THERE SHOULD be cautious optimism on this, but it’s still good foreshadowing about what might happen, even if what Reid is saying is somewhat of a head fake.
“I do” have plans to change the Senate rules, he added. “I have said so publicly and I continue to feel that way … I think the rules have been abused, and we are going to work to change them. We will not do away with the filibuster, but we will make the senate a more meaningful place. We are going to make it so we can get things done.” – Harry Reid: Filibuster Reform Will Be Pursued In The Next Congress
Green groups announced they will also push for filibuster reform.
As Ezra Klein explains on Bloomberg, it’s not just the filibuster that’s the issue.
The problem is the 60 votes are utilized by the minority to obstruct the majority.
Chris Matthews, speaking from his history working in the House for Speaker Tip O’Neill, reminded everyone on “Morning Joe” Wednesday of the way the House used to work, how Washington once worked. It was a respected given that the party who won the election would be afforded what voters had handed them in the previous election, starting with the leading edge in deals being negotiated.
Whatever winning margin one party had over another in the most recent election, that was the advantage the winning party would get in any deal being discussed.
President Obama clearly won a mandate in states across the country, winning all but one battleground state that resulted in an Electoral College wipe out. This is the voters speaking with a powerful voice. If the outcome of the majority vote would be respected it would give people a way to understand our democracy and why voting mattered, instead of thinking it’s a political reality celebrity show.
This would mean that with President Obama running in 2012 on taxing the wealthiest more and the voters delivering a resounding yes, Speaker Boehner would have to acquiesce on revenue. Not because he wanted to, but because the people spoke on Tuesday night, so he, as Speaker of the United States House, was under obligation to respect that mandate given to President Obama through the voters of this country.
The discussion is basically over on revenue.
In fact, the voters give Speaker Boehner cover to do so, if he truly wants to lead. It would also be the first step forward for Republicans after a massive repudiation of their party.
Respecting the mandate of President Obama’s win is the very essence of what We the People is supposed to mean to government servants.
Perhaps if Congress acted like this instead of in the manner they do they wouldn’t be held in such low esteem.
It would also mean that Rep. Eric Cantor would have to get a grip that he is representing a state that voted for President Obama, with Virginia also electing a Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, so whether he wants to obstruct or not, Cantor’s got a responsibility to respect what the majority of voters of his state want. He also has the responsibility to explain to the Tea Party caucus that if they want to ignore the voters on Tuesday they do it at their own peril, because he’s got a job and it begins with respecting the election results.
Maybe this is where Democrats should start. Make the case that We the People have spoken and their Republican colleagues have an ethical and political obligation to honor what was said and decided in the election of 2012.