16 November 2012

Snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Some people call the US Senate, "the World's greatest deliberative body". I call the US Senate, "A petri dish for narcissistic sociopaths," thanks to the need for unanimous consent (of failing that a vote of 60 Senators) to proceed.

Theoretically, the Senate Democrats can change filibuster rules by a simple majority vote at the start of the next Congress.

Unfortunately, it appears that Harry Reid does not have the votes to make a meaningful reform:
Democrats don’t have the 51 votes they need in the Senate to change filibuster rules that could make it harder for the GOP minority to wield power in the upper chamber.

Lawmakers leading the charge acknowledge they remain short, but express optimism they’ll hit their goal.

“I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of the so-called constitutional or “nuclear” option, in which Senate rules could be changed by a majority vote.

“We’re building the momentum right now,” Udall said. “It’s hard to say at this point, but I think it’s looking very good. The last two years have really helped coalesce people’s minds around the idea that we need to change the way we do business.”

The problem for Udall and other supporters of filibuster reform is that many veteran Democratic senators remember when the filibuster was a useful tool in their years in the minority.

In the tradition-bound Senate, these veterans aren’t thrilled with changing the upper chamber’s rules, particularly with the use of the controversial constitutional option — which has never been used to change the chamber’s rules.
It's all well and good to respect Senate tradition, but part of that tradition was to use a bit of restraint, and using the filibuster for the little things.

It's sh%$ like this that makes people voting for Republicans.

As repugnant as their agenda, and their values, are at least Republicans are willing to fight for them.


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