Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Hey, Senate Democrats! The only thing you have to fear is yourselves.

Fictional president Andrew Shepherd said in his famous speech at the end of the movie The American President: “I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job.”

Senate Democrats are so busy worrying about what will happen if they lose the majority that they are refusing to rule like a majority.

You will lose the majority when you fail to meet the needs of your constituents. And right now you are doing that. Take the recent example of student loans, filibustered into oblivion early this week because it “only” had 51 votes. Does passing it in the senate guarantee that it will pass the House and be signed by the president and become law? Of course not. But if you don’t force the Republican House to vote on bills that the American people support you give the GOP a huge gift. Make them own their votes and then make them run on those votes in 2014.

The senate filibuster is not enshrined in the constitution. In fact, it is a perversion of the constitution which says a super-majority is only needed to ratify a treaty or to override a presidential veto. There is no “60 vote minority rights” clause in the constitution.

Quit jabbering about it , get your act together and implement filibuster reforms, the Merkley plan or maybe the Jimmy Stewart Plan:

Jimmy Stewart’s famous filibuster scene is entitled “Lost Causes”. I would like to think that this cause is not lost … we really must fix the Senate if we are to have any hope of a functioning government.

We wasted the first 2 years of President Obama’s first term because we not only had to compromise with Republicans but with LIEberdems and Blue Dogs. 50 plus 1 would have given us the chance to pass some of the over 400 bills that were sent from the House to the Senate to die during the 111th Congress.

We wasted the next two years with regulatory agencies being understaffed and extreme backlogs in the courts threatening our judicial system.  

Remember … the Republicans want government to fail. Period. They will become a permanent minority if we can show the American people that government works.

We don’t need heroes to fix this. We just need 50 plus 1 Democratic senators willing to do their jobs.

(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)


  1. Reid Files Cloture On 7 Executive Nominees

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday he’s filing cloture to set up test votes next week on seven executive nominees and threatened to change the filibuster rules* if Republicans don’t let them through.

    The nominees include Richard Cordray to be the head of the lightning rod Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    *I do not recommend holding your breath in anticipation of this happening. We have been waiting since 2010 for senate rule changes respecting the rights of the majority and for elections to actually have consequences in the U.S. Senate. They only seem to have consequences when Republicans win elections.

  2. jlms qkw

    had a televised/phone town hall last night.

    i watched a little over half of it.

    every question could be answered “it was obama’s fault and the federal government is too big”.  

    even syria.  

    it was sad.  i submitted a question about student loan rates that was not answered in the time i was watching.  

  3. ThinkProgress has an in-depth article “Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Nuclear Option’ And Harry Reid’s Plan To Fix The Senate” that is worth a read if you want to get into the weeds on the filibuster:

    On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took the first step to invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” a Senate procedure that will allow a majority of the Senate to effectively change its rules to limit widespread obstructionism by the minority. As the trigger for this reform involves seven executive branch nominees being held up by Senate Republican filibusters, the likely consequence of this round of rules reform will be to eliminate the minority’s ability to filibuster nominees to non-judicial jobs.

    One key point, and an explanation of why the rules need to change now, was that the original Gang of 14 that averted the first invocation of the “nuclear option” in 2005 used the words “extraordinary circumstances”:

    Democrats filibustered nominees like Owen, Pryor and Brown because they viewed them as uniquely offensive nominees justifying the use of unusual tactics. Republicans under Obama, by contrast, say that there are some jobs that they will confirm no one to, no matter who President Obama nominates. Many Democrats who still believe that the filibuster can exist if it is only used, in the words of the Gang of 14 agreement, in “extraordinary circumstances,” now see that filibusters are being used in extraordinarily ordinary circumstances. They believe this is a bridge too far.

    The failure to approve National Labor Relations Board positions will shut it down, eliminating important protections for American workers. THAT is what this is all about … destroying the ability of the administration to regulate union-busting business practices.

    This chart shows how executive branch nominees have fared over the years:

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