Senate The Future of the Republican Party

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

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    If it happens before 2014 and there is a filibuster, then Reid will pull the nuclear option.

    Peace,

    V-03
  2. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

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    He may sooner. Obama is getting ready to fill the 3 vacancies on the D.C. Court of Appeals. Republicans are, of course, threatening to filibuster.

    I would like to note that it's not that Republicans are filibustering a nominee, it's that they filibuster nearly every one. While Democrats reserved it for "extraordinary circumstances" (however loosely they made the criteria) the GOP isn't even using it for those (or the make up an extraordinary circumstance ala Hagel).



    As Wocky already said, this is a specious argument. The number of filibusters far outpaces and overwhelmingly spiked in proportion to "filling the tree" moments. Not to mention the number of bills not even bothered to introduce by the Democrats because they know they'll be filibustered on arrival. And, also as we've discussed, this unprecedented use of the filibuster extends to judicial and other appointees that aren't subject to the amendment process. And they filibuster bills even when they are allowed to add amendments.
    Last edited by shinjo_jedi, May 30, 2013
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  3. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Not to mention a new FBI head to replace Mueller.
  4. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

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    Not sure if they'd do it for the DC appeals court, but I'm pretty sure Reid would not allow the GOP to "run out the clock" on the 2014 midterms should a nominee need to be placed on the USSC.

    It's virtually guaranteed if something happens to one of the conservative justices and Obama has a chance to fill the vacancy; even if he nominates a well-respected moderate like Merrick Garland, for example, the GOP is certain to filibuster, simply because they don't want Obama appointing another justice. I'd even be willing to bet they'd filibuster replacing a liberal like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for example (which is ridiculous since expecting a Democratic president to appoint a conservative justice is beyond absurd).

    Anyway, doubt we'll see a vacancy anytime soon. As far as the DC court goes, the Republican senator from Iowa has introduced a bill to eliminate those three seats, denying Obama the chance to fill them. It has no shot of going anywhere, but I'm sure the Republicans will try and use the self-perceived political leverage (you know, the one that exists in their mind) from Benghazi/IRS scandal to attempt the filibuster and extract other concessions from the President, which will likely hurt them in the long run given their penchant for hyperbole. At some point, I expect a "Gang of 7" solution to get those nominees on the DC circuit. If not, then Reid might just go for it.

    FYI, for the record, I do not think eliminating the filibuster is a good idea. The shoe always eventually ends up on the other foot.
    I would much rather see a bipartisan compromise from McCain and the like to get the nominees through. It's McConnell who's the real problem on that front.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, May 31, 2013
  5. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    I agree that eliminating the filibuster altogether is a bad idea. I for one, would love to see it go "old school." That is to say, if you're going to filibuster, go ahead and take the floor and talk the whole time.
  6. Mr44 VIP

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    Not to mention the fact that the filibuster itself isn't an all or nothing prospect. It just requires a higher threshold of votes. I think the actual rules are more complicated, but basically, a filibuster requires 60% vote instead of the simple majority. (I'm sure there are all sorts of exceptions and subpoints among the 2 sections of Congress) So it just means that if something passes, it had a solid footing to pass. But yeah, maybe a good alternative would be to go back to the art of filibustering, and actually require talking on the floor.
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  7. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Well Rand Paul proved that talking (nearly) the whole time can be done.
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  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    This deserves a couple of responses.

    1. The gap you're hinting at seems to be the ultimate result versus what's recorded in Senate records. Each nominee did face a successful filibuster, but some of these were later withdrawn and allowed to come to a straight vote. Quoting directly from the Senate website, I didn't take the time to reconcile lists, but it's largely immaterial to the discussion. The frequency and purpose of Republican filibusters is at issue, and this remains problematic regardless of how successful they are or are not in realizing said strategy.

    2. You seem to be suggesting implicitly that Obama somehow forced the Republicans hand by making extremely provocative picks. I don't see where there's a lot of evidence for this. I would perhaps grant you Cass Sunstein, but who else was really a target of conservative ire? Chuck Hagel, with a 84% lifetime conservative rating? Hilda Solis, is a particularly instructive example. Despite being somehow bad enough to merit a leadership-led filibuster and secret hold, I can't find any press releases from Senator McConnell about her. The only real point of contention I can find from her nomination hearings is that she, as a member of Congress, supported an earlier version of the card check (EFCA) legislation that President-Elect Obama announced his hopes to make law. What exactly was the standard, there? One can only avoid a filibuster by vowing to oppose the legislative priorities of the President one will serve under? More tellingly still, when the Republicans finally dropped their filibuster, she was confirmed by a vote of 80-17. Do you seriously suggest that that number of Senators had such grave doubts about her that they felt she was unfit for office and deserving of a filibuster, and then in a space of a few weeks completely and fundamentally altered their opinion, even though nothing about the nominee herself had changed? Alternatively, this reversal suggests--as does the relative lack of actual complaints about her--that they never actually found the nominee terribly controversial or problematic.

    3. The Bush comparison is also somewhat ahistorical. His Energy Secretary nominee was Spencer Abraham, founder of the Federalist Society, which is one of the best known organizations advocating for "originalist" interpretations of the Constitution. Democrats approved his nomination by voice vote. Even more high profile, John Ashcroft was derided at the time of his nomination as a sop to the most conservative wing of his party. Democrats' displeasure is evident in the 42 "Nays" during his confirmation vote. Yet, he was never filibustered.

    4. Overall, the tone of your post seems to suggest a shifted rationale for filibusters. Mere philosophical disagreement with an opponent seems to be enough. But that is outside the historical norms. Most nominees that have been rejected or filibustered have had questions raised about their professional fitness, personal/ethical integrity, or about the radical nature of their entire body of views. By contrast, a number of these nominees have been held up by single points of policy disagreement. That represents a marked lowering of the bar. Whether you deign to acknowledge it or not, the Republican strategy as it regards filibusters is novel, and has changed the dynamics of the US Congress, as commentators from across the political spectrum have noted.

    Defend it if you want. But don't pretend that it is isn't happening, or that it's otherwise some extremely narrow response to a particular action or two by the Administration.
  9. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

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    Frank Lautenberg passed today.

    Chris Christie will appoint a replacement. I wonder who he picks....will he go for re-election/national appeal and choose a moderate (obviously it won't be a liberal of any stripe) or does he bow to pressure from the national party (which I'm sure he's already feeling) and go for a hard-core conservative?

    I'm leaning towards the first one; he's a reasonable man, and has refused to swear loyalty to the Hard Right in the name of pragmatism. I don't see him starting now.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, Jun 3, 2013
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Picking a far right conservative in a blue state to replace a Democratic senator would be indefensible and give his future opponent in the governor's race some serious charges to work with. Subverting your electorate is not a good way to go.

    Of course, that's not going to happen, so I wouldn't be too concerned.
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  11. Ghost Chosen One

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    I just hope it somehow ruins Booker's chance. I'd rather have a moderate Republican than Cory Booker. [face_sick]

    But yeah, it will be interesting to see what Christie does with this unexpected development.



    Big Surprise (not) relating to the future of the GOP... voters under 30 hate the Republicans' economic message too:
    http://news.yahoo.com/millennials-dont-hate-big-government-hate-gop-economic-215711859.html



    College Republicans also have an outline on how to fix the party, and it's much better than the one Reince Priebus and the RNC put together:
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/...etails-ways-capture-youth-vote-192412832.html
    Basically, College Republicans say the party should
    1. Focus on giving people economic opportunities... help people rise up, not just reward people already at the top
    2. Support gay marriage
    3. Be constructive and positive, not the party of no
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jun 3, 2013
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  12. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

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    Well, it doesn't take a study of college students preferences to tell them that. But we'll see if they listen. I believe Priebus was receptive, or said he was...

    I doubt the vacancy will effect Booker. If it's a Democratic, they'll likely just be a 'placeholder' (unless they decide to run, but Booker would still be more popular I'd imagine) and if it's a Republican, then Booker will beat him or her anyway next year. And I'm not a Booker fan.
    Last edited by shinjo_jedi, Jun 3, 2013
  13. Mr44 VIP

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    "The gap you're hinting at seems to be the ultimate result versus what's recorded in Senate records. Each nominee did face a successful filibuster, but some of these were later withdrawn and allowed to come to a straight vote. Quoting directly from the Senate website, I didn't take the time to reconcile lists, but it's largely immaterial to the discussion. The frequency and purpose of Republican filibusters is at issue, and this remains problematic regardless of how successful they are or are not in realizing said strategy."

    Exactly, which is why I want to to list the specifics. They are most certainly material to the discussion. Again, you first made the claim, now it falls to you to defend the specifics. Until you do, you can't simply ignore everything that disproves your claim as "immaterial." Your silence is nothing but a concession against your original point. Again, start off by answering the original question:

    Hypothetically, what if he nominated G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Herman Cain, and as a bone, Dick Gephardt for various positions? Ok, are you with me? Two part question:

    1)Do you think there would be an upswing in potential filibusters coming from the democrats in Congress, or would they decrease in frequency?
    2)Would the increase in number of filibusters be solely reflective of the opposition party, or of the President nominating them, or a bit of both?
    Bonus question-keeping in mind that list, would you personally support the filibuster?

    Once you answer the above, we can continue.

    I'll even throw you a bone. Now, for instance, you mentioned Hagel and his "lifetime ranking." See, but what does this matter? This argument keeps returning to the fact that you view everything in grand terms in a "one side vs the other" mentality. If you remember the circumstances around Hagel's nomination, during the time the ME region was heating up again, and Iran and Isreal were saber-rattling. In that context, Hagel was filibustered so that more analysis would be placed on some speeches he gave about Israel, because if the US was drawn into a conflict, it would be on the side of Israel, and those comments would most certainly matter. In short, there was a specific purpose for the action. But in your mind, the republicans were just filibustering Hagel for no reason than to be jerks, or maybe you think that just because Hagel was at one time a republican, then all republicans should just pay lip service to his nomination. I think that's very much a democratic party, "uni-mind" mentality. That mindset is misguided and was furthest from the truth.

    The point is that with each and every nominee, I can provide you with a purpose and a goal as to why additional scrutiny was given. That purpose is most certainly relevant, because it shows a trend on who is being nominated. But that discussion requires you to do more than sit back and make an overall claim, and then declare that every specific case which disproves your broad claim is irrelevant.
    Last edited by Mr44, Jun 4, 2013
  14. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    What's wrong with Cory Booker?
  15. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

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    And you, again, are rather simplifying an argument to fit your mindset that others here are blind partisans.

    Hagel was the only Secretary of Defense nominee to face a filibuster. Part of his opposition (the wonderful Ted Cruz) was fueled by the ridiculous, outright lie from Briebart about "Friends of Hamas." They also went much further than is typical, requiring that he provide donation records of any organization he spoke to. It was a rather classless, baseless campaign to smear him on the grounds that he was anti-Israel.

    And, yes, while him being a Republican shouldn't mean he gets an automatic pass from the Party, it was rather ridiculous how they treated him. He was one of their own for over a decade and, yet, they were outraged by his perceived anti-Semitism that they never objected to while he was in their ranks? Not to mention he was a vital part of the 2000 Bush campaign and was considered to be his running mate. And John McCain, who for all his criticism of Hagel's views, said in 2006 that he would be at the top of his list for Secretary of State.
  16. Mr44 VIP

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    So what?

    Again, your entire point seems to be that Hagel was a republican in 2006, so something...should something... and everything else should be ignored. Joe Lieberman was once a democrat before ultimately resigning from the party (and then retiring) If Lieberman was suddenly nominated for SecDef, should all democrats simply sign off on that without focusing additional scrutiny on how hawkish he may or may not be? I can think of a few prominent democratic politicians who have issued statements which indicate that they would most certainly filibuster Lieberman, and not just sit back and say "oh well, he was a democrat back in 2000...."

    Not only that, but you're characterizing the filibuster as an all or nothing prospect. Again, even with the filibuster, Hagel was voted on 71-27 to end the filibuster, and actually confirmed by a 58-41 vote. The filibuster was initiated because Hagel wasn't fully forthcoming with all the information requested. Many of the examples in question were quite old, so it might not have been anything intentional by Hagel. What the filibuster did was allow for the concerns to receive additional scrutiny and to guarantee that the final vote was passed with a suitable margin. I don't think there was ever any doubt that Hagel would be confirmed, it's that there were unanswered questions that needed to be explored. Despite what your characterizing it as, Hagel's process wasn't particularly grueling, and I would rather have a Senate that fully addresses any concerns, than one that simply signs off on everything without paying much attention to it.

    None of this means that Hagel is bad, good, or that he is more democrat or republican.

    I don't know what your point is, unless it is to simply champion the idea that blind party ideology should trump everything, and specific circumstances don't matter.
  17. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

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    My main point is simply that he's the only SecDef nominee to ever face a filibuster (even if it was broken) for no real reason and that many of the concerns over his record were tedious at best and complete, utter lies at worst. "Friends of Hamas." And my criticism of that isn't directly (entirely) at the GOP, but also the Israel lobby and the notion that a SecDef isn't allowed to even be slightly skeptical of unwavering in support for Israel.
    Last edited by shinjo_jedi, Jun 4, 2013
  18. Mr44 VIP

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    Or you could look at it terms that the filibuster allowed both sides to examine his record and proceed with the vote after it was properly vetted, which, not surprisingly, is what actually happened.

    I don't expect Hagel to remember every speech he's ever delivered, but most of the rationale as to why he was filibustered was because he didn't declare these speeches until they were revealed. Had he initially declared them and explained them in the first place, there probably would have still been some grumbling, but it probably wouldn't have been a filibuster. But given the fact that the position is probably the 3rd most powerful in US government, it's probably worth the extra effort to get right. What if, given the current focus on China, Hagel came up for nomination right now? If it was revealed that he had given pro-Chinese speeches in the past, don't you think Congress would have a duty to examine the content behind those speeches, especially if he "forgot" to mention them? To you it seems that filibuster = bad no matter what, and beyond that, a GOP filibuster is always sinister. That's not accurate. Every member of Congress should do their due diligence in making sure such questions are answered.

    That's my point. On one hand, you say that "he's the only SecDef nominee to ever face a filibuster," but the flip side to that is that he's probably the only SecDef who gave anti-Israeli speeches, especially since his confirmation happened right in the middle of an Israeli-Iranian escalation. Don't you think they are both relevant to each other?

    This doesn't mean that the speeches were automatically bad, good, justified or unjustified. It's just that your conclusion has to also take into account the specific situation or it's meaningless.
    Last edited by Mr44, Jun 4, 2013
  19. Ghost Chosen One

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    * In the interviews I've seen, Booker comes across as extremely self-centered, and insulted at being asked even softball questions if he doesn't want to talk about it

    * Booker was thinking of primarying Lautenberg even though they're the same on the issues, and instead pushed him into announcing retirement (at first he was going to challenge Christie for governor, pre-Sandy, but he saw it was more politically expedient to push out the old guy instead... and not doing anything or taking any risk that would actually help the party, only interested in himself gaining more power)

    * He publicizes his "rescue"/"charity" so he's become some kind of celebrity and people love him, so it's easier for him to gain political power (that's like straight out of a Supervillain's plot in some comic book)

    * Cory Booker also criticized Obama during his re-election for not being as friendly to Wall Street as Mitt Romney

    Overall he's just a very self-serving, humorless, power-hungry politician unlike any I've ever seen before. A wolf in sheep's clothing. Do not trust the guy, at all, way too many warning signs.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jun 4, 2013
  20. Emperor_Billy_Bob Chosen One

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    In other words, be the other side.
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  21. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    1. I haven't really seen any of Booker's interviews. Can you give me some examples?

    2. I don't have any problem with that given that Lautenberg was practically 90 at the time and was suffering from cancer and other illnesses. Now that he's dead and Christie's in a bind to pick somebody who can possibly beat Booker in 2014 instead of picking a standard conservative a la Scott Garrett.

    3. Are you serious? He's a politician, of course he's going to publicize things he's involved with, look at Obama and his books. And what at the supervillian comment?

    4. Personally I think Romney's Bain Capital ties were fair game, but Booker didn't say it quite like that

    I have to say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. It's to me, we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they have done a lot to support businesses to grow businesses and this to me, I'm very comfortable.
    The last point I'll make is, this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough, stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop.
  22. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Well Christie took it out of his own hands and is calling for Primaries in August and a general special Election in October to fill Lautenberg's seat.
    Last edited by Juliet316, Jun 4, 2013
  23. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

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    I'm going to go with that not being the reason they felt the need to filibuster...considering it was the first time that the opposing party every found that necessary. My main point, again, is that the accusations against him were unsubstantiated and tedious and were mostly centered around politics, not policy.
  24. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

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    Well well well, look what's back.

    It's gonna to go absolutely nowhere, but this is exactly the type of press the GOP does NOT need right now; it's also the perfect gift to Obama and the Democrats to pivot attention away from the mountain of scandals that have hit them recently. You can bet this comes up for a House vote; if it passes, then the Dems will gain an excellent chance of retaining the Senate next year.

    I'm not sure what the future of the Republican Party holds, but this is NOT the path back to a national majority.

    Of note, the article also mentions that judges in conservative courts have overturned the Arizona version of the law as well. I wonder what the Supreme Court would do, and in what breakdown.

    Unbelievable.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, Jun 6, 2013
  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Apologies. You never indicated that you had responded, leading to this delay. In any case, forward.

    [quote="Mr44]Exactly, which is why I want to to list the specifics. They are most certainly material to the discussion. [/quote]

    In what sense are they "critical?" In that I made an error? Fine. I freely admit that. But the discussion is about the frequency of Republican filibusters. The outcomes of said filibusters have no impact on a discussion about why they are happening in the first place. If you think it's relevant to discussion about Republican use of the filibuster, justify it.

    We can go forward now. Bizarre hypotheticals don't really serve any purpose. If you have a point you want to make, simply do so. If you want to degenerate into some personal accusation about me, rather than trying to keep defend the Republicans, you're also welcome to do that--especially since you've already started. I've already given you the criteria I consider valid for a filibuster, and outlined the ways in which many of the Republicans current run of filibusters fails to meet this standard. Since we're trying to define reasonable use of the filibuster, this is the question of import.

    What are you talking about? Chuck Hagel didn't make a speech "about Israel." There is no legitimate way to characterize his 2008 speech to the ADC as such. Nor his 2007 NCUSAR speech. In the latter, the Arab-Israeli conflict only comes up for two paragraphs, and only then to say that it's connected to other regional foreign policy issues because "they are woven into the same regional fabric." He doesn't really address it at all in the ADC speech, the full text of which was released before the Republicans actually voted to filibuster him. How much more extra scrutiny can you apply to a speech than listening to it? But please, enlighten us. Please cite the specific passages of the 2008 ADC speech that was "anti-Israel."