Skip to main content

Mitch McConnell on filibuster reform

A change in the rules by a bare majority aimed at benefiting Democrats today could just as easily be used to benefit Republicans tomorrow. Do Democrats really want to create a situation where, two or four or six years from now, they are suddenly powerless to prevent Republicans from overturning legislation they themselves worked so hard to enact?

Here's the thing: the proposed reforms don't leave the minority party in the Senate "powerless."

Instead, they make the minority party actually work to obstruct the passage of legislation: If you want to filibuster, you actually have to take the floor of the Senate and filibuster. Right now, all Mitch McConnell has to do, essentially, is utter the word "filibuster" and the obstruction is passed. That's simply too low a bar -- one that presumes the minority has veto power over legislation unless proved otherwise.

Old-time filibustering actually worked once upon a time. It's why civil rights legislation was delayed. Filibuster reform is not filibuster removal. If you want to mount a filibuster, Sen. McConnell, be my guest. Stand up, make a speech, and drag out the cots for your colleagues.


KhabaLox said…
Why is making a filibusterer actually talk better than not? Seems like hoop-jumping to me.
namefromthepast said…
Don't forget it was Sen. Mondale in '75 that moved to have the filibuster arranged as it is now. Back then it was to change the rules to favor liberals, surprise. Now lets change 'em again to favor libs.

No need to worry about the future Joel liberals will always find a way to tilt the field.
Joel said…
Name: It's not as though the filibuster has gone from rarely used to commonly used in the last 35 years. I've heard a suggestion that the parties agree to filibuster reform now and have it set to go into effect in six years, when we don't know who will be running things. FIne by me. THe present state of affairs isn't really workable.

Popular posts from this blog


I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…