WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Democratic majority Senate invokes 'nuclear option'

For so many years, the threatened change in U.S. Senate Parliamentary rules existed, but it was always, 'They wouldn't dare, lest the opposite political party seize the majority.' It was called the nuclear option, changing the filibuster rules.

Frustrated by Republican blocks of the President's appointments, Senate Dems just did it, in an effort to clear a logjam of Presidential nominees to the judiciary and other posts.

Senate Democrats have made a high-stakes gamble, that the G.O.P. doesn't retake both the Senate and The White House by 2016...

From NATIONAL JOURNAL: "The Senate just changed its Filibuster rules"...


And from The NEW YORK TIMES:


Posted at 3:12pm on November 21, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Nov 21, 2013 6:06pm
This proves what I've been saying all along. Harry Reid and his cohorts in the Senate are nothing but a bunch of commie thugs who commit destruction to the Constitution anytime they don't get their way.

Better watch out, Harry. The TEA party is "coming to take you away."


Thu, Nov 21, 2013 8:56pm
Actually Mr. Pizza... they saved the Constitution..Democracy wasn’t ruined today. It was saved. The Constitution is explicit when it states that it allows the Executive to pick his staff and to choose his judicial appointees at will, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate has consistently failed to fulfill its obligation to consent, and thereby has put the Constitution in jeopardy. Things can now progress as the founding fathers so desired….

Thu, Nov 21, 2013 8:58pm
One must remember, everything that is good for the Tea Party, is bad for America at large.

So when Tea Partier says something is bad.... put your money on the bad thing, not on the Tea Partier's alternative....

Thu, Nov 21, 2013 11:35pm
I wish that I could change the rules whenever life wasn't going quite the way I like it. Reminds me of a kid I knew growing up...always changed the rules if he was losing.

Harry changed the rules (and the Republicans have done the same in the past as well); let's see how he feels about the rule change after 2014/2016 elections.

The way this rule change looks to me is that the Legislative branch has effectively given away power to the Executive for short-range goals...Congress is giving away its remaining power/relevance for little in return.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 8:05am
Let's go deeper.

Here is some info on the history of the filibuster: "Using the filibuster to delay or block legislative action has a long history. The term filibuster -- from a Dutch word meaning "pirate" -- became popular in the 1850s, when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent a vote on a bill."

"In the early years of Congress, representatives as well as senators could filibuster. As the House of Representatives grew in numbers, however, revisions to the House rules limited debate. In the smaller Senate, unlimited debate continued on the grounds that any senator should have the right to speak as long as necessary on any issue."

"In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths, or 60 of the current one hundred senators."......

There is more info on the link below, the rules of the filibuster have changed a couple of times during the history of the U.S., including back in 1917 under Woodrow Wilson.

So my point is, this isn't the first time the rules for filibuster have been altered. The DEMS are taking a risk in doing this, because IF 2014 proves to be a good election year for the G.O.P./TEA party, then the G.O.P. will have this new rule for their benefit, it does work both ways, they've set the precedent with their change yesterday.


Fri, Nov 22, 2013 8:26am
Earl, you are nuts and seem to have fallen out your chair or hit your head on the table...

"Let us see how one feels about the rule change after the 2016 elections..."

That is like the Japanese saying "Ok, you've bombed Tokyo. Gloves are really off now..."

You may be the the only human being in Delaware who is unaware that this Tea Party Congress has used the filibuster more times to block appointments than were EVER used against Clinton and Bush going back to 1992!

You may be the only human being in the United States who is unaware that this Tea Party Congress has used the filibuster more times to block beneficial legislation in its 3 1/2 year session, than anyone else has used going back to 1998....

So for you to say... Oh... beware of 2016... is just, if not even more comical, than the Japanese completely ignoring what they did at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Singapore, China, Port Moresby, Dutch Harbor... and saying upon our bombing of Tokyo... "Ok, this is war now..."

The Tea Party is the most laughable group of dunces since the creation of Man....

Ha, ha... I just Love it... :) I can't see what their next dumb move is going to be... Their bumbling is actually more entertaining than watching "The Big Bang Theory"... lol.

Fri, Nov 22, 2013 8:28am
If the Republicans had objected to the nominations based on qualifications, they might have a case here, but they didn't. They announced early on that they would approve no one that the president presented to them. They deserve this.

However, as MFD and Earl suggest, if they take back the Senate in 2016, then they are free to change the law back to the current one. Anyone want to bet that they will?

Fri, Nov 22, 2013 12:27pm
My bet is no. And as it has been particularly pointed out time and time again, that many Republicans on committees overseeing the candidates voted for their approval out of committee, then voted against them to uphold every filibuster attempt...

Meaning they had no qualms with the candidate, just with filling the position period....

Hypocrisy at it finest...

Fri, Nov 22, 2013 1:29pm
kavips: As I stated above, both sides are hypocrites...the R's threatened to use this "nuke" option in 05' (but didn't)...waaay back then, Harry Reid ranted against the use of this option.

I would have to say that right now THE biggest hypocrite of them all is our president. If you dare to compare Senator Obama to President Obama... it's like comparing Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hide. If Senator Obama were in office I think this country would be comparing him to JFK, but instead the comparisons are to Carter or worse.

The country has completely forgotten about the "horrible" government shutdown, and MILLIONS are focused on how ACA personally affects their lives for the worse. It's one thing to read about "glitches" on the news, but very different when you get a cancellation in the mail or see how much your rates have gone up for your own household.

So yes, 2014 should be a very good year for Republicans who voted against ACA.

Fri, Nov 22, 2013 3:28pm
In addition to Harry Reid...Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joseph Biden and Barack Hussein Obama were against the "nuke" option in 2005. Hypocrisy? Um, yes.

Sat, Nov 23, 2013 9:32am
Harry Reid is a CRIMINAL!


Sat, Nov 23, 2013 10:30am
I would have to disagree with Earl's current political assessment. I can see how he would be misguided. If one associates only with those who think like ones self, then one reinforces ones opinions instead of challenging them....

Earl feels like people don't remember the shutdown... He thinks that people are more concerned about losing their insurance. If one looks at Breitbart and Red State, one can see why he feels that way. They talk of nothing else.

But the rest of America all suffered from feeling embarrassed that one wing of us was so childish, they shut down the government, then capitulated completely, getting absolutely nothing to gain from it.

In other words, all America suffered, not one single person gained. Ironically, just returning to normal was heralded as a victory for the American People, and allowing the return to normal was cast as a blemish to the Tea Party. That stains like child abuse; they will never live that down.

Now lets take the insurance exchange debacle. If you randomly pick 1000 people, 800 of them already have insurance so are unaffected. That leaves 200. Out of those 200, 170 of them were previously uninsured. So getting insurance for the first time, is a bonus to them. We are left now with 30. 30 people out of 1000 who currently buy their own plans on the open market. Of these 30, 8 will save money either through subsidies or through more direct competition. 9 will go through the process and find they are spending relatively the same. Unfortunately for those 13 left, they will have an increase in their premiums. That is 13 out of ... how many? 1000.

Only 13 out of 1000 will have their insurance go up. Of course, with entreaties out to "send us your story" these 13 have a pipeline right up to the top of national media from where it is spewed out like treated water at a sewage treatment plant....

But in the end.. by next November 4th, exactly 345 days away, those 13 will be drown out by the 987 who received no harm from Obamacare.

The problem is not your facts. 13 people will pay more. It is with your getting your facts from only those people who want you to hear one side.

Good luck winning Congress back with 13 people.

Sat, Nov 23, 2013 11:54am
I think George W. Bush would say Kavips is using "fuzzy math".

Sat, Nov 23, 2013 11:20pm
kavips is correct that I do indeed regularly check out Breitbart and Drudge for news..but spend about the same amount of time on the DailyBeast, DialyKos and HuffPo.

When I say no one is talking about the Govt shutdown and they are instead talking about ObamaCare I mean no one (even most liberal sites) are still talking about the shutdown (yesterday's news)...ObamaCare is THE topic of discussion because ACA is hurting millions of households (even those who supported ACA)



..."Millennials are less trusting of government than Gen Xers and baby boomers had been in their 20s, they were more likely to support both Obama and his health care reform plan. “If Obamacare never gets fixed,” frets Beinart, “it might just sour the single best relationship the Democratic Party has: its love affair with the young.”

Sun, Nov 24, 2013 2:04am
Well, now that you were more clear, I'll give you that point. Our difference of perspective is that when you say "no one" you are implying people who comment publicly, and when I use that term, I was implying society at large....

The shutdown gets referenced a lot on those 3 blogs mentioned by Earl, but usually it is in background. If someone makes a disparaging remark about Ted Cruz, all know it is because of the shutdown, so the shut-down plays prominently even though it would not show up in a word search, the feeling of disgust for the shutdown is still relevant though out the writing, at least on those 3 publications.

And yes, those blogs are huge, comprised of independent authors, and one can find some references to higher premiums. However as would be expected on those 3, there are even more blog posts praising he savings given by Obamacare.

Just like you can't determine global warming by one snowstorm, it is dangerous to use these small events to predict the larger trend. Against those who enthusiastically trumpet every single negative, I have tried to maintain across the breadth of conversation that despite these anomalies popping up here and there, the overall trend is certainly paving a road for Obamacare to take off....

If the numbers were aligned the other way, I wouldn't be so positive...

Sun, Nov 24, 2013 12:25pm
Kavips: Guess what? Ted Cruz is my hero.

But then, you probably already figured that out, right?

Mon, Nov 25, 2013 2:03am
You have my deepest condolences....

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