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The official armchair QB's filibuster thread.

 
 
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 03:43 pm
This thread is for the political sports fan-- the one who loves a good partisan fight.

If you love the parlimentary maneuver, the spin and the bluster and the PR... grab a beer and join in. I only ask that political animosity be dropped and we all remember it is, after all, just a game.

If you can't think this way... I would ask you join another thread.
------

So it looks like the big showdown we have all been waiting for is finally here!

Of course the real big question is which side will win the all important public opinion, and we can expect the spinners to be spinning each twist fast an furious... Let's see what happens here.

I am coming up with "EBrown's keys to the game..." which I will post shortly, anyone else want to take a shot at this?

The Democrats have a bit of an advantage going in, because of the term " nuclear option". They will score points if they can paint the Republican action as extreme...

The Republicans have a bit of an advantage since it will be the Democrats this time shutting things down...

-----
Again I ask that partisan bickering be kept out of this thread.

If you are good, someone should not be able to tell who you support from reading this thread.

I love the smell of a fillibuster/rule change in the morning....
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,523 • Replies: 62
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:05 pm
Well, you have to look at what will be shut down here i:

Bush's energy bill
Asbestos reform?
Social Security Reform

All things that Democrats opposed anyways. It isn't as if the entire federal gov't is going to come to a halt like in the last decade. Therefore I believe public reaction probably won't be as strong as in the past when we saw REAL shutdowns of the gov't.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:06 pm
EBrown's Keys to the Game << cue catchy music>>

Democratic Keys to Victory
1. Paint the Republican move as extreme. "Nuclear Option" is a good start. The "extremist" charge is starting to be a theme of the Democratic party. But will the public buy it?

2. Pressure moderate Republicans. There are Republicans who are uncomfortable changing the rules. With a handful of these, and the threat to take away the filibuster is off the table.

3. Clearly justify retaliation. This is the big risk for the Democrats. If the filibuster is banned the Democrats must be very careful that their retaliatory actions are seen as justified. A misstep here costs the Democrats dearly.

Republican Keys to Victory
1. Stay unified. A failed vote to change the rule is a bad thing for the Republican side. The political cost has been paid with no benefit. Republicans better be sure they have the votes from their own members.

2. Stay with the "they deserve up or down vote" message. This is a good message for the Republicans. This is what they are good at-- presenting a easy message that scores points with the public. The Democrats will have to work ot overcome this one.

3. Make Democrats take the blame for their retaliation. This is the big question... who will the public blame for a shutdown in the Senate. The Republicans win if the Democrats take the blame.

Other keys...
- What options do the Democrats have for retaliation? Are there things the Dem senators can do that will be more acceptable to the public at large and still be effective?

- Do the actual judges matter to public opinion? Should politicians be presenting the case of specific judges in public debate, or do the broad issues have more weight to the public?

Let's see what happens...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:09 pm
Pulling up a chair for now.

I think #2 in Democrat keys to victory is especially important, and especially tricky. In particular, I think "pressure" from Democrats is too risky, too high of a chance of backfiring.

Depends on who the pressure comes from, in part.

But I think that if the Dems make it too much an us/ them thing, with the Republicans being "us" and the Dems being "them", that'll drive the moderates back into the fold.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:28 pm
The Dems may have a bit of a hard time with your Dem Key #1.

A couple of years back (2001) when Bush started nominating people there were quite a few Dems (like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,) upset that Bush wasn't interested in the ABA ratings of his nominees.

Now Priscilla Owens is on the table (it's my understanding that her nomination is the one that was brough to the Senate floor today to kick off this whole dog and pony show) and the ABA gave her a "well qualified" rating.

The Dems run the danger of being painted as extremists themselves based on their own words and actions on her nomination.
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rodeman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:39 pm
Do the Repugnants have 51 votes to change the rules??
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 04:43 pm
Rodeman, if your mis-spelling of the word "Republicans" was intentional, you are breaking the rules of the thread. In any case, please fix it. This thread is for the love of the game, not partisan sniping

You question is an interesting one. I think we will know if the Republicans have the votes pretty soon.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:08 pm
sozobe wrote:
I think #2 in Democrat keys to victory is especially important, and especially tricky. In particular, I think "pressure" from Democrats is too risky, too high of a chance of backfiring.

Depends on who the pressure comes from, in part.


I'm going to disagree with the first part of your comment here Soz. IMO, there are 15 or so moderate Republicans that don't like the idea of killing the fillibuster and don't particulalrly like some of these 10 nominees that are at the heart of all of this. It might not be as risky as you might think. We're only talking about a swing of 2 or 3 votes here.

If, as you allude to in the 2nd part of your post, a reasonable Democrat approaches them with a viable alternative the Dems could defeat a motion to end the fillibuster.

IMO, this is probbaly the best hope for the Democrats of those listed by ebrown.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:19 pm
I agree with that. My main point was the "reasonable" part. I guess it depends on the definition of "pressure" -- to me, that is different than approaching them with a viable alternative.

(Note that my first sentence is agreeing that it's especially important.)
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:35 pm
There is an interesting round of spin going on in the media with the term "compromise".

Does the last side to be seen as rejecting a "compromise" lose political points?

Are you both saying that the Republicans win the aftermath of a nuclear showdown (meaning the Dems' filibuster and the Reps successfully change the rules)?

This very well may happen, and I am not sure the Dems lose in this case. There are also mid-term elections next year to think about...
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:51 pm
Best intertainment I have seen coming out of the beltway since the dixiecrats walked out on Truman, actually I find more interesting is that this nuclear option business has derailed most if not all of the Bush agenda re SS reform, energy policy, Iraq. Hell of a way to start a final four.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 06:04 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Does the last side to be seen as rejecting a "compromise" lose political points?


I think it can go either way - really depends on what the compromise is and if the public sees one side as actually trying to seek compromise vs. jsut sticking to their guns for the sake of saying they did.

Quote:
Are you both saying that the Republicans win the aftermath of a nuclear showdown (meaning the Dems' filibuster and the Reps successfully change the rules)?

This very well may happen, and I am not sure the Dems lose in this case. There are also mid-term elections next year to think about...


I think the Dems will "lose" something but I don't know that it costs them much in the end. At the moment it looks like they either agree to a vote on the nominee before them (holding back on their fillibuster threat) and look weak for not fillibustering as they said they would or they start to fillibuster and quite possibly end up with a rule change. Either way would be a short term loss for the Dems.

I'm not convinced it would mean much more than that though. It might, but I'm just not conviced... A lot of that could end up in how the public sees the process as going down. If the Reps don't even give the Dems a chance to start to fillibuster the Dems coulld come out of it pretty well off come mid-term elections.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 08:00 pm
Are there any democrats who have stated that they would rather vote instead of try the filibuster route?

Seems to me most of the talk has been about Rep. Senators maybe shying away from the "constitutional option" instead of trying to get 5 Dems to just over vote the filibuster.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 08:31 pm
ok I'll bite, what is a "constitutional option?"
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 10:29 pm
Watch it you guys, this thread is not for partisan bickering.

Let's for the sake of this thread say that nuclear option and constitutional option are synonyms. I will use them interchangably.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 10:42 pm
I am also interested in the "religious card" which seems to be in play on several issues including this one.

I think the "religious card" plays well to the base of each party, the Republicans are embracing religion, and the Democrats are trying to cultivate the image of a party run by the "Religious Right" to their advantage.

I think in the "constitutional option" debate, the Republicans are running the risk of playing this card one too many times.

I don't think that framing the filibuster as an "attack on people of faith" is a message that plays well outside of their solid base, and they run the risk of alienating the middle.

The Democrats are wanting to play the "religious card" on a wide scale by claiming that the Republicans are overrun by "religious extremists" run amok. Of course, the Democrats run the risk of being seen as anti-religious if they do this... which again loses the middle.

However, I think the Republicans might be blundering in this case. If they continue to play the religious card... in speeches and with "pray-ins" on the Capitol steps... they give the Democrats the advantage. The religious card is on the table, but the Dems didn't play it. The Dems get the possible advantage with none of the risk.

I want to see how this plays out. But I think the stronger Republican message is the "they deserve an up or down vote". If I were in charge of the Republican effort, I would downplay the religious part of this issue.

I think the Republicans are going to begin having trouble explaining their relationship with the religious right. This would be an unfortunate time for them if these troubles begin now.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 11:02 pm
It would be unfortunate, wouldn't it?

Quote:
. . . Some conservative groups eager to seat more judges who shared their philosophy pressed Republican lawmakers to forge ahead with the rule change. The White House, however, worried that a filibuster fight would detract attention from the war in Iraq and efforts to pass a budget and a prescription-drug benefit for Medicare. So, Frist worked through Martin B. Gold -- his parliamentary expert -- to try to find a compromise or a basis for changing the rules.
At a September 2003 luncheon held by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, Frist said he did not have the 51 votes needed to change the Senate rules, but vowed to trigger the nuclear option after the 2004 election if the Republicans picked up at least two seats. "If there is any way to do it, he would do it," was the message delivered to about 70 conservative activists that day, Weyrich said.

By November 2003, some conservative advocates of Bush administration judicial nominees were raising concerns that Frist was not solidly behind efforts to end judicial filibusters. Frist responded by calling in several conservative activists to make it clear he was behind the move.

Frist harbored presidential aspirations, and conservatives were starting to let him know that their support in the 2008 GOP primary could hinge on how he handled the judges issue.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR2005051802144.html

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2005 02:48 am
Re: The official armchair QB's filibuster thread.
ebrown_p wrote:
If you love the parlimentary maneuver, the spin and the bluster and the PR... grab a beer and join in.

[Appreciative burp from my German armchair]. Sorry about that, but I just got that Weissbier off my car, and it's still kind of warm. [Grabs a handful of peanuts]

ebrown_p wrote:
If you are good, someone should not be able to tell who you support from reading this thread.

What? I can't even yell YEAH!!! when my team strikes someone out? What kind of armchair quarterbacking is that? But fine, it's your thread, you're the boss. Anyhow .... do people here have an opinion on what sport it is we're watching? I mean, is it an honest game like baseball or football, where the teams seriously try to win against each other? Or is it a rigged game like wrestling, where the teams agree on the moves and the outcome over a cheeseburger offstage, then go on stage and fake a tough fight? I keep changing my opinion on this one, and my opinion this minute leans to the "wrestling" side.

Quote:
The Senate opened a long-awaited debate on whether to ban filibusters of judicial nominees with vividly partisan attacks yesterday, as a small group of moderates worked behind the scenes for a compromise to avert the showdown.

Yeah, that's wrestling all right. See today's Washington Post

The New York Times has this to report about the maneuvering:
Quote:
Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, opened the debate on Wednesday morning by declaring that "this new precedent cannot stand in Congress," as events began to unfold along deeply partisan lines.

Lame. I think he's using George Bush senior's line from when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuweit. "This agression will not stand" etc. (See J. and E. Cohen: The Big Lebowski, Hollywood (1998)). Surely the Democrats can do better than that? "Day of Infamy"? "Ask not what justice can do for your party, ask what your party can do for justice"? Let's hear it!

Quote:
In his opening remarks, Dr. Frist said Democrats had "radically" altered the traditions of the Senate by blocking votes on 10 of 45 appeals court candidates put forward by Mr. Bush. [...] "If Republicans roll back our rights in this chamber, there will be no check on their power," said Senator Reid (of the Democrats, T.). "The radical, right wing will be free to pursue any agenda they want.

Okay, so both sides try to portray each other as radical. That was predictable. [Yawns]

Quote:
Trying to point out weaknesses in the Republican argument against filibusters, Democrats cited an exchange on the floor on Wednesday between Dr. Frist and Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. Mr. Schumer pressed Dr. Frist over his vote in 2000 not to cut off debate on the nomination of Richard Paez, a Clinton nominee.

But Dr. Frist said there was a distinction. "It's the partisan-leadership-led use of cloture votes to kill, to defeat, to assassinate these nominees, and that's the difference," Dr. Frist said.

His spokesman, Bob Stevenson, later noted that Mr. Paez eventually received a vote and was confirmed, and that many of the same Democrats now arguing to protect the filibuster have supported eliminating it in the past on all matters, not just judicial nominees.

Okay, and both sides accuse each other of hypocrisy. I'd say nothing special so far. [Flips channel]
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2005 05:54 am
"Time to Retire the Filibuster"Source
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2005 06:04 am
That was an interesting article, just wonders, but I doubt it's what ebrown_p had in mind when he created this thread. If you go back to his initial post, you will see why.

ebrown_p wrote:
If you love the parlimentary maneuver, the spin and the bluster and the PR... grab a beer and join in. I only ask that political animosity be dropped and we all remember it is, after all, just a game.

If you can't think this way... I would ask you join another thread. [...]

Again I ask that partisan bickering be kept out of this thread.

If you are good, someone should not be able to tell who you support from reading this thread.

I love the smell of a fillibuster/rule change in the morning....

(Emphasis mine) In other words, ebrown created this thread to be a place for monday morning armchair quarterbacking, not to be a place for playing the game.
0 Replies
 
 

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