Filibuster Follies

As for the filibuster, itself, I am just not that concerned.  After all, the real mutilation of the Senate came when we started to elect Senators by poplar vote instead of through the State legislators. The Senate is supposed to be the representative of the States, as sovereign institutions – by making the election of Senators direct, we simply turned the Senate in to a smaller, more exclusive House of Representatives.  If anyone wants to restore the Senate to its ancient glory, I’m all with you and let’s set about repealing the 17th Amendment.  But, still, this is a change – and a permanent one.  While the filibuster still technically exists in certain cases, it is in fact a dead letter…any time a Senate minority attempts to use it, the Senate majority will just do away with it, as Harry Reid’s majority just did.

The only thing I can find as a reason for this end of the filibuster is a desire on the part of Democrats to pack the courts with as little fuss as possible – especially the DC Court as it is in charge of dealing with regulatory matters.  Democrats want smooth sailing for whatever Obama and minions say in regulating our lives in to the ground, and this is their way to get it.  Seems a bit short-sighted, though – not a very good reason for giving up the filibuster, especially as Democrats are in grave danger of losing their majority in the 2014 mid-terms (I figure its 50/50 the GOP will win the necessary 6 seats…but even if we don’t in 2014, we will eventually have a Senate majority again, and Democrats will be rather backs against the wall).

And when we have a full Congressional majority and control of the White House, then the Democrats will feel the full force of their mistake.  No longer will the basic premises of Big Government reign supreme because it takes 60 votes to close off debate.  No longer will one or two RINOs be able to ensure that the legislative desires of the GOP are blocked.  All it will take, with a GOP President, is a mere 50 GOP Senators to agree, and our will is law…end of the Department of Education; end of the Department of Energy; and so on.  218 House members, 50 Senators, one President with a Vice President to break the tie in the Senate.  That is not a very high bar.  100 years of Progressive politics can now be undone in a few months.  To be sure, a returned Democrat majority can attempt to re-cobble it all together again…but after four or five years without it, it might not be politically possible to do.  And the certainty is that whatever is done can be easily undone.  And if Progressive politics are in bad odor then a non-Progressive campaign reminding the people that a victory for the left means mere re-imposition of the things we just got rid of, then the non-Progressive side will win.

It could be that when the history of our times are written, it will be revealed that Obama and Reid did away with the filibuster simply because they were frustrated they couldn’t immediately get 100% of their way…that they gutted their own protection because they simply didn’t want to get 90% of their desires.  If so, then it will be just another bit of proof that whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

31 thoughts on “Filibuster Follies

  1. 02casper November 25, 2013 / 9:48 am

    It’s long past time for the filibuster to be put to rest. It’s not part of the Constitution and only served to give individual Senators more power. As for the 17th amendment, it is part of the Constitution and most of us like it and would like to keep it.

    • percybeezer November 25, 2013 / 1:47 pm

      It’s not part of the Constitution …” Being so gleefully ignorant of what the Constitution does say how the hell would you know?
      “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings,”

    • Amazona November 25, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      “..only served to give individual Senators more power..” As those Senators are the elected representatives of the citizens of their states, what are objecting to is the possibility that states, and by extension the people in them, might have more power.

      What a good little Central Authority tool you are.

      And BTW, congrats on finally figuring out that any amendment is, by definition, “part of the Constitution”. After your lengthy arguments that anyone who supports the Constitution as it is written also supports slavery and denying women the vote, which showed your utter ignorance that the Constitution, as it is written, happens to include every amendment to it, I didn’t know if you would ever figure out the actual meaning of “amended”.

      Try looking it up. You will see that every amendment is part of the written Constitution, and if one were to read it out loud they would also be part of the Constitution as read. What a good teacher you must be, to finally be catching up.

    • Amazona November 25, 2013 / 4:27 pm

      I see casper is dutifully ignoring the comments of Reid, Obama, Pelosi, et al regarding the absolute necessity of retaining the filibuster because of its essential role of protecting the rights of the minority.

      ‘Cept in those days it was only necessary to protect the rights of the DEM minority. Now that the Dems are in the majority, there is no reason to worry about the rights of the Right.

      Personally, I kind of like the nuclear option. I think it may help replace several Dem Senators, who will be going into the 2014 election with not only Obamacare hung around their necks like anchors but now this blatant power grab as well.

      And just how many Senate seats do we need to pick up to make this work in our favor, a gift from the power-greedy Left? Do the math.

      Guess ol’ Harry didn’t think that through

    • The Return of Rathaven November 25, 2013 / 5:11 pm

      Actually, Caspar is wrong, the filibuster is in the Constitution because the Constitution is a living breathing document which is subject to interpretation by each generation as it sees fit, I read Section 7, paragraph 2 as Requiring 2/3 of the Senate to overcome the objections of the President to any action taken by the Senate.

      Since Obama is the most objectionable president in US history, it goes without saying that all business from the Senate can be made subject to a rule to suspend a filibuster which requires 67 votes, or, amended in the 1950s by a Senate that interpreted the Constitution differently – which is their right – 60 votes.

    • tiredoflibbs November 25, 2013 / 7:28 pm

      “As for the 17th amendment, it is part of the Constitution and most of us like it and would like to keep it.”

      Uh, apparently you did not learn anything from your online courses at Hillsdale College that you claimed to have taken. For if you had, you would have learned the original reasoning behind the selection of Senators. Originally, the House represented the People, the Senate represented the States. The Senators were chosen by the state legislatures.

      It is no surprise that you like the 17th amendment. It gives more power to the “people” and since the “people” of the major population centers are more liberal, this gives more power to the Democrats. If the senators were chosen by state legislatures (most of them being non-liberal) as originally written, Harry Reid would be out of a job, obstruction gone and ACA (and many other duplicated liberal programs) would not exist.

      Continue to wallow in your ignorance……

      • Amazona November 26, 2013 / 10:34 am

        tired, I know where you are going when you say casper likes the 17th Amendment because it gives more power to the people, but I will quibble with you just the teeniest little bit and point out that it actually takes power AWAY from the people, in that it reallocates power into larger population centers (which tend to vote more Liberal, though they, like other Libs, think they are just voting for pet issues instead of Leftist governance).

        Because it is possible for a state to have many of its state legislators representing the large and Liberal population centers, it is possible for that statehouse to be balanced by conservatives from the other parts of the state.

        If we only count the total votes from all over the state, the population centers can easily overwhelm the rest of the state in sheer numbers. But if we look at the elected officials, we might see a majority of them coming from the many smaller districts, which still send representatives to the statehouse. So the balance of power in any individual statehouse is going to be a more accurate representation of the will of the people throughout that state, representing as it does all parts of the state and not just the cities.

        Colorado is an example of this. We just took back two state seats and are in the process of fighting for another, which would shift the D/R ratio in the statehouse in spite of the numbers of voters in Denver and Boulder remaining unchanged and large enough to take over a popular vote statewide election.

  2. tiredoflibbs November 25, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    “It’s long past time for the filibuster to be put to rest. It’s not part of the Constitution and only served to give individual Senators more power.”

    With that in mind, would I be wrong in supposing that you are against the way obameCare was passed through the Senate by way of Reconciliation and end around means rather than through the normal debate and vote as established in the Senate rules?

    I remember when the “nuclear option” was being contemplated during the Bush years due to the same reasons you outline when Democrats used the filibuster to stop Bush’s appointments, Social Security Reform and other unpopular legislation that threatened Democrats’ big government programs and ideological legislation. During that debate, the Democrats and their useful idiots in the blogo-sphere all repeated the same dumbed down talking point – the filibuster was a tool “to protect the rights of the minority party”.

    Amazing what happens when the Democrats can’t get their way……

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 25, 2013 / 3:02 pm

      All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Thomas Jefferson

      Obamacare is neither Rightful nor Reasonable.
      Court Packing is neither Rightful nor Reasonable.

      It is the Duty of the Minority to use any means legally permissible to thwart the Tyranny of the Majority.

    • neocon01 November 26, 2013 / 8:26 am

      Amazing what happens when the Democrats Communists can’t get their way……fixed 🙂

      • Amazona November 26, 2013 / 1:21 pm

        The problem with calling these people Communists is that they are not.

        That is, they don’t subscribe to true communist ideology.

        They are neo-socialists, in that they do not demand that the State own all means of production. They go along with the pretense that the means of production is privately owned, but they achieve much of the same outcome as actual ownership by imposing so much regulation that they control these companies.

        The New American Left is heavily dependent, even more that the historical Left, on just redefining words and terms as they go along. Most recently we have seen truth redefined by spokestoddler Jay Carney as an expansion of the meaning of what Obama said. So he didn’t lie when he said we could keep our insurance plans—period—but if we insist on expanding what he really said to mean that we really could keep our plans, then the problem is not Obama, because we expanded what he said to mean, well, what he said.

        They pay lip service to the fantasy that American business owners actually are in charge of their own businesses, because this is what it looks like on paper, while in fact the government constantly increases its control over production at one end and consumption at the other.

        But even with all of this encroachment into capitalism, personal liberty and the economy, I have never heard any of our Lefties speak to the core principles of actual communism.

      • Amazona November 26, 2013 / 2:10 pm

        Just as we need to define “conservative” in terms that relate to 21st Century American politics, we need to define other terms to make sure they are accurate and applicable to what we see now, in our time, in our country. So many words are used in different contexts, to mean different things. “Democracy” is a good example. Our government is not a pure democracy, but it reflects a democratic view of government by the people and for the people.

        This is why I keep going back to the very core of each ideology. Leftism is a spectrum of collective ideology, with communism at the far, most radical, end. This is why I think terms like “socialist”, and “communist”, are dangerous to use, because their interpretation depends on the time, on the nation, on the circumstance, as well as on where on the spectrum of ideology a specific idea falls. I’d put our Social Security firmly on the Leftist end of the political scale, but not too far left of center, and the various antics of Obamunism moving farther and farther to the left, with communism all the way at the end.

      • neocon01 November 27, 2013 / 10:01 am

        The problem with calling these people Communists is that they are not.
        That is, they don’t subscribe to true communist ideology.

        I posted to a link on another thread defining the communism thingy, I mistakenly thought I linked it on this one …so with out the link I understand my point not being clear……(I think) LOL

  3. Mark Moser November 25, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    The left will be sorry for this power grab through the long winter they’ll enter into after this Administration runs its course. Boy, how they will wish they’d never done this for control the DC Court of Appeals. If I’m not mistaken, the next President can revoke every Exective Order made by his predessesor with the stroke of a pen.

    I also remember reading about a President who simply closed courts he didn’t like. Thoses Judges lost their seats. That hasn’t been done in a long while, but there is precedent for it albeit around 200 years old precedent, as it may well be. Can’t remember who though. How about some of you smart folks chimming in on this. Amazona, Mark, Spook,… who was that guy? My old brain just don’t jucie up like they use to I guess. This is a big long term mistake for the Donks who are looking for short term gain, but it’s the whole ball game for O, so that’s what’s important to him. Shortsightedness from this group comes as no suprising. Look at Obama Care another big O.

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 25, 2013 / 6:58 pm

      Mark M.
      are you referring to Jefferson when he refused to seat the judicial packing that resulted from Adams midnight appointments? That culminated in Marbury v. Madison in 1803 I believe, I’m working without a net here, but IIRC the new judges appointed didn’t have their commissions properly atteste when Jefferson took office, so Thomas summarily dismissed all the courts Adams had created, and appointed his own judges to the a group of positions which Jefferson decided he wanted to keep. .

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 25, 2013 / 7:00 pm

        That should read “properly attested”; that is, not signed, sealed and delivered.

        @ any rate, the Marbury case isn’t precedent for dismantling courts.

      • Mark Moser November 26, 2013 / 4:45 pm

        Thanks for setting that straight; you guys are great! I knew I didn’t have a good handle on that, but knew I could depend on y’all to help me out! Can you imagine the sound of all those libs crying if the new Republican congress votes to disband the DC and 9th circuit courts of appeal! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Obama may be the single biggest threat to liberalism the world has ever seen. I’m really glad he’s on their side!

    • percybeezer November 25, 2013 / 8:46 pm

      Mark, Congress has the power to create or dismantle federal courts; again from the Constitution;
      Article III, Section 1
      The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

      • neocon01 November 26, 2013 / 8:25 am

        send all the %$#&^@# packing

      • Amazona November 26, 2013 / 3:12 pm

        Including John Barasso, Ted Cruz, and other stalwart conservatives?

        Term limits, not a bad idea. Throwing out all the *%$#@*& is either going to mean throwing out everyone or having someone define *%$#@*&. One man’s *%$#@*& is another man’s Ted Cruz.

      • Mark Moser November 26, 2013 / 4:47 pm

        …and they should use it!

      • Amazona November 26, 2013 / 5:01 pm

        Percy, does this mean a court can be eliminated or replaced? Reading that in its most narrow sense it says Congress may ordain and establish an inferior court but not that it can eliminate one. It may sound picky, but the law tends to be picky that way Of course I may not understand the legal interpretation of “ordain and establish”.

      • neocon01 November 27, 2013 / 9:43 am


        by tossing them out I mean through term limits just like mayors, governors, presidents etc.
        yes as much as I love ten and his ilk I do not want to see him serve 40 years and end up representing the US as a dottering old man.

      • neocon01 November 27, 2013 / 9:44 am

        ten = TED

      • percybeezer November 27, 2013 / 12:39 pm


        Why wouldn’t it? See: Judiciary Act of 1789-Amendments and repealed Amendments (1801).

        Seriously though, as a practical matter the Judicial Conference (Conference of Senior Circuit Court Judges) decides when federal courts are closed, relocated or combined. this is done for financial or redundancy reasons, or to better serve the federal districts.

        The Constitution created only one Court; Congress has the power to create or disestablish courts.

        The question in this case is how does congress unseat judges once approved.

      • neocon01 November 27, 2013 / 3:37 pm

        The question in this case is how does congress unseat judges once approved.

        With their authority granted by the constitution,The US Martial s, a SWAT team and handcuffs….just as they would do to any other citizen who disobeys the law.

  4. Amazona November 26, 2013 / 7:07 pm

    There are 53 Dems in the Senate, and 45 Republicans, as well as 2 “Independents”.

    So do the math. If the R’s keep all their seats and pick up 3, the count will be 50 Dems, 48 R’s, and 2 I’s, meaning it would be quite possible for the conservative side to use this nuclear option to get what they want. That is by picking up only 3 current Dem seats.

    I don’t know who might run against Mark Udall in Colorado, but I know he is vulnerable. He voted for Obamacare, he voted for the nuclear option, and although he had no vote in the recent hubbub over gun control in Colorado he expressed an opinion that was in line with the control faction. I am sure there are many D Senators in similar straits. It is starting to look just being a Dem is going to be a liability.

    And we have to consider that 3 Dems voted against Reid on this bill. Not every Dem is guaranteed to vote the party line on everything, especially when the issue is a divisive one, or if there happens to be a Dem Senator with more backbone and integrity than most.

    Shift that ratio to 50 D, 48 R and 2 I, and watch the Dems sweat and wonder if whatever they got was worth it. Shift a little further, to 49-49-2, or 48-50-2, or lose an I or 2 to a Republican, and we will have the political version of the Dem whine about the dangers of using guns for self0defense—“…but what if the mugger takes your gun away from you and uses it against you…?” It would be too funny to watch them whimpering because we didn’t take the gun away from them, they handed it to us in spite of us voting against letting them do it, but we still have it and know how to use it.

  5. Amazona November 30, 2013 / 12:31 pm

    Recent heads-up, regarding the nuclear option: Not that it is a surprise, but the RRL are now bragging about how it will let them push even more radical Leftists into appointments.

    I think all we can do is document their shortcomings and use this to go after every Dem who voted for this.

    • M. Noonan December 1, 2013 / 2:16 am

      To be sure, that is what they see as a good thing – forgetting that the Courts operate mostly under the regulations and exceptions determined by Congress (the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction only in a very limited number of cases, while appellate jurisdiction for the Supreme Court can be modified by Congress)…and, of course, Congress can also restructure the courts, themselves, and allow a future GOP President – now that there’s no filibuster – fill whole, new federal courts with solid, Constitution-adhering justices…imagine a new federal court designed only to hear cases regarding federal regulations…set it up with 7 lifetime appointees and appoint a pack of solidly conservative justices who are no more than 40 years old…unless someone dies, it will be decades before a liberal will be able to alter that court!.

      They don’t know how badly they shot themselves in the foot over this – the only reason we haven’t been able to dismantle liberalism is because of the filibuster…getting to 60 votes for cloture always has required the GOP to essentially give in on the basic thrust of Big Government…we’ve been able to tinker around the edges, but there never has been 60 votes in the Senate to, say, dismantle the Department of Energy. Now it will only take a mere 50 (presuming the GOP holds the White House and thus the tie-breaking vote in the Senate).

      • Amazona December 1, 2013 / 11:52 am

        Exactly. And we don’t necessarily need more than 50 Republicans in the Senate, or even 50, because as Obama becomes more and more radical and open about his radical agenda, more blatantly dismissive of the will of the people and more toxic to anyone connected to him, more Dem Senators are going to be distancing themselves from him.

        We are already seeing the potential for anyone who supported Obamacare to be defeated in his or her next election. I contend that even if some of the online problems are solved, nothing can hide or overcome the simple fact that people who were trusted with the immense responsibility of legislating for the entire country blew it, and voted for something they had not even read, guided only by partisan allegiance to one man. That is going to be hard to overcome.

        This kind of record can’t be sanitized, but some may try to mitigate the damage by starting to vote across the aisle, and trying to finally appear responsible and worthy of the office, in a last-ditch effort to appear “moderate”.

      • M. Noonan December 2, 2013 / 12:45 am


        It does seem like that – of course, we’ll have to see. Obama has shown that breaking the law, lying and cheating are just par for the course…and he does retain a formidable following of mindless, liberal drones. The left won’t go down without a fight – and, of course, the GOP could screw up the fight. But all else being equal, I think the Democrats – and especially liberalism – are in deep trouble.

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