The Republican Party has broken the Senate, and as usual, it’s up to the Democrats to clean up the mess they have made. Led by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM), joined by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the entire freshman class of Senate Democrats, and supported (at last) by Harry Reid (D-NV), the effort for filibuster reform reform has a good chance of succeeding in January.
On the Senate floor Monday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell railed against his counterpart, Harry Reid, and a “cohort of short-sighted Senate sophomores,” for proposing to modify the Senate’s filibuster rules on the first day of the 113th Congress to limit the extent to which the minority can gum up legislative business.
“Does [Reid] believe that on the day he finds himself in the minority once again that he should no longer be heard?” McConnell asked, “Or does he think that Democrats will remain in the majority from now until the end of time?”
In a Monday interview, one of the supposedly short-sighted sophomores said, contra McConnell, the reforms Democrats are proposing could in theory go much farther, but are being designed with future power shifts in mind.
“The point I would make is that I’ve said from the outset is that a test of a good proposal is whether or not you could live with serving under it in the minority,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “That’s why the talking filibuster is the right way to go. McConnell has broken the social contract. His team, under his leadership, uses it constantly and silently, out of public sight. Really the proposal I put forward restores the basic elements that existed in the past, and I’m quite happy to live under that structure as a minority. … [That] has been part of every conversation I’ve had with colleagues. … If we’re in the minority and we’re blocking something, we should be accountable to the public.”… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <TPM>
Rachel Maddow covered this issue in two segments. In the first, she explained the debate over filibusters.
In the past the minority could use the filibuster to shine light on a perceived injustice to the public and put public pressure on Senators, before they voted on an issue. That was, and is, the proper use of the filibuster. It was never intended as a tool for minority rule.
In the second, Rachel and Sherrod Brown discussed the future of the Senate.
Can we live with the proposed rules if Republicans control the Senate in the future. I think so. As pleasant as the idea of hogtieing the Republican Party sounds, if the people are stupid enough to elect them, they have a right to govern. Anyway, since Bought Bitch Mitch has his panties in a major bunch, opposing filibuster reform, that proves it is good for America.
Contact your Senators. Tell them the filibastards have had their way far too long, and to take the Senate back!