Ballibuster

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Memo to Harry Reid: OH, HEY, YOU CAN LEARN.

No more "gangs". No more "threats". No more "gentleman's agreements". No more "extraordinary circumstances" for people who treat any request by a Democrat as extraordinary. Harry Reid pulled the goddamned trigger today and put the judicial and executive branch nominee filibuster out if its misery, and if you don't like it, go fuck yourself.

Yes, there were better ways to do this. For one thing, it could have been done years ago, when it became obvious that it would have to be done eventually. Did Reid and the Democrats gain any points for waiting patiently, for years, trying to work with Republicans to limit obstruction? Fuck no they didn't. From the Wall Street Journal:

"Today's Democrats have grown up in the Saul Alinsky tradition, and on Thursday they proved it with a partisan vote to break the Senate filibuster rule for confirming judges and executive-branch nominees."

ALINSKY! PARTISAN! Quick, get the fainting couches and the smelling salts! Rush Limbaugh said "dictator" again! John McCain's blessed comity has been ravished! RAVISHED, I SAY.

"They're governed by these hard over newer members of the Democratic senators who have never been in a minority, who are primarily driving this issue. And they succeeded and they will pay a very, very heavy price for it." - McCain, on CNN.

Oh, no! Republicans might start virulently opposing things at every turn that Democrats support! Whatever shall we do? If you're already being the worst, your threats to be even worse are not terribly convincing.

I do wish they'd done what we suggested years ago, and use the new-Congress rule change opportunity to mandate the talking filibuster across the board. The problem with filibusters is not that the minority can block the majority. The problem is that, for decades, the minority can block the majority without any effort. The filibuster became so easy that the media's been describing the "60 vote threshold" to pass anything in the Senate as if it's how the Senate has always worked.

The sixty vote threshold is an anomaly. It's the natural consequence of a bunch of lazy-ass lawmakers who want all the benefits of the filibuster without any of the work. Make those fuckers WORK FOR IT, and you'll eliminate the abuse, because only a few of these assholes would ever miss a lunch date to block a law, and those few would only do it about once a year as a publicity stunt.

But you'd still have it there, in place, as a tool, to prevent your John Boltons or your... well, John Bolton's the only serious asshole I can think of who didn't eventually get in, and Bolton still spent a lot of time in the job and we keep hearing his opinion on shit. The point is, if Future President Rand Paul Jr. nominated Robot Michele Bachmann to the Ninth Circuit Court, Democrats would be able to filibuster it with, you know. The courage of their convictions.

That, by the way, is why this will not come back to bite us on the ass when/if Republicans return to power, by the way. Democrats give up a power they were almost never willing to use, in order to take it away from people who had it as their default setting. They're actually getting something out of not filibustering. Well, something useful. What they used to get out of it was kicked in the balls over and over again.

At least now everyone in the Senate has inflamed, tender scrotae. It may not be progress, but it sure is satisfying.