Thursday, November 08, 2012

Reforming the filibuster, crushing Republican obstructionism

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I agree with Jonathan Cohn. President Obama won a mandate. It was a decisive victory, not just for him but for Democrats across the country, as well as for progressive liberalism generally.

Of course, regardless of whether or not there's an all-out civil war in the GOP, we can be sure that Republicans, led by McConnell and Boehner/Cantor and their more extremist minions on Capitol Hill, will continue to do everything they can to block the president and Congressional Democrats from getting anything done.

Coming out of this election, it's time to put a stop to such obstructionism. And it starts with blocking Republicans from using their main weapon in the Senate at every turn:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged on Wednesday to change the rules of the Senate so that the minority party has fewer tools to obstruct legislative business.

In his first post-election press conference, the Nevada Democrat said he wouldn't go so far as to eliminate the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for the chamber to enter and exit the amendment and debate process. But in remarks meant to preview a more combative approach during the next session, he warned Republicans that obstructionism as a tactic won't be tolerated -- or as technically feasible.

"I want to work together, but I also want everyone to also understand, you cannot push us around. We want to work together," Reid said.

"I do" have plans to change the Senate rules, he added. "I have said so publicly and I continue to feel that way... I think the rules have been abused, and we are going to work to change them. We will not do away with the filibuster, but we will make the Senate a more meaningful place. We are going to make it so we can get things done."

There's still a bit too much naivete here. Republicans don't want to work together. They don't want compromise.

It's time to reform the fucking filibuster. It's time to put the Republican disloyal opposition in its place.

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