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Should the Republicans instigate the "Nuclear Option" on Filibusters?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by llad12, May 2, 2005.

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Who would win?

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  1. llad12

    llad12 IncGamers Member

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    Should the Republicans employ the "Nuclear Option" on Filibusters?

    For over 200 years, the US Senate rules have included a filibuster. In essence, a filibuster is unlimited speechmaking to delay or obstruct legislative action. Such tactics have been employed by the minority party to stop the voting of the Senate on controversial laws or federal nominees.

    Currently, the filibuster can be stopped by a 60-40 vote.

    Recently, the Republican-controlled Senate is considering using the "Nuclear Option". Senate Majority leader Bill Frist is threatening to change the rules of the senate by voting out the filibuster. Accordingly, a 50-50 vote by the senate can effectively kill this rule (VP Cheney would break the tie).

    Why may you ask are the Republicans considering this option?

    In essence, to stop the Democrats from filibustering President Bush's nominees for federal judges.

    In the last four years, the Democrats have used this tactic to stop Bush from packing the lower courts with 10 ultraconservative right-wing judicial nominees. In the past, the Republicans have also used this same method to stop many Democratic presidential nominees.

    With one or more of the current US Supreme Court judges probably retiring in the near future, the filibuster is the only tactic the Senate Democrats have left in stopping a judicial candidate. A judge that, if confirmed, could conceivably change the overall position of the court --> and potentially overturn laws like Roe v Wade.

    A few links that discuss this issue are below:

    Findlaw

    Washington Post

    MSNBC



    With a current 55-45 Republican majority in the Senate, the end of the filibuster is a very real possibility.


    What are your views on this issue?
     
  2. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Part of me wants the GOP buffoons to go nuclear just so I can listen to them whine the next time there's a Dem majority and they no longer have the tool at their disposal. But on the whole I think it's best not to change longstanding traditions on a whim just so you can get what you want right now, even if you've made heavy use of those same traditions in the past to get what you want.

    To sum up, the Republicans are a bunch of whiny flip-floppers.
     
  3. skihard

    skihard Banned

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    If the Democrats were actually performing a filibuster then they would have the person proposing the filibuster standing at the podium talking for hours on end without a food break, without a bathroom break, without another speaker taking his place.

    The point of a filibuster was that while said person was talking for hours after hours no other issues could be brought before the chair and the rest of the Senate for action.

    The Filibuster was just that till about 14 years ago when some how it was changed to the minority just having to say "filibuster" and the other side would back down.

    The Senate is at a point where a simple vote is being block by a word not by the actions that word represents. If the Democrats are truly after “fairness†in congress and doing what has been done for the past 212 or so years they would put someone up on that podium and have them talk, or they would try and get as many people from the other side to vote in their direction as possible and have the vote.

    oh and a side note the longest filibuster on record was performed by Byrd he spoke for just over 13 hours before the other side caved and gave up on what they wanted to vote on. No longer remember the subject of the filibuster or the date because its been to many years since I took any political Science classes.
     
  4. DrunkCajun

    DrunkCajun Banned

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    Go nuclear. It'll guarantee the Dems a win in the mid-term elections and guarantee the GOP never gets a damn thing done in Congress EVER AGAIN.
     
  5. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    No Nukes!

    Make the Dems perform a real filibuster, none of this namby-pamby BS. They'll crumble like moldy cheese when they start to look just as asinine to the public as the rightie pundits scream they are now. Dick Morris says as much here.

    It doesn't matter if this has never happened before, or if the Dems are doing this because of moral bigotry - the solution is to belly up to the table, not remove a shifty cheat that you may want back the next time the tables turn. So what if the rightie pundits can point to the Dems wanting to do the same thing when they were in power? The point is, they aren't - so make them work up a sweat, don't change the rules and give them the moral upper hand.

    EDIT - a bit more info here - http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/560nvtge.asp
     
  6. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    What's wrong with letting our democracy function the way its supposed to? I don't think its within the spirit of our constitution to allow a single member to dictate what Congress can accomplish?

    What if George Bush wanted to enact laws that would allow him to "fillibuster" his way out of the Nov. Election? If he said "Well, I'm going to give a speech every night and the people can't vote until I'm done..."

    Doesn't seem fair does it?
     
  7. DrunkCajun

    DrunkCajun Banned

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    Oh, I totally agree! Let's eliminate that pesky filibuster so when we Democrats have a 50-50 +1 (VP) in the Senate, we can start outlawing all those guns and no one will be able to do anything about it! Woohoo! Let's see, I'm sure there are a zillion other issues we could tackle with a razor majority, imposing our will on 49% of the country as though they were a 20% minority.

    I hope it happens, and when it does, I will look forward to the upcoming elections with even more anticipation. Not only do we stand a chance of winning some seats back, we stand the chance at supreme and total control of the Senate, unhindered by pesky checks and balances!
     
  8. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    Is the filibuster a constitutional "Check and balance" now? An actual constitutional amendment (such as what would be required to outlaw guns) requires more than a slim majority in congress anyway--2/3's of state legislators et.c provide an additional balance that is laid out in the constitution. Which is supposed to dictate how the government functions IIRC.

    It is entirely proper that a party that was voted into a powerful majority should be able to do as their constituents dictate. Rather than be held hostage by the minority opinion in the country.

    Why do you hate democracy?
     
  9. DrunkCajun

    DrunkCajun Banned

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    News flash--not everything the government does or every rule/regulation it follows is derived directly from the Constitution. At least not last time I checked. Maybe it's gotten longer (say, a few thousand pages longer?) since the last time I read it.

    And no, we don't have to outlaw all guns. Just restrict them. Limit who can have them, what kinds they can own, how many types of armor they should be able to pierce, you know, that sorta stuff.

    Oh, and while 49% is a minority, it certainly sounds like slashing one's own wrists to treat 49% like 25%, at least to me. Good luck with it! :thumbsup:

    See, the whole point of the system is that so no slim majority can impose its will on a very large and nearly equally sized minority. That sort of thing leads to a lot of rancor, which in turn makes our government not work so well. Besides the general divisiveness in our country. But then Republicans are uniters, not dividers, right?

    Why do you hate unity?
     
  10. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    I don't like to be that close to people, that's why.

    Why do you hate personal space?

    I'm not suggesting that the opposing party shouldn't have an opportunity to speak their minds and make their case, however they should do so honestly.
    Therefore, they should make their case and then allow an honest vote to occur.
     
  11. DrunkCajun

    DrunkCajun Banned

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    Maybe I wasn't hugged enough as a kid and want more physical contact.

    Why do you hate neglected children?

    I understand that, but I think that in cases where a minority that could change overnight if someone woke up feeling a little more liberal should be taken into consideration a bit more. This is clearly an issue that nearly half the country feels strongly about that the minority is doing everything in their power to put a stop to it. Perhaps *gasp* compromise might be something to consider? I believe that's the entire point of the filibuster being in place. It promotes compromise, middle ground, and moderate positions. Not that any of those exist these days.
     
  12. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Gotta cross swords on this one. The point is that the process is SUPPOSED to be held hostage by the minority, to a specific extent. One should look no further than WW2 to realize why we don't want real majority rule, or even absolute democracy. Otherwise we'd have President Springsteen dictating mandatory Survivor viewing hours - the public is too often fickle and uninformed.

    I know that the 'nuclear' aspect is a load of hooey, and that nominations were never supposed to be an activity that filibusters applied to - but neither do I want to lose the option the next time someone like Ginsburg is put forth.

    (Having pr0n starlets for candidates may be a hoot, but I'm glad we have slimy lawyers - they're easier to despise and frequently more literate.)

    EDIT - Drunk, take a look at my previous citation - it gives a harsh view about just why the concept of a compromise isn't going to work. But I hope that means we should see battle royale... maybe we can get some fistfights going, like the Japanese! CSPAN could use the ratings.
     
  13. jimmyboy

    jimmyboy IncGamers Member

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    Only if I want to end democracy and have a one party rule for the rest of my life. Frankly I'd be uncomfortable with either extreme conservatives or extreme liberals controlling the government forever.

    Unfortunately, even moderate Republicans are getting pressured from Frist as he threatens to cut their funding. And what is very scarry are this whole hoopla is about the 10 most extreme conservative extremes Bush is pushing. I would recommend everyone to do a little research on the viewpoint of these justices before blindly following Bush's recommendations. It's going to be an eye openner. I guarantee it.

    There is a reason that 260 of the 270 of Bush's nominees had no problem and these 10 were singled out. Hint - 4 of them will take us back to the stone age.
     
  14. DrunkCajun

    DrunkCajun Banned

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    jimmy, the meaning of "democracy" has changed. "Democracy" is a term of convenience these days. Just ask Saudi Arabia.
     
  15. Raistlin Majere

    Raistlin Majere IncGamers Member

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    That sums up my feelings.

    Soon or later, the Dems will have majority, and they will take care to make the republicans sweat and suffer should they get rid of it. They would putting a nail in their own coffin. Its like using a shotgun to swat at a fly. It will wipe out the fly, yet cause too much damage in other places.
     
  16. Ash Housewares

    Ash Housewares IncGamers Member

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    democratic VP?

    somebody's been poppin' crazy pills

    you're out! FOREVER!
     
  17. llad12

    llad12 IncGamers Member

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    So tell me Steve ... do you want to consider some real "Democracy"?

    Consider this:

    Washington Post

    A substantial majority of the electorate are against this rule change.

    Of course, you realize, we don't really have a true "Democracy" in our country.

    Just food for thought ...
     
  18. Raistlin Majere

    Raistlin Majere IncGamers Member

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    Going against 2-1 odds of the public? They must not want to be re-elected.
     
  19. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    But if the dems get the majority, the republicans are going to do the same thing, probably out of spite. We may end up with no one getting anything done. Not saying it should be changed now, but I think it's just gonna keep getting worse.
     
  20. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    So you've noticed the blinding speed with which elected officials normally react, and the sensibility of the legislation they pass in haste...
     

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