I concur with every word quoted here from Jon Walker at FDL:
Let me put this as simply as possible. Democrats control everything in Washington right now. They control the White House. They have a huge margins in the House and in the Senate. Democrats have larger margins in both chambers than any party has had for decades. They have zero excuses for failing to deliver. Americans will not find some nonsense about having only 59 Senate seats as an acceptable excuse for failing to accomplish anything. If Democrats think they can win in 2010 by running against Republican obstructionism, they will lose badly.
Not only will Democrats lose badly if they adopt this strategy, but they will be laughed at. Republicans never had 59 Senate seats, and that did not stop them from passing the legislation they wanted. Trying to explain to the American people how, despite controlling everything, Democrats cannot do anything, because a mean minority of 41 Republican senators won’t let them, is a message that will go over like a lead balloon. If you try to use that excuse, people will think elected Democrats are liars, wimps, idiots, or an ineffectual combination of all three.
He is right. Now let’s everyone take out our aggression on the Republicans and advance the agenda you all were elected to do, rather than infighting with people who agree with you on 90% of things.
My old buddy Mike Flannigan has finished his political autopsy of the Coakley campaign. What were the results? Well, if you’re a Massachusetts voter, I’d be on the phone right now calling for lawyers, guns and money.
Just Some Fuckhead
Cool, so now we can magically do shit despite the Republican filibuster? I was told it wasn’t possible. I guess all we needed was a rousing speech by Jon Walker.
I’m ready to take a hatchet to the right wing idiocy. I just want some kind of assurance that National Dems aren’t going to turn the hatchet on us instead out of that damned compulsion to avoid being ‘too far left’ like our vaunted luminaries like Evan Bayh have already suggested.
This is what “bipartisanship” gets you. Nobody ran on that platform, yet its what they delivered upon being elected. Might as well vote republican or not at all if we are to be ignored and abused.
My thought when the polls turned south for Coakley was that this should be the impetus for ridding the Senate of the pernicious filibuster, not for the Democrats to turn further to the right.
The Grand Panjandrum
And I concur with everything Ezra wrote here:
Now is not the time to panic and throw their collective hands in the air. This is where we find out if the Democrats are ready to fucking lead.
I agree with the general sentiment that something has to get done. But let’s be real about this:
Privatizing Social Security did not pass, in the same way that healthcare hasn’t passed, because Democrats united in solid opposition.
So you’re saying that taking gratuitous shots at people on the same side is counterproductive?
Was Brown elected for a full 6-yr term, or was he elected to fill out the rest of Kennedy’s term?
I see that 2001-2008’s “Operation: Country-Scuttling” is bearing fruit.
Most people do not understand that the republicans do not have policies, they only have one agenda, which is to attack the democratic policies.
My representative, Tom Price, wants to do away with all regulations on insurance companies. How many people actually realize that in the state of GA, the insurance companies provide you with a colonoscopy because of regulations. Without the regulation you would have to meet your deductible before having those procedures. I have not attended one of his town halls but I should have . Maybe I would have had the opportunity to ask him how many lives are saved by having these procedures in place. My deductible is $2000 and I’m not sure that I would have had these procedures if I had to pay out of pocket. FYI My ex was treated for colon cancer and because of early detection, he is now fine.
Mammograms save thousands of lives a year.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I’m just glad we didn’t start with reconciliation six months ago, because that would’ve been messy and drawn out.
The Republic of Stupidity
I’d bet the good people of Massachusetts will come to regret this pretty quickly, once they realize what they’ve put into office. A Cosmo centerfold? The jokes… they write themselves…
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I think what was being said was maybe it’s time for the Dems to sack up and come out swinging. I was under the impression that Senators didn’t even have to actually, uh, ‘filibuster’ anymore… all they had to do was SAY, ‘I will fillibuster’ and it had some sort of magical nullification powers – Calvinball at its finest.
Perhaps if the Dems Found Their Spines™…
@The Grand Panjandrum:
Haven’t we already found that out?
The Democratic party, for the most part, has essentially ceded the right to leadership to the Republicans.
:-p John, you need to read your own quote here.
At this point, beating up on Republicans is somewhat meaningless and silly. They’re virtually powerless, only gaining traction when some overly-noble or naive Senator or President tries to be bipartisan.
The people that need a good stiff thrashing – at this stage of the game – are in the feckless and cowardly wing of the Democratic Party. We have the votes. Now we just need to whip the votes.
Maybe lashing out at Tea Baggers and their GOP puppet masters is a good way spur the Democrats on, but I think cattle prodding the likes of “safe” and insulated Democrats like Bayh and Conrad to get in line is the better way to go.
In certain ways, there will be political benefits to having 59 instead of 60. Essentially, *one* Republican will have to be the one to step up and be the person who killed the given initiative. Senators are cowards when they have to stand alone. If there had been 59 and we’d given Snowe the same amount of public attention, would she have voted against HCR? Maybe so, but I think it’s less likely. I’m not saying this is *good*, but Senators hate being singled out, so we still have some negotiating position on this. (I seem to remember Nate Silver writing a post on the subject in 2008).
Uh…what’s his fucking point? Everything he said is completely true. 41 voting together can block anything not budget-related. Anything. And if there’s one thing Republicans do best, it’s vote as a bloc.
So, no, Dems do not control anything. Biden said it best when he quipped that a democracy cannot function always needing a supermajority to do anything.
Not everything can be done in reconciliation, but a lot can be done – and should be done. If the Dems had any balls, they’d pass the Senate version of healthcare, then shove single payer down Evan Bayh’s throat through reconciliation. Oh – and take a crap on the banksters heads while you’re at it and you’ll win super-majorities.
@Scott H: I thought that Teddy was reelected in 2008 and Brown is completing his term.
Indeed, as Benen said yesterday, given the two competing messages:
Which one is going to have more traction, especially if actual facts don’t matter (hint: you know they don’t)?
The Grand Panjandrum
@Kryptik: If they give up on HCR now, when they are so close to getting it done, then we will have our answer.
@Scott H: He’s up in 2012
@Robin G.: This assumes that all 59 Democrats will stay together. Unlikely.
If Dems drop HCR now, the reaction among rank-and-file Democrats will make the GOS/FDL fit over the public option look like a little old lady filling out a McDonald’s customer service survey.
If we can’t even make marginal progress on a big issue, it’s time to start learning Chinese.
Apparently John is ignorant of 2 very important things: the need for any legislation to pass both houses, and something called the “filibuster”.
The latter, done correctly, shuts the whole thing down.
Obama has been chasing the mirage of bipartisanship, ever since he got elected, it has however yielded nothing. Its time to dump it and get things done.
When you have all of that power and don’t use it, it makes you look weak. Most Americans like a loud dink swinger who is strong.
Standing up for what you believe is strong. People say that all the time. “I don’t agree with him a lot of the time, but he stands for what he believes.”
one gets the impression that somewhere along the line, maybe thomas jefferson or george washington made a pact with the devil — with the 2000 election, and then Sept 11, and then the series of little “set backs” that is all that is needed to befuddle the fuckin’ Democrats…
and then the symbolic fate of Teddy dying on the verge of health care reform finally… then Coakley choking, and the Dims appearing to swoon on the health care reform, while tea bag zombies wander the country sucking their own brains out — well, i’m just sayin’… intelligent malevolent design if i ever seen it…
Man, you are the undisputed King of Tools.
The only reason it wasn’t possible to pass anything without 60 votes was because that has become the custom in the Senate. That is what Harry Reid has allowed the requirement to be raised to. Reconciliation still comes with all the pitfalls it did before. The Republican filibuster is still a problem. At this point, the only thing that has changed is that a wingnut took over the seat previously held by the Liberal Lion.
The hope is that this will send a shot across the bow of Democrats. We can only hope that Harry Reid stops conducting “business as usual” in the Senate, and starts calling out the GOP for their obstructionism, but more importantly, actually does something about it. And there isn’t going to be anything “magical” about that. It’s going to be nasty and difficult, and frankly, I don’t think Reid is up to the task.
But as far as the realities of the Senate go, nothing has changed. You being a snarky dipshit with nothing of real substance to say hasn’t changed, either.
The point is that nothing will ever get done, and guess who gets the blame for it? Not the stonewalling assholes in the Republican party, but the Democrats. Because they’re the ones ‘in charge’ by numbers, if not in practice.
Why won’t this stupid meme die? My health savings account and social security “nest egg” say hello. Also my flat tax rate.
I damn near choked on my coffee laughing at this snark.
What does it mean to be a Democrat? I mean, I know Republicans believe in God, Country and torture, and hate taxes, government and teh gay – but what about Democrats?
Seems like you can only get stuff done if you have a unified vision, but only letting people into your club that share your vision dooms you to minority status…
And interesting conundrum.
That is part of it but remember it was not heavily supported by the Rep either. I don’t think anything was ever even introduced, and I bet it is because no one on the Rep side was stupid enough to end their own career by doing it.
Folks. No. You can lock up the senate with procedural roll call. You don’t ever have to filibuster, or even move to cloture – the Republicans can just request repeated quorum calls.
But otherwise, I agree with Ezra as noted by The Great Panjamdrum above.
Let’s try again to do what should have been done for the past year. Put up a good bill and dare the muppet-huggers to fillibuster. Including the “centrist Dem” muppet-huggers. And clobber them for standing in the way of good legislation before using other means to pass it, including reconciliation, or watering it down only after you’ve shown who is against good legislation. That’d be an effective way of moving the legislative agenda to the left, rather than all the circular firing squad lunacy. I don’t care if there aren’t 60 votes, put it up and make both the obstruction and the majority view of good policy clear. Then go for second (or third) best if you have to.
Make the fucker filibuster. End of story. Period. Full stop. Make them sleep on the goddamn senate floor and read from war and peace (or Fun with Dick and Jane in Inhofe’s case.) Make it theatre. And make it bad. How hard is this? Stop capitulating and let them fight and whine about every piece of legislation. Put their sorry asses on the TV news and cable shows every night.
It may not get much done, but it will change the 2010. Honestly why the political genius Rahm cannot see this is beyond me. Or maybe he’s just a foul-mouthed tool.
And yes, this isn’t going to happen because the comity of the senate demands that when a Republican kicks you in the teeth, you say “thank you sir, may I have another. Let’s play squash at 10.”
The problem with Democrats, John, is that no one knows what this agenda is. I mean, I know what I think it is, and I think it lines up pretty clearly with what you think it is. But when Republicans get elected, they go to Washington with the goal of getting the party’s business done. When Democrats get elected, they go to Washington as individuals, each with the goal of getting their own business done, and hopefully the goals of many individuals line up with most of the rest of the party.
So we may have 59 people in the Senate with a D next to their name, but they don’t all want the same things, and they don’t always want even substantially similar things. It’s very frustrating, and it’s made worse by the lack of leadership in the Senate, and the milquetoast leadership in the White House (I’m a big Obama fan, but they need to find their hammer, and fast).
I’d very much like to say “screw them all” and take the attitude that a party that can’t get their shit together with these large majorities deserves to lose. But I realize the upshot of that is getting things like S-Chip vetoed, and having independent US Attorneys fired for not pushing politically motivated prosecutions. It’s important to keep track of the big picture.
And now Obama’s nominee to head the TSA is withdrawing.
Does anyone in this party fucking fight for anything, at all, ever? Jesus Christ.
Yes, clearly the reason they don’t do this because they don’t want to hurt Bayh’s feelings. It’s not because there are only like 7 votes for it in the Senate, it’s all about not having enough balls. We are all neocons now.
Another stupid meme that won’t die.
@Napoleon: I think you’re right that there was less R Congressional support for SS reform than there is D Congressional support for HCR.
But, the whole “Bush got what he wanted” meme is still wrong. No Child Left Behind, a really modest reform, was passed with a bipartisan effort. Other than that, and tax cuts and wars, which Obama could get today with 70-30 margins, what else did he get?
It’s all so sad, really. The impotency of the democrats has never been greater. The misguided dopes of Angry America will rear their steel-plated heads next fall and stunned Democratic leaders will be wondering what hit them. The lesson Dems never seem to learn is that people don’t respect weakness, whether perceived or real. Harry Reid OOZES weaknesses.
(Granted, there is significant institutional momentum against the progressive agenda, but this is no excuse to stand on the sidelines and be repeatedly pummeled.)
You may be the undisputed King of Fantasy.
Call out to whom? You really think the MSM will start reporting the claims the Dems make? And does something about it? Will a stern letter help? Can he de-pants them, and will it help?
You act like Reid has magic mind-altering powers, and a gift of glib with the media. He doesn’t, and never has.
Assuming the Dems maintain their Senate majority this year, the easiest way they could prove the spineless jellyfish meme incorrect would be to strip the filibuster out of the rules at the beginning of the new session.
IIRC, that can be done by a simple majority vote when adopting rules for the coming session.
Of course they won’t even fucking try because that might upset Mitch McConnell and Broder would croak on about a lack of bipartisanship from the Democrats.
Scott de B.
I think we all know the answer to that.
That’s not how the filibuster works, it hasn’t worked that way since they changed the rules decades ago. The obstructing minority doesn’t have to be present, and they don’t have to read anything.
@glocksman: Not to mention Bob Byrd breaching the outer covering of his Depends when he hears about a change to the rules of his beloved Senate.
Damn that fucking movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
For like the umpteenth time, this is not how the filibuster actually works. Believe it or not, the filibuster is far more painful for the majority party than it is for the minority. According to a Senate memo, a Senator:
The other wrinkle is that only one Republican would need to monitor the Senate floor. If the Democrats tried to move to a vote, he could simply say, “I suggest the absence of a quorum.” Which means that the Democrats would need to maintain quorum while the Republicans only need one person to continue/break the filibuster.
Much as I dislike HuffPo these days, this was actually a pretty good article on the subject.
It would be nice if our leaders would, you know, lead. Because right now people are willing to march, if they like the direction.
@Punchy: Why is it that the Democratic leaders forgot exactly how the Republicans got what they wanted through the Senate?
Can anyone say: Nuclear option (New-clee-ar, not new-cu-lar).
Set that bomb off and move on. The filibuster empowers corporatist corrupt senators, and there will never be Democratic accomplishments so long as the filibuster remains in place.
That’s only if the Democrats force these goons to own up to their obstructionism. If they simply act like bills fail for some unknown, unanswerable reason, they will never, ever get anywhere.
@Comrade javafascist: Look, the Republicans and Lieberman are winning by just plain obstructing everything and letting the public tire of a single legislative issue…what the hell makes you think letting the Republicans filibuster would help? They’d just keep talking until we’re forced to defend ourselves for not just giving in and moving on to jobs.
This is an interesting argument. I am sympathetic to it. But don’t you think it is also true that JUST passing the Senate bill (and not fixing it almost immediately) invites the same reaction?
BTW, John, nice post. I agree with it.
Fleas correct the era
We can only hope that Harry Reid stops conducting “business as usual” in the Senate, and starts calling out the GOP for their obstructionism, but more importantly, actually does something about it.
That’s so cute; I wish I had a camera right now.
Someone please explain how the Democratic leadership, so called (both words), can expect to do any better job with 58 and Joe (assuming the Dems can ever be herded together to vote as a bloc on anything more substantial than, say, National Babies Are Cute Day) than they’ve managed with 59 and Joe? And Reid calling out the GOP? What a bunch of leadership.
Also, why has the market dropped so much this morning? I thought a Scott Brown victory was supposed to send my 401(k) through the roof.
@Stroszek: This. Thank you.
I think it’s worth pointing out that the modern “filibuster” isn’t actually a filibuster as the term is strictly defined, it just picked up the moniker as a colloquialism. But the conflation of the term confuses people.
I’ll be waiting to see who is the first blogger to whip his readers into calling their House reps to pass the Senate bill. It’s time.
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@Brien Jackson: That’s like saying Mariano Rivera sucks because he gave up that hit to Luis Gonzalez that made the Arizona Diamondbacks World Champions in 2001. He got everything else he wanted? Didn’t he? Alito and Roberts were confirmed with ease. He got his illegal war(Iraq). Social Security was Dubya’s only really big failure legislatively.
It certainly does from Labor.
Of course you’d think by now that Labor is used to getting screwed by the Democrats by now.
This isn’t to say that the Dems don’t help on some things, but frankly the Lily Ledbetter act and FMLA are crumbs compared to the shafting we took with NAFTA and free trade from Clinton and the union health tax in the Senate HCR plan.
There’s no risk that labor will go Republican but there’s a huge risk that we will just say ‘fuck it’ on election day and not vote.
Democrats have no leadership (with a slight apology to Nancy Pelosi, who is the only one I see in the party with a ball sack at all). Same as it ever was, with this president no different than any Dem presidents in my adult lifetime. Bowing and scraping to the bankers, the health insurance companies and Pharma, the torture advocates, and the congressional GOP in imitation of Clinton and the DLC isn’t exactly inspiring to this particular Dem. I didn’t expect Obama to be some sort of left radical, but, based on the race he ran, I sure did expect a president with some ruthlessness and balls.
If he finally stands up and leads, if he finally listens to the people who put him there and not to his Wall Street enablers, if he finally puts his full rhetorical and political power behind something that matters to people like me, I will be his staunchest ally. It is obvious that he is the only one in the party that can even attempt any sort of unity of purpose in the party. The main reason there is so much difficulty in getting the public behind HCR is the failure to lead and, regardless of the fairness of it and regardless of the fact that Congress should lead also, people expect the president to be the one to make them understand and to show how important it is. Obama has spent a year now, laying low and letting people like Max Baucus, Joe Lieberman, and Olympia Snowe be the faces of HCR and only to get a bill that no middle class American can see as something that might help them and will probably hurt them. And it does no use to opine about those Americans’ selfishness, or cluelessness, or stupidity when no one is showing them why they should stop being those things.
Obama needs to man up. I hope he does. But I don’t see that happening. Prove me wrong, Obama. Nothing could make me happier.
Even if the Senate bill is total crap, at least there’s the impression of passing something, something that can be improved on later in further legislation (…yes, look, I’m trying to be a bit optimistic here). If it’s completely dropped, then we have zero to show for nearly a year’s worth of wrangling and drama, not to mention the further perceptions (I cannot emphasize enough just how much power perception has here) that 1) Dems are that easily stifled by losing just one seat, 2) Dems realize the’re too far left and are abandoning a commie bill, and/or 3) Democrats just can’t get anything done, ever.
I just slammed my Overton’s Window on Godwin’s Law.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
Supreme Court nominees and popular non-white people killing wars are completely different than domestic policy in structural terms.
I guess you recall all the times the Democrats took to the airwaves the way that the Republicans did back in the ‘nuclear option’ days. No? Oh that’s right, because they never fucking have. They just pretend like this new requirement of 60 votes is business as usual, when it is not. But nobody would know that because the Democrats don’t know how to push a message.
Reid is the fucking majority leader of the Senate. As thus, he can set the tone for how the Senate operates. He can push for rules to be changed. He can rally the Democrats and actually, you know, lead. There are things that he can do with the power he has, mind-control not being one of them.
I was simply pointing out what is within the realm of the possible, though likely not in the realm of the probable. Obviously you missed the part where I said “it’s going to be nasty and difficult, and frankly, I don’t think Reid is up to the task.”
Now go get hooked on phonics you dim fuck.
EDIT: Add “Fleas correct the era” to the list of people that don’t know how to fucking read.
Yep. Clearly the problem was that Obama didn’t deploy the same strategy Clinton used to pass HCR. I really don’t know what he was thinking, given how wildly successful it was in 1994.
Are you saying that Jim Cramer was wrong again? Never!
Who are these fantasy progressive Democrats who control everything and where is their fantasy agenda? So far, with rare exceptions, I see politicians taking (i.e. needing) money from the very same corporate constituents as their opposition, and pursuing what is for the most part moderate Republican legislation. In the wake of the worst financial thievery since the Depression they can’t (or won’t) even pass regulations of that industry with any teeth, and now it looks like the proposed weak-tea consumer protection is in jeopardy, fer crine out loud. And Democrats like Bayh think that acquiring a set of balls means standing up to liberals.
It will be interesting if the threat of losing elections will mean anything, or if Democrats interpret it as the reason to be even more craven.
You’ve never spent 5 minutes talking to a US Senator have you?
I just heard Scott Brown’s speech. I wonder how the people of Massachusetts will feel when Scott Brown votes 100% with repubs. So much for that people’s seat.
...now I try to be amused
Can the Senate change the filibuster rules to require all the obstructionists to be present? I want some public spectacle dammit.
When the going gets tough, the tough suck it up and get back to work. The losers turn on each other.
And, Obama is fine. He’ll be fine, and he’ll do fine. No thanks to the WATBs and the Hamshers of the Left.
If Reid couldn’t lead with the psychologically and politically satisfying number of 60, what makes you think he’ll be any more inclined to lead with 59?
The Democratic Party leadership has already shown it’s hand, and it’s the same one they always somehow manage to play: curl up into the fetal position and yell ‘Uncle!’ while Republicans simply heft their sticks threateningly, not even bothering to hit them.
Same ol’ goddamn story.
Not everything can be done in reconciliation, but a lot can be done
The core bit of graft is bundling all this legislation into one bill. The insurance regulations would pass easily. The cost savings experiments would pass easily. But the pound of flesh the insurance companies demand in return is the individual mandate.
The exchanges, and a public option, could be done through reconciliation. That this is not on the table is evidence of graft. The Tauzin/Daschle retirement option is on the minds of too many Democratic Senators.
Bob In Pacifica
When I was much younger there were actually real, honest filibusters, with southern gentlemen reading from phone books and the Bible while trying to prevent blacks from voting. You know what it looked like? It looked like a bunch of bigots trying to prevent blacks from voting.
The Dems should dismantle this Senate bill and start offering up the various parts and let the Rethugs go on record against each part. Let the Rethugs go on record against health insurance against a public option for the fifty million people without insurance. Let the Rethugs go on record backing insurance companies denying coverage for preexisting conditions and refusing to offer a public plan for people without insurance. Simplify and let the Rethugs have to get up on the Senate floor and actually justify their positions.
Not so long ago the Rethugs governed powerfully with fifty Senators and a foul-mouthed Vice President snarling. Maybe it’s time to give Biden a book of curse words. And Harry Reid a pair of balls.
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@Brien Jackson: Bush didn’t give a damn about domestic policy. Do you know what his only domestic policy achievement was? No Child Left Behind. That’s it(Besides the tax cuts)!! Did the Republicans even introduce a bill to privatize Social Security? Or was it just brought up as a “next on the list” kind of thing? I know it died a pretty quick death. I just don’t remember if a bill was introduced or not.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@John S.: This.
Did everyone else on the page read this? Did you send the link to all your friends?
Harry will have to change the way the Senate works, which, even when the Republicans controlled everything they couldn’t not convince all of their members to do. How much harder do you think it will be convincing Democrats?
Having said that, Harry needs to figure out something fast, and moving right isn’t going to help him.
“Now let’s everyone take out our aggression on the Republicans and advance the agenda you all were elected to do”
Agreed. For those of you who are wondering what the Democrats were elected to do, I would direct you to the party platform that was adopted at the 2008 DNC. Presumably, all of the current Democratic members of Congress suppported the platform, or they would not belong to the Democratic Party. Yes, I realize that this may sound naive, but we should point out the platform to every single Democratic senator and ask them if they support it, and if not, why not.
However, as John Cole says, we do need to show everyone that the Republicans are not the answer. Instead of aggression, I would say that we need to use our passion to undermine the Republicans. In thinking about politics, whenever I get angry, that eventually leads to hopelessness and then sleepiness (anger takes a lot of energy). However, passion leads to more energy, at least in my case. So I would say that Democrats everywhere really need to rally against Republican candidates this upcoming election, primarily by reminding (or informing) people that the Republican Party is a 40-year criminal enterprise similar to the Mafia but with less honor.
WTF are you talking about? The face of HCR under Clinton was NOT the president. It was his skeery, ball buster wife (/snark) and her behind closed doors meetings. And if you don’t know this, you are too stupid to breathe.
Thank you. There are a lot of things wrong with the bill, not least of which is that it’s complicated. Get it through, then use something simple and popular– Medicare buy-in at 55– as a campaign plank. Starting over is not. a fucking. option. Evan Bayh and Jim Webb ought to have demonstrated to everybody why Obama was hoping to bring Snowe and Collins on board. He tried, it didn’t work, it sure as fuck isn’t going to work now.
Eh. Fuck it. It’s over. Republicans win back the House and Senate in 2010, the White House in 2012 and then we can all get our war on with Iran and North Korea.
It’s all futile anyway. Climate change will wipe the geopolitical map clean. We won’t recognize this world 100 years from now.
I, for one, am feeling a little lighter this morning because Joe Lieberman no longer has any say in whether I live or die.
Barack Obama just got kicked to the curb. Will he lay there and whimper for the next three years? Or will he get up and fight. I hope someone makes him watch that video clip of Jim Webb last night over and over and over.
Can Nancy Pelosi get the House to swallow the Senate bill by promising Anthony Wiener a jobs bill?
More will be revealed.
@…now I try to be amused:
IIRC, it’d take only a majority vote to strip it out during the rulemaking session at the start of a new congress.
After that, a rules change requires a supermajority.
“Also, why has the market dropped so much this morning? I thought a Scott Brown victory was supposed to send my 401(k) through the roof.”
I’d guess that it was a sufficient number of non-stupid investors realizing that the US has just taken major structural damage.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
thanks for this. Last night I was so upset over the stream of Dems going on tv and declaring everything dead (and not just the DINOs but Dean and Wiener) and also saying Obama wasn’t real enough change etc I just wanted to tune out of the whole thing. But this morning with a little BJ reading I am hoping some of these people get a spine and fight for what they got elected to fight. We still have a majority in the Senate and the House. do something with it!
Passing unpopular bills is not a winning strategy.
There is of course a political value in passing legislation (the whole “getting things done” thing.) But this needs to become more popular, especially with Dems.
Actually, I have. And I wish to hell that Bob Graham was still around.
I realize that Senators have huge egos and that organizing Democrats is like herding cats, etc. Again, I am merely pointing out what is POSSIBLE (and necessary) not what I think is PROBABLE.
I don’t think I could have made it any clearer that I think Harry Reid is not up to the task. And judging from the immediate reaction by the Democrats, I don’t think they are up to the task, either.
Again, do not confuse what I think should be done with what will be done.
Bob In Pacifica
jayackroyd @ 74: Exactly.
The reason why what I suggest at #75 won’t happen is precisely because too many Dems are in someone’s pocket. What is presumed to be political timidity is more pecuniary temerity.
Do you oppose passing the Senate bill while simultaneously fixing it through a reconciliation bill?
Would you approve of bloggers who asked for calls to the House calling for that?
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@Brien Jackson: Where is LBJ when you need him? You know what made LBJ stand out? He made sure he knew where everyone stood. He knew everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. He wasn’t afraid to play dirty pool, so to speak. To hit below the belt if need be. Ask any old time Texan about LBJ. He knew when to use flattery and when to use a foot up someone’s backside.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
I was thinking something like this just this morning. I wonder if — I’m holding out hope that — this is the day when the gloves come off and shit gets real.
A year ago today, I was kind just crying all day long, as I watched my country live up to its promise. No year of ordinary events and cleaning up after extraordinary fuck-ups can live up to the excitement of one wonderful day, and I try to remind myself of that. There are transcendent moments, and then there’s the messy work to be done. I’m wearing my “Hope Won” shirt today, because I still believe that hope won, and that hope can win.
But please God, let this be the day that pragmatism wins out over the ideology of “moderation” (as I think Josh Marshall put it yesterday), and fucking shit gets real.
(Also: What Ezra said).
If he does that, and I expect him to, it’s why I am sure he won’t be reelected in three years.
I’m not really optimistic about the situation at all. But given that:
1) The seat formerly held by the Liberal Lion went to a teabagger
2) Harry Reid is likely going to lose re-election this year
I am hoping that Reid comes to the conclusion that he has nothing to lose and the Democratic party (and America) has everything to lose. I know it’s a long shot, but if Harry actually started giving them Hell, it really would start to turn things around – for both him and the party.
But I wouldn’t bet on it.
@geg6: I think his point was the White House, through the First Lady, tried to ramrod a healthcare bill through Congress and failed to get it even through Step One because Democratic members of Congress were upset they weren’t the ones writing the bill.
So Obama decided to let them write the damn bill.
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
@John S.: Senate Democrats need to read the words of both Teddy and Robert F. Kennedy. Crying to mom(like Bayh is doing) and taking your ball and going home is a recipe for slaughter come November. Sometimes I think Bayh and Ben Nelson prefer being in the minority. That way they can vote how they really want and not catch shit for it. And that makes me wonder why Nelson doesn’t just switch parties. Everyone would be happier.
The whole thing is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Whatever result is going to be a qualitatively bad one. No matter whether the bill is passed, the bill fails, or the bill is scrapped completely, you piss off a significant segment of people you might not get back.
At the very least, have something to show for it, rather than be seen as either fickle or just plain losers.
Egads what a terrible morning it has been – I’m now being inundated with emails of victory from various conservative friends who supported Brown. But what the people of Massachusetts, my fellow Massholes, have voted for is just gridlock. We have no democracy – just tyranny of the minority.
Sorry – I just had to post this as a MA resident – I’m just depressed. It seems like a catch 22 – the Dems need to be strong against the Rethugs now, but they can’t seem to grow a nut sack to get rid of the filibuster. Why? Probably because they want to have it there when they become the minority again. And probably because people keep grouping the Dems together like they vote together – they don’t.
Can anyone cheer me up here?
@BTD: It feels too complicated. And what of the excise tax as the hill to die on? Is that still operative?
To tell you the truth, I don’t see how some of the muckety-muck bloggers will be able to turn on a dime and tell their readers to support the Senate bill. I could be wrong though. If they can get their readers to support alliances with the teabaggers and Grover Norquist, maybe they can do it.
The unions, who represent Labor, have signed onto the Senate bill. I’m going to ask this again. Just who is the constituency being represented by taking a position that the Senate bill is unacceptable? Because it feels like the constituency is insurance companies and employers. I’m cynical, as you know.
It’s not perfect, but it’s not so bad that it’s not worth passing. Why this is so goddamn hard for some people–not you, but others–to understand is beyond me. Pass the damn bill, work to improve it thereafter, and use it to hit Republicans over the head each and every day until they never want to talk about it again.
And not only did he decide to let them write the bill, he supported Reid’s decision to let the most conservative committee write the bill, gave the public the perception that he sat around doing nothing at all to provide input, he made inside deals that quickly became publicly known, and he gave no rhetorical support or comfort to those who had better ideas.
As always happens with the Dems, they are fighting the last war. 1994 was almost 20 years ago. Things are not the same.
But… but… RAAAAAHM!!!
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
An Oklahoma Blue Dog has essentially stated just this. Fewer Democrats means relatively more power for Blue Dogs, and much less incentive to vote party and rather vote pure Blue Dog (which they haven’t exactly been hesitant to vote regardless).
There is a lot of discussion about the house passing the senate bill as is. I believe that the Ben Nelson amendment is poison and any democratic member voting for that amendment will be slandered in the fall by the repubs.
Change “possible” to “theoretical”, and “probable” to “possible”, and I’ll agree. You hopelessly optimistic fuck.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
Dead. Along with the political circumstances–powerful unions, stronger state parties and big city machines, and corruption–that made much of his power possible. Also, LBJ made a whole bunch of compromises, and realized, when the Civil Rights Act went through, that Dems had lost the South for a generation (and now it looks like longer). And LBJ, like Bush, had a galvanizing national tragedy that made it easier for him to push through legislation.
Gee, who ya talkin’ ’bout, Gus?
The Moar You Know
So far they are three for three.
There is still time to turn this around and start governing like we mean business, but that time is gettin’ mighty short. I hope Obama has figured out that this weaselly bipartisanship isn’t getting the job done, and starts busting some balls.
The juxtaposition of this is amazing. Losers turn on each other, but winners apparently call their teammates WATBs. Okay.
John’s insistence that we stop infighting is nice, although it would sound more credible if he and Tim and Doug hadn’t spent the last month tagging every other post with “Manic Progressives.”
I’m very happy that someone here is using the word “egads”…?
It’s not much, but I offer my you my pleasure at your word choice.
The only problem with the quoted article is it’s not true, and never was. Democrats–in the sense of a party that believes in government fixing problems for large numbers of the people–never had 60 votes in the Senate, and they don’t have 59 now. Lieberman goes without saying; Bayh has already said Brown’s win means nobody wants moderate legislation passed; Webb says nobody should vote on anything till Brown is seated; and that doesn’t even get to the Nelson/Landrieu axis. The House won’t pass the Senate bill, because half the caucus thinks it’s too liberal and half the caucus thinks it’s not.
Thanks in no small part to the Clinton/DLC approach and to the blatant crazy of the Repubs, a large chunk of the Dem caucus is at best moderate right. I’m not stupid enough to bleat that there’s no difference in the parties; but the notion that Dem majorities means enough agreement to get things done is a phantom. When the Dems insist that every caucus member run on and support the party platform, and enforce it, maybe…
@Bob In Pacifica:
And it really doesn’t mean shit to them whether it’s Obama/Biden or Palin/Brown because they got theirs and they’ll have it for as long as they want to because they’re greasing the right people. Their health care plan is all you could ask for, their homes aren’t in foreclosure and they have a job for life. Why rock the boat?
That the Senate will bounce via filibuster?
So the unions can get stabbed in the fucking back by the Democrats yet again??
There are plenty of people in labor who spit on the ground when they hear ‘Bill Clinton’ because of that asshole’s support for NAFTA and free trade.
Like I said earlier, we may not vote Repub but we damn sure can just sit at home instead of doing the GOTV and fundraising that we normally do for the Dems.
@Demo Woman: Hello? The Stupak amendment passed the House with the blessing of the progressives. The Nelson provision is not a poison pill unless you sell it that way.
When it looked like HCR was gonna pass, insurance stocks went up, which was proof that it was all just a huge giveaway to insurance, inc.
Yesterday, when it looked like Brown was gonna win and HCR would die, insurance comapny stocks went up, which was proof of I don’t know what the fuck.
I would not assume that elected Democrats — note, I’m not talking about ‘bloggers’ and pundits, but actual elected Democratic leaders — see the pursuit of a successful and unified agenda as more important than their own agendas, and I think the problems aren’t so much hyperbolic ‘liberals’ or ‘progressives’, but Democrats who fundamentally oppose any reform which challenges the entrenched and wealthy interests with whom they identify.
Again, this is a real problem. No amount of repeated rhetoric about unity and how Democrats face electoral defeat will persuade a Democrat who just doesn’t want there to be strong and real and appealing regulation and reform of, say, banking and investment.
And if you cater to those interests, the country works less well, and people notice that, and it doesn’t matter how anyone tries to spin it.
This isn’t something made up by bloggers or miscellaneous progressives or even by Jane Hamsher. And no amount of unity or politeness or even silence by administration / Democratic / liberal / left critics will make those severe and ugly conflicts vanish.
Likewise, if there is no competent, outreaching, constantly working, well researched and dedicated national Democratic institutions making sure that the boring aspects of getting elections won get done, then, the matters will entirely be left to the local candidate and the local machines — and sometimes they’ll work effectively and have the necessary resources, and sometimes they won’t.
@The Grand Panjandrum:
Barney Frank and Jim Webb have both said that HCR should NOT be passed now because it wouldn’t be fair.
I fully expect Lieberman to jump in the next 2 months.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
Um, yeah. That’s kind of the whole point.
I understand Webb to have meant that the Senate should not vote on anything. He is right, because the backlash for such an antidemocratic maneuver would be huge (especially in swing states like VA). HCR is over for the Senate for the time being. Let’s just realize that and see if the House can stomach a ping-pong and a tax bill through reconciliation that will balance out some of the defects in the Senate bill.
If the House can’t pass a ping-pong due to the Stupaks, then a radical new program is necessary. Go right after the Banks, Wall Street, and the profiteering in the Health Insurance Industry. Let the 2010 elections be fought on those grounds.
I’m sure the Republicans would have taken the same hypothetical high road if they were in this position. Don’t you feel the same way?
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
He was also playing by a completely seperate set of Senate rules, in a completely different political era. Comparing any current politician to LBJ is like comparing a current pitcher to Walter Johnson. You can do it, but you have to account for the fact that Johnson was pitching in the dead ball era.
The Republic of Stupidity
Welll… ya know… if the Baggers were the populists they fantasize they are… you’d think they’d be ALL FOR this, huh?
Okay, I understand that reconciliation is messy and we may not get everything we want. Whatever happened to the “nuclear option”: declaring filibusters unconstitutional?
Or are only Republicans allowed to try to get things done?
Calling a spade a spade is one of the toughest things to do on the tubes. AVoiding responsibility is Job One in politics. But, people get called WATBs because they are WATBs.
And yeah, winners challenge their teammates to step up and be a member of the team. There is a time for bitching like a schoolgirl, and there is a time for getting to work.
This is the time for getting to work. If the WATB shoe fits, wear it. If not, then good, find a WATB that needs a kick in the ass, and get him or her back to work.
The Republic of Stupidity
Right… and we’re all stuck in the Spineless Democrat Era…
From Deus Ex Malcontent (which has become one of my favorite blogs FWIW):
Read the rest. I agree with it wholeheartedly.
what? fair to who????so now we are just going to give up and let the republicans kill this. WTF?
The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction on Medicare and Medicaid and S-CHIP.
Obama didn’t make any decision to “let the most conservative committee write the bill” and either did Reid.
Jurisdiction isn’t optional.
It had to go through Finance. Always.
The Republic of Stupidity
Off of what, pray tell…
Hopefully something tall, w/ pavement at the base, and videocams rolling…
People also forget that the Senate wasn’t nearly as polarized in the sense that every Republican wasn’t insane. They needed 67 votes to get past cloture. So, this myth that you just need to show ‘leadership’ or threaten your fellow party members is just wrong.
Cloture in the Senate:
Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%-34%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)
The Senate version:
Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)
Continue crafting the HCR bill that will pass the in the House, then let it go to the Senate to die by Republican filibuster . . . then beat the GOP to death with it. (“I went bankrupt because [(R) Senator] put the insurance industry above me and blocked health care reform. Vote Democrat.” “My child died because the GOP voted against health care.” etc.)
@ellaesther: Shockingly, that actually helped. I feel better already.
Actually that wasn’t really true, healthcare stocks dropped after the House bill passed and went up before the Senate bill passed for the mere reason that there was a broad rally that day.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Ya know, it’s rather ironic that a problem of ballsy Democrats/pussy Republicans is always framed as a problem of Democrats being wimps.
The Republic of Stupidity
The Moar You Know
You must be referring to Republican balls, ’cause the Dems don’t have any to bust…
you have to write everything to go through budget rec. Just bypass the filibuster. Bush did it. We can too. A jobs bill is just funding for this or that. It could easily fit into budget rec.
You can’t paint the Republicans as the Party of No if you don’t give them something to say No to.
Doing nothing because they might/will say No just gets *you* painted as the Do Nothing party.
@Sasha: Well thats just it…judging by the crap that went down yesterday, I’m convinced the response of the voters would be somewhere in between “Republicans are teh awesome for killing soshulised medicine” and “Fucking Democrats won’t compromise to get a bill passed”
Actually, I believe he doesn’t see it because that isn’t the way it actually works in real life.
Now, if you want to make the argument that that the optics of republicans politely asking for roll calls to establish quorum would prove wildly devastating to the GOP when they show up on c-span, book-ended between discussions of George Wills latest literary endeavors and highlights of various tea baggers going ape-shit at town halls, then that is yours to make.
But this Mr. Smith goes to Washington stuff is wishful fantasy, and nothing more.
(edited to add- oops! Wong @ link. Here, let me fix that before anyone notices…)
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Of course they do. Senate Democrats are much ballsier than Senate republicans. Or, at the least, they have a better understanding of how much a Senate vote is worth. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the biggest problem activists have is misconstruing everything as Democrats being wimps, as opposed to realizing how ballsy marginal Democrats are relative to marginal Republicans, who wilt at the slightest threat from the GOP leadership.
Paul in KY
I thought John Stewart nailed it a couple nights ago when he mentioned we had much bigger majorities than GW Bush ever had when he was ‘doing whatever the fuck he wanted’.
Of course, that means ‘bipartisanship’ has to be drowned.
Yes. Leadership is what is needed now, and O has got to be the one out front. So far, he’s been too cerebral and too willing to compromise with people who aren’t helping. He needs to start getting passionate.
(Now to fit “egads” into conversation today…).
Bush passed two tax cuts through reconcilliation. Slightly different beast that.
@Paul in KY: Exactly. I think it was Josh Marshall at TPM (and I eluded to this before, but whatev) who said yesterday that at this point, if he doesn’t get more pragmatic and frankly political, Obama stops being the non-ideologue and becomes an ideologue for “moderation.”
That Jon Stewart bit was one of the best pieces of — well, what does one even call it? An agonized performance piece? It was WELL beyond satire — that I have ever seen.
@Paul in KY:
It would help if instead of saying “whatever the fuck he wanted” people actually pointed out what it is Bush got through Congress.
It’s not Democrat v. Republican, it’s conservative v. progressive competing for the majority of independents’ votes.
Having the former as our strategy is what got us in this mess to begin with.
Progressives Can Only Have What We Can Convince A Majority Of Independents To Support!
You could tell that while Stewart overplayed it for comedic effect, he was genuinely pissed at the Democratic idiocy. He usually isn’t quite that over the top unless he’s masking genuine frustration.
You have to get creative. Put the funding in the budget bill, and get the corresponding fed. agency to write administrative rules to spend it.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Would you like to join me in helping him make that jump?
Just because a bill has to go through a committee doesn’t mean that the particular committee writes the bill. Almost every bill ever written or passed must get approval from various committees. A choice was made by the Senate leadership and by the president to allow the Finance Committee to write to damn piece of crap bill. It didn’t have to be that way.
@Brien Jackson: “Through reconciliation” is one of those phrases that I have begun to hear around me all the time, but have as yet failed to understand. Could you explain how it’s different, because I honestly haven’t figured out reconciliation yet.
That’s great if you ignore the fact that, y’know, it’s actual children that are dying, not just props in a campaign ad. The reasons why Democrats can’t use Republican tactics is that we have different goals…
I see that the FDL crowd and their allies are whipping their readers to demand that healthcare be passed through reconciliation rather than support the Senate bill. They say it’s the only way. Is that true?
@Kryptik: That’s when he’s best, of course, when his own back is legitimately up.
He’s fucking brilliant, that man. He’s one of the reasons I’m proud to be American.
Bush did it, but mostly only when it related to cutting taxes or blowing shit up. Anything more complicated, like privatizing Social Security or No Child Gets A Chance, had to go through the senate- at which point it ran the risk of either being killed, or modified to gain something called “bi-partisan support.”
Luckily for Bush, he actually only cared about the cutting taxes and blowing shit up part, so the legislative messiness wasn’t really that big a deal.
Unfortunately for us, most of the really meaningful changes the country needs call for stuff that would need to go through the latter process.
Just Some Fuckhead
Hooboy, it’s getting nasty in here. Sorry for antagonizing everyone. I retract my ill-advised comments so you can go back to snorgling and cooing in the proud Balloon Juice tradition.
Reconcilation bill only needs 51 votes and cannot be filibustered. However, it’s contents have to be germaine to the budget. You can probably expand Medicare, but you can’t do the insurance industry reforms.
He’s one of the few reasons I have left to be proud, sadly.
“It feels to complicated[?]”
That’s your objection? Thin gruel.
@ellaesther: Re: Jon Stewart–and this might be a minor point with everything else going on–but I’ve been pretty frustrated with some of the frames of his jokes.
Like the Monday show, where he noted that the Democratic caucus has a bigger senate majority than Bush did, and look at all the stuff that he got done. There’s something to that, but we should keep in mind a few things that make the joke a little less funny: a) in terms of getting stuff done domestically, Bush didn’t have a great record of success (e.g., privatizing social security); b) in terms of the caucus, it’s true that 59 is a big majority, but on many of their major issues, you have a less solid majority because you’ve got to deal with jerks like Lieberman and idiots like Bayh; c) in terms of possible cross-over votes, there are far fewer Republicans who would vote for something Obama wanted than Democrats who voted for something Bush wanted.
Like I said, this might be a minor point, but with a large number of newspeople already pushing simplistic stories, I would rather see Jon Stewart do more (since he’s already shown he can with the video archive they have for research).
I’d say that the GOP’s legislative free reign wasn’t a matter of courage or parliamentary prowess, it was more a matter of Bush humping the smoking hole in the ground where the WTC used to stand, which — in some kind of fucked up form of Stockholm Syndrome — convinced people that the guy who let 9/11 happen was some kind of infallible leader.
I believe you’re familiar with this form of mass psychosis, John. ;)
FWIW, the “FDL crowd” is advocating for passage of the Senate bill with a concurrent bill fixing the Senate bill through reconciliation.
You object to that why?
@BTD: What’s your objection to passing the Senate bill? The excise tax? The Nelson provision?
Exactly, exactly, exactly. It is time the Democratic party, and particularly Democrats in Congress grow a pair…
The only thing Democrats fight is each other….
I would say you could expand Medicare on a buy-in basis. Wouldn’t reconciliation have to start, or at least pass, with the budget committee? Kent Conrad has his deficit hard-on going.
Well, the silver lining in all this is that the GOP takes election results as a complete and utter validation of everything they stand for. So it’s only a matter of time before they propose treating the nation’s uninsured at a Christian charity hospital to be opened in Guantanamo Bay built by KBR and overseen by Karen Ignani.
Buck up, Dems. The opposition is dreadful and Mass voters are going to have a serious case of buyer’s remorse in about 6 months.
@BTD: Their minions are whipping for reconciliation to expand Medicare and possibly Medicaid only, as far as I can tell. They often do send out mixed messages, however, so sorry if I am mistaken.
I thought some folks were trying to say that to the “FDL crowd” a week and a half ago?
Why does everyone assume that the Democrats actually WANT to accomplish anything? You think enough of them give a fuck about you to matter?
Really, where does this image of the Benevolent, pure Concern For The People politician come from? I want an answer, because it’s utter horseshit & needs to die already.
@BTD: Awesome. Since we’ve only been advocating passing the bill and then ironing out problems and making it better for months now, while someone (names not mentioned) has been screaming kill the bill the whole time.
That’s revenue neutral? And it was kinda preferred by a lot of progressives?
Wouldn’t running on that be helpful?
The worst thing too is that for all the ass-covering, all the hard tack to the ‘center’, all the kicking of dirt into progressive faces by Blue Dogs, all the enduring of extended hands across the aisle met with flung shit in the face…
The media decides to highlight comments from voters like “I’m tired of liberals running roughshod over us!” “I want my country back!” “Stop Obama’s Marxist Agenda!!”
No matter how centrist, moderate, and bipartisan the Democratic party tries to be, they’ll be painted as full on DFHs, even when the genuine DFHs are locked under the stairs when company is over.
Dems have not learned that perception means you will never, never, never ever be seen as a ‘moderate’ as long as you have a D beside your name in the larger scope of public perception. Stop fucking toying around because really, at this point, you have nothing really to lose anymore by going full on DFH. The media will continue to use the teabagger frames, why not actually use it rather than the slippery slope of compromise you always follow?
“In certain ways, there will be political benefits to having 59 instead of 60. Essentially, one Republican will have to be the one to step up and be the person who killed the given initiative. Senators are cowards when they have to stand alone. If there had been 59 and we’d given Snowe the same amount of public attention, would she have voted against HCR? Maybe so, but I think it’s less likely. I’m not saying this is good, but Senators hate being singled out, so we still have some negotiating position on this. (I seem to remember Nate Silver writing a post on the subject in 2008).”
Have you really not noticed the senate GOP’s discipline this year? One could probably find at least thirty GOP senators from RedStateLand who’d fillibuster Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, on the grounds that the guy was a liberal who was remanded to the Romans for ‘enhanced elevation’, and is now radicalized.
The genius of the current version of the fillibuster is that it takes only one senator to stand up in public; the rest merely have to sit on their hands, and either vote against cloture or abstain (almost nobody in the general public really follows cloture votes; the media doesn’t explain them).
@Mary: It’s not me selling the bill. The repubs would be talking about the Ben Nelson’s vote being bought by the democrats with other states being penalized. Personally the Stupak amendment is offensive.
The Nelson ads write themselves.
The reality is that it’s always easy to pass things like tax cuts or expanding the military, no matter who’s in power. It’s a lot harder to get tax increases or entitlement expansions passed.
It’s now basically impossible via normal means, as we’ve seen, given the Republican attitude about governing not being important at all, and facts not mattering. I mean the average Joe is convinced global warming and evolution are hoaxes, and tort reform is the way to lower healthcare costs (Hints: 1. it won’t; 2. any savings will be a result of companies not paying out when you are actually injured.)
That said, just like we figured out how to overcome extreme bigotry to get anti-racism laws passed, we can figure this out.
If we try.
Right now it seems like Dems think giving up, giving in, and perhaps even giving away the farm (i.e. giving Republicans what they want, like cutting spending) is the way to go.
Fuck that. Find a way to do stuff like they did with Franken’s anti-rape amendment. Stuff healthcare expansion bits and pieces onto every other piece of legislation and play the game, like Republicans do. Give the bills good sounding names. Go out there on TV and decry how Republicans want it to be OK for insurance companies to drop you, then come to your house and rape your dying grandma, etc.
We have the facts on our side, but people aren’t convinced. That’s the job of elected officials. Convince people. And convince people by showing your convictions, even in the face of personal electoral “danger” or withering attacks from the Republicans. That’s how a party that’s entirely full of BS and offers nothing but tax breaks for the rich/corporations, war and bigotry continues to garner such large amounts of votes.
@Mary: If they can figure out how to transform banning denial of coverage based on existing conditions and curtailing of rescission into budget items, then it can be done.
Conrad can be bought.
BTW – my comment above should not be read as a “tack hard to the left”. The Obama/Dem agenda is solidly centrist, and no where near the left (believe me, I know, I live in Seattle. I know the left).
It’s the caricature we allow to persist that makes it seem like Clinton-era tax rates, regulation of pollution and universal healthcare regulations within the existing employer-based system is some kind of socialist take-over.
I know the Dems are more varied than their Republican counterparts, but that doesn’t matter. Give them each a bill with some crap in it, but demand they not filibuster any other Dem bill in order to get it. That’s how Republicans keep everyone in line.
Has anyone here (or fucking anywhere) actually looked at how Brown campaigned:
(via a commenter at Rising Hegemon)
If this is true then Brown ran a considerable snowjob over the people of Massachusetts and is likely to be one term and done once he has a voting record. The narratives about mandates and rejections of Obama and HCR, even as bullshit as they are, are also even more totally fucked than I previously would have thought.
No, it really really isn’t. In fact, quite the opposite.
But I know you probably already get that. :-)
It’s do-able. Just takes guts. Oh well……..
Your ideas intrigue me, and I should like to subscribe to your newsletter.
@Demo Woman: I actually believe that the Nelson cornhusker provision is out. And I don’t mean to malign you. I’m just having a hard time understanding why progressives will not get on board to sell the Senate bill. The unions are on board with the Senate bill, remember, so who is the constituency to kill the Senate bill?
I simply do not believe that the Senate bill fucks labor or that the Nelson amendment is a poison pill.
Pushing for reconciliation rather than passage of the Senate bill feels like throwing a spanner in the works.
Who benefits from killing the Senate bill, which has massive benefits, and tilting at the reconcilation only windmill? Not the people, as far as I can tell. It does benefit the right wing.
Tom Price is pushing deregulation of the health insurance. With little sleep and three cups of coffee, I’m a little wired and crabby so please excuse my language. Why the fuck haven’t the democrats jumped all over this. Many states mandate insurance coverage for mammograms, colonoscopies, and other preventive care measures.
Another: “Republicans never had 59 Senate seats, and that did not stop them from passing the legislation they wanted. ”
mistermix: “Privatizing Social Security did not pass, in the same way that healthcare hasn’t passed, because Democrats united in solid opposition.”
True. What might be called the innermost citadel of the New Deal didn’t fall – after four years of Bush f*ck-ups.
However, just in case you were out of the country, the Bush administration did happen to do a lot of stuff; we’re living in the ashes of what he did do.
Now, it’s true that he had 9/11, and that doing stuff for the rich is easier than doing stuff for the middle class, working class or poor.
But at this point, the Democratic Party has (I’m shouting, because people don’t seem to hear well) a larger Senate majority than either party has had in 40 years. If the leadership of the Democratic Party can’t get things accomplished, that’s a miserable admission of failure. In that failure, the GOP will thrive.
So Kent Conrad, arguably the most anti-Medicare Senator this side of Jim Demint, gets to write everything. Awesome.
@Mary: You are not maligning me at all. We want the same thing. I would love for the house to pass the Senate bill and then make changes but I also fear for the party. I live in GA and hear the uproar about the Nelson amendment hurting the state.
I do think that the democratic party had better define the republicans.
A modest proposal: There is no Democratic Party, or caucus, in the Senate. There is a Democratic coalition.
This may be the funniest thing I’ve read on the internet in a long time.
The unions are on board with the Senate bill if it is modified to reflect the changes agreed to by the WH, not the unchanged one that was voted on last year.
AFAIK, the only way to get the labor agreed changes in is through the reconciliation process.
In other words, labor is not on board to support the bill as passed by the Senate.
@Demo Woman: My incomplete understanding is that Nelson worked his butt off to ameliorate the toxicity of the Stupak amendment. I’m just finding it hard to see why the Nelson amendment would be the new hill to die on and I hope it’s not.
give him whatever he wants for ND. It’s worth a try.
I believe the answer you seek lies in the question itself. Unfortunately.
@glocksman: Are we using the same definition of the term “reconciliation?”
It’s not a false prop — it’s truth. I’m certain there are a large number of families with that kind of story who would be more than happy to share them in a commercial. I don’t see a problem with that.
Would have been nice if last January, a year ago, Ds had the attitude expressed in Walker’s two paragraphs. And also kept their walk a little closer to their campaign talk. Because it sure wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist last January to know if a few years later you’ve been telling voters “The plate is full,” and “We didn’t have 60 votes for non-capitulation,” and the like, fair chance you’d be met with…
Would hope the really smart 11D stratergerists in Congress and the WH realize the Party of No opposition will in very short order become the Party of NO! With Brown’s win they’ll see this even more as a winning strategy with the swagger of “If we can take Ted Kennedy’s seat, we can take any of them.” They can and they will amp up their obstructionism.
Will the Dems now come out swinging? Doubt it; doesn’t seem to be in their DNA these days. After the HCR debacle is resolved one way or the other, as it gets closer to mid-terms would expect the Dems to go into full duck-and-cover mode.
Perhaps we are not.
I’m no parliamentarian and I have no real idea about the mechanics of inserting the changes that the White House agreed to in order to win labor support.
But am I incorrect when I say that the unions did not agree to support an unchanged Senate bill?
Another modest thing to keep in mind: way too many of us don’t know what the hell we’re talking about when it comes to proposing what to do next. Too many people glossing over what reconcilliation can and cannot do, what filibustering does and does not entail.
I’m as guilty of that as anyone else, but I try not to remain in that state…
Yes, but the Democrats never mounted a campaign of not voting for any Republican measure EVER. The GOP has made it clear that EVERYTHING is now subject to filibuster and dammit those authoritarian expletive deleteds really do know how to close ranks. We don’t.
What I find interesting is the conclusion that some people are clearly drawing, but don’t want to state. Start with:
1) The GOP can easily stop everything with 41 votes.
2) The GOP has demonstrated that they have the 41 votes;
they’ve had excellent discipline this year.
3) In addition to the GOP’s official votes, there are a few to several Democratic senators who are usually willing to vote with the GOP.
4) The GOP is running on a strategy of 100% opposition, demonization and delegitimazation.
5) The GOP leadership is well aware of what they’re doing, and right now they’ve got to be feeling pretty confident, and willing to continue.
6) The MSM will not report what the GOP is doing, in the end because they support corporate interests.
7) The American people (a) will go for the guy with the biggest dick, and (b) won’t really understand who’s doing what.
8) Neither Obama nor Reid have any disciplinary tools that they’re willing to use, or those tools aren’t strong enough.
The clear and unavoidable conclusion is that we’ll spend 2010 getting the living sh*t beaten out of Obama, Reid and Democrats in general. Given that the economy is gonna stink, and stink worse due to the GOP (and the usual mid-term problems), 2010 will be a slaughter; the GOP will own the House, and put themselves within a few seats of owning the Senate.
At that point, Obama is still president, so the Democratic Party will still catch the majority of blame for thing; the only reason that the GOP wouldn’t win in ’12 would be their inability to come up with a candidate. And they’ve got a few presentable governors to choose from, so that’s only a problem if they can’t get their sh*t together.
So What the F*ck, eh? If Obama and Reid can’t come up with some arm-twisting, then how is the above scenario avoidable?
@Ben JB: There is certainly something to that, even bearing in mind that what he does is political satire, not political reporting. I am often irritated by his personal version of looking for “balance” which amounts to cracking on Democrats for minor things in the same pieces where he cracks on the GOP for sheer lunacy — but dude. On this of all days, please leave me my joy! If I don’t have Jon, really, the political scene is very bleak indeed!
I am afraid I don’t expect them to actually do this. Would be nice, though. I can’t think of any other approach that does not lead to failure and stagnation for another 20 years.
Shasha: I have always said that all Democrats had to do was to rent large billboards in small towns and cities all over America with messages that say: “Senator So-ands-so voted against the Health Care Bill. If your loved one is denied care by their insurance company, thank Senator So-and-so.”
Low tech and visceral. Get people where they live.
The thing is, we are all railing against the obvious. The problem is deeper than that. ELECTION FINANCE people! As long as millions and millions of dollars are needed to get elected. the corporations win. Small donors can raise a lot for a single individual (like Obama), but it can’t be done for every candidate. And with Supreme Court we have, we are screwed; they are the biggest corporatists that every lived, except for the usual suspects.
@glocksman: I’m not sure but I’m waiting to find out.
Based on what I’ve seen over the last year, I don’t think it’s avoidable. I think your scenario is exactly what is going to happen. The only thing that stops it, if anything can, is for someone on the Dem side to man up. And since the only one on that side to have manned up over the past year has been a female, that is not likely.
How do you know that people do not know what they are talking about?
And when they did mount a unified campaign against Republican proposals like privatization and permanent tax cuts, they stifled them.
I keep seeing this bullshit. And it doesn’t get any truer with repetition.
The Finance Committee’s jurisdiciton means that proposed legislation touching on certain subjects–including Medicare–have to be referred to the committee.
It does not mean that the bill had to be written by the Finance Committee–much less does it mean that it had to be written by the Wellpoint executive who took a temporary leave of absence to cycle into Baucus’s office just in time to write the industry’s wish list.
There are no rules as to who gets to “write legislation.” The President could task Noam Chomsky to write proposed legislation and then convince a Senator or Representative to introduce it.
Let me repeat, committee jurisdiction does not dictate who writes or introduces legislation.
There is — as I can recall — only one custom regarding the origination of bills that the Congress treats as binding: the custom that appropriations bills originate in the House. But even so, that does not dictate who drafts or introduces the legislation.
Nothing in the Senate or House rules require any particular “gang” to hash out legislation. The Baucus/Gang-of-Six fiasco is how the White House chose to play this. It chose badly.
That is not the process. The Budget Committee does not write the bill – it is merely the keeper of the bills.
This old saw has been explained before, months ago.
Maybe the reason why you won’t want to do health care reform through reconciliation is that it would have a sunset date of five years. Health care reform done the right way would need 60 Senate votes to be killed or 67 if the president is a D.
but Conrad could probably muck it up if he wanted to. Better to promise him gold plated hospitals in ND – or whatever.
We’re on the same page then John. The Schumer Plan has been one I have advocated for a long time.
Some of your commenters seem to be objecting.
No, he really can’t.
The Budget Committee has not discretion on this.
In all fairness to gwangung, the lack of understanding for process is pretty obvious if you read the whole thread.
However, process isn’t what is going to bring real HCR or anything else Democrats outside of the Village want. No matter how much wishful thinking around here seems to think it will. And it doesn’t seem to sink in how much all this focus on process is a large part of the problem. You don’t win over voters’ hearts and minds with process. Nor with a bill that has no carrots to sweeten the sticks too many of them have concluded they will be beaten with once the magical process has brought about passage.
I do not know who qualifies as minions, but at least as I read the FDL Statement on the matter, that is not what they are proposing.
@Brien Jackson: Ummm … what? There’s actually quite a lot of support for single payer in the Senate ( http://openleft.com/diary/14825/senate-whip-count-update) and is clearly the most fiscally responsible approach to the problem. It simply wasn’t given a chance because there was zero chance of it passing with 60 votes. I’d be surprised if Obama couldn’t get 50 votes for it with Biden the 51st. Don’t want to call it single payer? Call it Medicare expansion – in effect it’s the same thing.
What does this have to do with being a neocon? Bayh is owned by the health care industry. His wife is on the board of Wellpoint. He makes millions of dollars off of Hoosiers being denied healthcare. How is rectifying this comparable to being neo-conservative? Weird analogy dude.
Personally I’m waiting for matoko_chan to stop by and quote some neat phrases from Machiavelli, tell us all how this somehow fits into some irrelevant demographics she’s found, and then let us know how this election got us into the conservative base’s base and their children are belong to us.
@Barry: You’re exactly right about one thing here – the GOP has proven that they will obstruct any Dem legislation merely on principle. The way to avoid the conclusion you arrive at (i.e., ineffective languishing and electoral doom) is for Dems in the Senate is to accept the reality of GOP obstruction and begin using reconciliation as the preferred, and only viable option, to get legislation passed. This requires working with Blue Dogs in the House, but it may be the new reality. Congress 2.0.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Gimme a kiss. In fact, kiss my entire pink baby-smooth ass.
( And, can you send a picture? )
I went and took a look at FireDogLake’s statement. It looks like they are going to be whipping for the Medicare expansion and/or public option to be passed through reconciliation or no deal. They are using their push poll to support their position.
I don’t see that they would support passing the Senate bill and fixing the excise tax and that is not what they are whipping for. In fact, they have specifically whipped against the excise tax as fixed even though the unions bought in.
My conclusion is that FDL and their allies are willing to kill healthcare reform over the Medicare expansion and/or the public option and will not whip in support of the Senate bill with the excise tax fix.
At this point, I see this as whipping to kill health care reform. I don’t support that.
And the reason for that is that they feared getting ripped for obstructing the Will Of The People as expressed in the election of Teh Preznit. But Republicans never get called out for that, or, if they do, they just don’t care. That’s the imbalance that makes no sense but feels so tangibly present: Democratic obstruction is presented as whiny (No Faaair!), and Republican obstruction is presented as tough (Up Yours!).
What’s badly needed is a compelling, emotionally resonant way of explaining this to the public _while projecting strength_. All I can come up with is something like “We know what they’re against, but what are they for?” I guess the answer is “Tax cuts.”
Booman gets it right:
Right, Now how do you force them to simply vote on someone else’s bill and not write their own?
Another live one. I concur with everything The Daily Show Senior Black Correspondent Larry Wilmore said.
I’m fairly certain that that requirement is actually in the Constitution.
Even so, it’s pretty meaningless—at least I recall that the Senate sometimes takes some House budget bill, rips everything out, and starts afresh.
Reconciliation does not provide them with any discretion on the matter.
Not sure what you are asking.
A much better way would be to just get rid of the filibuster.
but to be clear, you do not object to the PROCEDURE itself right?
No. He gets it wrong. It is not only possible, it is probably PREFERABLE to do both at the same time.
All that is required is that the President sign the Senate bill first and the amending reconciliation bill second.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
You should be ashamed of yourself.
@BTD: Would you support the Senate bill plus the excise tax fix or do you require the Medicare expansion /public option fix as well?
I just want to be clear what your position is because I think the Senate bill plus excise tax fix is possibly doable.
Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but the thread’s too long:
If they run on the mere fact of obstructionism, then they’ll lose. But if they point out that Republicans prevented the passage of meaningful financial reform, Democrats will be a shoo-in.
If Massachusetts meant anything, it meant that the economy is more important to those voters than health care reform. Republicans’ support of business as usual on Wall Street will not sit well with even the most conservative.
@BTD: What happened to the demand that the excise tax be stripped altogether? I remember some fierce fights. Is that position by the wayside or still operative?
Doubt it…people don’t have a clear understanding of how government works, they’d want to know how the Republicans prevented passage of a bill when Democrats are a majority.
It’s lack of understand of how our government works…if we knew, we’d demand it changed.
That has to be coupled with the Democrats trying to pass serious reforms themselves, though.
Personally I’m very cynical about the whole thing since the people Obama turned to after winning were the same neoliberals whose Randian bullshit led us to disaster to begin with.
IOW, I’ll believe the Dems are serious the day Geithner and Summers are thrown from the top of the Washington Monument and replaced with Stiglitz and Krugman.
A ‘running against obstructionism’ policy only works if there are sharp differences between the parties on the issues highlighted.
In the case of Wall Street, all we’ve seen from the Dems so far is rhetoric backed by little action, and that little action being watered down by the Wall St. whores in the House and Senate.
I’m not BTD, but I’ll throw in my $0.50 (inflation hits everything at some point) worth. :)
If the fix agreed to between the WH and labor is doable and winds up on Obama’s desk, I’ll support the bill.
If it’s not, then I stand firm in opposition.
That said, I’d much prefer a public option.
It’d be the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, so to speak.
I’m in no position whatsoever to talk about the order in which things need to be passed. But I do think Booman gets one thing right.
What bothers me is I cannot imagine Obama doing this. It doesn’t fit with working above the frey, being an adult, keeping his hands clean while the congress thrashes the details out. I hope to proven wrong on this.
Exactly. That’s what getting lost in all this madness. Sure, Scott Brown is a teabagging moran. But look at what kind of teabagging moran he ran as via his message control. The dude pulled off an absolute con job and is going to get slaughtered back home after his first taste of being an Obstructionist Asshole.
I guess I always knew that Democrats had been pretty browbeaten by Republicans over the years, but never would I have thought that someone like Barney Frank would be throwing in the towel before the bodies were even fucking cold.
Bring on the State of the Union. And hurry.
I agree with Geg, that is very likely what is going to happen unless the Dems have a sudden return to reality.
Which is why we’re going ahead with our Canadian residency. We have finally decided to let go — neither of us believe the US is salvageable at this point. Obama’s election and the Dem majority gave us a little hope, but that’s gone now.
Paul in KY
ellaesther, I agree that Jon really nailed it in his teeth gnashing over what a bunch of doofuses our Democratic party leaders are.
To use a colorful expression of my dad’s: ‘They could fuck up a wet dream’.
Let’s you and I have a friendly wager, a drinking game if you prefer.
During the SOTU, for every time Obama lights it up and targets the opposition (defined as however you like), you take a drink.
Every time he uses the word “humble” (or variants of this expression), I will take a drink.
Ever since news of the agreement between labor and the WH came out, that’s been my stated opinion.
Brown’s somewhat surprising win didn’t change my mind one bit either way.
That said, single payer accompanied by whatever amount of across the board income tax hikes needed to pay for it would be my first choice.
I like this plan. Looks like we have a little bit of time to hash out the particulars of this here drinking game.
I look forward to both of us being blacked out.
@Glocksman: Me too.
You’re a brave man if you’re willing to die of cirrhosis of the liver just to make a point. :)
All kidding aside, there has to be a point where Obama realizes that bipartisanship only goes so far and that after that point you have to destroy your opponent.
Speaking purely politically, I think the passing the Senate bill is better than passing nothing at all. But the question is moot; passing the Senate bill and improving it is far better than either of those two options, so let’s do that.
I looked into emigration to Canada last year, and from running their handy dandy calculator I discovered that surprisingly enough I’d have a much easier time of it if I’d stayed employed at a line/short order cook over the last 13 years at Meadows Inn, instead of leaving for the local TJ Maxx DC in 1996 and becoming a certified forklift/VNA pallet truck/ RC truck operator.
Keep in mind that this accounts for the family I have living in Edmonton.
Without them, I wouldn’t have qualified either way.
This is nonsense, geg. It’s not a matter of “approval”. Again, Senate Finance has exclusive or joint jurisdiction on the three public health care programs in this country.
Those programs cannot be modified without the Senate Finance Committee.
It is not now and was never a matter of “picking the most conservative committee” or “picking the most liberal committee”. That’s nonsense. A more liberal committee in the Senate cannot modify those programs without the Senate Finance Committee.
What in God’s name would be the point of writing legislation and hoping the Senate Finance Committee, who have jurisdiction over those issues, consent to cede jurisdiction and sign off it? Why in the hell would they ever do that?
“Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: “Finance [is] working closely w/HELP
([Chris] Dodd and Baucus speaking regularly),” the memo says. HELP is looking to begin its markup process June 16. The Hill’s Jeffrey Young has gotten his hands on Title I of HELP’s bill, which you can download here.
The goal for both committees is to have health-care reform on the Senate floor by the last two weeks of July.”
The emphasis is mine. Jurisdiction matters, geg. The idea that Reid or Obama could snatch jurisdiction from Finance on areas where they have exclusive jurisdiction is just incorrect.
You’re telling me it was simply a matter of Obama telling Olympia Snowe she’d be consenting to the HELP bill?
I mean, HELP wrote a bill. The consulted with Finance on areas of joint jurisdiction. We talked about it.
Obama doesn’t make these decisions, and either does Harry Reid.
Never mind, keep picking over minute strategic details when the real problem is inherent & permanent conflicting interests. Have fun.
As I said, there is nothing about this bill that is any different from any other bill. And if you think that decisions don’t get made among the WH and the leadership as to who will be taking the lead role in marshalling a bill through, you are as naive and ignorant of how things get done on the Hill as you seem to think I am.
We’ve already got the residency. We’d just delayed moving when we got our hopes up that the country wasn’t completely insane. Oh well. Eh?
If only I could get my favorite political blogger to do the same.
...now I try to be amused
Then we’re betting that health care reform will be popular enough no one will want to let it sunset.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
I’m glad to read this post from John. Time to end the excuses.
@ellaesther: Yeah, it’s not a fun day, but I feel better after calling my representative, even if I felt like I fell down a bit–next time I’m writing out a speech.
@Midnight Marauder:I think we’re going to need to change the terms of our game. Otherwise I will be knocked the F out and you’ll be dry and sober.
Obama says: No biggie
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.): It’s time for you to stop it Bruce. Just stop it with all the infighting.
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive your copy of the lyrics to Kum-bah-ya.
You’re wrong, geg. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee can’t modify Medicare. The HELP Committee can’t modify the tax code.
Presenting it like this is just not true.
Jeezus. I’m starting to think it’s not that you think I’m stupid, it’s that you are stupid.
Of course, the Foreign Relations Committee doesn’t have a say so in a HCR bill. WTF.
Sorry for assuming you have enough intelligence to understand that when I talk about “various committees,” I mean the various committees that would have oversight over some portion of the bill, whether it is Finance, HELP, Commerce, whatthefuckever.
Yeah, that’s certainly not what I was expecting, but all you can really hope at this point is that sanity prevails and these clowns get their shit together. Besides, there’s still a lot of time left on the clock until the SOTU. Chances are we’ll both still be hammered before the fourth tepid standing ovation.
The Senate Finance Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over Medicare.
It doesn’t matter if Obama insists HELP write something to modify Medicare. They can’t modify it. They don’t have jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction isn’t “oversight”. It’s the capacity to modify.
Finance has jurisdiction over every essential element of a health care bill. HELP does not.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
I’m sure there’s a quantum universe where this made sense.
Since I have no idea what you’re trying to say I’ll just repeat the same question I’ve been asking for a few days; go back just nine months and Franken was in court, Specter was a Republican, and Kennedy was on death’s door. What did anybody think was possible back then? If stuff was possible then it sure as hell is possible now.
Except for John Cole, who will continue to punch hippies.
What’s funny about that to me is that my Canadian relatives to a person will deny that they ever use ‘eh?’ to end a sentence.
Then they turn right around and do so. :)
The other thing that struck me as odd was that almost all of them think I have a ‘US Southern’ accent and the ones I’m related to by marriage asked if I were from Texas.
I myself think I have a midwestern accent with a few regional oddities (‘washington’ versus ‘warshington’).
Though I guess its all in the ear of the beholder.
That said, when my US born uncle and his Canadian born wife visited us here in Indiana, she looked at me as if I had horns and cloven feet after I explained that yes, I was perfectly legal to carry the .357 she noticed on my hip, and that no I was not a law enforcement officer of any kind.
My uncle didn’t know whether to laugh or apologize. :)
First, Finance absolutely does not have jurisdiction over every part of the Senate bill and it did not have to be the committee that controlled the process. That is total and absolute bullshit that sounds good but is simply untrue. And you know very well what I meant about many committees having oversight over some portion of the bill. But, as usual with an attorney, it’s more important to you to twist my meaning and score unimportant rhetorical points than actual concede that you are full of shit.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Right, my god. FFS Cole, you don’t detect the slightest hint of conflict between quoting this and then telling people to GO GET YOURSELF A PIECE OF REPUBLICAN? Nevermind your behavior over the last couple months, how do you even get through this post without noticing how badly you’re contradicting yourself?
(and in case I’m not making myself clear: the first thing the Dems should do if they’re going to take that post to heart is look at themselves)
@Uriel: Oh snap, reconciliation doesn’t go through the Senate anymore? Holy crap we really are gonna get stuff done now!
@Dave Fud: <blockquote Set that bomb off and move on. The filibuster empowers corporatist corrupt senators, and there will never be Democratic accomplishments so long as the filibuster remains in place
The fillibuster was all the dems had when they were the minority to stop the republicans from doing some seriously stupid shit.
We will have to accept the fact that Republicans will walk all over us when it is their turn and their turn will come. Take nothing for granted.