Breaking: Deal reached to preserve filibuster

posted at 10:59 am on July 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

There aren’t a lot of details on the deal cut by the Senate to stop the nuclear option, but both sides are emerging from talks heralding the agreement:

Senators have reached a tentative deal on averting the constitutional showdown over confirming President Obama’s agency nominations. “We may have a way forward on this, I feel fairly confident,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday morning. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) signaled enough Republicans would support breaking a filibuster on the first test vote on the showdown, for Obama’s pick to lead the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. “I think everyone will be happy,” Reid said. The deal would not be finalized until later Tuesday afternoon.

At the moment, it appears that the deal involves agreeing to hold a confirmation vote for Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank in 2010 but has yet to have a confirmed executive.  Barack Obama gave Cordray a recess appointment while the Senate wasn’t actually in recess, angering Republicans who vowed to block Cordray in the next session.

In return, Democrats will only get two confirmation votes for the NLRB, whose recess appointments have been overturned by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. It appears that Reid will ask the White House to choose new appointees rather than try to restore the overturned appointments:

That should be enough to restore the quorum at the NLRB, but allows Republicans to impose a penalty for the abuse of power.  These conditions are, of course, all a bit ambiguous, so we’ll keep updating as specifics become available.

Update: According to TPMDC, the two NLRB appointees are definitely out:

In short, Republicans would confirm nominees to all seven positions, a big concession for the GOP. But in a concession for Democrats, they will replace two recess-appointed nominees to the National Labor Relations Board — Sharon Block and Richard Griffin — with new nominees under the following conditions: Republicans pledge to confirm any two replacements by President Obama to the board by Aug. 27. …

The nominees who would be confirmed in the deal are Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gina McCarthy for the Environmental Protection Agency, Tom Perez for the Labor Department and Fred Hochberg for the Export-Import Bank. Under the terms of the deal outlined by Reid’s office, Mark Pearce would be confirmed to the NLRB while Block and Griffin would be replaced.

We’ll see how big of a concession this is by the White House when we see the replacements for Block and Griffin.  However, this will still leave the issue of the recess appointments before the Supreme Court — and until the court rules, the appellate decision will remain as precedent, which means an end to almost all recess appointments in the future.

Update: Most of the commenters are ripping the GOP for caving, but they didn’t have much leeway once it became clear that Reid wasn’t bluffing and that he had the votes for a rule change.  That would have left the GOP six votes short of stopping any of these nominations.  They probably got what they could get — blackballing the two NLRB appointees and forcing the White House to replace them — but they weren’t going to get rid of Cordray or any of the rest of these seven.

By the way, this part of the filibuster will eventually disappear, regardless. We’ve had two parties take a bite of this apple now, and it’s become a mainstream option where a decade ago it was a radical notion.  The GOP at least got a concession out of maintaining it this time, but one party or the other will go nuclear in the next three or four years, tops.  It’s inevitable now.

Update: Worth discussing, from Wethal in the comments:

IIRC, the Senate rules stipulate that a rules change requires 2/3 vote. Reid is changing them with a simple majority.

Yes, and that was true in 2005, when Republicans wanted to use the nuclear option to change the filibuster for judicial appointments, too.  The problem with this argument is that the enforcement body for Senate rules is the Senate itself.  No court will interfere in a rules fight in the legislative branch. Would it break the rules? Yes. And the remedy for that would have been … bringing it up in the 2014 election cycle. In the meantime, Block and Griffin would be on the NLRB, potentially mooting the case on recess appointments.  The GOP never had more than a jack-high in this poker game, and they knew it.


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A bad deal remains a bad deal no matter on how one tries to spin it.

Furthermore, if it is ‘inevitable’ that one of the parties will ‘go nuclear’ in the next three or four years – then I believe the better course would be to force Dingy Harry to play that card now – and thereby own that card and all of the likely ramifications today and over the next few years.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM

No

Bmore on July 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

That’s ok. I can’t remember if you are in Sarnia or further west (the latter, i think). I know you are a recent grandfather whereas my eldest is recently engaged … clearly I am a little younger and marginally less senile ;-).

gh on July 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Man, I would love to have a second political party. This one party crap sucks.

Flange on July 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The problem with this argument is that the enforcement body for Senate rules is the Senate itself. No court will interfere in a rules fight in the legislative branch. Would it break the rules? Yes. And the remedy for that would have been … bringing it up in the 2014 election cycle. In the meantime, Block and Griffin would be on the NLRB, potentially mooting the case on recess appointments. The GOP never had more than a jack-high in this poker game, and they knew it.


Where does one start to address this?

Let’s commence with the fact this rule would stay in place until the party in power decided to change it. In the meantime, there is loads of fun Republicans could have pursued once they returned to a majority. Let’s start with potentially working with a Republican president to appoint people who would quickly and with swiftness begin to wipe the destructive Obama slate clean. But then, I am thinking logically and strategically.

Think Democrats including Reid didn’t know this? You’re wrong.

Block and Griffin appointed via this maneuver would continue their illegitimacy. Framed appropriately and consistently with voters, this would be the gift that keeps on giving with a populace who is tired of the senate’s do-nothing, unpopular shenanigans.

Jack-high my Aunt Sally. You are looking at the wrong hand.

Marcus Traianus on July 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM

The GOP never had more than a jack-high in this poker game, and they knew it.

Sadly, they have been holding a Dead-man’s Hand since their rotten corpse is just taking up space.

RIP GOP.

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM

The crooks win again. Miguel Estrada is still not on the DC Court of Appeals and the Republicans caved. I think it would have been just great, when the Republicans win next year, to not have a filibuster for the Democrats. The House could pass a bill, send it to the Senate, the Senate would send it to the White House, Obama would veto it and the Republicans over-ride.

Never, ever trust a Democrat.

bflat879 on July 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

The Dems have always played this game. They change the rules to lock out Republicans. Then, when the Pubs win one the Houses, the Dems scream they’re not being given a voice. The media scream about how ‘unfair’ the Pubs are (ignoring the Dems changed the rules in the first place), and the issue gets hammered until the Pubs cave.

The tactic is tried-and-true. This deal precludes that for now.

Liam on July 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM

This sounds like capitulation to me.

If, as the story reports, the GOP has agreed to allow an up or down vote on ANY nominee Obama puts forth for NLRB, then we are likely to see even more radical liberal nominees then the current two.

How is that a victory?

Get rid of the filibuster.

The ONLY reason the GOP likes the filibuster is that it allows the dems to block conservative policies without requiring that GOP incumbents vote yes/no on those policies.

The GOP rarely uses the filibuster successfully otherwise, and it is often used very successfully against the GOP.

Plus, the filibuster allows “blue dog” democrats to keep up the pretense. they can pretend to be in favor of some conservative policy they know will never come up for a vote.

And, the filibuster never stops radical leftists from getting appointed while it always stops conservatives from being appointed.

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Twitterewstephe @ewstephe

17 Republicans joined Dems to vote to move forward with Cordray confirmation,

CSPAN says. #CFPB

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Politics

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I….am….going….to….be…sick.

Time for a third party. We will hand rule to the Evil Party for the next 16 years, but what difference, at this point, does it make? The Republidems are no better than the real Evil Party.

NOMOBO on July 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

That’s ok. I can’t remember if you are in Sarnia or further west (the latter, i think). I know you are a recent grandfather whereas my eldest is recently engaged … clearly I am a little younger and marginally less senile ;-).

gh on July 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

gh:Haha,in the Sault,age 54:)

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Consumer Protection Financial Bureau

Why is this so important to them?

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

At the heart of his entire debacle… is Barack Obama. He’s the guy who makes no effort whatsoever to nominate the best person for the job, but rather, goes out of his way to nominate the most political person for the job. It’s Barack Obama who was supposed to set the tone for Washington, DC. And THIS is the tone he’s selected.

It’s easy to be mad at Harry Reid. He’s a prissy, little, pinch-faced man, and rotten to his very core. But the turd in the punch bowl is Barack Obama, himself. HE is the guy who chooses to keep everybody at one another’s throats.

Murf76 on July 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Lol … same age. Remembered “the Sault” but isn’t it officially “Sault St Marie” or something like that (“… among the Hurons” perhaps). My Canadian history and geography is pretty rusty.

gh on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Reuters US News ‏@ReutersUS 2m

Senators reach tentative deal ending filibuster fight http://reut.rs/12SW9Ut
===========

Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:45am EDT

(Reuters) – A tentative U.S. Senate deal has been reached to have President Barack Obama withdraw two of his embattled nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and offer a pair of new ones that organized labor helps pick, congressional sources said on Tuesday.

Under the possible agreement, Republicans would promise to clear the way to have the new nominees confirmed by August 1, the sources said. Republicans have opposed two of the pending nominees because their temporary appointments by the Democratic president were invalidated by a federal appeals court. The case is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
==============================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/16/us-usa-congress-senate-deal-idUSBRE96F0UH20130716

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

As if they will not replay this in a couple of months for some more corrupt appointments. Republicans are some of the cheapest sellouts around.

astonerii on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Succinctly put! That is pretty much it!

Dems play for keeps… they see the writing on the wall that they might lose the Senate and the White House soon and are already putting their radical people in all government departments – something they’ve been doing for a long time and now just ramping up!

Expect a lot of sabotages and leaks once a Republican President takes over.

On the other hand, Republicans led by senile and/or corrupt individuals like McCain and McConnell continue to get played.

TheRightMan on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Wait, McCain compromised with the dems? Wow, I never would have predicted that. Has McCain even brokered a deal where it is a win for conservatism and the country since he has been in the senate?

When republicans compromise that means we loose. Don’t be fooled, this wasn’t much of a compromise for the dems, they’re always on offense and have a plan. They used this as a ploy. Reid has little respect for the rules of the senate, and the rule of law.

ritewhit on July 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Principles are only principles if one is willing to stand for them regardless….and it’s quite clear that there are many (at least 17) affiliated with the GOP in the Senate who no longer have conservative principles….if they ever had them.

Whose to say that the candidates to replace Block and Griffin will not be as equally focused on ‘fundamental change’? Dingy Harry was willing to toss them under the bus because the real wins are Cordray, Perez, and McCarthy who will now have not only carte blanche to push the progressive agenda, but the political cover of a bi-partisan Senate confirmation.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

HMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

Senate Banking Committee delays vote on nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to head agency that regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac – @Reuters

11 mins ago by editor

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Consumer Protection Financial Bureau

Why is this so important to them?

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The authority to micro-manage every kind of financial transaction in which a person might engage, Every [red] state consumer law that might be considered pro-business could be nullified, under federal preemption and in the interest of “social justice.”

IIRC, they can also collect financial data on people to help provide “better services” or something. Everything goes into the big database Maxine Waters told us about.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Nonsense. You cannot compromise with the Left, that’s what they count on. The GOP got nothing out of this, except another black mark for people like me who are never voting for another one of their candidates. The fact that McCain supports this only proves it is a bad deal. His response to any question phrased “How would you deal with problem X?”, is always a variation on, “I’ll go to DC, reach across the aisle, and craft a compromise solution.” And you see where that has gotten them. Another nail in the Stupid Party’s coffin.

Hucklebuck on July 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Murf76 on July 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Why blame Obama for doing what any President should be doing? He is a radical leftist and he nominates people like him to government positions.

Nope, I rather blame the weak-kneed RINO sellouts, advised by Rove et al, who always fail to stand up to their principles and push the most conservative people through.

It would have been nice if the GOP had played hardball like this and gotten Bolton and similar nominees confirmed when Bush was President.

But oh no… the same “Schumer Republicans” were making deals to have “moderate” nominees confirmed.

TheRightMan on July 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Associated Press ‏@AP 3m

MORE: Senators move toward resolving feud over GOP filibusters of White House appointees: http://apne.ws/12SY5vW -KK
=======================================================

Sen. Reid says filibuster showdown may be averted
By CHARLES BABINGTON
— Jul. 16 11:56 AM EDT
**********************

Reid credited Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., with helping broker a breakthrough.

McCain told reporters it was “probably the hardest thing I’ve been involved in.” Noting the Senate recently passed a bipartisan immigration bill, he said, “Maybe we can show more momentum toward bipartisanship. Is it a panacea? No, but I think it’s an important step forward.”

Democrats acknowledged that a rules change probably would have prompted Republicans to retaliate by doing even more to reduce the minority party’s rights if the GOP regained control of the Senate. That could happen as early 18 months from now, after the 2014 elections.

“It’s a decision that, if they actually go through with it, they will live to regret,” McConnell has said.(More….)
=====================================================

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/filibuster-talks-flag-senate-braces-showdown

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM

One more thing – there is a simple reason why Dingy Harry threatened to go nuclear over these confirmations…. once someone blinks / surrenders to extortion, they have just confirmed that they will always surrender to extortion.

It doesn’t matter, to use Ed’s analogy, what cards are in one’s hand…Harry knew that McCain and others would fold even if they had a straight flush because they had in the past. They fear the ramifications of taking a stand – and think appeasement and surrender is the ‘safer’ path.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

John McCain – the Neville Chamberlain of the GOP in the Senate.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Consumer Protection Financial Bureau

Why is this so important to them?

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The authority to micro-manage every kind of financial transaction in which a person might engage, Every [red] state consumer law that might be considered pro-business could be nullified, under federal preemption and in the interest of “social justice.”

IIRC, they can also collect financial data on people to help provide “better services” or something. Everything goes into the big database Maxine Waters told us about.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

It’s also untouchable, or so the progs believe, because it’s not funded by Congress. Dangerous concept.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Drained Brain on July 16, 2013 at 11:37 AM

I hope all the republicans will vote against Perez. And then in 2015 impeach the SOB.

rockmom on July 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Why doesn’t McCain just switch parties and be done with it.

Oh, yes, Schumer doesn’t want him to. It works out so much better to have McCain in the GOP so McCain can do the “bipartisan” shill.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

It doesn’t matter, to use Ed’s analogy, what cards are in one’s hand…Harry knew that McCain and others would fold even if they had a straight flush because they had in the past. They fear the ramifications of taking a stand – and think appeasement and surrender is the ‘safer’ path.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Good point. It is unfortunate, but McCain is a severe liability in the Senate. His seniority and military background gives cover to all the other GOP senators who want to fold at every turn.

I wish he would retire. He’s already done enormous damage to the U.S. while in the Senate, I think his legacy is secure.

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

It’s also untouchable, or so the progs believe, because it’s not funded by Congress. Dangerous concept.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

True, like the Federal Reserve.

I know there was supposedly no right to appeal under Dodd-Frank when the government took over a bank (not the FDIC route), but it may be that this board also is supposedly immune to judicial review.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM

At the moment, it appears that the deal involves agreeing to hold a confirmation vote for Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank in 2010 but has yet to have a confirmed executive. Barack Obama gave Cordray a recess appointment while the Senate wasn’t actually in recess, angering Republicans who vowed to block Cordray in the next session.

So the GOP actually got… nothing.

It has already been declared that this appointment (among others) is illegal by a court, and the Dems are agreeing to abide by that… for *this* appointment? And the GOP should celebrate this?

Seriously, WTF is wrong with this party?

Midas on July 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Well, this was inevitable. I am certain this is what Reid wanted. Not that I’m saying that it was a bluff. I think he was fully prepared to go through with it, but he’d rather not have to.

But pardon me for a silly question…

If you can break the rules to make a rule change (make the rule change without the 2/3 vote), then why is a rule change necessary?

Just break the filibuster rule. Why would that be different than breaking the rule change rule?

Go ahead and skip the cloture vote and schedule a vote on the nominees.

No court will interfere in a rules fight in the legislative branch. Would it break the rules? Yes.

Same argument still applies.

Chris of Rights on July 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Lol … same age. Remembered “the Sault” but isn’t it officially “Sault St Marie” or something like that (“… among the Hurons” perhaps). My Canadian history and geography is pretty rusty.

gh on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

gh:Canadian geography,lol,I’m getting pretty good on American
geography tho,oy!:)

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Yep.

Case in point – remember Arlen Specter? How long did it take him to drop all pretences and join the Dem party after he lost his primary? Or Charlie Crist?

So-called “moderate” Republicans are nothing but Dem plants who remain in the Republican party just to sabotage and keep us in a minority state even when we win the majority.

TheRightMan on July 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM

If you can break the rules to make a rule change (make the rule change without the 2/3 vote), then why is a rule change necessary?

Chris of Rights on July 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Propaganda. Politics.

Fenris on July 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Reuters: Under tentative deal, organized labor SEIU would help pick two new NLRB nominees after Obama withdraws two pending ones, Republicans would agree to confirm them: sources
by Colin.McDonald 11:37 AM
—————————-

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Politics

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

FIFY

I don’t have a problem with a deal. This Administration has only three years left to it; it’s not like Reid tried changing the filibuster rules in 2009.

The Senate might not remain as a solidly Dem in little more than year as it is now. The Pubs might even take it. Then they’ll be in better position, and weaken Reid even if he remains in charge.

This deal is basically harmless.

Liam on July 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

It’s not only about the filibuster, it is more about the CFPB and NLRB. The CFPB doesn’t get its money from congress, it gets it as a percentage from the FED Reserve. There is no accountability except in the appointment process. And when the GOP wanted to change this ‘flaw’ (I use that term very loosely), the Left ignored those concerns; rulemaking, private data, and enforcement.

And right now, they are saying that this new agency was needed because of the unfair lending and corrupt financial practices by evil lenders. Well, there already was a consumer financial protection unit at the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commission is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection works For The Consumer to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.

Enhances consumer confidence by enforcing federal laws that protect consumers

Empowers consumers with free information to help them exercise their rights and spot and avoid fraud and deception

Wants to hear from consumers who want to get information or file a complaint about fraud or identity theft

CFPB

Congress established the CFPB to protect consumers by carrying out federal consumer financial laws. Among other things, we:

Write rules, supervise companies, and enforce federal consumer financial protection laws
Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
Take consumer complaints
Promote financial education
Research consumer behavior
Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance

Now we have two agencies doing double work, wasting even more taxpayer money.

Patriot Vet on July 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Why doesn’t McCain just switch parties and be done with it.

Oh, yes, Schumer doesn’t want him to. It works out so much better to have McCain in the GOP so McCain can do the “bipartisan” shill.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Wethal: True Dat:)

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM

McCain’s out in front, Reid’s pretending to be civil again, and Ed’s telling us this is the best outcome we could have hoped for.

Check, check, and check. That’s about all I need to know.

Cylor on July 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Dumb….Let the Dems go nuclear and blame them when the GOP goes nuclear several years from now (if they ever get the senate back).

Sometimes you have to just let things run their course. The GOP leaders have no long term strategy at all. They can barely function a week in advance and are always taken by surprise. I could live with some RINOs if they were intelligent ones, but we got the worst of both worlds….dumb RINOs.

William Eaton on July 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Now we have two agencies doing double work, wasting even more taxpayer money.

Patriot Vet on July 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

The civil service is middle class welfare. And the Dems know it.

Every time a conservative says “cut the size of government,” the employees hear the same thing as the unionized plantworkers hearing “move the plant to Mexico.”

So the Dems can count on the government employee vote.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Personally I kind of like Drew’s post over at Ace.

ritewhit on July 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Ace/DrewM have some good points on why the filibuster locks in growth of the state and might as well be scrapped – basically that the back and forth of a bare majority rule would be more beneficial to us.

Think about it: how often does the left have a disappointing judicial appointment? Never. They may get someone blocked but another (perhaps more closeted) ultra-leftist steps in. How often do we get a disappointment because the best person is blocked. Most of the time.

Unchecked cabinet appointments would hurt but whose radicalism would only serve to hurt the president, and at least we would get our 1st priority guys/gals through.

Lastly, with us controlling most of the statehouses and drawing district lines, we should be able to hold the House as a firewall against bad legislation until at least 2020, which as far as I’m concerned, will beyond this country’s expiration date anyway at our current trajectory. If we can ever get a speaker with a rigid adherence to the Hastert Rule, we’d probably be in pretty good shape.

crrr6 on July 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

but we got the worst of both worlds….dumb RINOs.

William Eaton on July 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

RINOs like McCain are stupid and diligent.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

And the Republicans really believe the left will live up to their end of the bargain . . . they’re even dumber that first thought.

rplat on July 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Let’s commence with the fact this rule would stay in place until the party in power decided to change it. In the meantime, there is loads of fun Republicans could have pursued once they returned to a majority. Let’s start with potentially working with a Republican president to appoint people who would quickly and with swiftness begin to wipe the destructive Obama slate clean. But then, I am thinking logically and strategically.

Therein lies the rub. For the Republicans to return to the majority in the Senate, they have to stop nominating sure-losers to winnable Senate seats, such as Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. With reasonably good candidates, Republicans should have won NV, DE, and CO in 2010, and MT, ND, IN, and MO (which Romney carried) in 2012, and would have 52 Senate seats NOW.

For some reason, Republican primary voters, mostly in rural areas, like to nominate political “outsiders” for Senate seats. The problem is, political “outsiders” make rookie mistakes in campaigns, and end up getting destroyed by the media, and losing by huge margins in major cities which they can’t make up in rural areas. We need to nominate candidates who have already won statewide elections, such as Governors or State officeholders, or maybe House members from urban or suburban districts, who know how to run winning campaigns.

One way to obtain better candidates would be to have two-round “runoff” primaries, where the top two vote-getters in a primary would face each other in a two-candidate runoff two weeks after the original Republican primary. This way, the eventual nominee would have the support of a majority of Republicans, instead of an unheard-of candidate with 30% Republican support in a 4-way or 5-way field trying to make his/her case against an entrenched well-known Democrat. Incidentally, this is the system that gave us Senator Ted Cruz.

Steve Z on July 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Republicans, once again, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

stenwin77 on July 16, 2013 at 12:53 PM

RINOs like McCain are stupid and diligent.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM


Forgot the link.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 16, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Just heard the headline on the radio “Republicans have agreed to stop stalling”

This is what we got out of it. McCain is either stupid or willing.

faraway on July 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

McCain is either stupid or willing.

It’s very simple, he’s venal.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 1:08 PM

At the heart of his entire debacle… is Barack Obama. He’s the guy who makes no effort whatsoever to nominate the best person for the job, but rather, goes out of his way to nominate the most political person for the job. It’s Barack Obama who was supposed to set the tone for Washington, DC. And THIS is the tone he’s selected.

That’s not the issue- most GOP senators didn’t express opposition to the nominee, but to the act of filling a leadership role that some members of the GOP don’t think should exist.
Understand that this new agency was created by Congress itself, and the GOP may have the right to filibuster a single nominee, but not to prevent the orderly operation of government by blocking all nominees for a congressionally mandated agency.

bayam on July 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The Senate has the power to provide ‘advise and consent’ towards the people nominated by the Chief Executive for senior positions in the Federal bureaucracy. There’s no limitation on if this is only permitted on a single nominee or multiple nominees.

If members of the minority believe that the person nominated is an ideologue and ill-suited to fill the position – then they have the right to use the rules and procedures of the Senate to block or reject the nomination until the President sees fit to nominate a person who is not seen as an ideologue.

As for ‘prevent the orderly operation of government….’ – the CFPD is in operation within the Federal Reserve and is active at its mission to ‘ensure fairness’ in the financial field for all Americans. It operates with or without Richard Cordray – just as it operated when the GOP blocked Elizabeth Warren from being confirmed as it’s Director.

Athos on July 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Whose to say that the candidates to replace Block and Griffin will not be as equally focused on ‘fundamental change’? Dingy Harry was willing to toss them under the bus because the real wins are Cordray, Perez, and McCarthy who will now have not only carte blanche to push the progressive agenda, but the political cover of a bi-partisan Senate confirmation.
Athos on July 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Exactly. Those are three very dangerous partisan nominees.

I fail to see what point there are rules if they can be changed mid-session.

Why can’t a senator with a spine object loudly to the change via the self-policing policy that Wethal describes.

onlineanalyst on July 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Most of the commenters are ripping the GOP for caving, but they didn’t have much leeway once it became clear that Reid wasn’t bluffing and that he had the votes for a rule change. That would have left the GOP six votes short of stopping any of these nominations. They probably got what they could get — blackballing the two NLRB appointees and forcing the White House to replace them — but they weren’t going to get rid of Cordray or any of the rest of these seven.

By the way, this part of the filibuster will eventually disappear, regardless. We’ve had two parties take a bite of this apple now, and it’s become a mainstream option where a decade ago it was a radical notion. The GOP at least got a concession out of maintaining it this time, but one party or the other will go nuclear in the next three or four years, tops. It’s inevitable now.

So the “Pubbies” did what they did best – do the one thing that is worse than a full-on elimination of the filibuster – in this case, abandon their minority rights in the instant case in such a way that, in the unlikely event they regain the theoretical majority, the filibuster can and will be used against them because, just like 2005-2006, they won’t have the balls to pull the trigger.

If you think that Obama won’t appoint 2 clones of Block and Griffin, especially with an iron-clad approval of the replacements, I have a “slightly-distressed” bridge to sell you.

Steve Eggleston on July 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM

In short, Republicans would confirm nominees to all seven positions, a big concession for the GOP.

Wow.

Getting the Obama administration to work within the confines of the rules is winning ‘a big concession’.

Elsewhere this is known as “the way its supposed to be”, and not something you gain out of a negotiation by giving up *anything*. It’s done by force of law.

ffs

Midas on July 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Therein lies the rub. For the Republicans to return to the majority in the Senate, they have to stop nominating sure-losers to winnable Senate seats, such as Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. With reasonably good candidates, Republicans should have won NV, DE, and CO in 2010, and MT, ND, IN, and MO (which Romney carried) in 2012, and would have 52 Senate seats NOW.

For some reason, Republican primary voters, mostly in rural areas, like to nominate political “outsiders” for Senate seats. The problem is, political “outsiders” make rookie mistakes in campaigns, and end up getting destroyed by the media, and losing by huge margins in major cities which they can’t make up in rural areas. We need to nominate candidates who have already won statewide elections, such as Governors or State officeholders, or maybe House members from urban or suburban districts, who know how to run winning campaigns.

One way to obtain better candidates would be to have two-round “runoff” primaries, where the top two vote-getters in a primary would face each other in a two-candidate runoff two weeks after the original Republican primary. This way, the eventual nominee would have the support of a majority of Republicans, instead of an unheard-of candidate with 30% Republican support in a 4-way or 5-way field trying to make his/her case against an entrenched well-known Democrat. Incidentally, this is the system that gave us Senator Ted Cruz.

Steve Z on July 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Colorado had a good candidate in 2010 for senate. He wasn’t an all star, but he was certainly better then the majority of the GOP establishment old guard. The governor’s race dropped the turnout for the senate race in 2010. Bennett had 794,724 votes, Buck had 779,280 votes. Bennett won that race by less than 1%. The governors race was a disaster with the Republican candidate coming in third with 11% of the vote.

The media piled on Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Murdock. O’Donnell may have been able to run a stronger campaign if the GOP decided to help her instead of feeding her to the wolves. Delaware is a blue state anyhow. The media and GOP did the same with Akin. I still doubt he would have won if he had the backing of the GOP. He would be a much better senator than McCaskill. Similar with Murdock, but he also had Lugar undermining him around every corner. Shame on Indiana for that one. They followed the media line with a gotcha question in a debate, and followed it.

What about those “tested” candidates? Denny Rehnberg? He won a state wide office in a red state. He lost by a larger margin than Ken Buck did in Colorado. What about Rick Berg? He won a statewide office in a red state. He lost by a slightly larger margin than Ken Buck did in Colorado. Linda Lingle ran in a deep blue state, but used to be the governor. She lost by 25%. Formerly elected Heather Wilson in blue state New Mexico lost by 6%. Former Gov Tommy Thompson lost by 6% in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a bit of a puzzle in politics now. It’s been a blue state, and I still think of it as a blue state but Scott Walker, Ron Johnson, and the legislature is republican. Former congressman Pete Hoestra lost by nearly 20% in Michigan. Former congressman Connie Mack lost by 13% in Florida. I could go on. Cherry picking a few of the tea party candidates that lost only works for the low information voter.

Lets take a look at the few people in the senate that are putting up a fight and actually getting something done while in the minority.
Ted Cruz, no prior elected experience.
Mike Lee, no prior elected experience (that I recall).
Ron Johnson, no prior elected experience.
Rand Paul, no prior elected experience.

I do agree with you about the run off elections. I also would add that primaries need to be closed.

ritewhit on July 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Reid: I’m giving you guys the whole broom handle.

GOP: Oh no! Not the full handle! How about just half the handle?

Reid: Well, okay. Just half, this time.

GOP: Yay, we win!

Marcola on July 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The republicans should have called Reid’s bluff. If he really did get rid of the ability to filibuster nominees, they could have turned around and clubbed the dems with it, but noooo we have to play nice with each other.

Othniel on July 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Pretty sure that if McCain’s involved, he’s merely handing out the K-Y jelly.

socalcon on July 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Is it me, or in that pic, does O looks like he’s high?

avagreen on July 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

This is a typical cave-in by the Republicans, but one they probably had to make. They got the most important thing: Obama has to withdraw his NLRB nominees and pick two more. That means that the Supreme Court case over Obama’s bogus recess appointments cannot be mooted. Which means there is a very strong chance–almost a certainty I would say, given the administration’s record at the court–that it will uphold the DC circuit and thereby preserve the separation of powers. That is not a small achievement, one the Republicans would have forfeited if Reid had detonated the nuclear bomb and the Senate had subsequently approved the present NLRB thugs.

senor on July 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

This is a typical cave-in by the Republicans, but one they probably had to make. They got the most important thing: Obama has to withdraw his NLRB nominees and pick two more. That means that the Supreme Court case over Obama’s bogus recess appointments cannot be mooted. Which means there is a very strong chance–almost a certainty I would say, given the administration’s record at the court–that it will uphold the DC circuit and thereby preserve the separation of powers. That is not a small achievement, one the Republicans would have forfeited if Reid had detonated the nuclear bomb and the Senate had subsequently approved the present NLRB thugs.

senor on July 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I disagree. This will moot the SCOTUS case.

And Reid can threaten nuclear option any time he wants as long as he holds the Senate.

Obama has already picked one replacement for NLRB. Associate counsel of the AFL-CIO.

Card-check, here we come.

And Perez will be running the Labor Department.

Wethal on July 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

LOLZ. God those people are stupid.

SouthernGent on July 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

The GOP never had more than a jack-high in this poker game, and they knew it.

Absolutely wrong.

The clowns in the GOP that produced this ENDING of the filibuster rules simply let Harry Reid get off the hook for have HIS name and the DEMOCRATIC party fingerprints off of this unilateral rule change.

Look for Democrats to demand complete adherence to every filibuster starting in 2014 as they leave power. MANY Republicans are INDISTINGUISHABLE from the Democrats in their goal of instituting a totalitarian government.

Freddy on July 16, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Devil is happy but he’s always busy.

RdLake on July 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Yeah, that sure was a brilliant deal the Repubican “leadership” cut. Just like every other damn time.

Cylor on July 18, 2013 at 8:04 PM

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