Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reid shuts down Republican obstruction

It was a good day for democratic governance. Admit I didn't think he'd go through with it. Happy to be wrong. Harry Reid made history today.
After years of threats and warnings, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and his Democratic majority on Thursday executed the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster for executive branch and judicial nominees, except for the Supreme Court.
Of course, everybody has an opinion but it's probably not going to restore the Senate to a functional body.
The "Reid Rule," as supporters are calling it, does not affect the minority party's ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominees or legislation.
GOPers will still block every bill and I don't think they should ever abolish the filibuster on SCOTUS nominees. Still this is a pretty BFD. By tradition, in the interests of responsible governance and Senate comity, the winner of the election gets to pick his own team and he gets to fill the vacancies on the bench. Thus does our government reflect the will of the voters.

You can read the full text of Reid's reasons for the rule change. This was the most important:
There are currently 75 executive branch nominees ready to be confirmed by the Senate that have been waiting an average of 140 days for confirmation. One executive nominee to the agency that safeguards the water our children and grandchildren drink and the air they breathe has waited more than 800 days for confirmation.

We agreed in July that the Senate should be confirming nominees to ensure the proper functioning of government. But consistent and unprecedented obstruction by the Republican Caucus has turned “advise and consent” into “deny and obstruct.”
Yes, both sides filibustered nominees, but for stated cause. Republicans don't even bother to pretend they have a good reason anymore. Why should they when BigMedia treats it as normal procedure? It's at the point where every filibuster is an attempt to extort policy concessions Republicans didn't win a mandate for at the ballot box. Somebody had to end the madness. Good for Harry for finally giving the Republicans some hell.

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Blogger A Conservative Teacher said...

This is fantastic! Now that the Democrats have established the the filibuster can be changed whenever the majority wants, once the GOP takes back the Senate (now or at some point in the future), they can just change the rules with a majority vote, and then repeal whatever Democratic legislation they want- starting with Obamacare. Thank you for removing the check of 60 votes that was established when our nation was first founded- now the party is really on!

7:55:00 PM  
Blogger davemartin7777 said...

A Conservative Teacher, best of luck to you! Two bits of advice next time... try not to alienate every conceivable voting block (except for white Republicans) and try not to talk about rape!

9:54:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The most egregious thing about CT's pretense here is his title. He's neither conservative nor a teacher. It seems his notions about Filibustering are derived more from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and that ever flexible Right Wing propaganda that turns on and off in response to which side is doing it. It certainly wasn't a valued and intentional Constitutional Principle when recent Republican histrionics described blocked floor votes on six of President George W. Bush's judicial
nominations as "outrageous," "disgraceful," "unconstitutional," and nothing short of a violation of basic principles of democratic government.

Of course if you define 'Teacher' and 'conservative' as 'liar'. . .

The constitutionality of the Filibuster is still being debated and is far from easy to establish. That it was designed to allow a minority to cripple the government rather than to force debate is neither a likely nor noble one and if the intent was to require a super majority in the Senate perhaps those who drafted it were literate and honest enough to have clearly stated it -- as it does in the case of expelling Senate members. That the Constitution was written to undermine democratic principles by allowing a minority to rule, or worse, prevent the will of the majority ad libitum and in perpetuity isn't just a damned lie, it's a disgusting lie and the man who tells it is a damned disgusting liar.

9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I find him rather amusing. Taking his sudden resurfacing as a sign the crackpot cons are freaking out because they can see their influence melting like the witch in the Wizard of Oz.

11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Maybe he's amusing in a way, but it's disgusting to think of all the deranged, mental lightweights who parrot this sort of crap thinking they'll appear smart.

Insisting that the intent of the constitution is to allow the elected president's enemies to prevent him from doing his job isn't just stupid and insulting, it's like tattooing "I hate America" on your forehead.

12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

He's just an umimportant, impotent fool. It doesn't matter what he thinks. If you let it annoy you, then he wins.

2:27:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh he wins all right -- and I've got the grand prize right here. . .

3:52:00 PM  

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