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Thread: Senate approves nuclear option

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    This is not about "minority rights in the Senate."

    It's about the simple fact that the Constitution does not stipulate that a supermajority is required to approve a presidential nomination.

    It's about ending the abuse of rules that obstruct the legislative, executive and judiciary branches from doing their jobs. (I.e. if filibusters were still used infrequently, there would be little reason to end the practice.)

    There is nothing about this rule change that violates either the specific words or the intent of the Constitution.
    Was that your point of view when the democrats blocked so many of Bush's nominees?

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    Was that your point of view when the democrats blocked so many of Bush's nominees?
    I really don't recall. It was 8 years ago, and not a particularly prominent episode.

    I've already said though, in this very thread, that if this rule change prevents Democrats from obstructing government at any time in the future, then bring it on. The President is empowered to make appointments; the job of the Senate is to advise and consent, not pour sugar in the gas tank. It doesn't matter which party is in the minority, the decisions in the Senate are not supposed to require a supermajority.

    And again: Part of living in a nation with an elected government is that you don't always get your way. I've accepted that; have you?

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Just checking for hypocrisy.

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5 View Post
    Nothing I said had to do anything with the filibuster.
    Actually, your comment was in direct response to Mithros' commentary concerning the use of the filibuster. You simply support the need to retain it for the minority in the Senate. Towit, I reiterate, the filibuster has not been removed for normal order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros
    I think it's safe to say that the current filibuster is effectively dead. But I don't think you can lay that on Reid for better or worse.

    I like the filibuster, and think that minority rights are an important part of the Senate. But the filibuster has been broken.

    The bottom line is that the minority party had become obstructionist just to be obstructionist. How can anyone rationally defend holding up a nominee for almost two years; especially when that nominee received 90+ confirmation votes with zero objections? Neither party is going to get a super-majority any time soon. The only way for the senate to function moving forward was for something to happen.

    IMO, the senate needs to settle on a nuclear proof filibuster that is *MUCH* harder to use. Bring back the mandatory speaking part of the filibuster. If you want to stop the senate from functioning, you should have to get up and tell us why.
    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5
    You defend it by saying the majority got 99% of they want. What has the minority gotten? They theoretically represent 45% of the country, but because the majority represents 55%, the only things that get done is what 55% want? What about the rest of us? And that's why the minority has to use whatever leverage they have.
    "A fair exchange ain't no robbery." Tupac Shakur w/Digital Underground

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    This is not about "minority rights in the Senate."

    It's about the simple fact that the Constitution does not stipulate that a supermajority is required to approve a presidential nomination.

    It's about ending the abuse of rules that obstruct the legislative, executive and judiciary branches from doing their jobs. (I.e. if filibusters were still used infrequently, there would be little reason to end the practice.)

    There is nothing about this rule change that violates either the specific words or the intent of the Constitution.
    Well, just keep that sentiment when repubs gain the Senate...I am sure you will.
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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Actually 79nominees were actually filibustered under Obama more than all previous presidents using "actual filibusters".
    PolitiFact | Flip-flopping on the filibuster
    This is false, regardless of how badly Politifact defines a "filibuster". There very well may have been 79 CLOTURE VOTES on Nominees, but that isn't the same thing as a Filibuster. Reid can call a cloture vote whenever he wants, but unless the cloture is shot down there was no filibuster. Filibusters are failed cloture votes, not cloture votes. Successful cloture votes are not filibusters and using cloture votes as a measure of minority party opposition either a sign of stupidity of intellectual dishonesty.

    To date on Obama nominees, between 111th, 112th and 113th Senates, there have been a total of 11 failed cloture votes on Presidential nominees. As I pointed out earlier, in the 108th senate alone, with Harry Reid as the minority leader, there were 16 failed cloture votes.

    The number you and Politifact keep sighting is driven entirely by Harry Reid's personal whims. When you count ACTUAL Filibusters by Republicans is pales in comparison to Reid and the Democrats.


    I find it weird that Conservatives used Cloture as filibusters under Bush but now it no longer is a good gauge of obstructionism. Of course most of the fools they write for seem to only paid attention since 2008.
    A cloture vote can be called by either party at any time, and is often called simply to bypass floor debate on a vote where there is unanimous consent anyway. A plurality of cloture votes under Reid on matter of judicial nominees have been precisely that, unanimous consent by all parties to skip right to the floor vote. A filibuster is when the minority uses that cloture vote as a way of delaying the end of floor debate indefinitely. The Republicans have done that 11 times in 5 years.

    The study that Reid keeps pointing to doesn't prove what Reid thinks it does. Again, only the 103rd Senate, 108th Senate and 111-113th in that time period had a minority party that was in opposition to the standing President, so only in those 5 Senates is cloture even a logical maneuver (Democrat minority wouldn't filibuster Clinton, Republican minority wouldn't filibuster Bush), and in those 5 Senates Harry Reid in the 108th is the winner in a walk with 79% filibuster rate (by that study). In 111th through 113th the total number has skyrocketed while the rate has remained within historic norms.

    Not that the study also shows a huge upswing in Withdrawals of cloture in 112th, you can see them all here (most happened on March 12th), every single one of those 20 withdrawals or vitiated were because there was no opposition and the nominee was confirmed, often with 80+ votes to confirm.

    So no, Politifact isn't correct here. There is no validity to calling a cloture vote a filibuster of a minority attempt to block a nominee when the minority voted in favor of cloture. A 75-15 vote to end debate isn't a minority attempt at blocking a nominee no matter how much you and Harry Reid and Politifact want to make it so.



    It's actually pretty common practice...right before a President leaves he tries to jam through tons of appointments. The minority party that is hoping to gain the presidency blocks the nominations. If you look at a graph of nominations every President has a spike in the last year before he leaves office/re-elected. Which is why selecting the year before the end of Bush's first term is cherry picking the year where the majority of filibusters took place....like every President before him.
    Actually no, you are just making crap up because it sounds like it supports your point. Of the 261 District court appointments Bush made in his 8 years 22 happened in 2004 leading up to the election. So much for your election year court packing theory...



    Sure....in Bush's second term the majority party just blocked all confirmations Bush's last year. you notice they don't compare it to 2002 though right? Right after he was re-elected to office and still had pretty much a full term as President...I wonder why they used his last year of his first term...mhmmmm. Also weird they don't compare all 8 of Bush's years to all 8 of Obama's.
    Nope, the majority of his appointments in his first term came in 2003, not 2004. Right in the middle of his first term. Of the 302 total Judicial Nominees by Bush in his 8 years only 18 were made in 2008. Again, so much for your theory.



    I call it cherry picking because it is. It uses a time frame where filibusters are historically used a lot more than normal (last year in the term of a President) compared to Obama's first year after getting elected. If you don't understand how that's cherry picking....I dunno how to explain it better.

    It isn't cherry picking. There is only one Senate where the President was Republican and the minority was Democrat, so that was the only Senate where Reid was the Minority leader with any reason to filibuster... and he did, on 79% of all cloture votes. The most the Republicans have had in their three Senates as minority to a Democratic President is 15%, by Harry Reid's own "evidence".

    To get to the number that you, Reid and Politifact throw around you have to start counting all cloture votes as filibusters (pro-tip: they have different names for a reason) when the vast majority were not filibusters at all. In other words your argument is either based on ignorance or a desire to bend the truth.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Well that's not how it operates...but I guess my question is...why? How do you think a Democracy would operate if it required the support of everybody to pass anything. Most of the hard situations that face the country divide the country.
    It would operate like it did when it was first formed by unanimity. It would only do the things that everyone agreed to (or at least 3/4 of members), and everything else would be left for the people to do themselves. The only reason hard situations divide us is because we are forced to live with people with who we are fundamentally opposed, and because decisions can be made with only a bare majority, meaning 49% of the people are always upset. That's no way to live.

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Nope. Executive branch appointees generally follow the agenda of the President.

    Bush's agenda was business friendly...so he appointed people to regulatory agencies that allowed business to do whatever they wanted. Like oil companies practically fill out their own safety inspection forms.

    He also appointed very lax EPA heads.

    Obama is appointing very tough EPA heads.
    Appointees who have to be approved by congress, which means congress sets the agenda. The President enforces congresses agenda, he does not set it. The constitution does not give him the power to set it.

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    This is not about "minority rights in the Senate."

    It's about the simple fact that the Constitution does not stipulate that a supermajority is required to approve a presidential nomination.

    It's about ending the abuse of rules that obstruct the legislative, executive and judiciary branches from doing their jobs. (I.e. if filibusters were still used infrequently, there would be little reason to end the practice.)

    There is nothing about this rule change that violates either the specific words or the intent of the Constitution.
    Obstruction is necessary when the majority tyrannizes the minority. Its what led to revolution and civil war. Its the only tool left to make sure that the minority has influence.

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    Re: Senate approves nuclear option

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    Actually, your comment was in direct response to Mithros' commentary concerning the use of the filibuster. You simply support the need to retain it for the minority in the Senate. Towit, I reiterate, the filibuster has not been removed for normal order.
    Actually my comments was in direct response to only a part of his commentary.

    How can anyone rationally defend holding up a nominee for almost two years?
    Rejecting cloture is only one way, and my comment was in the broader scope of supporting obstruction in the face of 51% tyranny. I don't care whether there is a filibuster or not. I care that the minority has a say.

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