Free Markets, Free People


The War Against The Filibuster (Update)

Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts and already those rowdy Republicans are filibustering.  Now that they have that 41st vote, by gosh they are committed to saying no to everything, to include a “routine” nomination of some poor inconsequential slob (lead counsel for the SEIU) to a nothing job (National Labor Relations Board) where his power is limited (has indicated he’d find a way to implement “card check” without Congressional approval).

That’s what you’d believe if you listened to the left today. Craig (let’s unilaterally expand the bureaucratic powers of the NLRB) Becker’s nomination didn’t garner the 60 votes necessary to pass and thus it’s the Republicans fault. The vote?

52 -33.

But wait, you say, that’s only 85. Aren’t there 100 Senators? Well yes. But 15 didn’t vote.

Really? And now many of those were Republican?

I’m glad you asked. 10 were Republican.

So, obviously then 5 were Democrats.

Well 4 Democrats and a Socialist Independent. And had those 5 voted “yea”, the Democrats would have had 57.

Uh huh. So were all those who voted “nay” Republicans?

Well, no. 2 were Democrats.

So let me get this straight – if every Democrat and “Independent” had voted “yea” yesterday, they’d have had 59 votes, correct?

Correct.

But they didn’t. Two Democrats voted “nay”.

Correct.

And 31 Republicans voted “nay”.

Yes.

So with 10 Republicans not voting, how are we sure the Republicans “filibustered” this vote? Were they just assumed to be a nay vote? And isn’t it true that even if the Democrats had retained their 60 vote filibuster proof majority it appears only 58 would have voted “yea” on this nomination?

Uh, yes.

Just sayin’.

UPDATE: The Hill identifies what happened yesterday for what it really was – the result of a “hold”:

On Tuesday, Republicans successfully blocked the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board by using a hold, which is similar to a filibuster in that it requires that 60 senators vote to break it.

Remember, it’s “like a filibuster”, but not a filibuster.  Regardless note who is on the blame line.  However, the same argument applies. Even with 60 votes it appears the Dems would have only been able to muster 58.  As a commenter said, it was a bi-partisan rejection.

In another development, it appears the White House plans on using the filibuster as a campaign issue.  That whine is sure to garner tons of sympathy and votes.  Especially among the majority who think the country is headed in the wrong direction and the 75% who are angry at government.

Lastly, John Cornyn makes the appropriate points about the filibuster on of all places, Twitter:

Cornyn: RT @thenote: re: filibuster. Bipartisan support for protecting minority rights. What goes around comes around.

Indeed (and Republicans will surely see it come around again to the benefit of Democrats – we call that gridlock and we find it to be good). And good luck trying to get it changed anytime soon – to do so would take a 2/3rds vote (67).

~McQ

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15 Responses to The War Against The Filibuster (Update)

  • pedro doesn’t understand,  but perhaps it’s his command of the official language of 30 states is so poor.   pedro seems to believe that the republicans don’t ever have to do the hard work of an actual feeleebuster.  they merely have to whisper the word and meester harry reid shrieks like a little grrrl and runs away.  is thees true?   can thees work for pedro,  can pedro say feeleebuster when he doesn’t want to do something?  or does eet only work when talking to spineless democrats?    muchas gracias en advancioso.

    • It seems it frightens others too Peedrow, all the way up the road to 1600 Pennsylvania in fact.

    • they merely have to whisper the word and meester harry reid shrieks like a little grrrl and runs away.  is thees true?

      Si, Pedro; ess true!

  • Weeoooo Weeoooo Weeeoooooo weeeeeeeooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Reality police Mr. McQuain, we’d like you to come with us please.   The charges will be pointing out facts.  Said facts while possibly accurate are directly contrary to the approved talking points of the progressive agenda.
    Case in point “”It is reprehensible that a minority in the U.S. Senate has blocked an up-or-down vote on Craig Becker, nominated seven months ago by President Obama to serve on the [NLRB]. Once again, a Republican-led filibuster has put political interests over the needs of America’s working families. For more than two years, the NLRB has had only two of its five members. Without a fully staffed NLRB, working families face a major disadvantage in winning justice in the workplace,” said Trumka.”
    If you come along quietly we may let you keep your computer sir, but it’s unlikely you’ll be allowed to post further blog pieces.

    • “”It is reprehensible that a minority in the U.S. Senate has blocked an up-or-down vote on Craig Becker, nominated seven months ago by President Obama to serve on the [NLRB].”

      Alberto Gonzalez says hello…. 

    • “For more than two years, the NLRB has had only two of its five members. Without a fully staffed NLRB, working families face a major disadvantage in winning justice in the workplace,” ”

      More than two years, eh? So that must mean it is Bush’s fault. I know  Bush nominated three  people for those three vacancies in 2008, so I wonder why those vacancies remain. I know the Dem. Senate would have given them a fair and timely hearing.

  • Well, no. 2 were Democrats.

    According to the most recent definition of “bipartisan”, this is overwhelmingly bipartisan with 2 Senators crossing the aisle.

  • Conveniently lost in the breathless (and, apparently, fact-less!) MiniTru accounts of this sorry episode is anything about Craig Becker and his rather (ahem) original interpretations of US law and legal traditions.  I suspect that, if more people knew about some of his goofy ideas, it wouldn’t have required a “hold” to stop his nomination: it would have required several burly policemen to stop his lynching!

  • Please please PLEASE destroy the filibuster just in time for the GOP to regain power.

  • PS- Obama had a supermajority for 1 year.  And he couldn’t get his agenda passed the way McChimpyHilterBurtonRoveTron2000 did with slimmer majorities.

    It’s a point worth making over and over.  “Miss Me Yet?”

  • When the shoe was on the other foot, wa-a-a-y back in the Spring of 2005, Democrats held that the filibuster was sacrosanct and Republicans felt it should be thrown out.  Remember the “Nuclear Option?”
    Petulant children.  All of them.

    • however, there was a strong group of Republicans who said that the filibuster was very important and wanted it retained.  It was the democrats who wanted to use it for judicial nominees, something that had never been done before.

    • Building on a point made yesterday, I think it stems from the difference between people who want to govern and people who want to rule.