Short Memories

Matt Yglesias writes:

It's worth considering that in January 2009, Americans will probably have a president elected on a platform of universal health care and robust action to curb carbon emissions, a House Speaker who backs both of those things, and a Senate Majority Leader who backs both of those things, and nevertheless the odds for either of those things happening aren't especially good and the reason is the filibuster.

In January 2005, Americans had as President a buffoon, who decided he was going to privatize Social Security. He had a House and Senate under GOP control. If not for the power of the filibuster, George Bush probably would have rammed through his plan to privatize significant parts of Social Security.

Funny how anti-filibuster folks on our side NEVER mention that.

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    It's easy to rail (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 12:08:24 PM EST
    against the obstructionist minority--until you need to be part of it yourself. . .

    I want a return to the old-style filibuster ... (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Meteor Blades on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    ...instead of this "gentlemen's agreement" approach we have now. I want to see non-stop all-night readings out of the Bible or The Federalist Papers (or from the writing of the anti-Federalists), auxiliary bladders strapped to the speakers' legs and C-Span covering the whole thing.

    Of course, first, as you so rightly say, you have to be willing to pull the trigger on a filibuster. There was a time when nobody would have thought that it took courage to do so, just stubbornness.

    As I understand it, it actually used to (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 02:06:32 PM EST
    be even easier to filibuster. Before the 1960s, Cloture required 67 votes. The only time a "real filibuster" has ever been required is when debate has been limited in some way (ordering of the previous question before 1919, and cloture thereafter).

    Apples and Oranges (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 04:30:13 PM EST
    The Democrats filibustered a monstrously unpopular bill that only Wall Street wanted, and everyone knew it. "Filibuster" was on page A1 for months.

    The Republicans issue a blank filibuster on everything the public overwhelmingly supports and the media is drunk at the wheel. They now inform us that 60 votes are needed to pass a bill in the Senate. Who knew?

    oops! I meant to reply to you! oh well. rmm. (none / 0) (#7)
    by seabos84 on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 05:14:52 PM EST
    polarizing (1.00 / 0) (#14)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 18, 2007 at 09:48:02 PM EST
    Yup-50% love her, 50% hate her.  The problem is that the 50% that hate her will be inspired to make sure that Congress can keep an eye on her.  The newly elected Democratic house members from the south and west are going to run as far from the national ticket as they can if Hillary is the nominee.

    Inability to relate facts to each other (none / 0) (#4)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 03:21:35 PM EST
    Lots of people have a striking inability to tie together the facts they actually know. A more humorous example is liberal radio hosts such as Randi Rhodes and Jon Elliot making big, ugly noise and jokes about Fred Thompson having a somewhat younger wife, neatly severing this fact from the other fact, that the difference in age between their colleague Mike Malloy and his wife (and producer) Kathy Bay is greater still. So what?

    The consequences are greater than might be expected: if Rhodes or Elliot (who are just examples of a very general problem in our society) had the ability to correlate these facts, they would have realized that late-middle-aged Fred Thompson having an early-middle-aged wife isn't even remarkable, and that they were making fools of themselves.

    Personally I think we do need cloture and filibuster as a way to hinder rash action, to which the United States is prone. Sometimes, as the late bird, we are going to miss the worm; it is necessary to tie that fact to the warning about rash action. No surprise, a lot of people have trouble doing that.

    village sell outs are setting us up for more (none / 0) (#6)
    by seabos84 on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 05:13:54 PM EST
    clintonian not getting too much done, cuz

    yawn ...

    how many excuses have I heard in 47 years of the complete spinelessness, incompetence or corruption from my

    ha ha ha


    So what excuses are they brewing up now ... the 60 vote thing? ha ha ha. what happened to going nuuuk-lee-ur?  whatever.

    I struggled for years not cancelling my "atlantic' subscription ---

    I remember lying in my bunk bed reading it, during some crappy stormy new england weather, while at boarding school as a high school junior '76-'77.  My favorite section for years was phoebe lou adams (sp?) and her book reviews.  --

    oh well, good riddance to it and matt the village idiot.

    I really like that term 'the village' that I see digby use - what a bunch of freaking synchophants and sell outs.



    BugTent (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 05:58:23 PM EST
    he was going to privatize Social Security.

    If you are going to be one of the leaders on the blog, you should at least be accurate. Bush never claimed to want to privatize SC.

    And you know that.

    Your comment reminds me of the Demo workers who use to call my mother and tell her if she voted for a Repub she would lose her Medicare and social Security.

    Disgusting doesn't even begin to cover it. It is fear mongering at its very worst.

    BTW - That's Big Tent (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 05:58:56 PM EST
    Yeah, OK (none / 0) (#15)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:18:16 AM EST
    He didn't want a private system. He wanted private accounts.

    Vive le difference!


    you forgot the most important part (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jgarza on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:38:23 PM EST
    maybe the Senate's cherished traditions aren't such a hot idea. Certainly I think so, and certainly I wish the Democrats had seized the opportunity of the "nuclear option" debate to finally rid the country of this horrible prop of status quo bias.

    I agree with the quote in your post.  Republicans will use the filibuster to obstruct the will of the people.  The quote above is where this guy sounds like an idiot.

    filibuster (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:44:57 PM EST
    Nixon beat the hapless McGovern 60-40 but was not well loved-thus, no coattails.  Hillary could win in 2008, but with no coattails the blue dog democrats will control the House-you won't even get legislation far enough to need a filibuster.  If you nominate someone who Republicans like (thus, no need to elect a "watchdog"), you'd have a better chance.  Republican congressional candidates will run much better if Hillary is on top of the ticket then if Obama is.

    ya think? (none / 0) (#12)
    by cpinva on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 11:54:37 PM EST
    i don't. i believe your logic is as lacking in substance as bush's was for invading iraq. funniest darn thing, for someone who all the talking heads proclaim as "polarizing", sen. clinton does pretty darn well in the polls.

    now, conceivably, all those people could be lying, because they think it's what they should be saying. could be. probably not.

    i think a clinton presidency brings with it many new dems on her skirttails (is that a word?), killing off the repubs attempts at a filibuster, because far more than 2/3 will be available to vote for cloture.


    My memory says no. (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 18, 2007 at 10:07:27 AM EST
    Did Clinton have a filibuster proof Congress?

    And does anyone think Hillary is more electable than Bill??