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Thread: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    how did us presidents from ronald reagan to bill clinton manage to pass legislation when opp's held the houses?

    how does chubby chris christie manage in trenton?

    the answer---leadership

    hint---you gotta pick issues the public actually LIKES

    meanwhile:

    The first day of the new Congress was supposed to mark the beginning of the end of how the filibuster has been regularly used to kill legislation on the Senate floor.

    But Democrats who have been complaining for two years about Republican obstruction are struggling to unite behind a single filibuster reform plan – and several are expressing reservations that they could set a dangerous precedent if Republicans return to the Senate majority after the 2012 elections. Republican leaders — who have been largely quiet in the debate so far — are planning to step up their attacks and portray any proposed changes in Senate rules as a power grab by Democrats.
    Democrats stymied on filibuster reform - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

    surprised?

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    No it wasn't. The Senate was not designed so that every bill was filibustered by default, requiring a 60 vote supermajority. If it was, then that would have been written into the Constitution. Furthermore, the filibuster isn't even a time-honored tradition. It was rarely used at all before the civil rights era, and even then it wasn't used very frequently until the 1990s.
    I am first going to address, as I understand it, your two points. The first, unless I am mistaken, is comprised of two (admittedly, overlapping and thus logically inconsistent) claims concerning the Senate and what it was designed to do. In order of appearance: (a) The Senate was designed by the Founding Fathers to act quickly and (b) this is reflected in the Constitution. The second is more straightforward, and is composed of three parts (a) an indictment that filibustering isn't a "time-honored tradition," (b) it wasn't used "at all" before the civil rights era and finally (c) it wasn't used widely until the 1990s.

    I am going to address the second one first, because it is much easier to demonstratively disprove.

    Filibustering is a "time-honored" tradition stretching all the way back to the Roman Republic; more specifically, Cato the Younger [Link]. This tradition has extended through France and Britain (most spectacularly over the Irish Question), until arriving in American in 1841 in the famous debate between Henry Clay and Calhoun following the removal of the "Previous Question Motion" in the Upper House. I believe this, along with the following examples, unequivocally disproves (a) of your second claim.

    Moving onto (b) of claim (2), where you state it wasn't used until the civil rights era. On April 24, 1953, Senator Morse began to filibuster against Tidelands Oil legislation. He kept the floor for 22 hours and 26 minutes, breaking the filibuster record of 18 hours held by his mentor, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette. Neither of which are part of the civil rights movement or of the era. There is also the example of the famous Senator Huey Long who filibustered for a then-record 15 hours on On June 12, 1935.

    Finally, the idea that the filibuster was not widely used before the 1990s is absurd; as you well know. I believe this [Link] is evidence enough.

    At this point, any fair-minded person can conclude that filibustering in America does have a long "time-honored tradition," that it existed well before the civil-rights era was well used extensively before 1990.

    Moving onto the skipped claim (1), I will now address your points. These are somewhat harder, not because they are supported by more evidence, but merely because you have constructed your argument in such a duplicitous way to make anyone disagreeing with you to be arguing a negative. In effect, that the Senate was designed *not* to act quickly and that to act quickly is *not* reflected in the Constitution. However, this link eloquently sums up why the reigning opinion is that the Senate is a slower deliberative as reflected within the Constitution. [Link]

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican View Post
    I am first going to address, as I understand it, your two points. The first, unless I am mistaken, is comprised of two (admittedly, overlapping and thus logically inconsistent) claims concerning the Senate and what it was designed to do. In order of appearance: (a) The Senate was designed by the Founding Fathers to act quickly and (b) this is reflected in the Constitution. The second is more straightforward, and is composed of three parts (a) an indictment that filibustering isn't a "time-honored tradition," (b) it wasn't used "at all" before the civil rights era and finally (c) it wasn't used widely until the 1990s.

    I am going to address the second one first, because it is much easier to demonstratively disprove.

    Filibustering is a "time-honored" tradition stretching all the way back to the Roman Republic; more specifically, Cato the Younger [Link]. This tradition has extended through France and Britain (most spectacularly over the Irish Question), until arriving in American in 1841 in the famous debate between Henry Clay and Calhoun following the removal of the "Previous Question Motion" in the Upper House. I believe this, along with the following examples, unequivocally disproves (a) of your second claim.

    Moving onto (b) of claim (2), where you state it wasn't used until the civil rights era. On April 24, 1953, Senator Morse began to filibuster against Tidelands Oil legislation. He kept the floor for 22 hours and 26 minutes, breaking the filibuster record of 18 hours held by his mentor, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette. Neither of which are part of the civil rights movement or of the era. There is also the example of the famous Senator Huey Long who filibustered for a then-record 15 hours on On June 12, 1935.

    Finally, the idea that the filibuster was not widely used before the 1990s is absurd; as you well know. I believe this [Link] is evidence enough.

    At this point, any fair-minded person can conclude that filibustering in America does have a long "time-honored tradition," that it existed well before the civil-rights era was well used extensively before 1990.
    I'm talking about on a regular basis, not isolated examples that you can find. Nor am I talking about Ancient Rome. For God's sake.
    The filibuster as it is currently used in the United States is relatively new. This is the first time in history when every bill, no matter how petty, is filibustered by default.



    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican
    Moving onto the skipped claim (1), I will now address your points. These are somewhat harder, not because they are supported by more evidence, but merely because you have constructed your argument in such a duplicitous way to make anyone disagreeing with you to be arguing a negative. In effect, that the Senate was designed *not* to act quickly and that to act quickly is *not* reflected in the Constitution. However, this link eloquently sums up why the reigning opinion is that the Senate is a slower deliberative as reflected within the Constitution. [Link]
    Ya, it's just a preview page and I'm not about to buy (or read) the study. If there's something valuable in there you can sum it up yourself instead of having someone else do your thinking for you. In any case, the Senate can be a slower, deliberative body without the filibuster being used on every single bill, as it was for the first 200 years of its existence. Somehow I think our republic would survive if a simple majority was able to pass such momentous, controversial legislation as the Veterans Retraining Act, the Vision Care for Kids Act, and the Water Quality Investment Act (all of which were filibustered in the last Congress).
    Last edited by Kandahar; 01-04-11 at 06:34 PM.
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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    and yet the party that filibustered, essentially, EVERYTHING, reaped such RICH REWARDS...

    go figure

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm talking about on a regular basis, not isolated examples that you can find. Nor am I talking about Ancient Rome. For God's sake.
    The filibuster as it is currently used in the United States is relatively new. This is the first time in history when every bill, no matter how petty, is filibustered by default.

    The quantity of cloture votes disguises the fact that the amount of time spent filibustering has not increased to doomsday predicition. Merely because it is less tolerated, and cloture votes immediately follow regardless of whether there is a filibuster doesn't hide the fact that you are demonstrably wrong.



    Ya, it's just a preview page and I'm not about to buy (or read) the study. If there's something valuable in there you can sum it up yourself instead of having someone else do your thinking for you.
    A pithy summary: you're wrong.

    In any case, the Senate can be a slower, deliberative body without the filibuster being used on every single bill, as it was for the first 200 years of its existence. Somehow I think our republic would survive if a simple majority was able to pass such momentous, controversial legislation as the Veterans Retraining Act, the Vision Care for Kids Act, and the Water Quality Investment Act (all of which were filibustered in the last Congress).
    Meaningless speculation.
    Last edited by Areopagitican; 01-04-11 at 06:41 PM.

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican View Post
    The quantity of cloture votes disguises the fact that the amount of time spent filibustering has not increased to doomsday predicition.
    You're right, the amount of TIME spent filibustering hasn't increased...because there aren't any Mr. Smith speeches anymore. The opposition just SAYS they're filibustering, and that's the end of it. But the amount of time isn't what matters, since that's a poor measure of gridlock; it's the amount of BILLS that are filibustered that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican
    Merely because it is less tolerated, and cloture votes immediately follow regardless of whether there is a filibuster doesn't hide the fact that you are demonstrably wrong.
    Technically there is no such thing as a filibuster (until recently it just meant that someone was talking for a long time), so the number of clotures is the best proxy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Areopagitican
    A pithy summary: you're wrong.
    Cool. Bye bye then.
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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh_Akston View Post
    So you're OK with the 51-vote rule being proposed? What if your "party" is not in control? We will have Congress doing nothing but repealing bills every time the power changes hands. Won't that be good for the American people.
    I, personally, have nothing wrong with the Senate passing bills with only a 50% +1 majority vote even when my party is not in power in the Senate.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    The Senate was DESIGNED to be slow, hard to pass things through and easy for one Senator, one state, one small group to stand up and bring the whole thing to a crawl.

    It's the art of compromise that was demanded with the Senate. I know people don't want to understand that, to consider it. It's so much easier to use the bumpersticker logic slogans of "What's wrong with 51 votes?"

    What's wrong is that isn't what the Senate is about. Learn to understand WHY things are the way they are before you demand they change. So few here on either side understand the WHY. And we all know that if the Dem's managed to cahnge this, teh moment they are out of power and unable to Filibuster something that's near and dear to them all hell will break loose in the media. "The Tyrannical Republicans...."
    If the Senate isn't about 51 votes, then why didn't the Founding Fathers just make it so that a 2/3 majority was needed to pass all bills rather than 50% +1?

    Also, the filibuster isn't the only thing that keeps the Senate slow and deliberative. One is that they are elected to 6-year terms. Another is that they have pretty lengthy debates. In fact, the filibuster is a debate in the Senate, but every debate requires a 2/3 majority in order to end the debate. This is vastly different from the House of Representatives, in which most debates take up 2 minutes and the rules on debates is very strict.

    So getting rid of the filibuster won't stop the Senate from being slow. It'll just prevent one senator from holding up legislation.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    The United States was founded by the states as a republic. The states stupidly gave up the power that was given to them as a part of the Constitution with the 17th Amendment. No changing that.
    Actually, the states didn't give up the power - the people took it away from them.

    This was because near the time of the 17th Amendment, state legislatures kept getting deadlocked in appointing Senators. Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature would filibuster attempts for the other side to make any appointments. They did this for their political parties. The people got tired of being screwed over by partisan politicians and not being represented in Congress, so they adopted the 17th Amendment.

    It's not the people's fault that the state legislatures weren't responsible with the power, and so it is understandable why that power was taken away from them.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Could Senate Dems Nuke the Filibuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    I, personally, have nothing wrong with the Senate passing bills with only a 50% +1 majority vote even when my party is not in power in the Senate.
    senator mccaskill does

    and according to roger simon's journolisters, she's not alone

    unlike any of us, they actually get to vote

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