Reid short on votes for filibuster reform?

posted at 10:31 am on November 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Some argued that the elections last Tuesday showed that empathy wins in political battles.  Maybe Harry Reid should have thought of that before launching an effort to change the filibuster rules.  Despite having a majority of the Senate and an even larger majority in the next session of Congress, Reid’s coming up short of a majority for his changes:

Democrats don’t have the 51 votes they need in the Senate to change filibuster rules that could make it harder for the GOP minority to wield power in the upper chamber.

Lawmakers leading the charge acknowledge they remain short, but express optimism they’ll hit their goal.

“I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of the so-called constitutional or “nuclear” option, in which Senate rules could be changed by a majority vote. …

The problem for Udall and other supporters of filibuster reform is that many veteran Democratic senators remember when the filibuster was a useful tool in their years in the minority.

That’s certainly one problem. Another and related problem is that they may find themselves in the minority sooner rather than later.  The odds of that declined after the unexpected Republican losses on Tuesday, but Democrats will still have to defend more seats than the GOP in the midterms — and the President generally loses seats in the House and Senate in second-term Congressional elections:

Republicans have whiffed in two straight Senate cycles but will get a third swing at the majority in 2014. It will take a lot more than charm, though, to put them back in power.

Twenty Senate Democrats will have to defend their seats that year, while just 13 Republicans will be up for reelection. At least six of the Democrats represent red states — places like Arkansas, Louisiana and South Dakota — and are seen as ripe GOP pickings. Retirements could expand the map for the party. …

The task of flipping the Senate in 2014 got a lot harder after Democrats nearly ran the table last week, picking up two seats when breaking even would have been a coup. Republicans would probably need a wave of 2010 proportions to get there.

At this early vantage point, the six most vulnerable Democrats are Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, n. Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Max Baucus of Montana.

Democrats won’t have the advantage of Barack Obama and his OFA turnout machine in 2014, either.  Without Obama on the ticket in 2010, Democrats lost a huge wave election, even with Republican disarray that may have kept the GOP from taking control of the Senate.  The possibility of needing the very minority protections that Reid wants to dilute or eviscerate has Democrats feeling mighty empathetic at the moment.

That has Udall talking with Republicans about a modified set of reforms with broader appeal, according to The Hill. Had Reid done that in the first place, he may have been able to craft a set of rules that would retain minority rights while limiting the abuses of both parties over the last generation in the Senate.  Republicans certainly complained bitterly about those abuses when they had the majority — and when Reid himself led those abuses — and almost ended up gutting filibusters on judicial nominees in 2005.  Without bipartisan reform, however, The Hill reports that GOP leadership promises a partisan war on the entire Democratic agenda if Reid pushes through this nuclear option.


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Thank you O’Donnell, Buck, Akin and Mourdock!

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM

How would BISHOP have voted??

Khun Joe on November 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM

As an Arkansan I guarantee you that Pryor is toast in 2014. I get pleasure in calling his office weekly to remind his staffers of their fate.

Charlemagne on November 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Don’t worry, he’ll whip them into shape. Or wait until the “moderates” who just won election come into town and told how it works under Harry Reid and his far left friends – My way or the highway.

Harry Reid would have you believe that it’s all the Republican’s fault for “abusing” the filibuster. If he had not abused his position and shut the Republicans out of any meaningful legislation, they wouldn’t have had to resort to using those tactics.

The voters in Nevada have to be some of the dumbest there are re-electing this treasonous piece of flotsam.

iamsaved on November 13, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Republicans have whiffed in two straight Senate cycles

They picked up 6 seats in 2010 and moved into striking distance for 2012. That’s not a “whiff”, that’s a solid gain.

2012 on the other hand…

strictnein on November 13, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Thank you O’Donnell, Buck, Akin and Mourdock!

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Thank you, Rossi, Thompson, Mack, Allen, Fiorina, and Brown!

Doomberg on November 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

There’s time enough to dig up dirt and threaten the recalcitrant, have patience.

Bishop on November 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Just a bump in the road for American Transformation.

FlaMurph on November 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The voters in Nevada have to be some of the dumbest there are re-electing this treasonous piece of flotsam.

iamsaved on November 13, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Not all voters here voted for reid. Where do you live brother?

VegasRick on November 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Can’t you just filibuster the new filibuster rules?

reddevil on November 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I get pleasure in calling his office weekly to remind his staffers of their fate.

Charlemagne on November 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM

hahaha! Awesome.

Mord on November 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

2 seats lost due to religious idiocy.

A travesty.

WisCon on November 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Thank you, Rossi, Thompson, Mack, Allen, Fiorina, and Brown!

Doomberg on November 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Dems had a reason to nationalize O’Donnell and the Abortion/Rape Comments. It was to wrap the ones you listed as radicals, and make Republicans unacceptable nationally. Reps gave them the candidates they wanted.

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Thank you O’Donnell, Buck, Akin and Mourdock!

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM

O’Donnell? That was two years ago. Politically, that’s a long time to hold a grudge, isn’t it?

Besides, even if whatever candidates you favored over these had gotten the nomination and run, they would still be undermined by Graham, McCain and other reachacrosstheaislers. If your guy Castle had gotten the nomination instead of O’Donnell, he would be voting with the Democrats at least 50% of the time, based on his voting record in the House, thus reinforcing in the minds of the public the meme that the GOP is responsible for the consequences of Democrat legislation.

Scriptor on November 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Haven’t we all learned our lesson on trusting Ed’s predictions of voting results?

Alpha_Male on November 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM

2 seats lost due to religious idiocy.

A travesty.

WisCon on November 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Loose lips sink more than just ships.

Mitsouko on November 13, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Any filibuster reform shouldn’t take effect until the NEXT senate is seated, in this case 2015.

aunursa on November 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Any filibuster reform shouldn’t take effect until the NEXT senate is seated, in this case 2015.

aunursa on November 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I agree with this.

Alpha_Male on November 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Thank you O’Donnell, Buck, Akin and Mourdock!

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM

And an extra special thank you to Mitt Romney!!

I mean, if we’re blaming losing candidates, why stop at the Seante?

tom on November 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

No grudges, just the point that in the interest of purity we have empowered Harry Reid.

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Doomberg on November 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

actually Brown was about as good as you are going to get in MA ….
I believe that … I don’t live there .. have friends that do .. and Brown
is about as conservative as they will take there …

Akin – a moron who did not have the good sense to step aside when
he shot himself in the foot …. lots of Dem crossover votes and some Dem money carried him in the primary …

Allen and Mack – it was their turn (puke) and we got what we deserved on that.

Mourdock another one with.foot in mouth problem. I thought better of him .. but the camera never blinks …

conservative tarheel on November 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

And as for Mourdock’s and Akins’s remarks — they mainly betray inexperience. A true pro never, never reveals his real opinions about anything that is remotely contentious. But who’s to say that the candidates they defeated wouldn’t have made a really devastatingly stupid remark about, say, finance or the economy? It often takes many years of running for office to become a slick trimmer who can convince all sides that he shares their opinions.

Scriptor on November 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

No grudges, just the point that in the interest of purity we have empowered Harry Reid.

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM

harry red’s name should never be capitalized.

VegasRick on November 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Who are the Democrat holdouts on this? They can’t threaten and bribe their way to 51? Nonsense. Of course they can.

rhombus on November 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Let him have it, than shove it down their throat when we win back the majority…

That’s the threat…just say “go ahead, make my day”, and let it be known that they will suffer in the future…but then, we never make them “suffer” we roll over.

right2bright on November 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Six red-state Democrats know it will be political suicide for them to be seen as doing ANYTHING at the bidding of Harry Reid. Reid is massively unpopular in those states. I would be surprised if they could get Angus King to go along with this either. So I don’t see how Reid gets to 51 votes.

Republicans along with the red-state dems do have a working majority in the next Senate. Although Mark Pryor probably knows he is toast and may not care.

rockmom on November 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Don’t we have enough reach across the aislers to help him make up the difference?

Night Owl on November 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The new “gang of six” (red state Dem Senators) will be hard pressed to do anything that aids Obama and Reid. Their states voted against Obam by an average of 40% – 60%.

Tater Salad on November 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Republicans along with the red-state dems do have a working majority in the next Senate. Although Mark Pryor probably knows he is toast and may not care.

rockmom on November 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Don’t be surprised to see Pryor switch in an effort to save his job.

Tater Salad on November 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM

No grudges, just the point that in the interest of purity we have empowered Harry Reid.

amazingmets on November 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Castle would likely have empowered Harry Reid at least half the time, and we’d be swearing at him the way many of us have sworn at Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Olympia Snowe and, yes, Scott Brown. I had similar suspicions about Connie Mack III (or is it IV?), especially once he got Washingtonized, but I voted for him anyhow.

Scriptor on November 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I wouldn’t count on getting Baucus out in MT, we should hope for a sex scandal or retirement.

MontanaMmmm on November 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM

rockmom on November 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

.
Don’t be surprised to see Pryor switch in an effort to save his job.

Tater Salad on November 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM

.
He’s going to pull a “reverse-Specter”?

listens2glenn on November 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I love it when people trash O’Donnell. It’s as if they believe the Senate would be a sunnier place with Republican champion Mike Castle leading us to conservative victory.

onetrickpony on November 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I wouldn’t count on getting Baucus out in MT, we should hope for a sex scandal or retirement.

MontanaMmmm on November 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM

……………or he could be drunk and forget to file for re-election.

Tater Salad on November 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

If the Republicans want to try and get out in front on with Latino voters, it seems to me Puerto Rican statehood might be a safe way to go. Immigration neutral, but showing they’re not afraid to bring a whole country of Latinos into the fold.

Scopper on November 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

If the Democrats in the Senate were smart, they’d dump Reid. Same goes for the House and Dear Leader Pelosi.

GarandFan on November 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Can we just have all the hypocritical videos on cue ready of O, Biden, Teddy, etc waxing about the precious sanctity of the filibuster and preserving minority rights in the Senate, each time this BS comes up?

thurman on November 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Scopper on November 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

.
Anyone who thinks Latinos will vote for the Party of Traditional America are just lying to themselves, or truly don’t see a new America transforming.

The majority of voters said NO, again, to traditional America Nov. 6.

Pandering, is what the Dems and MSM accuse the GOP of for dare trying to reach out to the Latino base they will protect at all cost.

A gringo can never change his spots.

FlaMurph on November 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I say you should let Reid have his filibuster reform, we will take back the Senate in 2014, and then let’s see the Dems living by their own rules.

That will be so much fun. F— them I say.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Pryor actually is a liberal. I can’t see him switching parties to save his election, and I can’t see the GOP accepting him anyway. The one who should have switched was Blanche Lincoln. I think Specter’s example has probably scared away any Senator from switching parties.

rockmom on November 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Yeah, they didn’t have the votes for BambiCare either. Does anyone really believe he’s not going to get his 51? Of course he is. They’re going to need it for Bambi’s judges.

FruitedPlain on November 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

They’d better filibuster Holder.

besser tot als rot on November 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The GOP will NEVER get a majority in the Senate as long as the Tea Party is nominating candidates like Angle, Buck, O’Donnel, Akin, and Mourdock. These were sure GOP pick-ups last two elections. Instead of throwing these Dems out, we threw them a lifeline. The wrong type of candidate in any of the states listed as potential pick-ups for 2014 and it’ll be another disappointing election cycle.

ncconservative on November 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I say you should let Reid have his filibuster reform, we will take back the Senate in 2014, and then let’s see the Dems living by their own rules.

That will be so much fun. F— them I say.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Won’t help squat unless it’s veto proof. Karmad Obamov has flexibility now, remember?

Archivarix on November 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Can’t you just filibuster the new filibuster rules?

reddevil on November 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I don’t see how raising a private army and invading some third world country is going to help. And I think they made that illegal some time ago anyways.

Browncoatone on November 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Thank you Nevada, Delaware, Missouri and Indiana GOP for taking your ball and going home after the primaries.

Steve Eggleston on November 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

The GOP will NEVER get a majority in the Senate as long as the Tea Party is nominating candidates like Angle, Buck, O’Donnel, Akin, and Mourdock. These were sure GOP pick-ups last two elections. Instead of throwing these Dems out, we threw them a lifeline. The wrong type of candidate in any of the states listed as potential pick-ups for 2014 and it’ll be another disappointing election cycle.

ncconservative on November 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Huh? Did the Tea Party (that loosely organized, non-party) control who gets nominated then or now? Really? I didn’t know a somewhat small, minority “fringe” could have such power? Seems to me that the people who form the Republican electorate and vote in primaries did the nominating. They were offered a choice and chose someone other than the status quo. That may or may not have been wise in specific circumstances, but the fact that the people were hungry for an alternative should tell you something. They most certainly didn’t want the go-along-to-get-along types like Castle. Sometimes we need to take a chance or we just get the same old junk and the government leviathan get’s even more entrenched, with the tacit and sometimes active complicity of the so-called conservative Republican. It’s difficult to see the future, so we need to look at the past and if an individual has a history of selling us out, I think maybe he or she needs to find a new career outside of our representation.

Someone who is not just conservative, but also savvy and willing to take the slings and arrows of the MSM and Democrats, all the made-up outrage and straw man skeletons need to be dealt with, needs to step up. If you don’t like O’Donnell or Akin, find someone with the same amount of courage who meets your particular criteria (e.g., not prone to foot-in-mouth disease). If there isn’t anyone, then what? Settle (aka, surrender)? Let’s not.

BillyWilly on November 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I’m in favor of a rule change. The Senate needs to go back to the old Filibuster rule that movies were made about. Today their is no persuasion, thought or ideas presented and broadcasted on C-span to rally the base. Instead we have the silent obstruction of the sixty votes required for cloture and the majority leader getting all the press coverage barking about republican obstruction.

meci on November 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The GOP will NEVER get a majority in the Senate as long as the Tea Party is nominating candidates like Angle, Buck, O’Donnel, Akin, and Mourdock. These were sure GOP pick-ups last two elections.

ncconservative on November 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I didn’t like COD any more than you did, but if you think that Castle was a sure bet in 2010, you’re high. And I don’t know how the Tea Party gets the blame for Akin. Of the three candidates in MO, Akin would have been considered the most establishment. And, finally, without the tea party, 2010 would have looked like 2008 and 2012, so you should be thanking your lucky stars.

besser tot als rot on November 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

The voters in Nevada have to be some of the dumbest there are re-electing this treasonous piece of flotsam.

iamsaved on November 13, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Not all voters here voted for reid. Where do you live brother?

VegasRick on November 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Reid did not win, SEIU rigged the results. Same as they did last week here in NV. No way in hell GOP wins Congress seats and then somehow loses the presidential race.

What you saw happen in FL, PA and OH was just a grander scale 2010 vote rigging in NV.

riddick on November 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Thank you Nevada

Steve Eggleston on November 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You should thank the communist lite, aka “libertarians” here in NV, who openly stated a week prior to elections they are voting for Hussein.

Nothing to do with TEA Party, idiot. Same as in MO, where Akin vote the primary by “default” as 2 TEA Party candidates split the vote. Akin was NOT in any shape connected to TEA Party.

We can’t elections with all the RINOs out there so poorly informed.

riddick on November 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

RE: where Akin WON the primary (above)

riddick on November 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

1) all the Democrats will eventually do as they are told. It may take a bribe or two, but the technique worked with Obamacare and will continue to work. The Democratic Senators from red states do not care as long as they get promises of the same electoral effort that Obama got in 2012.

2) that effort was basically stealing the election. From what I can see from the numbers, there is enough proof that there was enough fraud to give it to Obama.

a) blatant theft of precincts. 20 precincts in Philadelphia [they call them "voting districts] were physically taken over by a mix of Democrats and New Black Panthers, ejecting all Republican election judges and poll watchers. All the seized precincts reported 90%+ turnout and 99%+ votes for Obama. In 59 precincts in Philadelphia there was not one vote for Romney. That gave Obama scores of thousands of votes lead in PA just from that alone.

b) in every “swing state” there were reports of touch screen voting machines where people voted Romney and it actually voted Obama. There are videos of this happening during early voting. In every case, the response was that the machines were “miscalibrated”. If it was a calibration problem, at least some of the time the votes would have gone the other way. I will note that there is a single video put out, AFTER the election, purporting to show an Obama to Romney switch; but there is no proof that it was not set up after the fact. Programmers have testified that they have written software to make voting machines skim just enough votes to give whatever margin is needed, and that it can be inserted in seconds with a thumb drive.

c) registration and vote fraud. In counties all over the country, the numbers show voter turnouts greater than the number of registered voters in those counties, and those counties went Democrat. In St. Lucia county in Florida, the average precinct vote was 148% of the number of registered voters. The minimum in the county was 113%, the maximum was 159%. The Democrats are, of course, fighting against the comparison of signatures on voting cards -v- registration cards.

It is widespread. Here in Colorado [which swung Democrat against all polls and the situation on the ground] a study has shown that 17 of our 64 counties have voter registration over 100% of the Census population of voting age. 5 of those counties have had over 100% of voter age registration every year from 2004 to date. Nine more counties have voter registration rates over 95% of people of voting age. Usually voter registration in this country ranges from 50-68% [one standard deviation from median] of the voting age population.

http://watchdoglabs.org/blog/2012/08/21/colorado-comparison-of-registered-voter-counts-to-census-voting-age-population/

Some of those counties had voter turnout greater than 100% of the registered voter base.

d) there are about 1.5 million active duty military, and the same number of reserves, a significant portion of the latter being on active duty and deployed. Military votes coincidentally, for the second election in a row, were not transported and delivered in time to be counted.

e) the election turned on a total of 407,000 votes in 4 states; Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado. That amount of fraud is easily obtainable through the means discussed; especially if you realize that the fraud detected is typically only a small fraction of that performed [tip of the iceberg phenomenon].

Is that absolute, ontological proof of the election being stolen? Nothing is absolutely certain. Is it indicative of a deliberate, intensive, nationwide effort by the Democrats to steal the election? Yes. Conversely, in the presence of that effort, and the anomalous outcome; can anyone feel sure that the results of the election is honest, or that their votes count?

The Republicans are energetically ignoring these issues, and therefore it will be done again and again.

With the right promises and bribes, ALL the Democrats will do anything Reid wants. And if Reid promises to respect them in the morning, so will more than a few Republicans.

Subotai Bahadur on November 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’mt tired of the comparison of getting rid of the Fillibuster to ending Fillibuster’s for judicial nominees. Judicial Nominee’s (in fact all top level nominee’s like Cabinet members) are supposed to be “on the advice and consent of the Senate”. Some people believe that is a Constitutional requirement of an up and down vote within a reasonable amount of time (say 90 days). Those that take that side believe the Democrats were VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION when they held up Judicial nominees. Some people believe this applies to Senatorial holes as well fyi. That’s a LEGAL ARGUMENT.

There is no constitutional requirement that bills have to move through the Senate. No requirement a committee pass them. No requirement that the Senate ever end debate. Legislation is NOT REQUIRED. But filling Judicial and Executive offices is – and that is why its a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution that nominees must be given votes.

We conservatives should stand by these principles. And Hot Air, I love you, but your columnists shouldn’t muddle these two up in their columns.

hayekorbust on November 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Nervous about 2014. I like that >:D

Mr. Prodigy on November 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Lawmakers leading the charge acknowledge they remain short, but express optimism they’ll hit their goal.

“I haven’t counted 51 just yet, but we’re working,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of the so-called constitutional or “nuclear” option, in which Senate rules could be changed by a majority vote.

They should talk to their comrades down in Philly. They’ll show Harry how to get a majority no problem.

I can see it now.. the GOP shows up one morning here soon and are told they lost the vote on the filibuster. The Republicans will ask “What vote?”
“The one you lost” Harry will say.
“We didn’t have a vote?”
“Yes you did. There’s the results to prove it. 100-0. You lost.”

JellyToast on November 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Twenty Senate Democrats will have to defend their seats that year, while just 13 Republicans will be up for reelection. At least six of the Democrats represent red states — places like Arkansas, Louisiana and South Dakota — and are seen as ripe GOP pickings. …At this early vantage point, the six most vulnerable Democrats are Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, n. Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Max Baucus of Montana.

I suggest the House not fund any Obama spending, just shut it down until Reid will consent to rolling back spending to 2008 levels, when the president came back into office, until the next Senatorial election.

Those democrats that won’t go for the end of the filibuster know the rule that EXCEPTION makes the Worst Rules.

In MA, Duval Patrick and Edward Kennedy changed the law when it looked to them like John Kerry would be president. They changed the rules on a special election, because they did not want Mitt Romney to appoint the replacement, as was the law, “the governor shall appoint the successor…”. But when the vacancy really occurred at the death of Kennedy himself, UH OH, they never changed the law back. Duval Patrick D-MA, was governor. The special election had to be held. Scott Brown got in…for two years. Yay Scott. That is why you don’t mess with the rules lightly. Exceptions make bad law.

But Harry Reid, what is he worrying about silly rules about fillibuster anyway, he makes the rules as he goes along. Isn’t there a RULE (a law,) that says Harry needs to send a budget along by April of the year before detailing the budget, originating in the House, and passed by the Senate…but he ignores that rule, soon he will be ignoring anything he wants to because there seems to be no penalty.

Fleuries on November 13, 2012 at 8:45 PM