Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Senate Republicans Offer Invisible Filibuster Reform

Via Jonathan Bernstein, a collection of actual Moderate Democrats, Chickenshit Mainstream Democrats, and Republicans of various stripes are trying to put together a counterproposal of filibuster reforms, which will presumably do less to move the Senate in a majoritarian direction than the Merkley et al. talking filibuster proposals. But the people involved seem unwilling to talk about what they're doing at all. I realize the need for some level of secrecy in negotiations, but it's therefore impossible to gauge the impact of whatever reforms are being discussed. Considering the fact that the Senate is largely a norms-driven institution, the real question is if the bipartisan talks would produce a group of Republican Senators who simply refuse to go along with Mitch McConnell's delaying tactics, particularly when it comes to Presidential appointments.

I would also note that, with the exception of Mark Pryor and Lindsay Graham, the people involved with the bipartisan talks have a lot of seniority, while the more avid reformers have significantly less. Being a seniority driven institution, and given other instances of petty backbiting among Senators,  it wouldn't surprise me if one function of is to steal the thunder from whippersnappers like Merkley.

In related news, I fully expect House Impeachment manager Lindsay Graham to retire rather than run for re-election, since apparently he's too moderate for the South Carolina primary electorate. WTF, world.
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