Checks and balances: Senate Democratic leader defends filibusters

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Yurt, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Get this guy Reid:

    This guy has no clue what he is talking about. There is no checks and balances between the parties. The will of the people has put republicans in charge, now Reid has a duty to vote yea or nay. But instead he complains that republicans want it their way. All they want is a vote, a vote. Do your job and sit down.

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  2. Edward
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    Edward Senior Member

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    Senator Reid has no duty to vote yea or nay; in fact he has no duty to vote. His only duty is to those who voted for him.

    Also the will of the people didn't put republicans in charge, the will of the people who voted for Reid put him in the Congress. The people who voted for individual senators were not aware that their action would have put the republicans in charge, because they could not have known who the other states would have elected to office.

    It seems to me that you don't seem to get it. America is not a democracy. The minority must approve of the actions of the majority or the majority doesn't govern. This has been an agreed upon principle from the founding of this nation. We don't live in a tyranny of one nor do we live in a tyranny of the many. When government is not "for the people, by the people and of the people," but is instead "for the republicans, by the republicans and of the republicans," it is not a government that has the virtues of a good society.

    What Senator Reid was saying is entirely true. The republicans in this case can't even convince 5 democrats to vote for certain nominees so they want to make it a simple majority vote. Actually, they wouldn't even need five democrats, if they could convince the one independent to vote with them as well they would only need four democrats to agree.

    That is four senators with different backgrounds, different experiences, different values, and different beliefs on different subjects. The fact that they can't even convince four of those who normally vote with the republicans to support CERTAIN nominees goes to show that these nominees don't have the consent of the Senate. There are 44 democrats, 1 independent, and 55 republicans in the Senate.

    To end a filibuster it takes only 60 votes. This is a protection not only in the cases of judicial nominees, but in other matters as well. What Republicans want is that if 51 senators wish to end debate then they can do so even if 49 of the senators wish to continue debate. What happens if it isn't partisan. What if 26 democrats, and 25 republicans want to end debate, and 25 republicans and 24 democrats wish to continue debating. The people represented by those 49 senators are being silenced. I for one do not want my senator silenced whether he is a democrat or a republican. I fear the day when 41-45 senators are silenced even though they wish to continue debate.

    But let's set aside the parties for a while. What if it was a sectional division. What if 24 states wish to continue the debate while the senators from the other 26 do not? What if the governors, and legislatures and the judiciaries of those states agree? What if the matter is of such great import to these people and these states and to the constituencies that they represent? The value ofthe filibuster is in that it allows a minority to prevent a vote being taken until debate has ended.

    The basic argument republicans offer here is erroneous. If we can't convince even 5 senators to agree that debate should end we should be able to force a vote by simple numerical power.

    Did you vote for Harry Reid? If not don't tell him what his job is. His job isn't to represent the American people? His job isn't to represent the people from Michigan or Massachustts. His job isn't even to represent the people of his state. His job is to represent the people who voted for him, and to represent his state in the Congress as he thinks best. Republicans have no legitimate argument as to why the filibuster is not a good thing, and all they do is talk nonsense.

    The filibuster is not a bad thing. It works only infrequently and is used sparingly because the Senators realize that it isn't in their best interest to use the filibuster unless they absolutely have to. For instance, blocking certain judicial nominees.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Well who exactly DID put the republicans in the majority ?
     
  4. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    We have majority rule in America. The party that receives the most votes rules. Right now that is the Republican Party. They hold the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This indicates they are the party most favored by the people who vote. In the 2004 election, more than 3-1/2 million people thought the Republican Party would do a better job of governing, so let them govern. That's what the most people want.

    The 60-vote rule on ending a filibuster was voted in by the Democrats; it is not Republican-sponsored legislation. A majority for ending a filibuster should be 51 votes, the majority of the Senate membership. Why do the Democrats fear letting the full Senate take a vote on the nominees? The committee to consider judicial appointments should make a report to the Senators, letting them know what their particular objections are to each nominee, but Senators should be allowed to vote on all judicial nominees, up or down. If people don't like how their elected representatives vote on judicial nominees, they can vote them out of office.
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    You know, technically the Constitution doesn't require the Senate to vote at all. All the Senate is required to do is advise and consent. The majority could simply write a note to the President saying we consent to your choices and there wouldnt be anything the Democrats could really do about it. It won't happen but this is a reality.
     
  6. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Exactly, the constitution does not require a "vote" for a presidents nominees, it only requires consent. Now what is consent? Consent probably means a majority vote, unless the senate adopts their own rules requiring a 2/3 majority vote, which has not happened with the judicial nominees. However, by creating a filibuster, the dems have essentially changed the rules to require a 2/3 vote.

    Further, I have a problem with the filibuster as it is used today. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone actually stands on the floor and talks the whole time, as required and defined by a filibuster. I think whoever wants the filibuster should be required to talk the whole time, this would make it much harder to maintain the filibuster. Now, all they have to do is say we are having one and then they can go home, no effort. Maybe if there was effort, the dems would have to explain their reasons, rather than simply not voting or giving any advice or consent as required by the constitution.


    Also, Reid is a "national" senator. He does represent his constituents, however, when he votes on a law that law becomes NATIONAL, thus your little paragraph is not quite right.
     
  7. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    One of our members recently posted a long list of quotes from members of Congress saying - over the years - that senate rules such as the fillibuster are by no means carved in stone. Most notable on the list was none other than Ted Kennedy.

    Expediency=truth seems to be a peculiarly Democrat equation.
     

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