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« McAllen on steroids | Main | Vote of no confidence? »

Feb 24, 2010

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justcorbly

If memory serves, this is typical behavior, particularly on appointments. Senators will rant and rave about an appointee up for confirmation, but when the actual vote is taken, many of the naysayers switch.

Bubba

If memory serves, Josh Marshall is filppy floppy on these issues too, but more to the issue, the points he makes are so weak that they're virtually irrelevant noise.

Dave Ribar

Not voting on the cloture motion and then voting for the jobs bill is hardly a "profile in courage" for our senior senator.

Fred Gregory

Talk about flippy-floppy . Watch this 2005 montage of clips from leading Senate Democrats trashing the
Nuclear Option as an Arrogant Power Grab, against the founders intent

Ed Cone

Redefining the term undercuts the argument a bit, though.

Bubba

"Talk about flippy-floppy . Watch this 2005 montage of clips from leading Senate Democrats trashing the Nuclear Option as an Arrogant Power Grab, against the founders intent."

Don't you know that That Was Then, This Is Now, Fred, and all previous statements are inoperable?

It's Standard Operating Procedure and completely legit, unless you're a Republican.

Fred Gregory

Call "it" what you want but those Dems were against "it" back then and want to use " it " now.

Here is an admonishment to his fellow D's in the Senate from Robert Byrd author of the " Byrd Rule ", in a letter dated 4-2-09

Don't do it

"I oppose using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform and climate change legislation.... As one of the authors of the reconciliation process, I can tell you that the ironclad parliamentary procedures it authorizes were never intended for this purpose."

"(Byrd) he's the author of what is known (by sheer coincidence) as the "Byrd rule", which makes any provision in a reconciliation bill doesn't impact entitlement or tax law vulnerable to a point of order--and, therefore a 60-vote threshold. The Byrd rule is, like the filibuster, extra-constitutional, but it's also standard practice in the Senate, and, it's to be expected that its author takes a limited view of what belongs in a reconciliation bill."

Spag

No it doesn't undercut the argument. The concept of avoiding a debate and cramming legislation through remains the same whether it is through the nuclear option or reconciliation.

I am also curious whether Ed had concerns about the "cowardice, buck-passing and general nonsense" behind the use of the filibuster when Democrats were in the minority. He claims that he isn't a partisan or an idealogue, yet he always seems to pull his arguments from Democratic/Left wing sources such as TPM and Media Matters. Am I missing something? Is there a consistency issue here? If the filibuster argument is worthy of discussion and debate, shouldn't it be an honest discussion and debate that requires consistency by the participants?

Just something to consider. I'm probably asking for too much.

cheripickr

Yeah, when I first started posting around here I quickly learned you don't dare link to anything from "fringe" sources such as Fox News or conservative think tanks like Heritage, Cato, etc., however thoughtful and reasoned their points might be, (I think the WSJ is still tolerated). But the more pragmatic common ground-seeking players can use mainstream sources like Kos, Media Matters, Huffington, TPM, Maddow,etc to prove most anything.

Have our links tied behind our back just to make it fair.

cheripickr

er, Half our links...

justcorbly

Since conservatives are so commited to consistency of thought and action regardless of political cost, I await their proposal to require a 60 percent majority for passage of all legislation in the House or Senate, and their sponsorship of a Consitutional amendment requiring the same 60 percent majority in all elections.

Surely, the angst and guilt from passing all that Bush administration legislation by less the 60 percent must be almost overwhleming by now.

Bubba

"I await their proposal to require a 60 percent majority for passage of all legislation in the House or Senate, and their sponsorship of a Consitutional amendment requiring the same 60 percent majority in all elections."

And the logic and the precedence behind such a thing would be.........?

Oh wait.....silly me!

I forgot how that sort of thing works.

justcorbly

Well, surely, if it should take a 60 percent majority to pass health care reform, then passage of, say, Bush's rich people tax cuts or the Medicare drug bill should have taken the same 60 percent majority. Conservatives must be drowning in guilt for their sins. After all, such Flippy-Floppy inconsistency can't be tolerated, least of all by the Tea Party Trio.

bubba

"Well, surely, if it should take a 60 percent majority to pass health care reform, then passage of, say, Bush's rich people tax cuts or the Medicare drug bill should have taken the same 60 percent majority."

The thought never occurs to corbs that Dems were perfectly capable of and had the option of phillipblustering filibustering the tax cuts and Medicare Part D (a bi-partisan program that, horrors of horrors, was actually supported by certain Dems.

Wait and see how many Dems DON'T support reconcilliation procedures. then we will REALLY have something to talk about.

"Tea Part Trio". That's good, corbs.

Sarcasm is always useful, particlarly when your irrelevant talking points can't stand up to scrutiney.

Andrew Brod

The Dems were indeed perfectly capable of filibustering Bush's tax cuts. But back then there was an understanding--a gentlemen's agreement--that the filibuster wasn't to be used routinely. Its use was on the rise even then, but making it the default legislative strategy is the particular innovation of the current batch of Senate Repubs, and it's disingenous not to acknowledge that.

The Dems are also perfectly capable of using reconciliation for health-care reform. It's been done before, by both parties, and for health-care bills. But like Bubba, I suspect that a number of Dems will get spooked by Repub whining about majoritarian power plays and resist reconciliation. I think that'd be strategically crazy, but it wouldn't be the first time the Dems let themselves get psyched out.

Spag

Reconciliation was designed to pass budgetary matters only. Senator Robert Byrd, who authored the provision, has stated that he believes using it to pass "substantial legislation" such as the current health care bill is inappropriate and he would vote against it. Kent Conrad has echoed the same sentiments.

The use of reconciliation during the Bush years was for budgetary matters (taxes, paying for the prescription drug coverage).

justcorbly

Yes. Bubba's defense of GOP instransigence amounts to asserting the Dems had their chance to be just as intransigent during the Bush years. That is more than a bit like con artist defending himself by claiming everyone else had their chance to be a crook, too.

It's time to stop allowing Senate rules to trump the Constitution. What's to stop the next party that gets to 60 votes from bumping the cloture number to 70?

Kim

Didn't that number use to be 75?

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