in the system, that being the penalty free silent filibuster.

I suppose some of the bi-partisan besotted punditry will hail it as a huge development since it came in the form of a cozy little backroom deal between Harry and Mitch McConnell. But it's clear we'll never see any meaningful change as long as Harry holds the gavel. Mr. Reid made that very clear today:
“I’m not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold,” Reid (D-Nev.) told me this morning, referring to the number of votes needed to halt a filibuster. “With the history of the Senate, we have to understand the Senate isn’t and shouldn’t be like the House.”
He's wrong about that too. The Senate is very much like the House, meaning a hot mess, only at this point, by allowing the 60 vote threshold to remain as the norm instead of returning it to the rare exception, the Senate is even more dysfunctional than Boehner's House of Horrors. Disappointing and irritating outcome.

Oh well, there's always next session my fellow believers in functional governance. [Photo via TPM]

Update: Just shoot me. It's not just the insipid pundits who are lauding the imaginary bi-partisan "accomplishment." The too cozy in their seats for too long Senate Dems are lauding the deal as if it actually accomplished something besides barely streamlining some tiny amount of the floor action. And it should be noted that includes (per twitter), "Dems who blocked reform on filibuster: Harry Reid, Max Baucus, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Joe Manchin & Mark Pryor."

I might mention Harry scolded Jeff Merkley, who organized the drive for reform, for naming the names of the Dem saboteurs. Worse yet, twitter tells me "Sens Cardin & King, who backed comprehensive filibuster reform, say there were 51 votes for more than Reid got."

Clearly the will for reform was there and was blocked by the senior members who treasure their power under the present dysfunction. Senate isn't going to change until we change a few more Senators.

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