Here we go: Reid calls for Senate to revamp filibuster

posted at 9:21 pm on May 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via Guy Benson, who has background on Reid’s outburst as well as irresistible video from 2005 of Dingy Harry (plus a bunch of other Democratic all-stars) singing the filibuster’s praises while they were in the minority, natch. You know who I think is actually to blame for this bit of theater? Richard Mourdock. Let WaPo explain:

Tuesday’s landslide victory in the GOP primary by Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a staunch conservative who beat longtime Sen. Richard G. Lugar, gave Democrats hope for claiming a seat they have not seriously contested in three decades…

“Eight months ago, I thought that Republicans had a 60 to 65 percent chance of taking the majority. Now, it’s a 50-50 proposition as to whether Republicans can take the majority,” said Jennifer Duffy, a longtime expert on Senate races who works for the independent Cook Political Report.

Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, said he places his “pinkie on the scale” now for Democrats retaining the majority, but added that his calculation hinges on economic improvements, particularly as reflected in the monthly unemployment numbers. “A few more months of less than 200,000 new jobs, and I take my pinkie off that scale,” Rothenberg said.

A year ago it seemed a fait accompli that the GOP would pick up a bunch of Senate seats in the midwest and reclaim the majority. Today that’s less certain. The economy looks a little better than it used to — how could it not? — and Mourdock will have more of a fight on his hands than Lugar would have, so just maybe Democrats will squeak through with 51 seats. In that case, that darned filibuster’s got to go so that the majority can’t be sandbagged repeatedly by tea-party obstructionists. (See, e.g., Ezra Klein.) Wait a few months, though, and see what Reid et al. think in, say, September if we’ve had another summer of minimal growth and Mourdock’s out to a solid 10-point lead on Donnelly. Strange new respect for the filibuster as an extra brake on the world’s greatest deliberative body will flower anew. In fact, listen carefully here and you’ll see that he’s not exactly calling for an end to the filibuster, just some changes. He knows how badly this soundbite can come back to haunt him if he has to turn on a dime in, say, three months, so he’s leaving himself a little wiggle room just in case.


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Comment pages: 1 2

And you didn’t answer the question. If I want to cut off both of your arms will you negotiate with me?

blink on May 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

He’s being an obstructionist by refusing to take a position or even acknowledge the proposition.

Just like the empty finance committee chairs.

BobMbx on May 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Strange new respect for the filibuster as an extra brake on the world’s greatest deliberative body will flower anew.

Those who don’t like where the car is driven like the brake better than the gas pedal. If we’re headed over a cliff, the brake is mighty useful.

The majority party hates the filibuster, the minority party loves it–no matter which is which.

Every time a new (third of) the Senate is elected, the Senate either renews the old rules or votes on new rules. Any vote to remove the filibuster rule could be…filibustered, so unless one party gets 60 votes in a new Senate, the filibuster rule is here to stay.

Steve Z on May 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM

“Eight months ago, I thought that Republicans had a 60 to 65 percent chance of taking the majority. Now, it’s a 50-50 proposition as to whether Republicans can take the majority,” said Jennifer Duffy, a longtime expert on Senate races who works for the independent Cook Political Report.

I’m not so sure that Republicans can’t get the majority. They would need a net 4 pickups, and their only vulnerable seats are Scott Brown (MA), Heller (NV), and Olympia Snowe (ME). Snowe’s seat is probably lost, but Brown is running even in MA, and Heller is leading polls in NV.

Republicans will probably get at least two sure pickups in ND and NE, and there are vulnerable Democrats in MT (Tester), MO (McCaskill), VA (Webb), with an outside chance in WI(Kohl, where Tommy Thompson could win), and OH (Sherrod Brown)

If Scott Brown could win his race, there would be only 1 Dem pickup (ME), and Republicans would need 5 pickups to get the majority, which they could get by winning (in order of most likely) ND, NE, MT, MO, and VA. A loss by Scott Brown could be offset by a win in WI or OH.

There’s another Senate seat to be had in Florida, if only Jeb Bush would run for it. Pretty please?

Steve Z on May 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Rule #1 of politics.

Don’t grab any power that you wouldn’t willingly hand the opposition; because they will eventually have it and use it against you.

Why am I the only person who knows this rule? I don’t recall where I heard it (over a decade ago if I recall), but I didn’t think I made it up myself.

gekkobear on May 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

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