JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/05/nuclear-option.html (18 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1212126879-592460  alan at Fri, 30 May 2008 05:54:39 +0000

"an idea whose arc can be traced from the Enlightenment, through the Terror, to Marx and Engels, to the Revolutions of 1917 and 1937. The latter date marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution."

Who is this our of which she speaks?

jsid-1212129667-592461  Mastiff at Fri, 30 May 2008 06:41:07 +0000

That was a beautifully done bait-and-switch there, Kevin. You clearly use a lot more thought on your writing structure than I ever do.

And I agree, threatening to undermine the filibuster was the wrong move. What they should have done was hang it around the Dems' necks to an even greater degree than they eventually did.

jsid-1212140330-592462  Mark at Fri, 30 May 2008 09:38:50 +0000

I propose that the Republican leadership should have made a Senator actually stand there on the floor and read something, instead of rolling over like a bunch of pansies at the mere threat of it.

jsid-1212155689-592463  Kevin Baker at Fri, 30 May 2008 13:54:49 +0000

Mark, I agree with you totally on that one!

Alan: Read the whole speech. "Our" refers to America, which did indeed suffer a socialist revolution in the 1920's and 30's.

Mastiff: Glad you liked it!

jsid-1212156240-592464  Brett Bellmore at Fri, 30 May 2008 14:04:00 +0000

"What do you want to bet that "The Nuclear Option" will be brought up by the Democrats in that event?

At least that's not a tool the Republicans generously handed them."

No, I'd say it's a tool Republicans generously brought to their attention, they're not going to need anyone handing it to them, they're perfectly capable fo grabbing it themselves as soon as they want to use it.

That, IMO, was one of the strongest arguments for the nuclear option: Once the option had been broached, it became inevitable that Democrats would do it themselves at the first opportunity, so there was really no downside to Republicans doing it themselves.

I suspect they'll do it one better, though, and revive FDR's court packing scheme. No need to wait for one of the conservatives to croak that way.

jsid-1212161066-592466  Kevin Baker at Fri, 30 May 2008 15:24:26 +0000

I expect them to bring it up - and Republicans can throw their own words back in their faces.

Not that the spineless bastards would.

I don't expect that Obama would try to pack the Supreme Court like FDR threatened, but I wouldn't put it past Hillary.

jsid-1212162176-592468  DJ at Fri, 30 May 2008 15:42:56 +0000

I wouldn't put anything past either Obama or Clinton. Consider the ongoing controversy regarding the seating or non-seating of Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democrat convention in Denver. The approach of each of them can be summarized as, "Ignore the rules. Goddamnit, do what favors ME, because it favors ME!"

jsid-1212163132-592469  Kevin Baker at Fri, 30 May 2008 15:58:52 +0000

Yes, more "changing the rules in the middle of the game".

jsid-1212166782-592471  Unix-Jedi at Fri, 30 May 2008 16:59:42 +0000

Guys, surely you know that the last time the Cloture Rule was changed - was 1975.

Kennedy, Byrd were instrumental in changing it from 2/3's to 3/5's.

Coincidentally, the Democrats had 62 seats at the time.

jsid-1212167925-592472  Kevin Baker at Fri, 30 May 2008 17:18:45 +0000

No, I was not aware of that.

Fascinating. Got a link?

jsid-1212168730-592473  Unix-Jedi at Fri, 30 May 2008 17:32:10 +0000

Some quick Googling to refresh my memory:




The nuclear option was officially moved by Senator Clinton P. Anderson (D-NM) (1963), Senator George McGovern (D-SD) (1967), and Senator Frank Church (D-ID) (1969), but was each time defeated or tabled by the Senate. The option was adopted by the Senate three times in 1975 during a debate concerning the cloture requirement. A compromise was reached to reduce the cloture requirement from two-thirds (67 votes) to the three-fifths (60 votes) and also to approve a point of order revoking the earlier three votes in which the Constitutional Option had been invoked. (This was an effort to reverse the precedent that had been set for cloture by majority vote).

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) invoked the Nuclear Option four times when he was majority leader: 1977 (to ban post-cloture filibustering), 1979 (to adopt a rule to limit amendments to an appropriations bill), 1980 (to allow a senator to make a non-debatable motion to bring a nomination to the floor), and 1987 (to ban filibustering during a roll call vote).

jsid-1212187528-592480  Xrlq at Fri, 30 May 2008 22:45:28 +0000

My understanding is that changing the cloture rule is not all that "nuclear." What is "nuclear" is bypassing the usual supermajority requirement and doing it by simple majority, on the theory that anything else is unconstitutional (hence the alternative name "the constitutional option").

jsid-1212197853-592484  workinwifdakids at Sat, 31 May 2008 01:37:33 +0000

"Because all Senate business is conducted by unanimous consent..."

Ummm... excuse me? Did Barry write that?

Either I misunderstand the context, or B. Hussein Obama misunderstands his own job.

jsid-1212202084-592485  Guest (anonymous) at Sat, 31 May 2008 02:48:04 +0000

So can we nuke the Senate?

jsid-1212203420-592486  Kevin Baker at Sat, 31 May 2008 03:10:20 +0000

Either I misunderstand the context, or B. Hussein Obama misunderstands his own job.

And you're surprised by this... why?

jsid-1212249428-592489  workinwifdakids at Sat, 31 May 2008 15:57:08 +0000

Surprised? I'm looking around for either the candid camera crew, or Rod Serling. One of them better show up, because this shit is *not* funny.

A sitting United States senator and presumptive candidate for President of the world's lone superpower says, "...all Senate business is conducted by unanimous consent." I say, "Not only is that not true, I can't imagine a single circumstance where one could even wrongly infer that," and everyone looks at me like I just walked off a UFO.

I swear this happens to me about every 20 minutes.

jsid-1212261285-592496  DJ at Sat, 31 May 2008 19:14:45 +0000

The fiction is that the "business" of the Senate, meaning the day-to-day and moment-to-moment process by which the Senate does what it does, can be stopped at any time by any Senator for any reason or no reason. Thus, if the business of the Senate actually occurs, it must have been by unanimous consent, as no Senator objected. It's a conventient fiction, but it's fiction nonetheless.

It occurs in a particularly irritating manner when a Senator finishes his blather from the floor and then requests unanimous consent to "revise and extend his remarks", which means to alter the record in the Congressioinal Register of what he actually said on the Senate floor such that it records him saying what he did not say and/or not saying what he did say. This allows him to lie to his constituents about what he said and use the reoord to support his lie.

jsid-1212326070-592517  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 01 Jun 2008 13:14:30 +0000

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

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