As Rachel Maddow said about the toothless filibuster deal Harry Reid made with Mitch McConnell:
“The improvement … today is that now they’re not going to be able to get anything done faster.”
And Ed Schultz nailed it:
“How many elections, Harry do the Democrats have to win? How many mandates from the people have to be sent to Washington that we need to move forward on this? Why is the minority party running this country?”
Reid had promised publicly, for two years, that he would do away with the 60-vote requirement that Republicans use to obstruct just about every Democratic proposal. He said repeatedly that he regretted not fixing this recurring problem when he’d had the chance, and that Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley was right, he was wrong. However, Harry Reid never really wanted to change the filibuster. He is apparently more beholden to his own supporters’ interests than he is to America’s.
As I’ve said before, there will now be more endless obstruction of every bill, more obstruction of every Obama nominee, of everything and anything that Democrats would like to do to help this country move forward. More years of Republicans making a mockery of what is supposed to be a democracy and a functioning government.
Remember, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended, and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. The only difference is that it would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition. But because Democrats (and of course, Republicans) voted against the Merkley plan, the silent filibuster is still in place. For the record, I did call my Senator, Barbara Boxer, to register my disappointment. I love her to death, but when I disagree with her, I politely let her know.
In that call, I also let her know that I am aware and appreciative of the improvements.
But still, we have yet another frustrating Democratic
Durbin said there was overwhelming support for the deal among Senate Democrats, though he conceded that he was uncertain whether it would make it easier to pass bills.
“It can,” he said. “It requires good will [and] good faith.”
As DKos’s Joan McCarter wrote after Mitch McConnell fundraised on killing filibuster reform:
“So much for comity and bipartisanship and a new era in the Senate… In other words, “keep me in the Senate, and I’ll keep that Muslim Kenyan president from getting anything done.” That’s the way to hold off a teabagger primary challenge, I guess. And to assess how serious McConnell is about working with Harry Reid.”
Here’s more from Durbin. Get your Pepto ready:
Durbin also backed up Reid’s claim that he had the 51 votes necessary to use the so-called nuclear, or constitutional, option, but he said the goal was always to avoid using extreme measures and instead reach a compromise that both the majority and minority would be comfortable with.
And by compromise he means Dems will continue to be blocked at every turn.