Harry Reid is vowing to take on something that many of us have asked for - filibuster reform:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged on Wednesday to change the rules of the Senate so that the minority party has fewer tools to obstruct legislative business.
In his first post-election press conference, the Nevada Democrat said he wouldn't go so far as to eliminate the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for the chamber to enter and exit the amendment and debate process. But in remarks meant to preview a more combative approach during the next session, he warned Republicans that obstructionism as a tactic won't be tolerated -- or as technically feasible.
Now let's look at why this really needs to be done. Here's a handy graph showing how much the GOP has decided to abuse the filibuster in the past several years:
Of course the way the filibuster happens has also changed. It's not like the old days, where the cots are rolled out and the TV screen is full of senators reading from Shakespeare. Instead they basically say "filibuster" and the legislation is done. It has been twisted into a tool where the minority controls Senate, not the majority.
So how is the right responding to this? Well here's Drudge's headline on it:
"Limit opposition"? Funny, but I don't remember it being called that when Republicans threatened to do the same, basic thing in 2005 (see Nuclear Option).
But this is the Republican ploy. They don't believe in democracy or the will of the people. They believe, despite their handed defeat, that the people really want what they want. After all, we're just stupid Americans and don't really know what's best for us.
So get ready for a very turbulent session of Congress next year. Luckily the people are seeing more and more what the GOP really is and they turned that knowledge into action at the polls yesterday. If the GOP wants to go back down the track they have been doing for the past several years, then their numbers will continue to dwindle and their party will become non-important. Hopefully someone on the right does stand up and takes control of the party to bring them more inline with how America is today. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this country does need at least two parties to survive. I don't want either party being the sole power for too long as that will damage our democracy beyond repair.