Why Merely “Reforming” the Filibuster Is Stupid

By: Monday July 23, 2012 11:03 am

Don’t get me wrong, I think the filibuster is awful. It makes a mockery of the principles of democracy. It destroys democratic accountability. It enable politicians to make false promises they will never need to make good on. It has crippled our government. It even inherently violates the clear intent of the Constitution. That is [...]

Coburn, the Man Who Broke the Senate, Whines About Senate Being Broken

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 4:01 pm

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) developed the nickname “Dr. No” for his habit of placing holds on numerous bills and confirmations to delay them from moving forward. With his history of repeatedly using holds, filibusters and other procedural mechanisms there are probably few (if any) other Senators more responsible for recently slowing the work of the [...]

Remember When Republicans Thought It “Wrong for a Partisan Minority” to Stop a Judicial Nominee?

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 3:17 pm

Even though judicial nominee Goodwin Liu received the support of a majority of senators today, he will not yet be confirmed to the bench because over 40 Republicans joined in a filibuster to stop his confirmation. This is a good time to remember that a mere six years ago, most Senate Republicans thought it unacceptable [...]

A Job for a Job Well Done: Comcast Rewards FCC Commissioner for Favorable Merger Ruling

By: Thursday May 12, 2011 1:56 pm

One of the biggest problems in America is that there are basically three ways to bribe government officials, and only one of them is actually illegal. Having what is essentially a standing job offer is a legal way for corporations to use huge financial payments to people in power to encourage them to make the [...]

Obama Encourages More Hostage-Taking with Nod to Current Debt Ceiling Tactic

By: Friday April 29, 2011 11:53 am

When you give in to hostage-taking, you set a pattern that just encourages people to take more hostages, and ask for bigger ransoms every time. This is exactly what is happening thanks to President Obama previously declaring that he must give in to Republican hostage taking tactics. From the Hill: House Republicans are considering a [...]

Republican Debt Ceiling Power Play Would Stand Constitution on its Head

By: Thursday April 21, 2011 10:15 am

Regardless of whether or not you think it is a good idea, our Constitution was designed with multiple veto points meant to create a bias toward status quo. The basic idea is that if you want to make large changes, you either need broad concessions or to definitively win the support of the public in [...]

Paul Ryan Says He’s Not Playing Games with the Debt Ceiling, Which Means…

By: Monday April 18, 2011 10:58 am

Republican Paul Ryan, on “Face the Nation” last weekend, tried to somehow claim Republicans posturing about possibly not raising the debt limit unless President Obama and Senate Democrats give in to their demands wasn’t “playing games” with the debt ceiling. From CBS News: Ryan, in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, said [...]

Ultra-Conservative Harry Reid Binds Democrats to Broken System

By: Thursday January 27, 2011 1:35 pm

Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn’t just fail to deal with filibuster reform, he totally committed himself to the defense of this disgraceful practice. From his floor speech about his deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Senator McConnell and I both believe our reverance for this institution must always be more important than our [...]

If the Founding Fathers Had the Internet, Would We Have a Senate?

By: Tuesday January 11, 2011 2:26 pm

It is interesting to think that the creation of the Senate wasn’t just a political compromise between the small and large states, but also a de facto technical compromise between republican ideals and what the existing limits of technology allowed. At the time the Constitution was written, sending a message and getting a response from [...]

Abolish the Senate: Truly Radical, Yet Wholly Sensible Reform

By: Monday January 10, 2011 4:09 pm

While there seems to be some growing intellectual consensus in support of slightly reforming Senate rules to modestly reduce obstructionism, the idea of returning the Senate to its original intent of a majority rule chamber is still labeled too radical. In reality there is nothing radical about merely bringing back the original Senate rule that [...]