Looks Like Reid’s Filibuster Deal is Paying Off

Harry Reid, the original Charlie Brown:

Sen. Roy Blunt signaled Wednesday that there may be enough votes in the Senate to delay debate on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon.

Blunt (R-Mo.) said he believed there were 40 votes in the Senate that indicated “it’s too quick to end the debate on this nomination.”

The GOP, which controls 45 votes in the Senate, would need 41 votes to block former Sen. Hagel from hitting the 60-vote threshold that some Republicans have threatened.

Insert your favorite Groundhog Day quote here.

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146 replies
  1. 1
    Hill Dweller says:

    Chuck Todd will be quick to point out this is Obama’s fault for nominating a Republican.

  2. 2
    Rathskeller says:

    too bad for Hagel. it’s an honor to be hated by those people, though.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Reid’s just being pragmatic. Don’t worry about it, he’s got this.

  4. 4
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Reid has to be one of the lamest Senate leaders that the Democrats have ever had.

    Hell, Pelosi has more balls than Harry.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    f..k

    edit.. oh yeah in honor of groundhog day (the movie)
    f..k f…k f..k f..k.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    All I gotta say is, “Thanks, Harry!”

    You feckin’ idjit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hey, Harry, look!
    I got some magic “Bipartisan” beans!!!

  7. 7
    jibeaux says:

    Mercy, that certainly comes as a quite a shock, indeed.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    Honestly, I’m not sure Hagel could’ve choked on his own dick any harder than he did. Yeah, they were gunning for him and the R’s a bunch of relentlessly stupid assholes. But Chuck shat himself at every opportunity.
    I say Obama nominates Shirley Sherrod for SecDef.

  9. 9
    minutemaid says:

    Coming from Wr0ng W@y Cole who has absolutely no fucking clue at the best of times that sounds like good news for Dems.

    Not that I give a fuck on this one because Hagel is a Republican so I have no problem letting the Republican shit show continue.

    Cole falls into that category of know nothing political junkie/blogger that thinks all the political theater designed for public consumption is what is ACTUALLY going on.

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    Bring on the Stormtroopers to disband the Imperial Senate.

  11. 11
    ruemara says:

    Got to say, this is bullshit and I hope Harry still has some sense of shame. That being said, it’s fucking complicated. He didn’t have the votes for the full overhaul and we can thank some old guard Dems for that too.

  12. 12
    srv says:

    Maybe we could get Cindy Sheehan to move to NV

  13. 13
    NR says:

    Sounds like it’s time for more bipartisanship. After all, bipartisanship fixes everything! At least, that’s what the Democrats say, and they’re never wrong about anything, so there you have it.

  14. 14
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Told you so.

    I await your thanks and congratulations for my prescience.

  15. 15
    Maude says:

    @TenguPhule:
    That was done in Germany. Didn’t work out too well.

  16. 16
    Percysowner says:

    He didn’t have the votes for the full overhaul and we can thank some old guard Dems for that too.

    In the end I think that is what it boiled down to, Reid couldn’t get the votes for any more reform than he got and some of the Dems had to be part of that. Sadly, when the Repubs ever take control of the Senate again, the filibuster will end because they will not allow the Dems to do to them what they did to us.

  17. 17
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @ruemara:

    He didn’t have the votes for the full overhaul and we can thank some old guard Dems for that too.

    If there was a required number of votes to take a pee Harry’s nickname would be “Puddles”.

  18. 18
    efgoldman says:

    Harry Reid, the original Charlie Brown:

    Well, Charlie Brown is the original Charlie Brown.
    But Reid is a pretty good simulacrum.
    Benen reports today that Grandpa Walnuts and his buddies say they’re going to prevent a vote, but refuse, when goaded, to use the f-word.

  19. 19
    danimal says:

    Reid was spineless in this negotiation, but I suspect it’s because he didn’t have rock-solid Dem support behind closed doors.

    While it’s fun to bash Reid, and he may deserve it, let’s remember that it is the GOP that is trashing the Senate. They deserve the lion’s share of disgust and anger.

  20. 20
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Percysowner:

    Sadly, when the Repubs ever take control of the Senate again, the filibuster will end because they will not allow the Dems to do to them what they did to us.

    So strange how it always works out that way…but not the other way, you know.

    Any ideas on why that might be?

    Codependency: Google it.

  21. 21
    NR says:

    @danimal:: There is a point at which the party that refuses to fight the crazies, becomes just as responsible as the crazies themselves for the damage done to the country.

    We’re long past that point in America.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Percysowner: Not just ‘old guard”, at least I don’t usually put Barbara Boxer in that group. At the very least they should have gone with Franken’s rule about putting the burden on those making the filibuster, not those who want to maintain it. And just fucking get rid of one Senator holds all together.

  23. 23

    I love the obsession with a single point of blame.

  24. 24
    danimal says:

    @efgoldman: Yeah, if it looks like a filibuster, strips the majority of the right to vote like a filibuster, then it’s a fcuking filibuster. They can not avoid it, try as they might.

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    @ruemara:

    He didn’t have the votes for the full overhaul….

    And I am ashamed to say that my Senator, Jack Reed, who is generally excellent on all important issues, was part of that guard. Yes, I emailed him specifically on this issue before the new Congress, but I doubt that anyone else from here in RI did.

  26. 26
    jlow says:

    @Maude: And in Star Wars.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This was so fucking predictable.

    Reid is such a fucktard sometimes, and this is one of those times.

  28. 28
    Seanly says:

    Nominate Dick Cheney for Sec of Defense and maybe the cognitive disonnance will make a few heads explode.

    I still don’t understand why the Sec of Defense needs to be some super-Isreali supporter. Isn’t that more a State Dept issue? Or are we now just a vassal state of Isreal’s?

  29. 29
    NR says:

    @efgoldman:

    I guess it was finally his turn in the Democrats’ Villain Rotation.

  30. 30
    ruemara says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: am I wrong? No.

  31. 31
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Seanly:

    Or are we now just a vassal state of Isreal’s?

    Nope. By law and custom a lord had certain obligations to his vassals.

  32. 32
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @ruemara:

    Did I say that you were wrong? No.

  33. 33
    Todd says:

    Meh.

    This will make some curious visuals for folks who aren’t politics obsessed.

    Chuck Hagel, the dude who pre-announced his own term limit, and who actually followed through.

    Chuck Hagel, the guy who voted so consistently conservative that he got an 84% rating from the ACU and got consistent high marks from the National Taxpayers Union.

    Chuck Hagel, the grunt who stayed a grunt and actually served in a war.

    Chuck Hagel, who kept an amiable office, and was very likable on a personal level in office.

    Chuck Hagel, the guy who won re-election in Nebraska in 2002 with over 80% of the vote.

    This is the guy they’re opposing as a communistical crony capitalist soc!alistic muslim atheist fascist librul.

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    It’s about blocking Obama’s nomination. Senator Graham is already geared up to block Bremmer for CIA.
    Reid is going to hold the cloture vote because there isn’t anything else to do. Waiting isn’t going to get more votes.
    Reid can’t make anyone do what they don’t want to do.
    Blaming Reid is like blaming Obama for what the Republicans do.

  35. 35
    Hill Dweller says:

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact Republicans are filibustering a Secretary of Defense nominee for the first time in history; and said nominee is a conservative Republican.

  36. 36
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efgoldman: Many Senate Democrats were not up for changing the rules any further than they did. Why? Probably because a lot of Senators like to have special Senator superpowers, and foresee being Senators for decades upon decades, in which they can enjoy their weird perks and privileges and wage their weird internal office politics. I don’t know why any other explanation is required.

    Also, I don’t know why anyone would think that some other majority leader would be better able to turn around this aircraft carrier. Reid is the leader because this is as much leadership as his caucus is willing to abide. Some eager youngblood (1) would never be chosen to be the leader; (2) if by some fluke he were, would be instantly undermined.

  37. 37
    David in NY says:

    Blunt (R-Mo.) said he believed

    Well, maybe the world is ending. But I’m not committing suicide yet, since the above evidence for the apocalypse is not the strongest I’ve ever seen.

  38. 38
    dmbeaster says:

    The Senate is disfunctional period. Plenty of Dems did not want to overhaul the filibuster or all of the other obstructionist crap. They enjoy the petty power that it gives them too. So what if nothing can then get done. Its just not their priority.

  39. 39
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: Right, because it’s ALL ORCHESTRATED, a whole party dedicated to the proposition of spiting cranky dipshits on the Internet. Mwahahahahaha!

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    and people wonder why some people are firebaggers. Why the hell would you want to be part of the Charlie Brown Party?

    Sorry Raven, I know what you mean but I miss the hell out of LBJ some days.

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Hell, Pelosi has more balls than Harry.

    I prefer the term “gonads” or “‘nads” since it is gender neutral:

    Nancy Pelosi has ‘nads of steel!

    Thank you for your support :)

  42. 42
    Schlemizel says:

    @WereBear:

    A few years back our favorite hockey team team had a player whos name was Nadine. She had a small but vocal student cheering section & they used to chant “GO NADS – GO NADS”

    She was an All-American & she has nads of steel

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I don’t get the hysteria over this–they are planning to delay it but they aren’t actually going to block it. They are losing a lot of face over this and will ultimately confirm Hagel just about the time that really pissing off the sec def strikes them as a really stupid move for the guy who is going to be recommending all the base closings. Every time they do this, especially the more knee jerky their jerkitude, the more likely it is that those recalcitrant dems will pull up their socks and nuclear option their asses and call a session with biden and vote the new rules in over the screaming hysterics of graham et al.

  44. 44
    eric says:

    IF the dem caucus had the votes for rela filibuster reform, does anyone think Reid would have talked them out of it. They all saw the same things Reid as for the last few years and they failed to step up. I dont blame Harry. I do blame the Dems.

  45. 45
    NR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Right, it’s all just a big coincidence that there are always just enough Democrats who defect on every key vote to stop true reform from happening. And they party leadership has absolutely no tools at their disposal to bring those “wayward” Democrats in line. Nope, every time it happens, they have to just throw up their hands and say “Well, shit, there’s nothing we can do!” But gosh darn it, they really want to pass progressive reforms, and they would if they could!

    But hey, there are gullible morons out there who still fall for the charade, so why should they stop?

  46. 46
    Hill Dweller says:

    @aimai: Reid has called a cloture vote. Republicans have to filibuster to prevent cloture and a subsequent up or down vote. I doubt they come back later and vote to confirm him.

    FWIW, Collins has said she won’t vote to filibuster Hagel.

  47. 47
    David Hunt says:

    I am shocked! shocked! to discover that gambling GOP bad-faith negotiating is going on thus establishment House of Congress!

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I’ll grant that Reid has not covered himself with glory in all this, but I would be interested is hear how people think he could have gotten a strong filibuster reform through the Democratic caucus. The Senate has approximately 97 people who think they should be president, and very few of them are interested in diminishing their own power. The position of majority leader does not have huge amount of coercive power.

    TL;DR version: it is the Senate, not Reid.

  49. 49
    Napoleon says:

    @efgoldman:

    Benen reports today that Grandpa Walnuts and his buddies say they’re going to prevent a vote, but refuse, when goaded, to use the f-word.

    Which is exactly what NBC News just did, refuse to use the F-word. They just said something line “the controversy means that he will require 60 votes unlike 50 which has applied to every other nominee”. Unfucking believable.

  50. 50
    David in NY says:

    @Schlemizel:

    GO NADS!

    Back in high school in the ’60’s a retrograde bunch sought to change the school’s team name to the “Nads” just to be able to do that cheer. Glad somebody made use of the idea.

  51. 51
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    I love the obsession with a single point of blame.

    Yes, because it’s all sooooooooooo hard to understand, and so verrrryyyyyyyyyyy difficult for us little people to comprehend. There are just so many factors, and it’s all so obscure and there really is no one in particular to blame, so, well, sadly, something something…

    With the Dems, it always is.

  52. 52
    David in NY says:

    Also, can we say that what the Republicans want is un-democratic, with a small “d”? Just say in this country the majority is supposed to rule? And make a big deal out of it? Because it is one. A real BFD.

  53. 53
    Emma says:

    @danimal: Why? liberals always have so much fun bashing their own!

    Reid didn’t have the votes. DID.NOT. Dems like Chuck Schumer are too enamoured of their senatorial privileges to give them up lightly. THEY LIKE IT THAT WAY.

    But let’s stomp Reid.

  54. 54
    mainmati says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Mitchell was far more effective than Harry Reid. What the hell is wrong with Senate Dems?

  55. 55
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @aimai:

    Good god.

  56. 56
    mainmati says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Just about everybody on this site saw this one coming a mile away so…um..no thanks.

  57. 57
    efgoldman says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Republicans have to filibuster to prevent cloture…

    I thought forbidding filibustering the cloture vote itself was one of the small reforms the Dems actually eked out.

  58. 58
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    Not blame; responsibility. Reid could, among other things, assume the chairmanship of the Steering and Outreach Committee (Instead of handing it off) as a first step in denying committee assignments to some of the old guard Dems.

  59. 59
    lojasmo says:

    so 40 votes now equals the 41 votes needed to end debate. I think somebody’s bad at the maths.

  60. 60
    mainmati says:

    @Maude: I think it’s John Brennan not Bremmer.

  61. 61
    amk says:

    A gopolitico source to get your panties in a twist, cole ? Really?

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR:

    But gosh darn it, they really want to pass progressive reforms, and they would if they could!

    This is where your particular brand of stubborn ignorance really comes to light. “They” DON’T WANT to pass progressive reforms. Some of them do, some of them don’t. Until there are enough that do, they don’t happen. This is not mysterious.

    You’re the one who operates under the bizarre delusion that The Democrats have ever been anything other than a ragtag mix of people who want different things than one another. Your theory requires two contrary conspiracy theories, one by which The Democrats first build up the hopes of starry-eyed liberal idealists by promising manna from heaven, and then another by which The Democrats deliberately crush those poor souls’ hopes and dreams. And then there’s a third by which They set out to build up those hopes all over again, but you’re too shrewd and savvy to fall for it again, and everyone else is naive. That’s what you believe. On every issue. I mean, come the fuck on.

  63. 63
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I understand the capitalists and their dogs are favored to win?

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What is the phrase? More and better Democrats? We need both.

  65. 65
    Mino says:

    @NR: Eggsactly.

  66. 66
    Raven says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Hey asshole, these are the people your buddy killed, you going to hold a candlelight vigil for him because he was forced to shoot himself?

    Of course this leaves off the guy he killed yesterday.

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mainmati: When George Mitchell was majority leader, Mitch McConnell hadn’t yet hatched his strategy of total obstruction on everything. Which worked in 2010, and will continue to work until there aren’t enough Republicans to keep aloft a filibuster, and even then the only things that will get past the senate will be laws that get the support of people from Al Franken and Sherrod Brown to Mary Landrieu and Joe Manchin. Which, pretty much by definition, will be dramatically watered down by comparison to what would make liberals happy. That’s kind of what happens when your 60 Democrats aren’t 60 liberals. Been that way for a while now.

  68. 68
    The Dangerman says:

    Time to go Nucular, as George would say.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We need more liberals _among the public_. We don’t have nearly enough.

  70. 70
    General Stuck says:

    Nice of you to rally the firebagger platoon here on BJ, master Cole. Lord knows, the poor dears been starving for cause recently.

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The Democrats have ever been anything other than a ragtag mix of people who want different things than one another.

    Will Rodgers was so right almost 100 years ago…

  72. 72
    JasonF says:

    Let the Republicans filibuster Hagel. And let the Democrats go on every talk show they can to talk about how Hagel was good enough to serve in their caucus for 12 years, good enough to be entrusted with seats on committees, good enough to be part of their party, but somehow isn’t qualified to serve as Secretary of Defense. Hang a spotlight on just how obstructionist these jackasses have become.

  73. 73
    Anya says:

    @Corner Stone: Troll or a flamer? I can’t decide.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @JasonF:

    And let the Democrats go on every talk show they can….

    Which means they’ll get on MSNBC, maybe, while Grandpa Walnuts and Lindsay-boy end up on all the Sunday shows, and George F. Will cheers from the sidelines.

  75. 75
    Eric U. says:

    we already know what a filibuster-free senate is like because Bush had one. The gang of 7 democrats made sure that the “Senatorial Privileges” meant nothing. I’m assuming there is overlap between them and some of the idiots that defeated filibuster reform.

  76. 76
    Yutsano says:

    @Anya: I submit that this is not an eiter/or proposition.

    @JasonF: I say allow them to do an unprecedented move that has never happened in the history of our fair republic before. What could possibly go wrong for them? I’m sure this is all hurt fee-fees from Obama telling them to do their fucking jobs last night.

  77. 77
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @JasonF:

    Yeah, I see this as win-win for the administration, assuming they’re out there beating the courtier press for air time and spinning it appropriately.

    The Senate Repups look like total assholes here. At some point, they will figure out it’s hurting them, well, most of them (Inhofe, Cruz and their ilk won’t be hurt), and they’ll vote to proceed.

  78. 78
    Mino says:

    I have to hand it to McConnell. The last battle he lost was campaign reform and he even won that one in the end.

  79. 79
    General Stuck says:

    Only a moron would get rid of the filibuster when the House in firmly in republican hands. As far as nuking the filibuster for executive session of the senate, republicans would not dare blocking a nominee for SECDEF with a filibuster, for the first time since the defense dept. war formed. And Reid has said he isn’t going to honor ‘a hold’ for either Brennan of Hagel, which is called a pocket filibuster, that normally is a delay tact where the majority leader agrees to not hold that vote for this or that reason to be satisfied.

    The nutters are flapping their wings is all, and know full well if they kill these top national security nominations, it will give Reid and dems good cause to nuke the filibuster for executive appointments and court nominees.

    But I see ace political minds NR and Ted and Hellen are here to join the blogmaster for giving us the true skinny on what is the haps.

  80. 80
    magurakurin says:

    More and better Democrats

    to that, add: younger.

    The younger folks wanted to do the reform. The Senate is too damn old. What about Lautenberg? For Chrissakes, Frank, retire already and let Corey do the job.

  81. 81
    LanceThruster says:

    It’s like deja-vu all over again. ~ Yogi Berra

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efgoldman: Seriously. It’s a party with liberals, conservatives, and barely-ideological technocrats in it. They disagree about some major stuff. To find a consensus among 50 or 60 of them is tedious and frustrating. Why there’s this need to come up with some kind of nefarious coordinated effort that only a few truly enlightened souls can perceive, like Snuffleupagus or the Great Gazoo, I mean, just, gah.

  83. 83
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Maybe we could nominate John Bolton next. He’s pretty popular with Republicans, right?

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’m sure this is all hurt fee-fees from Obama telling them to do their fucking jobs last night.

    So you are saying their response to being told that they should do their jobs is to say, “No!”; is that correct?

  85. 85
    Haydnseek says:

    @Hill Dweller: Yep. The only thing that counts is who is doing the nominating. The INSTANT that Hegel was tainted with the scarlet “O,” Lindsay Graham fired up the General Lee death star, the wingnuts reached for their tinfoil coonskin hats, and the aroma of the feces being flung could almost, but not quite, make it through Chuck Tards face mullet. When your comrade-in-arms and undying ally John McCain throws you under the Greyhound, hey, no hard feelings because BENGHAZI!!!

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Like a two year old. It’s nothing more than a temper tantrum because they can’t enact their Republican utopia.

  87. 87
    Mino says:

    @JasonF: As if. 1) A Dem could get booked. 2) His personal ambition did not get in the way.

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @magurakurin:

    The younger folks wanted to do the reform.

    Yes, good point. I would say that there’s a divide in the Senate Democrats between people who think being a Senator is a good way to do stuff they care about, on the one hand, and people who think it’s a sweet lifetime gig, on the other.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    Every cloud has a silver lining, and if Hagel does not get the nod it is hardly the worst thing in the world.

    Putting aside all the politics, and the Jewish Lobby poutrage, and the “grunt” stuff, Hagel was downright pathetic in his “interview”, and he blew it on questions that he should have seen coming from ten miles away.

    I don’t see that Hagel is up scratch for any job that comes with a ton of responsibility and requires quick thinking, never mind SoD.

  90. 90
    General Stuck says:

    @Mino:

    Nonsense. The supercommittee and sequester with defense cuts was Mitch’s brilliant idea that has turned to shit for repubs and their mil contractor buds. He also lost on the ACA and all the other sweeping bills dems passed the past 4 years. Why do you think they lost the election? Partly because of McConnells bullshit tactic of making the defeat of Obama his top priority. His biggest defeat of all.

  91. 91
    Anya says:

    @Yutsano: I agree, but evidence point to: mostly troll with flamer tendencies.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mandalay: Remember when Hagel was best known around the liberal blogosphere because of his connection to Diebold? Good times, good times.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anya: Not a troll. Confrontational, opinionated, a bomb-thrower, but not simply stirring the shit and hoping to get a reaction.

  94. 94

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I get the argument, Higgs. I chafe at the desire for single point of blame for complex problems in any context. This usage by Cole reminds me of emoprogs and bully pulpits. I’m frustrated as well. I also realize there are limits on what can get done and what can’t. I just find the use of the cudgel fascinating. It says a lot about the wielder.

  95. 95
    Mandalay says:

    @JasonF:

    Hagel was good enough to serve in their caucus for 12 years, good enough to be entrusted with seats on committees, good enough to be part of their party, but somehow isn’t qualified to serve as Secretary of Defense.

    Actually that is exactly how I see it. Being in a caucus and serving on committees has nothing to do with being qualified to be SoD.

    Hagel looked distinctly unqualified, and in way over his head, when Graham and McCain went after him. I think we are seeing natural selection at work.

  96. 96
    JPL says:

    @Mandalay: How do you look unqualified? The questions were off the wall and I’m not sure we want a SOD that would be prepared to answer their bullshit.

    BTW..Any idea if they have the votes to filibuster?

  97. 97
    Mino says:

    @General Stuck: The gravy train for contractors was running out anyway and the Republicans have protected them fairly effectively from prosecution from all their shennanigans. They’ve got no big complaint.

    And I’m sure you would never see it this way, but Occupy gave the Dems something to run on, women noticed what was going on in the states, and Romney iced the cake with his videotape.

  98. 98
    Keith G says:

    There is not going to be a complete filibuster* (as in the Senate forever blocks). There might be further delay as theatrics play out.

    *The wild card will be how much fight Obama wants to engage in if things get really tight.

  99. 99
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @ruemara: I agree. Why is this just Harry’s fault. Where were the other Dems to push him to overhaul the way the Repubs were abusing filibusters?

  100. 100
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @ranchandsyrup:
    Understood. There’s no way at present for a Majority Leader to provide all of the ponies that we could wish for. I still think that Reid could do better than he has.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JPL: I didn’t see much of Hagel’s hearings, but the little I did see, I hate to say, he appeared to be not all that bright–just in terms of general verbal intelligence, quick wit, repartee, etc.

  102. 102
    General Stuck says:

    @Mino:

    The gravy train for contractors was running out anyway and the Republicans have protected them fairly effectively from prosecution from all their shennanigans. They’ve got no big complaint.

    Are you on drugs? This is one of the stupidest remarks I can remember on this blog

    And I’m sure you would never see it this way, but Occupy gave the Dems something to run on, women noticed what was going on in the states, and Romney iced the cake with his videotape.

    I would agree that Occupy helped change the subject overall, helped, but did not do it on their own. LOL, sounds like a FDL approved comment to claim we are winning in spite of bumbling Obama. It’s the fighting netroots that have saved the day for dems. Amirite? Amirite?

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    @JasonF:

    And let the Democrats go on every talk show

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!

    You are funny!

    Democrats DON’T go on talk shows. Silly Jason, talk shows are for Republicans.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Where were the other Dems to push him to overhaul the way the Repubs were abusing filibusters?

    There were some, like Warren and Udall and Merkley and even Harkin. But not enough to do anything more dramatic than they did. That’s obviously frustrating, but I don’t know why people find it _surprising_. Haven’t you ever been in a meeting where people won’t change the things the organization does, and they explain that it’s just the way things always have been and they’re OK with it? Inertia is a strong damn force.

  105. 105

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I think he could do better too. I think the kenusurper could do better as well. Shit, I know I could do better in my little life.
    A lot of people use the single point of blame to blur the line between accountability and blame.

  106. 106
    Mino says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Seems to me with the factional make-up of the Democratic party, what with all the Republicans moving in, majority rule is gonna be even more essential to get anything done at all. And while a lot of things can muddle along, as long as you don’t care how many people are in a world of hurt, climate change is not gonna wait.

  107. 107
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Why the fuck is it necessary for this president to appoint a Republican SecDef? That seems to reinforce the Republican mantra that Democrats are soft on defense and that they hate the troops also, too. You can bet that a Republican president would laugh out loud at the notion of appointing any Democrat to any Cabinet position.

  108. 108
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @JasonF: And in 2008, Presidential Candidate McCain even said that Hagel could be part of his administration.

    My, how things have changed.

  109. 109
    danimal says:

    If the Hagel nomination is annoying you, Supreme Court nominations are going to be super-duper fun for the next few years…”We’re not filibustering, we just need more information. We will conduct an extensive round of interviews over the next four years to determine if Obama’s nominee should be granted a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is the Senate’s duty to give its advice and consent and we take this very seriously”

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mino:

    Occupy gave the Dems something to run on

    Yes and no. IMHO a lot of Dem candidates ran on a meta-theme about the rapacious, greedy rich who don’t care about the rest of us. But they didn’t really run on doing anything to _address_ inequality from the bottom up. They kind of torqued the inequality discussion into a call to raise rich people’s taxes… to reduce the budget deficit.

  111. 111
    General Stuck says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    This was my complaint as well when Hagel was first nominated. But it turns out that Obama and Hagel developed a close friendship in the senate during the time period when Hagel turned against the Iraq war. So the motivation seems more that than simply appointing republican.

    Edit – and as well, Hagel and Obama likely see eye to eye on the need to ratchet down the Pentagon overall, and adverse to military involvement like with Iran. The senate republicans just can’t stomach one of their own giving cover to very possible defense cuts to come from a Hagel Obama team the next 4 years.

  112. 112
    Mino says:

    @General Stuck: As I said, I expected such a rejoinder from you. I must be a firebagger.

    And if you think military contractors are gonna start hugging Dems….well, I got no comeback for that.

  113. 113
    Mandalay says:

    @JPL:

    The questions were off the wall and I’m not sure we want a SOD that would be prepared to answer their bullshit.

    The questions were hardly off the wall, but even if they were a nominee for SoD better be able to handle them.

    And everyone knew in advance that McCain was going to grill Hagel about his comments on the surge in Iraq, but Hagel allowed McCain to kick the shit out of him on that. Where the **** was Hagel’s preparation? He looked like Bambi in the headlights.

    Look at this clip at around 2:03:00 – McCain kicks the snot out of Hagel, and then pisses all over him.

    Hagel may be a great guy and a popular choice, but I don’t see much of a spine, and I don’t see that he has what it takes to be SoD.

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mino:

    Seems to me with the factional make-up of the Democratic party, what with all the Republicans moving in, majority rule is gonna be even more essential to get anything done at all.

    I agree, but I’m not Max Baucus (thank God). It’s a tragedy-of-the-commons or paradox-of-thrift kind of problem, where everyone has to know that majority rule would get more done, but a lot of individual senators don’t want to give up their individual clout to pursue it. And there’s a lot of power in being a hesitant swing vote who needs some stroking. So there are disproportionate rewards in being the tipping-point vote, and little to be gained from being an early-to-commit loyalist.

  115. 115
    Mino says:

    @FlipYrWhig: LOL This isn’t 1930. And, yes, the Dems were pretty slick. But they looked good in comparison.

  116. 116
    General Stuck says:

    @Mino:

    Didn’t call you a firebagger, but nice of you to volunteer.

    And if you think military contractors are gonna start hugging Dems….well, I got no comeback for that.

    You don’t need a comeback for that because that is something I could care less about, and takes a pretty big shark jump of logic for you to claim such, from what I’ve written on this thread.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck:

    Hagel and Obama likely see eye to eye on the need to ratchet down the Pentagon overall, and adverse to military involvement like with Iran

    I think there’s something to this: having a nominal Republican at the helm might prevent Republicans from squawking about Democrats “social engineering” the military, neutering the best fighting force in the world, all that shit. I feel like it worked that way with an old hand like Bill Gates on board, which made DADT repeal and budget discussions work much better than they would have under a proud Democrat. But it might not work again.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think the current dem party is the most homogenous ideologically, in my lifetime. They did once have all sorts of characters left and right, sideways and whatever before the southern strategy shift. Now there are less and less blue dogs with every new election, to the point after the last election of being but a shadow of what they were.

    What dems do argue about are priorities and tactics, and if not that, then the color of the sky. But that is just from an argumentative nature, imo. Not vast ideological diffs.

  119. 119
    MikeJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    but a lot of individual senators don’t want to give up their individual clout to pursue it.

    Every senator runs by himself at home. In a lot of places looking like a thoughtful independent is worth a lot more votes than slavishly following the party line, even when opposing the party line means the destruction of the country.

    In other words, many voters have totebagger mentality, but they get to vote too.

  120. 120
    handsmile says:

    @JPL:

    As of late this afternoon, it appears that a filibuster could not be successfully mounted. Various reports state that Gramps and Miss Lindsey are very reluctant to filibuster a cabinet-level position as significant as Secretary of Defense, but are now playing semantic games on whether voting against a cloture motion is the same thing as supporting a filibuster.

    With Reid declaring his intention to seek cloture on the Hagel nomination, the current question is whether 40 members of the Confederate Party will block the motion.

    From Paul Kane at Kaplan Test Prep Daily:

    “Already counting on 55 votes from Democrats, Reid will need five Republican votes, and early indications are that they are very close or already over that mark.

    A pair of GOP veterans, Thad Cochran (Miss.) and Mike Johanns (Neb.), have already announced they will vote to confirm their former colleague. Several others indicated they would vote to end a filibuster, but then vote against confirming Hagel on final passage, as Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said on Thursday.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....l/?hpid=z2

    That suggests that Reid needs two more and Lisa Murkowski (AK) has given ambiguous signals that she will not support a Hagel filibuster. Once (and however) this obstacle is cleared, Hagel will be confirmed as Obama’s next Defense Secretary even if largely on a party-line vote.

  121. 121
    Mino says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Bad incentives exist at 50 as well as at 60–you just have a bigger pool to fish in.

  122. 122
    John says:

    @Anya: Why can’t he be both?

  123. 123
    Keith G says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Why is this just Harry’s fault. Where were the other Dems to push him to overhaul the way the Repubs were abusing filibusters?

    It may take years to know what Reid’s role in this state of affairs is.

    Do we really know if Reid personally wanted any change at all? Even if we find out that he saw change a good thing, how can we know how he valued the trade offs that would arise in the process of change?

    All we can know for sure at this point is that an important objective was not accomplished. As complicated as the process for getting change can be, we expect leaders to vigorously engage in complicated efforts on behalf of the public.

    Harry choose to be a leader. For whatever reason, a very important and publicly supported task was not only not accomplished, but was not really even contested.

    Maybe it won’t matter or maybe it will. Either way, Harry Reid stood for and accepted the role of Majority Leader of the Senate and he will be judged accordingly.

  124. 124
    General Stuck says:

    It is always amusing to log onto liberal blogs such as this one, and read the temperature of the day on whether Harry Reid is history’s greatest villain, or a hero, if only for a day or two.

  125. 125
    Mino says:

    @Keith G: I’m wondering why Harry even brought the subject up? Our leaders are totally fine with ignoring very popular inititives. Was he just being Lucy? All that mea culpa stuff and then he does nothing? He wanted to look like a fool? Why?

  126. 126
    General Stuck says:

    @Mino:

    What Harry did is play the role of faux pony wrangler to the progressive warriors of the internets. To rise the enthusiasm and squelch the bellyaching and whining long enough for dems to win the election. And then, like you say, do a Lucy and pull that motherfucking football away. He should get a Golden Globe, or something.

  127. 127
    Mino says:

    @General Stuck: You really should get into politics. You have exactly the right attitude to fit in with the elect who despise the electorate.

  128. 128
    efgoldman says:

    @Mino:

    And if you think military contractors are gonna start hugging Dems…

    Military contractors will hug anybody they think will help the gravy train keep running. They are non-partisan leeches.

  129. 129
    Markus Halprinus says:

    You know if Obama would just stop being a dick and apologize to Joe Lieberman for being mean to him and his friends, and asked him real nice – a few times, Joe might think about, you know-maybe, accepting the position. N’ if he wanted to show he was really sorry, Obama would let McCain be president on the weekend and stuff also, too.
    Just putting their buddy John Kerry in a nice job is not enough.

  130. 130
    Mino says:

    @efgoldman: Well, they certainly won’t stop hugging Republicans either.

  131. 131
    MikeJ says:

    @efgoldman:

    Military contractors will hug anybody they think will help the gravy train keep running

    Everyone loves Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and one of the reasons is that they will shiv anybody who threatens Boeing.

  132. 132
    General Stuck says:

    @Mino:

    You have exactly the right attitude to fit in with the elect who despise the electorate.

    You think big of your world. Characterizing a handful of self absorbed big mouths (moi included) on the internet ‘the electorate’.

    The electorate is smart enough, even in their overall lack of knowledge, to get that getting rid of the cloture rule would be a disaster, and doubly stupid for dems to do it when republicans run the House.

    To do so would be snatching political defeat out of the mouth of victory, and give republicans the golden ring to paint dems as the Benedict Arnold of the 21 st century. The GOP is in a terminal tail dive right now, and you want to give them a parachute.

    Harry Reid is no where near that stupid, and god I hope I ain’t either. How old are you?

  133. 133
    Keith G says:

    @Mino: I wouldn’t be too quick to attack Reid, yet. As I noted above, I/we don’t really know what he personally wanted to see accomplished.

    I think it was foolish not to engage in an attempt to do what many scholars feel is an important and much needed reform. Even a loss would have added to the ground work for later attempts.

    I do see where some might see a short term advantage in not getting this reform. The GOP in the Senate may still obstruct. If they are stupid about it (and they will be stupid about it) their pig-headed obstructionism will cost them even more support in 2014.

    Unfortunately, there are so many things that just can not wait for 2014. How long can we leave so many issues “on hold”?

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MikeJ: You mean Democrats sometimes stand up for narrow home-state interests rather than broad ideological ones? That can’t be. I mean, next you’ll tell me that a populist senator from Delaware defended the credit card business for 36 years.

  135. 135
    General Stuck says:

    Unfortunately, there are so many things that just can not wait for 2014. How long can we leave so many issues “on hold”?

    Till the voters experience enough pain so that they start asking better questions

  136. 136
    hoodie says:

    @General Stuck: I think you may have stepped on Mino’s paradox.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: How long have scientists been saying that if we don’t do something soon to counteract climate change it will only get harder and more expensive to deal with it later? Our political system is not good at long-term thinking. There are few rewards for it. And that ones that do exist are all mixed up in debts and deficits. What a muddle.

  138. 138
    General Stuck says:

    @hoodie:

    I think Mino is very young, and deserves some leeway. My own struggle is to stay on the sunny side of the asshole I yam. And still have some fun.

  139. 139
    Mino says:

    Was filibuster reform part of the platform. No.

    Did Dems reasonably think they would retake the House? No.

    Did Harry’s antics change any Dems vote? No.

    Why bring it up just to look like a fool or a sadist?

  140. 140
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Well at some point, we are going to need to find ways to reward the fighters. Not to be old fashioned, but this government was created by fighters, who, had they followed the odds, never would have opposed the King’s government. And we don’t even have to go back two centuries to find our answers…

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

    @General Stuck: When you assert that reforming the filibuster process “would be a disaster, and doubly stupid for dems” I wonder how that might play out.

    I seem to recall that the reformers only wished to make filibusters more difficult, and therefore more significant, and to not get rid of them entirely.

  141. 141
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Raven:

    @Ted & Hellen: Hey asshole, these are the people your buddy killed, you going to hold a candlelight vigil for him because he was forced to shoot himself?

    You are such a predictable parody of yourself.

    The United States originally had this whole thing about fair trials before sentencing/execution. Now we just let the cops make the decision.

    And naturally you, a brainless goof, are good with that.

  142. 142
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Insert your favorite Groundhog Day quote here.

    “But what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

  143. 143
    A Humble Lurker says:

    Why are we ragging on Reid when he didn’t do something he didn’t have the votes for?

    I mean, we could rag on him for not being able to wrangle the votes, but that doesn’t appear to be what’s going on here.

  144. 144
    Mike E says:

    Purity Troll is mumbling about our precious essence, or something. Heh.

    Markos put all the bitching about Reid into context when he got out his Great Orange Senate calculator and did the cold math–2014 will most likely swing the chamber over to the Rs. Now, caveats abound (like TEAtarditude sinking good GOP candidates) but how would those revamped filibuster rules look in enemy hands so soon after so many thought it was such a good idea for right now, especially with the House looking red into ’14 and beyond? I’m thinking old Reid is smarter than yous.

    BTW Markos sees ’16 as a senatorial watershed for the Dems, a washout for the GOP.

  145. 145
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    When you assert that reforming the filibuster process “would be a disaster, and doubly stupid for dems” I wonder how that might play out.

    I seem to recall that the reformers only wished to make filibusters more difficult, and therefore more significant, and to not get rid of them entirely.

    I will try to explain what I mean. First, there really isn’t a way to “reform” the filibuster. Or, in this case the cloture vote adopted back just after the turn of the 20th century. You either have a fairly quick and certain means for the minority to kill a bill of the majority, or you don’t.

    Making filibusters more difficult, but still keeping that minority ability to kill a bill, will only take up precious senate time, and end up slowing things down even more. That is the reason the modern cloture vote was first put in place during the League of Nations passage.

    While the filibuster and cloture rule does not come directly from the constitution, it does arise from something that does as the founders intent for there to be what is called “extended debate”. Which simply means that individual senators can talk as long as they like, on any or all of the mundane business, as well as serious business that comes to the senate for passage.

    It is for this reason, the founders desire to create a body for ‘extended debate’ to slow things down, that the minority right of a cloture rule comes from. Because before, if the minority just couldn’t live with a bill of the majority, what they did was stall by talking or debating every snippet of business that came before the senate, to thwart the majority and basically bring the senate to a halt.

    Which pissed off everyone, so they devised a way to short cut that with a cloture vote on particular bills, that the minority agreed to end debate if the bill received a set number of overall votes to invoke that cloture and end debate. It is 60 now, but was 67 back in the 70’s.

    This has been how the senate has operated since, to not get bogged down with ‘objections’ and debating the color of the drapes to stop senate business. Like so many other ways the senate works, it has been a gentleman’s agreement that the minority uses the so called filibuster cloture rule sparingly , and otherwise work to keep senate biz moving through what is called “unanimous consent” .

    The cloture rule is certainly being abused by the republicans, but like I said earlier, you either have an expeditious way for the minority to kill bills, or you don’t. Simply making more steps is counterproductive for precious senate time, when the end result is the same.

    So what to do? I do believe if the wingnuts start blocking any and all political appointees and judges to include maybe a SCOTUS pick by Obama, then Reid should nuke the cloture rule for ‘executive’ session, that would not apply to “legislative” session, like the republicans were going to do for judges under Bush. He would have a ton of senate tradition behind him, that is as important as written rules in that body.

    But fucking around with the cloture rule for legislation, at least with unilateral action, would cause more problems than it would solve, given the constitutional nature of the senate. Not to mention the state of instability that would likely ensue from one election to the next. The only way to bypass that is a mutual agreement to change the cloture rule, and have it take place some years in the future when no one can be certain what side is majority/minority

  146. 146
    gian says:

    @Ted & Hellen: @Raven:
    I think the Riverside officer Crain was at the opening day for my kids baseball league two years years ago showing off an armored car and giving tbe 5 year olds a chance to climb in a police armored car.

    The murdering ex cop gave himself the same trial he gave his victims. The coward shot himself in the end when he was surrounded and had no way out. If the cowardly murderer wanted a trial he could’ve surrendered instead of killing himself

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