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Annals of career "progressive" idiocy

Jeebus, I thought BooMan's previous post was stupid. This from Booman is even stupider:

Last week the Senate voted to invoke cloture on a bill to save the U.S. Postal Service. Ordinarily, "invoking cloture" means that the Senate agrees that there will be a simple-majority vote on the underlying bill. It requires 60 votes to invoke cloture but only 51 votes (or 50, if the vice-president breaks the tie) to pass a bill. When the Senate invoked cloture, they were saying that the Postal Service bill will not be filibustered. But looks can be deceiving. In order to get the Republicans to agree to a vote on the final bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid had to agree to the introduction of 39 (mostly frivolous) amendments. And those amendments (by the unanimous consent of the Senate) must get 60 votes to pass. In addition, the whole bill must get 60 votes to pass.

Of course, all this Insider Baseball foofra about the mechanics of the Senate would have been blown away if Obama and the Ds had invoked the nuclear option back, back when people still believed Obama had a mandate, and "hope and changed" hadn't turned into a cynical parody of what nobody should ever believe again about any legacy party candidate, ever. They didn't, which was one of the first signs that they weren't serious.

Well, I mean, serious about anything other than shooting Americans without due process, keeping DISemployment permanently high, making the big banks even bigger, and ratifying and normalizing everything Bush ever did. And on and on and on.

Poor Booman. He didn't used to need links from Eschaton; now I guess he must.

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nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

As I understand it, the cloture rule was originally to protect the right of a substantial minority to argue their position in full. They could keep advocating their position until cut off. Beyond a reasonable time for debate, the practice is somewhat anti-democratic, and that anti-democratic leaning was clearer when the filibuster was used as a legislative tool, but there's an argument to be made for full consideration. I'd certainly liked to have seen more debate and consideration prior to a lot of the panic legislation of the last ten years.

When a right to debate is converted into a requirement for a super-majority without debate, there's no argument of any kind to be made for it. It's sheer corruption. The cloture vote now has no purpose except to replace the power of a democratic majority with that of a non-democratic supermajority.

This isn't insider baseball; it's corruption. It isn't legislative mechanics; it's corruption.