Harry Reid must do his job and make the Senate GOP physically stand up and filibuster. Or we might as well declare Congress to be a lovely afternoon tea party and be done with it.
Civility doesn’t mean that you roll over and ask for a belly scratch from your opponents — it means that everyone plays by the rules on all sides. We had 56 votes for the Webb bill — but could not get it through because a super-majority was required of 60 votes for cloture. This has happened time and time again. The GOP continually obstructs? Then they ought to pay a hefty public price. Harry Reid needs to lead on this — or get the hell out of the way.
Call Sen. Harry Reid today and tell him to do his job and make them stand and filibuster. He can be reached at 202-224-3542 in DC and 702-388-5020 in Nevada.
…With that said, with that said, I think that we could do a better job making our points, and one part of that is to let the American people see just how obstructionist this Republican minority is being. The leader has had to file cloture now over 40 times already this year. And cloture, as you know, is a special procedure to stop debate, to stop filibusters, in order to reach conclusion on legislation. I had a Republican colleague tell me it is the Republican strategy to try to prevent any accomplishment of the Democratic Congress. That is set in their caucus openly and directly that they don’t intend to allow Democrats to have any legislative successes, and they intend to do it by repeated filibuster. (emphasis mine)
Good to know, isn’t it? The Republicans warp the rules, they need to pay a price. That price, at minimum, must be a real, stand up filibuster. They want to obstruct (PDF), they do it the hard way. Chris Bowers has this exactly right:
No more simply allowing Republicans to defeat Democratic legislation just by holding a cloture vote. It is time to actually make Republicans carry out the filibusters they threaten when they vote “no” on cloture. If they want to use the threat of unlimited debate on issues like raising the minimum wage and providing mandatory time at home between deployments to Iraq for American troops, let’s actually make them engage in unlimited, or at least nearly unlimited, debate on those subjects and see what the American people think.
There are two ways to deal with bad faith actors; to dealing with people who understand only force. One is to decide you’re willing to let them have what they want because you won’t pay the cost of opposing them. If they say “I’m going to hit you if you don’t give me your wallet” you can say “ok”. The second is to escalate. In the words of the Untouchables – if they bring a knife, you bring a gun; if they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue. When people understand only force, you must respond with maximum force. Anything else is taken as weakness and they will walk all over you.
Amen. Tell Harry Reid to do his job — make them stand and filibuster. If they are going to obstruct every bill in the Senate, to require that the will of the majority be overtaken by that of a virulent, obstructive minority viewpoint, then they ought to pay a hefty penalty for those actions. The Senate Republicans should be forced to stand up, in the full public view, and ply their smarmy trade for all the world to see.
The photo above is Matt Stoller’s message to Harry Reid. If you’d like to send your own, “Do your job, make them stand and filibuster.” message, please send me your photo — I’d love to have it. (Send pictures to ReddHedd AT Firedoglake DOT com.) Or if you do a short YouTube video of your message, send me a link and I’ll pass it along to Crooks and Liars. It’s time we stood up to the bullies in the GOP and let them know that the American public expects better. And that we expect the leadership of the Democratic party to do the same.
Call Harry Reid today and tell him to do his job — if the Republicans want to do nothing but obstruct the Senate, then they ought to stand and filibuster the hard way. Their free ride is over.