Blow Up the Fillibuster....

fillibuster imagesThe White House looks at passing health care without a new Senate vote if GOP wins in Massachusetts. The likeliest scenario would require persuading House Democrats to accept a bill the Senate already passed.  Another option is to do away with the fillibuster, and Vice President Joe Biden is talking about revising the Senate's cloture rules. He said, "This is the first time every single solitary decision has required 60 senators. No democracy has survived needing a supermajority." Yes!  Contact your senators and tell them to pull the nuclear option and blow up the fillibuster.  Not only will it free us from a small cabal of right-wing Republicans who represent small states with a tiny percentage of the American population, but it'll also free us from the half-dozen or so totally corporate sold-out so-called "moderate" Democrats in the Senate like Evan Bayh, Mary Landreau, and Ben Nelson.

In Strange News:  Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin is reporting that David Bahati, the author of the Ugandan "Kill The Gays" bill is planning to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, on February 4th. President Obama is also expected to attend that breakfast. It doesn't get more bizarre than this...


RichA. (not verified) 10 years 18 weeks ago

Congressional Democrats would be well advised to look inward for the reasons why Coakley may lose the Senatorial race in Massachusetts.
But they won’t.
Most are involved in doing whatever they think necessary to assure their own re-elections.
Their first priority is amassing massive campaign war chests. And corporate America is fertile ground. The medical-profits industry, war profiteers, big oil, financial institutions, and Wall Street investors are doling out huge sums of money to their Congressional surrogates in both political parties.
It is not a stretch to say that Congress is all-Americans: made and sold in the USA.
Let’s just pause for a moment to reconnoiter. Where in the hell are we?

 The disparity between income and wealth is greater now than at any time since the 1920’s.

 Over 10% of working class America is unemployed, and millions more are underemployed.

 An additional 2.4 million foreclosures are expected in 2010

 50% of all bankruptcies are the result of medical debt.

 College tuition has risen to unprecedented levels, and is now unaffordable for many families,

 The courts have granted gigantic corporations relief from meeting their obligations to pension plans. Dreams of security in retirement have been stolen.

 Public resources are being transferred to private, domestic and foreign corporate interests.

 U.S. jobs continue to move offshore, mainly to countries where worker-exploitation is a matter of routine.

 A war[s] that will wind up costing every resident of our nation $10,000 (or more) continues to rob our national treasury, and criminal corporations such as KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater, et al are reaping huge profits for their investors.

 Our infrastructure is deteriorating.

 The debacle began long before Democrats had George Bush to scapegoat (although he and his neoconservative handlers are certainly co-conspirators).

The list is a long one.

Common threads run trough the whole sordid sell out: a) Congress has been at the helm during the three decades that working class America has been under attack; b) the wealthy will have entered the current financial crisis rich and will emerge unscathed; c) only working class Americans will have suffered.

Sadly, it appears that a stain of Stockholm Syndrome has everyday people in its grips. What else would explain why we keep re-electing our abusers?

As George Orwell wrote: "For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. ... Ignorance is Strength" .

Democrats won’t look inward, and neither will the sociopaths who control the GOP. Just as with most of us, the teabaggers sense something is amiss, but they have picked the wrong target. Big government is not our enemy. After all, we the people are the government! Our enemy is the Congressional cabal that has turned responsive big government into a watering hole for their corporate benefactors. Big government – of, by, and for the people – should be protected and cherished. The first step is to toss a lot of people out of office, and thereafter prohibit any corporate money in politics.

Or we can pick the wrong target and choose to remain in “poverty and ignorance”.

Stan (not verified) 10 years 18 weeks ago

No need to blow up the filibuster right now. Just extend today's Medicare rights to all ages through Budget Reconciliation. Do the same for the tax on the Uber Rich. Dare Obama to veto them.

Of course Super Hack Rahm Immanuel won't let the whole thing happen. He is just as tied to the military industrial leaches as anyone.Only the next BIG dip in the economy will be enough to convince Democratic Hacks that they NEED the Progressives.

We don't have much of an option except to keep on going at the local level. I doubt if Coakley has had much grass roots support. The Kerry Campaign showed how little Massachusetts Democratic functionaries know how to deal with the grass roots. Obama apparently had no interest in making his election apparatus in Massachusetts or anywhere else anything but ephemeral.

What a waste!

Meanwhile we have no choice but to keep operating at the local level.. This is definitely not a time to stop. Time to take an unsure cynic to lunch.

John E (not verified) 10 years 18 weeks ago

Great comments, Rich. I especially like the George Orwell quote.

As for blowing up the filibuster... if the Dems would be willing to expose the GOP as complete obstructionists, I would say let them filibuster. But I just don't see them doing that. Apparently the Republicans enjoy a majority at 51, but the Dems need 60 to have a majority. And even THAT wasn't good enough to get healthcare passed.

Michael D (not verified) 10 years 18 weeks ago

Question -
I've heard Thom say on several occasions that blowing up the filibuster would only require 51 votes. But Sam Stein reported on the Huffington Post today in an article titled "Harkin, Dem Groups Working To End Filibuster" that it would require 67 votes to change senate rules. Can anybody clarify this?

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