McConnell Will Save Us!

This is ugly:

Reid has embraced a carrot-and-stick strategy on the filibuster reform. The “carrot” is the deal he’s offering McConnell. Its major provisions include eliminating filibusters on the motion to proceed and speeding the process of breaking filibusters against most presidential nominations.
The Senate’s reformers are crestfallen. This is not, in their view, filibuster reform. Forget breaking the Senate’s 60-vote requirement. This doesn’t even make senators stand up and talk, as would be the case under the proposal Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) were pushing.

And this would be great, but it’s unlikely:

The last, best hope for filibuster reformers is that McConnell won’t take Reid’s deal. In that case, Reid is preparing a backup plan that includes both of the items in the Reid-McConnell talks and one more: An innovative reform that changes who bears the burden for cloture votes.
Right now, the majority needs to supply the 60 votes to break a filibuster. The minority only needs one vote on the floor. Under Reid’s backup plan, the burden would be reversed: The minority would have to supply the 41 votes required to keep a filibuster going, while the majority wouldn’t have to do much of anything. That means that if the minority only had 38 votes present in the room, the filibuster would end. It also means the minority could be forced to muster all their people to vote at times of the majority leader’s choosing: say, 3 a.m. on a Saturday. It would make filibustering a much more unpleasant experience.

Whatever you want to say about McConnell, he’s a smooth operator and he doesn’t generally cut off his nose to spite his face, so counting on him to take the worse deal is a bad bet. The Senate is full of a bunch of elderly rule fetishizing prima donnas, and none of them really want to give up their power to throw sand in the gears, so I expect a quiet sigh of relief on the part of Democrats like DiFi, Baucus, Levin and others when McConnell takes Reid’s deal.

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108 replies
  1. 1

    Oh, for fuck’s sake.

  2. 2
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Christ in a crosswalk (usual link: http://www.masslive.com/news/i.....tting.html).

  3. 3
    Hill Dweller says:

    I blame Obama.

  4. 4
    Alex S. says:

    I think the compromise is a good solution. There are still crazy House republicans in the majority.

  5. 5
    jibeaux says:

    It seems that Senate Dems wanted co-ownership with gridlock and failure. So be it, it’s on them now.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    How stupid is it that you preserve the very rules that cause your institution to malfunction.

    It’s like downloading malware on purpose.

  7. 7

    @Hill Dweller:

    If he were just a little nicer to all those Senators who want to keep the federal government from remotely functioning (outside of the Pentagon), this would never have happened.

  8. 8
    Tommybones says:

    Why does Reid need to negotiate with McConnell at all???? So he can slap the idiotic “bi-partisan” tag on the deal???? Who the fuck cares? The GOP is openly attempting to rig elections and Reid is still falling over himself trying to land the bi-partisan seal of approval???

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Obama should have used the bully pulpit!

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    @Tommybones: Exactly.

    The only way that makes sense is if he negotiates with the Turtle and then turns around and passes the hard reforms.

    The only way to teach a Turtle not to shit on the carpet is to rub his Kentucky nose in it.

  11. 11
    Xenos says:

    @Jerzy Russian: I used to live in that area – Lord Jesus Christ the cross-dressing rastafarian is a bit of a local celebrity. Everybody knows him. Sorry to hear he got hurt.

    But anyone who has had to drive through Northampton has had problems with the pedestrian crosswalks – there is one every ten feed, it seems, and the sandalistas are very aggressive about using them.

  12. 12
    Suffern ACE says:

    Which is why, after the rebellion, when I take control of the country using my special combination of ruthless cunning and movie star good looks, I will abolish the senate and rule through fear alone.

  13. 13
    Soonergrunt says:

    Perhaps it is time to start pushing Democratic Senators for a new Majority Leader.
    Why does Reid constantly throw life jackets to Republicans who spit in his face every chance they get?

  14. 14
    Napoleon says:

    @Tommybones:

    Why does Reid need to negotiate with McConnell at all????

    He doesn’t, but to make matters worse the last time around he negotiated a deal with him and the Turtle didn’t honor it. This is Lucy and the football territory.

  15. 15
    Robin G. says:

    @Suffern ACE: It’s often forgotten that while Machiavelli said it is better for a ruler to be feared than loved, he actually advocated going for both. So don’t forget our public holidays, is all I’m saying.

  16. 16
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I’m trying to withhold my judgment until Reid actually does something but the news that is dribbling out is driving me nuts. I’m tired of climbing the walls and would like to come down.

    This is an opportunity to make the Senate more effective. I really hope they wind up doing that.

    And yes, I am a wild-eyed idealist [underneath my cynical shell].

  17. 17
    Xenos says:

    @Tommybones: It makes sense given the circumstances. Either the GOP signs onto a mild deal, or they give the green light to the Democrats to enact a more sever rules change. Just coming in with the rules change and stuffing it down the GOP throats (be nice to actually have that happen, for once) could be overreach and lead to backlash. Smart incrementalist politics that pursues small ball and big balls (or zhqtever the opposite of ‘small ball’ is) on parallel tracks.

  18. 18
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Suffern ACE: #12

    Which is why, after the rebellion, when I take control of the country using my special combination of ruthless cunning and movie star good looks, I will abolish the senate and rule through fear alone.

    Your ideas intrigue me. Do you have a newsletter? :-)

  19. 19
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Behind this debate, say multiple Senate staffers, is the simple fact that Reid and some of the other senior Democrats really don’t really want to change the filibuster.

    There you have it.

  20. 20
    Robin G. says:

    @Soonergrunt: He hasn’t been lately. He’s actually been fairly badass, which makes this about-face so odd. I’d say it’s less about placating Republicans than it is about maintaining the status quo. Old white men in power do love their status quos.

  21. 21

    @Xenos:

    Could lead to backlash, my ass. When it’s Dems shoving things down people’s throats, it’s always overreach.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @Suffern ACE: Also, please let the Cubs get into the WS. They don’t even have to win.

    On second thought that’s too big an ask even for an Autocrat.

  23. 23
    Tommybones says:

    @Xenos: We’ve been fooled into believing a majority vote by elected representatives = “stuffing it down the GOP throats”

    That mindset is a huge part of the problem.

    Backlash? Who cares? The demographic trends all point to Democratic majorities for generations at this point. Who is the bigger loser with a strong filibuster reform? Short term? GOP. Long term? GOP.

  24. 24
    qwerty42 says:

    I pretty much always expected a compromise of some sort. Most of these guys know and play by the internal rules. The filibuster was being abused and that had to stop. But the Senate is pretty much never inclined to jump into things. I’d *love* it if they really had to talk. Here is a link for Senator Allen Ellender’s gumbo recipe, which I believe was part of a filibuster (probably on something needed, like civil rights, fortunately that passed):
    http://www.chefs.com/ArticleDe.....icleID=604

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tommybones:

    Why does Reid need to negotiate with McConnell at all????

    This.

    He should tell that vile pile of racist shit to shove his concerns up where the sun does not shine.

    FUCK the Rethug swine.

  26. 26
    PeakVT says:

    Senate gridlock is good for Senate fundraising, but bad for America.

  27. 27
    chopper says:

    clearly this shows what an awful negotiator obama is.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Which is why, after the rebellion, when I take control of the country using my special combination of ruthless cunning and movie star good looks, I will abolish the senate and rule through fear alone.

    Ah, the “Tarkin Doctrine”. I trust you’ve got plans for a Death Star handy to enforce your will?

  29. 29
    japa21 says:

    @BGinCHI: Heck, that would be a miracle beyond the scope of God. Getting the Mets there in 69 was hard enough.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Is Reid the problem or are there enough Dems with a love of their Senate prerogatives that they won’t go along with reform? A Senate majority leader has limited power over his colleagues.

  31. 31
    chopper says:

    @Xenos:

    this is the senate. one of the reasons filibuster reform is harder than it should be is because senators across the board loves them some crazy stupid rules.

    i would support this compromise more if i felt that it was just the first step and a necessary one to get the ball rolling on large-scale reform. not sure about that tho.

    i will say, when it comes to filibusters in the past few years, the place they’ve really been laid on thick is over nominations. merely fixing that part would take care of the majority of them i would think.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tommybones:

    Why does Reid need to negotiate with McConnell at all????

    Because Reid doesn’t have enough Democratic votes to pass the rules, so he needs a few Republicans to sign on.

    Once again, I must apologize to the entire country for my Republican-lite, DINO Senator Dianne fucking Feinstein.

  33. 33
    Maude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    That’s it. Reid has to have the votes to get reform.

  34. 34
    Tommybones says:

    Meanwhile, we all know the truth is the Democrats have always loved having a convenient villain to blame when they are “forced” to compromise away from progressive initiatives. They WANT a firewall.

  35. 35
    chopper says:

    @Tommybones:

    exactly. this isn’t the house, where you have to worry about gerrymandering inflating the GOPs numbers.

  36. 36
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    And yet, the best way for Democrats to keep their seats is to pass Progressive bills.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Once again, I must apologize to the entire country for my Republican-lite, DINO Senator Dianne fucking Feinstein.

    Thankfully I’m not in your position, seeing how one of my Senators is Jeff Merkley.

  38. 38
    japa21 says:

    @Tommybones:

    Meanwhile, we all know the truth is the Democrats have always loved having a convenient villain to blame when they are “forced” to compromise away from progressive initiatives. They WANT a firewall.

    They NEED a firewall. Do they want the truth? They can’t handle the truth.

  39. 39
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is Reid the problem or are there enough Dems with a love of their Senate prerogatives that they won’t go along with reform? A Senate majority leader has limited power over his colleagues.

    One of the ideas put forth in William Greider’s estimable Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy is that we have inadvertently created a class of Mandarins in government. These Mandarins are more at home with the lobbyists and with each other than they are with their constituents.

    When I first read Greider’s book (in 1993) I’d hoped that he was wrong, or that the condition was temporary. In the case of the Senate I believe that the Mandarin mindeset is both permanent and pernicious.

  40. 40

    I’m sensitive to the ‘we need to have a filibuster’ arguments, so 90% of what I want is reform to stop the secret delays and nomination blocking – especially the nomination blocking. I’d be okay with the deal, if not super enthused.

    @Mnemosyne:
    Hey, mine are McConnell (R-Assholes) and Paul (R-The Voices In His Head).

  41. 41
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: How did California end up with Feinstein? I hope she retires soon so that we can have Senator Kamala Harris.

    OT – Kerry is testifying. I think his opening statement is great. He’ll be a great SOS.

    Who’s the first teabagger moron who’ll ask him about Benghazi? My bet is on Wisconsin’s embarrassment.

  42. 42
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m always impressed by the numbers of Oregonians I meet on my daily troop through the blogs. Where do you live? I represent the People’s Republic of Southeast Portland, myself.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bmaccnm:

    I’m in Track Town.

  44. 44
    askew says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I’m sensitive to the ‘we need to have a filibuster’ arguments, so 90% of what I want is reform to stop the secret delays and nomination blocking – especially the nomination blocking. I’d be okay with the deal, if not super enthused.

    That’s what I want to see addressed as well. The Republicans have basically put a hold on 75% of Obama’s nominations and we have a serious judicial crisis right now.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bmaccnm:

    Darn, wasn’t able to add this in edit, but I will here…apparently a post was released from moderation hell and that changed the order, and I lost ownership of my post.

    Track Town, home of Phil Knight’s Fighting Fashion Nightmares.

  46. 46
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Reid didn’t have the votes to do straight-up reform. He needed 51 of 54. There were six who weren’t going to go for it. From my own state, I get DiFi, she’s a Republican in everything but name, but Boxer?

    I’ll never understand that. She’s got some explaining to do.

  47. 47
    Comrade Jake says:

    The reality is that none of this is surprising, and if we’re honest- Dems are as much to blame as Republicans. The fact of the matter is that Senators love the power they have, and the power that one has with the current filibuster system is significant. Anything that upsets that status quo is going to be met with a great deal of resistance.

  48. 48
    Parfigliano says:

    @Tommybones:

    That’s cute. You think they will actually count the votes then.

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    I’ve gotten so annoyed at DiFi over the years. This is just the latest example. She’s only marginally better than just putting a moderate Republican in office. I keep hoping she’ll lose the next primary, but no one ever runs against her. I’d call but the bitch ignores everyone to do whatever she wants. I suppose she is better than Baucus.

  50. 50
    FlipYrWhig says:

    _Of course_ there are plenty of Democrats in the Senate who don’t want to change the filibuster. It’s a perk. It’s something that gives Senators special power. They like to keep the powers they have. And they care at least as much about them as about getting things done. Probably more.

  51. 51
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    How did California end up with Feinstein?

    @Anya: In all seriousness, Dan White.

  52. 52
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    And yes, I am a wild-eyed idealist [underneath my cynical shell].

    All cynics are idealists; we constantly expect the best from people, and we are constantly disappointed.

  53. 53
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Robin G.: Feinstein and Boxer are not old white men.

  54. 54
    👽 Martin says:

    Giving the minority room to express their views on legislation is something to embrace and preserve. Not getting that looks like the VA legislatures stunt on Monday.

    I’ll embrace any filibuster reform that preserves the right to debate while eliminating the right to obstruct. That can be through a rules change or just an agreement to not do it (though that begs the point, why have a rule you agree to never use).

  55. 55
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Feinstein and Boxer are not old white men.

    WINOs?

  56. 56
    Suffern ACE says:

    I believe the trade should have been either filibuster reform or a three and a half day work week.

  57. 57
    HgMn says:

    if they want to filibluster -Make em stand up and talk all day
    there is always the chance one of them will drop dead of the effort

  58. 58
    Jon says:

    All this means is that the GOP has an excuse to end it the next time they control the chamber.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Jake: It is not generic Dems that are a problem. It is a few senior Dems who are “institutionalized” and as interested in their place within the Senate as they are in achieving policy goals.

  60. 60

    You know, we used to think filibuster reform was absolutely dead, that there was no way Reid would ever stand up to McConnell. I guess I’m going to move myself into a ‘wait and see’ category.

    EDIT – Sorry, that should be McConnell (R-Spiteful Racist Dicks).

  61. 61
    👽 Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is Reid the problem or are there enough Dems with a love of their Senate prerogatives that they won’t go along with reform?

    Reid (and many of the Dems) just want to get back on to the business of legislating. They don’t care if it’s a major reform or minor reforms + a gentleman’s agreement, but they don’t want to escalate the situation either. If you intentionally piss off your opposition, then it doesn’t matter what you do with the rules, they’re going to come out gunning for you at every turn and you wind up right back where you started. If a minor reform gets you congeniality in the chamber, then go with the minor reform. After all, most of these folks are going to be working together for the next 2 decades.

  62. 62
    var says:

    I think this is all the long game for the Republicans. They have control of the House through at least 2023. 2014 is a bad year for Dems up in red states. They are rigging the electoral college to have Ryan win in 2016.

    McConnell forces Reid into the nuclear option and Dem filibusters go away when there is Red control from 2017 to 2021 and they can enact their Galtian paradise.

  63. 63
  64. 64

    @var:
    Man, if there’s one thing the last 4 years taught me, it’s that there is no long game for the Republicans. They can’t see beyond the next five minutes. Their crap comes back to bite them over and over and over and over. The Tea Party? Yeah, that was a great long game.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    From my own state, I get DiFi, she’s a Republican in everything but name, but Boxer?

    Boxer was also instrumental in the stupid, stupid decision by Democrats to not submit a budget in 2010, which led directly to the debt ceiling crisis after the 2010 midterms and gave the Republicans way more leverage than they should have had. Her reasoning? They needed to protect the seats of the Blue Dogs. You know, the ones who ended up being decimated in a historic wave election.

    She’s very slightly better than Feinstein these days, but not by much. At this point, our only hope is retirement or death, because no California Democrat is going to get into a divisive primary.

    ETA: The one thing we’ll be able to count on Feinstein backing the president 100 percent on is gun regulation. In fact, she’ll probably be to the left of him. But that’s about it.

  66. 66
    Johnnybuck says:

    So they agree to this deal, and then tomorrow some anonymous republican senator decides to fillibuster Rob Cordray, the Presidents nominee to head the consumer protection bureau.

    Well played Harry, well played.

  67. 67
    aimai says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I think that McConnell can’t hold up any part of any deal and this is just the format that Reid needs to take to just do the deal he wants with 51 Senators. The offer, as I understand it, is that if McConnell can bring along X number of Republican votes he can consider himself a party to the deal and gets a slightly better deal. This is basically the Senate equivalent of Boehner’s plan B when he tried to round up enough of his own party’s votes to pass something, anything. But he couldn’t. The crazy is so strong that he couldn’t come up with enough votes. Someone tell me that Mcconnell has enough pull to drag his own guys into a compromise with the senate dems? Because I don’t think he does. So by default and after embarrassing the shit out of mcconnell reid regretfully passes the harsher legislation with 51 votes. Isn’t that the proposal?

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I AM the Senate!

  69. 69
    piratedan says:

    @👽 Martin: agree yet this still supposes that there’s reasonable folks on the other side. Considering the Republicans have been in scorpion mode for the last four years, I’d have a hard time having any faith in the opposition having any respect for the rules of proper conduct. We’ve already seen the venality at the state level where it’s no longer about convincing the voters to invest in your ideas as the direction the country should take, it’s now resembling a theocratic/ideological apartheid.

  70. 70
    Eric U. says:

    how do I call my Senator?

  71. 71
    unbreakable says:

    Ha, mistermix is yet another BJtard that actually believes the political theater.

    He probably doesn’t even realize that Reid and Turtleman are the best of buds when the cameras aren’t rolling.

  72. 72
    the golden ticket says:

    Ha, mistermix is yet another BJtard that actually believes the political theater.
    He probably doesn’t even realize that Reid and Turtleman are the best of buds when the cameras aren’t rolling.

  73. 73
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    So by default and after embarrassing the shit out of mcconnell reid regretfully passes the harsher legislation with 51 votes. Isn’t that the proposal?

    @aimai: Reid has proven himself to be both a sneaky and mean motherfucker this past year. I agree that this is likely the plan. My concern (probably his too) is can he flog three of the six holdouts into voting for the “harsher measures” when that time comes?

  74. 74
    David in NY says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    WINO’s

    Heh.

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Jesus, I thought I was the only one on the fucking planet that read that and saw the frontline based on it.

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @Eric U.: With a dog whistle.

  77. 77
    nellcote says:

    So Feinstein is pushing gun control but is against fillibuster reform. I see a problem there.

  78. 78
    KG says:

    With California’s new primary system, there may actually be more reason to challenge an incumbent from your party. All you have to do is finish second in the primary and you end up in the general. It hasn’t yet worked that way, but there’s some potential, particularly if the field is crowded by a lot of candidates from the other side.

  79. 79
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:

    Where are my fucking fainting couch and clutching pearls?

    Put me on the “wait and see how it fucking turns out” list, please.

    ETA: FUCKING EZRA KLINE? STOP TREATING KLINE AS IF HE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING!! ARGLEBARGLE

  80. 80
    Mino says:

    Supreme Court nominee(s)?

  81. 81

    Rest assured that the GOP will be quite happy to get rid of the filibuster next time they get a Senate majority.

    Those gerrymandered GOP Presidents from 2016 onwards will have their work cut out for them.

  82. 82
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Forcing the filibustering minority to produce 41 votes should be a no-brainer. You’re so opposed to letting the elected majority govern the damn country, you should be willing to pack a damn overnight bag. The current effortless obstruction model is crazy.

  83. 83
    max says:

    @Mnemosyne: Once again, I must apologize to the entire country for my Republican-lite, DINO Senator Dianne fucking Feinstein.

    You didn’t do it. But I have been wondering who is the worst Democratic Senator and I think it’s a race between Manchin and DiFi. The only reason Manchin is a D is because he couldn’t win in an R primary, and DiFi is apparently the mutant love child of Joe Lieberman and Marie Antoinette.

    At any rate, if they can’t get a bunch of people confirmed, and if they can’t get any legislation passed and if they lose the majority in 2014, they’ve got no one to blame but themselves, and any whining by the ‘centrist’ D Senators about R obstruction should be greeted with hearty laugh right in their faces. It’s one thing to be a centrist, and another to be self-sabotaging idiot. (Or a Machiavellian narcissist. Your choice.)

    max
    [‘We’ll just have to root these guys out of there.’]

  84. 84
    danimal says:

    @KG: You’re 100% right, but it doesn’t matter a bit. DiFi’s got 6 more years to frustrate us. I’m so disappointed there wasn’t a primary challenger this year.

  85. 85
    mdblanche says:

    Say remember a month ago when Harry Reid was eager to stick it to the Republicans over the debt ceiling while the White House was pushing harder for a deal? I seem to recall hearing something about how the White House didn’t think its bargaining position was as strong as everybody thought it was because they predicted a few Senate Democrats would get cold feet and undercut everyone else. I wonder whatever gave the White House the idea they’d do that.

  86. 86
    Waynski says:

    If you’re in NJ, here’s a linky to Lautenberg’s and Menendez’s office phone numbers:

    http://www.senate.gov/general/.....m?State=NJ

    If you’re not in NJ, go to http://www.senate.gov and look your Senator’s number up and call in favor of the talking fillibuster. I just looked up the numbers at senate.gov and made the calls. It will literally take three minutes out of your day. So get on the damn phone.

  87. 87
    handsmile says:

    Yes, yes, I’m well aware of the mossy traditions and august privileges of the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” but should Republicans gain majority control of the Senate in 2014 (with a current majority of 6 seats, the Ds will be defending 20, the Rs 13 in that mid-term election), does anyone doubt for a single moment that “reform” of filibuster procedures will be an immediate priority? And it sure as hell won’t be described as a “nuclear” or “constitutional” option.

    TPM has been covering this matter closely, including interviews/updates with “talking filibuster” proponent Sen. Jeff Merkley. From its reporting, that avuncular Senate Democrat Carl Levin seems to be as much a villain here as Reid or DiFi. As several commenters above have noted, who says bipartisanship is dead?

    ETA: PeakVT (#26) nails this one. Also too, Johnnybuck (#66) identifies just what a charade this will prove to be.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo):

    Oh, geez, that’s what I get for not clicking on the link — I didn’t realize it was Ezra “Medicare age is going to be raised! Democrats are going to fold on taxes!” Klein posting.

    I don’t know who Klein relies on for stories like these, but they’re pretty obviously fucking with him at this point.

  89. 89
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Which is why, after the rebellion, when I take control of the country using my special combination of ruthless cunning and movie star good looks, I will abolish the senate and rule through fear alone.

    I, for one, will welcome your overlordship when it comes. If I may beseech you ahead of time, I have a list of people that need a smack upside the head.

  90. 90
    handsmile says:

    The scorn heaped upon Ezra KLEIN by some on this blog continues to puzzle me. As to his knowledge and analysis of Congress and its skulduggery, I’m pretty happy relying on the approbations of Maddow and Hayes.

    @Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo): , @Mnemosyne:

    Could you point me to just what you find objectionable in the “Wonkblog” piece linked to by mistermix? It tracks closely to what TPM has been reporting on this issue for weeks. If you believe that TPM also “doesn’t know anything about anything!!,” then clearly our opinions will remain irreconcilable.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handsmile:

    I have trouble with Ezra giving us unattributed thoughts and feelings from “leadership aides” because he has had a very recent history of reporting those thoughts and feelings and turning out to be completely wrong about what was actually going on. Again, look at his various posts about the lead-up to the tax deal and tell us how much of what he was reporting actually turned out to be accurate.

    Either Klein’s sources aren’t as highly-placed as he claims, or he’s being lied to. Again.

    ETA: A lot of TPM’s predictions about the tax deal turned out to be Chicken Littling as well, so you can’t really claim that Klein must be right because TPM is reporting the same thing. “Garbage in, garbage out” applies to sources as well as computer code.

  92. 92
    Heliopause says:

    Why did you emoprogs waste so much time hoping for this? You never had the votes in the Senate for filibuster reform. “Oooh, Harry Reid will give us all ponies!” Goddamned emoprogs.

  93. 93
    matt says:

    To flog the holdouts, couldn’t Reid threaten to filibuster everything they want going forward?

  94. 94
    f space that says:

    @Heliopause: Yes, and this actually means the R’s will show their asses to the public even more. Also, with the big swing states all moving to Gerrymander the Electoral College, their are bigger fish to fry.

  95. 95
    liberal says:

    @ruemara:
    Not true, really. E.g. in 2011, Americans for Democratic Action gave DiFi a 90% rating. Ben Nelson got 55%. The Maine queens both got 45%.

    So if you restrict yourself to actual voting (yes, I’ll admit there are other aspects), she’s far, far more liberal than a so-called “moderate Republican”.

  96. 96
    Hill Dweller says:

    The deal they struck sucks. Republicans are allowed to propose at least 2 amendments for every bill in exchange for essentially nothing. They can still filibuster the President’s nominees.

  97. 97
    Narcissus says:

    I wish I had any faith Harry Reid wouldn’t accidentally step on his own dick if it was possible

  98. 98
    smintheus says:

    Who could’ve predicted that Reid would torpedo real filibuster reform?

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @smintheus: How do you see Reid torpedoing anything?

  100. 100
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Who wants to be the first to tell me what a piece of shit I am for predicting Reid’s predictable-ass cave, and routinely denouncing the dems as codependent fuckwads wholly complicit in this country’s downward spiral?

    Don’t you get it? They WANT the republicans to be powerful.

    I’ll start: T&H, you are a shit stain!

  101. 101
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    And yes, I am a wild-eyed idealist [underneath my cynical shell].

    No, Linda. You’re basically just an enabler of really bad, repetitive behavior.

  102. 102
    handsmile says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Thanks for your reply.

    While I deplore the practice, Klein’s use of unattributed quotations and anonymous sources is no different than that adopted by other White House and Hill reporters. I would claim, in fact, that he is far less reliant upon them than his NYT colleagues. (I admit to rarely reading WaPo reporters other than Klein, Greg Sargent or Dana Priest.) I’d be grateful if you could recommend a more industrious reporter on this beat.

    I’m not going to review Klein’s daily columns on the fiscal cliff negotiations, but I do read him most every day, in large part because I find his reporting and analysis more speculative and nuanced, rather than definitive or conclusive, appropriate to dynamic discussions and the inevitable “spinning” by sources.

    That the outcome of protracted and controversial legislation differs from what was reported during negotiations does not discredit a reporter, in my view. My evaluation of reliability/integrity is based on a broader time-frame than a single issue and by comparing the accounts written by other journalists whom I have learned to trust. In a competitive media environment, each reporter will be distinguished by his/her sources, both on and off the record. As for accuracy, newspaper accounts remain “the first draft of history.”

    Ezra Klein and TPM have earned my respect for the overall depth and quality of their work over a number of years. Perhaps our M does V here.

  103. 103
    smintheus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Reid chose to promote the appearance of reform instead of genuine reform…exactly as I expected he’d do. Reid has been tepid all along about genuine filibuster reform. It would cut into his ability to wield power.

    Reid gains power through Republican intransigence. He gets to cut deals with the GOP, getting some (usually minor stuff) voted upon in exchange for holding off other votes. He gets more power to prioritize what is brought to the floor, which usually seems to be mainly what Reid himself approves of. And to his caucus he can blame his decisions to dump popular legislation on real or fictional GOP obstructionism. Reid also gets more power to choose among competing bills, deep sixing those he or administration officials or lobbyists fear/loathe, and bring the most tame versions of ‘reform’ for a floor vote (as he did in 2007/2008 with the competing versions of FISA reform bills).

    Reid is a devious power player. He doesn’t appear to care about improving governance so much as expanding his own power.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @smintheus: What I wonder is how many votes there would be for “real” filibuster reform?

  105. 105
    NR says:

    Predictable deal. Superficial changes only. The filibuster remains in place and as strong as ever.

    The next time one of you tries to make excuses for the Democrats by saying “You firebaggers didn’t have 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster!” remember that that Republican filibuster, and all other Republican filibusters, are only happening because the Democrats specifically decided to allow them to happen.

    The bottom line is this: The Democrats want the filibuster in place so that they have an excuse not to pass progressive legislation, but they will never use it to stop the right-wingers.

    The sooner everyone clues in to that fact, the better.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handsmile:

    That the outcome of protracted and controversial legislation differs from what was reported during negotiations does not discredit a reporter, in my view.

    Can you please keep that in mind during the current protracted negotiations over the Senate rules? As has already been shown by the tax cuts negotiations, neither Klein nor TPM necessarily has a better idea of what’s really going on behind closed doors or what the final outcome will be than the average joe on the street.

    Klein is a good policy analyst once actual policy is laid out, but he’s not very good at reading the tea leaves and predicting how politicians will act ahead of time.

  107. 107
    handsmile says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Necessarily” seems to carry a lot of weight in this reply. It’s your prerogative to consult the ‘average joe on the street” on legislative negotiations; I’ll continue to be comfortable having my opinion informed by Klein and TPM (and other news sources).

    As for the “negotiations over the Senate rules” aka “filibuster reform,” I fail to see any substantial difference between what has been reported by Klein and TPM (especially) in recent days and the compromise agreement issued by Reid’s office this afternoon. Conflicting reports remain on whether Reid actually ever had 51 Democratic votes to pass Merkley/Udall’s “talking filibuster’ proposal. I expect we”ll find out rather soon whether this agreement does in fact “change the way the Senate does business.” Consider me pessimistic.

    Clearly we hold sharply different views on the competence and utility of Ezra Klein. Not for the first time our opinions are both deeply felt and divergent. I’m sure it will not be the last.

  108. 108
    patrick says:

    Levin will be getting an earful from me. I don’t understand why at the very least they didn’t flip the burden….that at least seems more fair

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