Do you want a filibuster-proof congress?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by kavika411, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #1
    I do. Although I am not a Democrat, and consistently vote against Democrats (including Obama), I would like the final senatorial races to go to Democrats.

    (1) I believe filibustering is the lamest technicality known to man.
    (2) Given George Bush taking the lead towards corporate bailouts - something I don't believe in - I'd just assume see what Democrats can do unencumbered, even if that includes more corporate bailouts.
    (3) I would like the choices made by the next administration/Congress to be easy to examine. Put simply, I want the party in charge - presumably Democrats - to get all the glory for good decisions, and all the heat for bad decisions. I am tired of arguments about a president hindered by a congress, or a congress hindered by a president. I'd just assume see one in charge for a while.

    A lot of people say that "the truth lies between the two." It is an argument often presented in political debates. I often disagree with this argument. Now is one of those times. I would like to see one party make its case, makes its legislation, make its influence on what it believes is right, even if it is a party that I disagree with more times than not.

    I'm interested in what other people think.
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #2
    Do any other countries have something as silly as this? There is a reason it is called majority. There should be a time limit, that way if you can't convince others to change their vote, then be quiet.

    For both sides.
     
  3. kavika411 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #3
    I don't know the answer to your first question. My understanding - though I don't have a site at the moment - is that filibusters have been used in the United States by Democrats more than Republicans. Perhaps I am wrong. But my point is that I agree with your second assertion - that people should eventually shut up and allow a vote. I am afraid Republicans will take hold of filibustering if Democrats don't get the remaining two seats.
     
  4. gibbz macrumors 68030

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    #4
    While I understand your general sentiments, I do not agree. Coming from someone who voted Democratic on this year's Presidential ballot, I do not like the idea of a seemingly unchecked Congress. While I may favor the ideas of a Democratic Congress over the Republican counterpart, I think that healthy checks (even filibustering) on either side is much preferred to giving free reign to one side or the other.
     
  5. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    #5
    I don't really support handing over the keys of the government to a single group. As it is, I think that we'll be able to have some thoughts from the right heard while having the ability to pass stuff through congress.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6
    Link

     
  7. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #7
    I think historically a Democrat started it, I recall he said it was the worst thing he unleashed during the Clinton admin. I don't remember his name. :D
     
  8. kavika411 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #8
    Thank you for the link. As I mentioned, I may be wrong in my assumption that Democrats have used it more. I read your link. That is an interesting article. I remain interested in whether Republicans or Democrats have used the filibuster more throughout its existence, and not just for one period of time. I can't find an article on that, but my research skills aren't the best.

    My concern remains the same, though. Even as someone who generally votes against Democrats, I do not want Republicans using this technicality to prevent votes. I may be in the minority on this point. Perhaps I am not. I appreciate the responses.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #10
    I don't really like the idea of having both the presidency and congress from the same party especially if the other party can't do anything to block legislation. However I also wouldn't mind seeing the Democrats be allowed to run the country however they want and then get voted out in 2010 or 2012.
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    Not quite. I can't think of a single emerging democracy that uses the US model of government as a model, whereas I can think of quite a few that use parliamentary models either under a proportional representation model or the Westminster model, whether they have two houses or not and a constitutional monarchy. Guess you guys are stuck with it. ;)
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    That's the way to root for the good of your country! With thinking like this, it's a wonder the United States is still the, well, United States.
     
  13. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #13
    I don't like either party, and think they will both eventually ruin the country, but the republicans will just do it less quickly, so I would rather not have to listen to the Democrats complaining about how the evil Republicans keep them from getting things done.
     
  14. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #14
    So how come we are spreading "democracy" around the world? :p




    (wrong kind I guess.... :D )
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    No- I think a filibuster proof Congress is an extremely bad idea.
     
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #16

    But isn't that a natural outcome of the system of government you have? I thought that was the main point.

    When I was a teenager in high school in New Zealand we did some modules on the US system of government (I've forgotten most of it) but our teacher was always going on about checks and balances. Checks and balances.

    You want swift, root and branch, top to bottom change? Have a revolution or get yourself a dictatorship or an unchecked monarchy. :D
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    A few points of order. First, actual filibusters are extremely rare. The Senate rules require 60 votes to end a debate. When those votes are not present, the bill under debate dies -- without anyone having to read from the phonebook to hold the floor (it did make a very good movie once, though). Second, this is a rule of the Senate, not a law. The rules can be changed, and as some of us will remember, a few years ago the Republicans attempted to do just that.

    Finally (and this may be no more than an artifact of another era), the Senate has long been considered the more "deliberative" of the two houses of Congress. The thinking behind the supermajority to vote cloture is that if some minimal sort of consensus or compromise could not be reached among the Senators on a bill, then it probably was not a very good bill.

    If that's a silly idea, then it's an idea that was made silly.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #18
    agreed.

    There are not many true filibusters in the Senate. Just the treat of a filibuster is enough to keep it off the table. If they can not get the 60 votes to stop a filibuster they will not even bring the bill to the floor and go about other business. So a filibuster shutting them down does not really happen.

    it is very rare that they let a true filibuster go on. on the topic of filibusters I do like seeing how long they go on and some states have some very impressive records. Texas for example you can not get an endless filibuster because the chair is then one that will allows the next person to talk so now one person can go on endless at some point they have to leave or pass out from lack of sleep. Texas also holds the record for the longest filibuster by a single person (47 hours)
     
  19. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #19
    I don't think it is a good idea, and removes one extra check on the political profession which let's face it, its not the most honorable one to begin with.

    Still, the last time a party had this, also the Democrats in 1976, it was not particularly effective, and the advantage was lost by 1978.
     
  20. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #20
    Great movie.

    As for a filibuster-proof Congress under Obama, it's not going to happen - even with 60 Democrats (or even 65). Carter and Clinton had larger majorities under portions of their Administrations, and they still didn't prove a force-to-be-reckoned with.

    I do see it more likely that under Obama and the Democratic Congress, there is an increased liklihood of the passage of some decent, moderate bills into law.

    I think that's a pretty good thing.
     
  21. Delta608 macrumors regular

    Delta608

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    #21
    Im all for it...So the Dems have no one else to blame in two and four years from now...:D:D
     
  22. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #22
    I don't think a filibuster proof Congress is a good thing. Even if the Dems get 60 seats, which is unlikely as Georgia will likely elect Chanbliss, there are Dems who won't go along with everything proposed by their party.
     
  23. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #23
    An entire administration with no checks and balances to worry about?

    I shudder at the thought.

    The Dem's would need to be very careful with this power (you know the old saying - With Great power comes great responsibilty). If they mess it up, nobody will vote for another Democrat for a very long time...

    You can blame everything on the GOP, but the Dem's have had majority in both houses for the last four years. Things are never as Black and White as you would like them to be.
     
  24. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #24
    I think the Filibuster is a valuable tool. While the part of me that has Schadenfreude from the November 4th thwomping of the GOP would like to see them squirm now had their attempt to eliminate the Filibuster succeeded, I worry about what any party is capable of when given full control. Look at the Havoc Bush and the GOP congress was able to pull off without ever having a filibuster proof majority.

    While I have some confidence in Obama keeping a level head and actually managing to find his veto pen in his first (hopefully not only) term, I also thought Bush's re-election in 2004 might have had some positive outcomes, so I've proven many, many times that I'm no Nostradamus (of course even Nostradamus was no Nostradamus, but that's another discussion).

    Of course if any party is going to come close I'd rather it be the Democrats, not only because I tend to agree with their policies more, but also because in recent history, they've been more prone to infighting and less able to keep the caucus running in lockstep so even having 60 members would likely not be enough for carte blanche. Heck, they couldn't even punish Lieberman properly. The GOP (at least in the days of Gingrich and Delay) would have managed to strip all committees and seniority putting him at the bottom of the totem poll behind even the newest Senators and made damn sure that he still felt honored to be allowed to caucus with them, the Dems couldn't even manage to punish him with a less powerful committee chairmanship.

    The way I see it, if you can't manage to pull off even one member of the opposition party to support your proposed legislation, is it really something we want passed?
     
  25. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #25
    Well... dunno about others, but in Sweden the opposition can table a motion that the majority is about to vote in favor of. The requirement is that the minority that wants to table the motion comprises of at least one third of the parliament. They can only table it once, however. And that's the only delay tactic they have at their disposal.

    Yes. I don't get this "reach out across the aisle" thing in the US. It's bad enough that you only have two parties, but if the ultimate goal is that they both always agree, what's the point of having 538 people there? 2 people would do the trick.

    Whoever wins the majority in Sweden rules supreme for 4 years. The opposition can moan and groan and play shadow government all they want, but they have no formal or informal power whatsoever. The only time the ruling side has to kiss up to the opposition is when there is a minority government, which happens from time to time.
     

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