Home / General / Annals of Bad Democratic Deal-Making

Annals of Bad Democratic Deal-Making


When it comes to Senate Dems giving away the store, the Gang of 14 was indeed a particularly egregious example — Bush got most of the winger judges he wanted and the preservation-in-principle of the filibuster that overwhelmingly benefits Republicans.   There most be a small fortune available for anyone to gets invited to the Senate Democratic poker game.

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  • charles pierce

    Well recalled.

  • LosGatosCA

    Democratic politicians ‘negotiate’ poor deal with Republicans, blame ‘institutional’ constraints.

    Meanwhile, Republicans assert rights without any precedent select their candidate for president, torture, wiretap without warrants, and justify all manner of tax cuts based on Laugher fairy curve math.

    It’s really been a pretty pathetic 38 years for the ‘Kick me again’ Democratic party. Of course, life has greater clarity for a group of people who simply despise anyone who’s not white, straight, and doesnt believe in the Republican god of money.

    In a match of logic between Neanderthals and dilettantes, it’s pretty clear who will end up getting clubbed into submission.

  • ploeg

    I would say that many of the Democratic participants in the Gang of 14 have benefited from the deal also. In the immortal words of mistermix from Balloon Juice, “if it didn’t take 60 votes for cloture, Joe Lieberman would be chairman of the Committee to Investigate Dingleberries on Joe Lieberman’s Anus. Because of the 60 vote rule, he runs the Committee on Homeland Security.”

    • c u n d gulag

      Which is the problem. Democrats have no party discipline. Hence, Liebershits sits on HS, even though he left the party to run as RepubliConfederate Lite in CT.

      If a member of the RepubliConfederate Party crosses anyone up and votes with the Dem’s, bye-bye committee position and say farewell to campaign cash!

  • trizzlor

    Absolutely, the time for filibuster reform is precisely when you’re in the minority. Though it looks like Democrats might get that opportunity again.

  • Anon

    Umm dipshits, the posts you linked to admit that the deal on the table was that the filibuster could not be used for judicial nominations only. Just because you proposed a deal to kill the filibuster full stop, or trying to bait Frist into calling a vote on same, doesn’t mean it would have happened. It’s just as likely Frist knew this day would come, and wanted the filibuster to be there when it did.

    • ploeg

      Well, that’s how the Republicans would have liked the deal to be, since their default position is against government action, but they like being able to confirm the nominees of Republican presidents. As a practical matter, if the Republicans had used the “nuclear option”, and the Democrats decided in 2009 to use that as a precedent to pass something other than a judicial nomination, it would have been very hard for the Republicans to argue against that. Perhaps the Roberts court would have cared to intervene in a Senate rules dispute, but I doubt it.

      The idea is that Frist would have mortally wounded the filibuster, not killed it outright, and that we would have had to wait until the Democrats had the White House and solid majorities in both houses before the coup de grace could be delivered.

      • Scott Lemieux

        And, also, once you’ve established a precedent that “the speaker can issue a transparently specious ruling that the filibuster doesn’t apply,” nothing would stop it from destroying the filibuster.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          Other than:

          1) A devotion to the traditions of the Senate for tradition’s sake (don’t put that past a roomfulmof Senators); or

          2) A misplaced sense of ethical superiority on questions of procedure; or

          3) A desire to keep the filibuster because it’s easier than exercising majority rule.

          Had the nuclear option occured, I honestly think that the Democratic caucus in this Senate would have still maintained the filibuster for some combination of these three reasons.

          • Oh, I’m not saying that the Democrats would have gotten rid of the filibuster, but they won’t control the Senate forever.

  • LosGatosCA

    It only takes 51 votes on the Senate rules Jan 1, 2, or 3.

    The Democrats can end the filibuster, 2 years too late, but considering their Senate prospects in 2012 , that could be way too early.

    I think the real problem for the Democratic Party, generally over the long term, and Obama in the current situation is opportunity recognition. Not only did the Democrats roll on Bush’s judicial appointments and keep the filibuster, they didn’t eliminate it 2008, and they didn’t keep their reconciliation options open in the budget resolutions for a second stimulus or health care, etc.

    They are passive, then reactive, and then go into full suboptimal result rationalization. It’s getting old.

    • mpowell

      This a hundred times. You really have to wonder what keeps these rules in place. The problem is once you get into the Senate your top priority is the preservation of your own power and privileges. This tends to be true even of ‘liberal’ Senators.

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