R.I.P. Filibuster 1837-2013


Shit happens:

The Senate went nuclear on Thursday, making a dramatic change to the Senate rules for confirming judicial and executive nominees and significantly curbing the power of the minority party.

Under the new rules, only a simple majority would be needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the approval process for executive nominees and judicial nominees. Currently, 60 votes are required to clear that hurdle, which gives the minority the party the power to filibuster and block nominees of whom they disapprove. For Supreme Court nominees, the 60-vote requirement would remain in effect.

In the past several weeks, Republicans have filibustered three nominees to the District of Columbia Circuit Court, prompting Reid to call for an end to the “gridlock” and move forward with the rules change.

“The need for change is so very, very obvious,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday, as almost every senator sat at his or her desk in recognition of the significance of the moment. “It’s clearly visible. It’s manifest we have to do something to change things.”

Fifty-two senators voted for the rules changes — all Democrats and Independents. Three Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the change: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, who has openly opposed the rules change.

The nuclear option has been a longstanding threat, and twice already this year, Democrats had threatened to move on it in the face of Republican opposition to nominees; both times an agreement was reached to avert the move. Republican Sen. John McCain told reporters Thursday that he had been working “night and day” to find an agreement this time, but that he had thus far had “no success.”

Republicans have repeatedly argued, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did Thursday morning, that Democrats will rue the day they changed the rules if they lose the majority.

It survived the civil war but it couldn’t survive Harry Reid. I am old enough to remember waaaaaaay back in 2005 when Democrats believed that the filibuster was the last line of defense against the tyranny of the majority.

Dingy Harry killed it. I guess he figures that by the time the Republicans retake the majority he’ll be retired. But make no mistake – sooner or later the shoe will be on the other foot.

On the bright side, repealing Obamacare will now only take 51 votes and a GOP president.

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I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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93 Responses to R.I.P. Filibuster 1837-2013

  1. The Klown says:

    FYI: Spammy is being really grabby today. I keep finding comments in the spam filter that landed there for no apparent reason. So far 7-8 different people have been affected.

    If you try to post a comment but it vanishes, don’t re-post it, just wait. Somebody will fish them out of the dungeon and post them.

  2. Little children have no strategic sense. The problem is 200 years ago it would’ve taken a year to destroy the nation. Today it can be done in a week. The children are now in charge. We are doomed.

  3. Ann says:

    They are either crazy or short-sighted (and the two aren’t mutually exclusive) as no one party stays in power forever. Either that, or it really is a uni-party and this is just to block the “fringe”…. you know, the few Senator’s filibustering for the will of the American people.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    Sen. Obama was totally against this horrific move, before he was for it ……from the wayback machine (video clips, 2005) …..


  5. DeniseVB says:

    ….and Biden too ….

  6. The Klown says:
  7. Cutting their noses off to spite their faces.

  8. The Klown says:
  9. The Klown says:
  10. DandyTIger says:

    Talk about desperation. Sadly at this point I would not be shocked to see no elections in ’14 or ’16. Rules, we don’t need no stinking rules. It’s for their own good after all.

  11. The Klown says:
  12. kanaughty says:

    like i said earlier, dems play the short game and repubs play the long game. dems think they need to win every battle, while repubs know they can lose a few battles to win the war. i still am an indy, but i have to say this was a really stupid move for the dems because the way ocare is going, they will lose the senate next year to the repubs. i think they want to use this rule change to pass immigration and gun control in the short term, but then all the repubs have to do in 2014 is repeal it on a majority vote because of these stupid new rules. dems are totally stupid when in power. except of course the ones who weren’t hypocrites and voted with repubs the way they did in 2005.

    • Mary says:

      They can pass immigration and gun control all they want to, but neither will get through the House.

      Stupid move by Harry Reid.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        Time to retire Harry. 🙂

      • kanaughty says:

        you are right, i didn’t think about that, that basically any bill does have to go through the house still, so yeah boehner can just stop them in their tracks until november if he wants. so basically ruining the filibuster will make the government run worse just like past obama predicted. it makes the congress work worse.

    • Constance says:

      My God they can’t seriously think they can get by with passing their big city bias gun control nonsense as well as cut more citizens out of jobs by importing labor with an amnesty bill and get any votes in 2014?! These people are completely out of touch with reality.

  13. kanaughty says:

    also in the press briefing right now the press is pissed off, pissed off that they don’t have access independently of the white house photographer. you know, i keep waiting for someone to just blurt, guess what, this looks like pure propaganda to us and the american people.

    • The Klown says:

      You actually watch that shit?

      • kanaughty says:

        yeah i like to see the press questions to notice how the american people are feeling about healthcare etc. because the press is turning on jay/ob and asking subtle questions against the o admin now. so it is fun to see him try to spin each question. major garrett is really fun to watch because he asks really tough questions of carney and carney just looks like an idiot everytime. right now they are asking about premiums and why are they higher than ob said they would be… so it is fun to see jay try to spin the lie… the press is catching up basically to the lies because the american people are demanding answers.

    • DeniseVB says:

      So they stormed Carney’s office …. LOL ! Only took them 5 years or so…..Ace has the story…


  14. The Klown says:
  15. westcoaster says:

    the Republicans can now claim the Democrats want tyranny and win more seats next year

  16. The Klown says:
  17. foxyladi14 says:

    Pay to play the Chicago way!!! 😯

  18. helenk3 says:

    the backtrack bunch is just what Kruschef warned the US about. the enemy within. they started an undeclared war on American citizens. Well so be it. No appeasement and no democrat left standing after elections and Never Again.
    the war started on May 31st 2008 and has been ongoing since then

    • lyn says:

      Honk! The Democratic Party is dead to me. Fascist pigs!

      • Constance says:

        They are Fascist pigs.

        • kanaughty says:

          the thing that i believe in my head is that these democrats (obama democrats) are just not the same as the ones before 2008 elections, the clinton democrats. i don’t agree with anything these new democrats, who are idealogues with no common sense, believe in. i think they are full of shit on everything. the clinton democrats were pragmatic or used common sense or something, i don’t know, but i agreed with them because they appealed to my mind. i don’t like parties who try to appeal to the heart and dreams (hope) because it is all bullshit. clinton democrats just seemed to be more realistic about things, like clinton being open to real compromise for real solutions on things.

  19. 1539days says:

    The Democrats don’t have moral authority, so they will take numerical authority. This happened in 2010 when they lost the Teddy seat and used the House majority to pass a Senate bill called the ACA. May this go just as well.

    Boehner has the power to stop all this. He could have listened to the people who knew that Democrats were planning to take all the power from the legislative branch. Instead, he gave away debt limit authority and passed an Obamacare budget.

    And the GOP wonders why it is getting primaried by the “crazy” Tea Party.

  20. The Klown says:

    Stay classy, Dems!

  21. votermom says:

    I’m getting martial law PTSD flashbacks.

  22. The Klown says:

    The nickname “Turdblossom” is appropriate for Rove because everything he touches turns to shit.

  23. The Klown says:
  24. I thought this just applied to presidential appointee filibusters? I have not carefully read what the rule change is, but if that’s the case, it wouldn’t apply to any repeal of Obamacare.

  25. The Klown says:
  26. votermom says:

  27. DeniseVB says:

    The twitterers are fiesty tonight 😀

  28. OT:

    I know this will come as a complete surprise to everyone here, but Matthew Yglesias is a complete douche.


    • erica says:

      Oh god, Lola, I just had to go there…..complete douche is an understatement, the hate toward doctors oozes out all over that inept piece. He looks at his numbers but has little understanding of the lives of many doctors, especially those who work in primary care. Unlike Yglesias, I had to train for many years, incurring almost 200,000 in debt just to earn my degree–pretty scary for a poor kid who worked 2-3 jobs at a time to get through college.. I do not get to merely spout opinion all day long– I have to study, stay up to date, work from an evidence based perspective, help patients and families understand complex medical issues (sometimes when they are very vulnerable and stressed), and do no harm. Then I get to go home and, when I’d like to be with my family, chart, take call, answer the phone in the middle of the night, work on weekends and holidays, etc. I didn’t pay off my educational loans or buy my 2Br/1Ba fixer up “starter home” (which I still live in) until I was over 40. But Matty thinks I make too much money and pressure should be brought to bear on people like me. If I drop out, move to Canada, or become a blogger, he’ll know he pushed too hard.

      Meanwhile, he sits in his 1.175 million dollar Washington condo being pissed off at me, and at people like Steve Jobs, who had the audacity to build a yacht before he died. Here’s what Matty had to say about that:
      “By the same token, one man’s super-yacht could have been more spacious accommodations for a dozen regular families.”

      I agree Matt, so let’s work something out. How about I move my family into your multi-million dollar condo with you? We’re used to two bedrooms, so there will be plenty to go around and you’ll still have your own room. I’m sure I could get used to having my own dishwasher and I bet you have all the other modern conveniences that a working mother like myself would enjoy. It’ll be great. And if you get sick and need medical care, no problem, we’ll just call a nurse practitioner.

      • 1539days says:

        The small business owner has already bee going Galt for the last 4 years. You can tell by the fact the unemployment rate is STILL below every month of the entire 8 years of the Bush administration and the 8 years before that of the Clinton administration. Now, the successful doctor can do the same. Right now, those medical school loans are the only thing keeping some of them in practice. Once prospective med students decide another career would be less stressful and more rewarding, we’ll see the same doctor shortage in every other part of the world and in post-Romneycare Massachusetts.

      • Ha! Perfect response. He really is a douche. There is no way he would ever consider having his own salary slashed, and he’d be “whining” about it if it did happen.

    • The Klown says:

      I wonder what MattY would think of the government cutting the pay of journalists?

    • angienc says:

      Poor Matty obviously wasn’t smart enough to get into Med school.

    • abc says:

      And of course, who is dictating doctor’s pay via Obamacare? Why insurance company executives are. Hmmm, who would I rather see get richer….hmmm.

      I suspect some doctors do make more than they’re worth and there are some real slimeballs (as with every profession). However, I also know that there are some physician professions where nobody in their right mind would stay around forever if the pay was no good. And you just don’t want turnover in these jobs. Oncology? Want to tell people they are end stage in cancer every day without justifying that stress via having a nice home to relax in every night? Organ transplant doctors? Want them turned over all the time? Plenty more examples like that. And even primary care. Want to hear every ache and complaint ten thousand times, risk getting blood borne diseases, or even just the common cold all the time, be responsible for any error in diagnosis and still make sub-Medicare rates? Nahh.

      And what of banksters. If we should be regulating anybody’s pay, it should be theirs.

  29. The Klown says:
    • 1539days says:

      Let’s move on to repealing the direct election of Senators, since they seem to all work for one of two parties instead of one of 50 state populations.

    • kanaughty says:

      i have to say that this just gives more cause over the next year for boehner never to go to vote with any democrat senate bill. this is their only option now in stopping bad senate democrat bills and luckily repubs do have control of the house to do just this. they only need to obstruct for one more year so that the senate doesn’t continue to pass legislation that goes against the will of the people. so if the senate passes some immigration bill. boehner should just not allow it to come to vote in the house. if the senate passes more epa regulations or mandating mileage taxes, then boehner should just not let that come to the table in the house either. anyway, at least there is still the house which can act like a wall to obama’s crazy ass agenda. basically getting rid of the filibuster can only make things possible in the senate right now which is really limited to appointments and not really bills since boehner just has to not bring those bills to the floor if he wants until november.

  30. The Klown says:
  31. The Klown says:
  32. The Klown says:
  33. The Klown says:
  34. 1539days says:

    The sad part is that this replaces an easy to understand lie with an inside baseball story about some procedure most people don’t understand.

    If I were to explain the nuclear option in the media today, I’d say it makes it easier for Democrats to pick pro-Obamacare judges.

  35. DeniseVB says:


    • leslie says:

      They feel they’ve got to “turn this thing around” to repair the “damage that’s been done to this president . . . ”
      The only words to describe these people is ass f**kers. I am livid. Let’s stack the courts, detonate the nuclear option and then if those things don’t work to repair the “damage that’s been done to this president” then the next thing to go is elections. I wouldn’t doubt it in a heartbeat.

  36. The Klown says:


    Two interesting and illuminating cable TV clips popped up yesterday. The first involved National Review‘s Rich Lowry and Feministing’s Zerlina Maxwell.* Lowry made the point that younger people are avoiding the exchanges. This is a simple, empirical fact. The exchanges are attracting older and sicker people. Younger people are, thus far, avoiding the exchanges, in large part because the premiums they have to pay are insanely high. As a result everyone else’s premiums are going up. What we’re seeing thus far is the dread “death spiral.”

    How does Maxwell handle this simple, empirical fact? She attempts to shut down the debate by stating that “the idea that young people won’t go on to the exchanges is very gendered.” The look on Lowry’s face when she utters this pernicious bit of nonsense was, frankly, priceless.

    • DandyTIger says:

      I was gendered once. There’s an ointment for it though.

    • kanaughty says:

      my sister replied to me this week about ocare, her friends in early 30’s who don’t have employee healthcare are opting for penalty. i should ask my cousin what she thinks, she is in her 20’s.

  37. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/us/politics/gop-maps-out-waves-of-attacks-over-health-law.html?pagewanted=all

    Alternative titles:

    Everything GOP Said for the Last 4 Years has Come True

    Obamacare Fears Prove to be Real

    Obamacare Reality Predictable

    GOP Sweep 2014 Elections, Take Senate

  38. swanspirit says:

    When control freaks realize they are losing “control ” , they do not become rational human beings and set realistic goals and observe healthy boundaries. They try HARDER to control the circumstances that they cannot control , and could not hope to control in the first place

  39. leslie says:

    Not only do I keep landing in spammy, but the last 2 times I tried to post a comment from this (home) computer, the site shuts down. Spammy either loves or hates me. Can’t make out what the message is.

  40. DandyTIger says:

    Simpler time videos to ignore all the stupidity:

  41. abc says:

    In the long run, this may be a bigger mistake than Obamacare.

  42. r u reddy says:

    If the Republican sweep predicted for 2016 is completely made up of Tea Party minded Republicans and the President is Cruz, Obamacare might well be repealed. But if the Republican sweep is mainly establishment Republicans with an establishment Republican President, then Obamacare will not be repealed. It will only be modified. The Forced Mandate will remain. The Rs may try to privatise Medicare and Medicaide and collapse them into the Ocare Exchanges. That’s what Obamacare created the exchanges for in the first place, so his successors could privatise Medicare and Medicaide and collapse both programs into the exchanges.
    Maybe the Republicans will just repeal the Medicaide expansion to cut off from it the states which accepted it.
    But they will absolutely maintain and even strengthen the Forced Mandate, for the same reason Roberts worked so hard to uphold the Forced Mandate to begin with.

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