So, Harry Reid wants to amend the filibuster rules and Mitch McConnell is shocked, shocked I tell you because Harry dares to propose that the majority should rule on this matter.
In his Wonkblog at The Washington Post today, Ezra Klein takes a look (great read) and notes that while McConnell weeps upon the sacred steps of the Senate decrying any changes to the rules (as did the Dems before him) and claims the filibuster to be a historical sacrament . . . well, here’s some real history:
The American system of government was built to protect minority voices, but the Founding Fathers explicitly rejected designing the Congress around a supermajority requirement. In Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton savaged the idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.”
Posted in broken government, Civics, Congress critters, Government, History, Politics
Tagged broken government, Filibuster, Harry Reid, majority rule, Mitch McConnell, Politics, US Senate
POSTED BY ORHAN
Economist Dean Baker points out that Republicans are a tad miffed that their vote for Representative Ryan’s plan to end Medicare is being used against them. Various groups around the country are using the vote in attack ads against incumbents, and they lost an upstate New York congressional seat that they held for 50 years. Says Baker:
Medicare is a hugely popular program. Polls consistently show that the program has enormous public support among all political and demographic groups. Not only do Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support the Medicare program, even Republicans overwhelmingly approve of Medicare. Even Tea Party Republicans overwhelming approve of Medicare.
The Republicans can try to deny that their plan actually ends Medicare and hope that voters will be sufficiently confused that they won’t hold the vote against them. They have already been staking out this ground, claiming that they just want to “change” Medicare. Instead of saying that they would give beneficiaries a voucher to use to buy a health insurance policy, which would allow people to understand their proposal, they are instead saying that it is a system of “premium support,” which is a term that no one understands.
This may help with a few pundits, but if the Republicans can’t keep their political opponents from pointing out that their plan actually does replace Medicare’s insurance with a voucher system, this silly charade will not buy them much. People know the difference between being handed a check for $8,000 and being told to go buy insurance and the current Medicare system, which covers most of the cost of most care.
The problem is that those pesky Democrats are actually talking about what the Republicans did. For instance, New Hampshire Representative Charlie Bass tried to keep television stations from running ads that said that he voted to end Medicare, but ran up against that other pesky little problem, the first amendment. In any case, Republicans are going to do their best to convince the public that they didn’t really do what they did: vote to end Medicare.
Baker offers the GOP a simple solution: reverse the vote. Since Republicans control the House, they could hold a vote tomorrow and repeal the budget plan. And they could probably convince Harry Reid to permit a vote that would allow Senate Republicans to do the same. As Baker says, “This is the sort of advice for which they would pay political consultants millions. But the Republicans can get it here for free. If they were smart, they would take it.”
Posted in 2012 Elections, Congress critters, Current Events, elections, From Orhan's Perch, health care, Medicare, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged Charles Bass, Dean Baker, Democratic Party (United States), GOP, Harry Reid, health care, Medicare, New Hampshire, republican
Dear Senate Democrats:
The Republicans in the Senate in the voice of leader and turtle out of his shell Mitch McConnell have announced they will stop any vote on raising the debt ceiling unless they get their way with Medicare.
A very astute observer Josh Marshall listens to McConnell’s words and hears as self-serving a Senatorial statement as has been heard this session.
Republicans have boxed themselves into a political corner with their plan to end Medicare. It’s a big problem for them politically, and there’s no easy way out . . . [so] McConnell just announced he will not support raising the debt ceiling unless big Medicare cuts are part of the deal. Translation: Unless Democrats get us off the hook by agreeing to deep Medicare cuts (meaning Democrats can no longer attack Republicans for wanting to eliminate Medicare), then we’re going to force the federal government into default on its debt. . . . It’s as stark as that. And the decision for Democrats is equally stark: Do you negotiate with hostage-takers?
No you don’t Mr. Reid. No you don’t and don’t you dare. If Republicans actually would allow us to go into default and suffer all the world wide consequences of such an action, let them pay the price and forfeit all pretense of being part of this ‘governing’ thing.
Let them slink away with their Tea Party buddies to a State with a population smaller than Hartford and let them sit together late at night and plot how to take down those damn Americans. And all their damn American ideas. And all their damn beliefs that people matter.
The debt ceiling is important. More important though, is standing up to threats, threats as cavalier as McConnell’s.
So don’t you dare Mr. Reid.
Posted in Congress critters, economy, Government, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged debt ceiling, Harry Reid, Josh Marshall, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Politics, Talking Points Memo
A conversation on the teevee this morning about an idiot statement by Sen. Jon Kyl who apparently questioned the Christian faith of Harry Reid. Dumb and dumber.
The jibber jabber on Morning Joe has been quite reasonable. But then I heard that Christian ego in a sweater, Joe Scarborough, say “This is the most sacred holiday for Christians.”
No Joe, it is not. Not even close. I’m neither a practicing nor believing Christian like you, but I do know this – Christmas is NOT the most sacred Christian day. That would be Easter, the day that celebrates the central event of Christianity. Christmas is the most sacred of holidays for Macy’s.
The ’round table’ of regulars nodded sagely, as they always do, because a job is a job.
But that may not be fair to the crock pot, an essential tool when the cook gets lazy.
The Majoritiy Leader of the United States Senate is joining the likes of Newt Gingrich in his disdain for the Bill of Rights.