January 21, 2018

"If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!"


ADDED: I'm trying to read the NYT article on the shutdown, "Bitter Bickering Muddies the Path to Ending the Government Shutdown."
The immediate cause of the shutdown, which began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House-passed stopgap measure, was a dispute over spending. But it was a stalemate over immigration policy, the topic that propelled Mr. Trump’s political rise and has dominated his first 12 months as president, that snarled the negotiations, as the president vacillated over what approach he should take and advisers including Mr. Kelly counseled a harder line.
Wait. The immediate cause of the shutdown was... Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House-passed stopgap measure. What's all that other material?! The Democrats blocked the vote that would have avoided the shutdown. That's clear, and one answer is, go to majority voting so this chaos isn't inflicted on us. Or is the shutdown just political theater that doesn't really mean anything?

124 comments:

rhhardin said...

The courtesy rules don't work when there isn't a common interest like country before party. The Dems dropped that in Bush II.

On the other hand, it will give wild swings in policy as control of the Senate switches, which is the reason for the courtesy rules in the first place.

If country before party comes back, we're better off and can go to courtesy rules again.

Oso Negro said...

Heh. I was totally Scott Adams in the Jane Fonda thread.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I thought budgets weren't subject to filibuster rules. I'm missing something.

Wiki says reconciliation bills only need 51 votes.

So budget bills need 51 and continuing resolutions need 60. Is that right.

This year the Republicans can get ofc their asses and pass a budget like normal.

Do your jobs!

David Begley said...

Mitch needs to do this, Trump has shown the old rules and customs don’t apply or work today.

If the filibuster rule is abolished then voters will have a clear choice in 2018. If the Dems win Congress after that rule is abolished, then we know what voters want. But I suspect that the GOP numbers will increase.

There is nothing in the constitution requiring 60 votes to pass routine legislation in the Senate, right professor?

Mitch needs to show America that Congress is no longer dysfunctional. That’s what this shutdown is about. The Dems shutting down the government in order to help non-citizens with a bill that is not even on the table.

Thanks for the tweet, Mr. President. Keep on tweeting.

rhhardin said...

The 60 vote thing is called rule 22. I wrote an essay on it in 1960 government 101. That's all I remember.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It’s political theater that does mean something.

The question as to why Reblublicans haven’t been able to put through a budget with 51 votes is answered by the fact that 4 Republican Senators did not vote for the continuing resolution. Flake, Graham, Lee and Paul are the real shutdowners. I for one applaud them.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Weimer said...

I read yesterday that reconciliation can only be use once per term, and it was used for the ta bill last month, so cloture is required for this.

MikeR said...

No, don't do Nuclear Options right now. Announce sorrowfully that the hoary traditions of the Senate do not allow us to follow the President's wishes in this. The Democrats have pushed us into the governmental shutdown that they have long decried as an incredible disaster.

But - actually it won't be so bad! Lots of conservatives are perfectly fine with a government that takes a month off except for essential services. Let's see what happens.
When things are problematic, fund them. If there are parts of the government that nobody minded missing for a month, let's have a National Conversation on whether we need them any more.
Sounds like a good test, and one we should do every so often anyhow.

surfed said...

Paging Major T.J."King" Kong.

Original Mike said...

”This year the Republicans can get ofc their asses and pass a budget like normal.

Do your jobs!”


I heard Paul Ryan a couple days ago claim that the House has already passed all 13 appropriation bills and they’re waiting on the Senate. Is this true?

cronus titan said...

"The immediate cause of the shutdown was... Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House-passed stopgap measure. What's all that other material?!"

A word salad designed to obfuscate the quoted sentence. WHy the shutdown exists is obvious -- this is the only leverage Senate Democrats have to force an unrelated issue.

"Or is the shutdown just political theater that doesn't really mean anything?"

Correct, at least from Senate Democrats perspective. Understand that they think the shutdown is not real until Monday morning when images of hundreds of thousands of employees across the nation are filmed going home. The second test of reality os when troops miss a paycheck. Until then, it is all political theater. Of course, that ignores the significant weekend activity -- law enforcement and military do not shut down over weekends, travel is canceled, etc.

Meanwhile, Pelosi takes the Democratic house to dinner at a fine high end Italian restaurant to celebrate hte shutdown, THey really think they wer winning this, at least under their definition of winning.

MikeR said...

Mind, I'm not against the Nuclear Option, or at least bringing back the old rules that filibustering requires you to stand there and speak, a la Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. We should do that anyhow. I would just rather not use it here.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Do you mean that the Trump agenda would pass in the Senate once the Soros bought GOP Senate leadership wakes up allows majority voting like it took to seat Gorsuch?

That Nasty Old Tweeting Trump has a target locked on and he has launched his missiles. The State of the Union Address cometh. Mean while McConnell and his corrupt GOP Senate gang sweats blood and tries anything to end the Shut Down before their decisions are exposed.

Tim in Vermont said...

Once you see their pervasive bias, you can’t unsee it.

mockturtle said...

Trump has exposed the sorry truth about Congress: That they don't really want to DO anything. They've been riding comfortably along for, lo, these many years, and expecting to continue to do so. Now they are being expected to actually perform! Oh, the impertinence of it all!

Tim in Vermont said...

so cloture is required for this.

It used to be required for other stuff too, before Harry Reid came along. It’s not in the Constitution, it’s in Senate rules. Screw it.

Lem said...

I don’t have the guts to tweet this, so I’ll repeat it here...

Trump's relationship with the truth helps him with the shutdown.

Because Trump is not known for his honesty, it compels a higher standard of honesty from those who are least likely to be honest about him.

That may explain why the shutdown coverage (with the exception of CNN) is not uniform throughout the main stream press. At least, that's my impression.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Or is the shutdown just political theater that doesn't really mean anything?"

-- We'll find out on Monday if Trump will use this as a chance to inflict pain on everyday people like Obama did by kicking veterans out of war memorials and blocking off national parks that weren't even paid for by money involved in the shutdown, or if Trump will actually shut down the government to just essential workers, or if we'll resolve it late night Sunday cause everyone is too chicken to do a real shutdown.

Curious George said...

"Left Bank of the Charles said...
It’s political theater that does mean something.

The question as to why Reblublicans haven’t been able to put through a budget with 51 votes is answered by the fact that 4 Republican Senators did not vote for the continuing resolution. Flake, Graham, Lee and Paul are the real shutdowners. I for one applaud them."

Uh, they need 60 votes. And three of the four will vote on on everything the Dems want. We'll see if the five Yay Dem votes stay. They are all in states that will be tough to hold, and three are up for reelection in 2018. I'm sure they don't like the house bill, but I'm sure they like being a Senator.

Matthew Sablan said...

"No more back room, Republican only Bills, and let the floor debate and amend the Bills."

-- Harry Reid poisoned the Senate running it just like that, only for Democrat gains. The stupid thing was Republicans thinking that if they played like Democrats, everyone would give them the same benefit of the doubt and support, instead of painting them to be the bad guys.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It used to be required for other stuff too, before Harry Reid came along. It’s not in the Constitution, it’s in Senate rules. Screw it."

-- I have no doubt that the 60 vote rule is DOA the moment Democrats have 51 Senate votes. I see no benefit in keeping the rule just to say Republicans played by doomed rules.

Sebastian said...

"go to majority voting so this chaos isn't inflicted on us. Or is the shutdown just political theater that doesn't really mean anything?" Yes. They can go to majority voting, and it is political theater, but it also means something.

Of course, majority voting will give Flakey RINOs even more opportunity to grandstand.

Hagar said...

Actually, like the late Senator Strom Thurmond in 1948 - the standing record for a filibuster in the heroic manner.
The "hoary tradition" of the "courtesy filibuster" is not all that old.
But I do not see either party being able to get 51 votes for ending it - by itself - or horrors! - a "bi-partisan coalition."
McConnnell is not to blame for this state of affairs. It is just the way things are now, and he gets to cope as best he can.

Sebastian said...

"Harry Reid poisoned the Senate." Exactly. There's no going back, unless we get a better sort of Dem in there. Which ain't likely.

Hagar said...

Perhaps if certain senators can be prevailed upon to stay home with the flu for a couple of weeks?

Narayanan Subramanian said...

If the Senate were to bring up a full budget why are we discussing filibuster?

Really confusing.

Chuck said...

In 2013, the Senate Democrats went to 51 votes on federal judicial confirmations below the level of the Supreme Court. And they now must be seething, to see what the result has been just 3-4 years later.*

It's fine for Trump to Tweet something like that. But if you are a U.S. Senator from either party, it is -- or should be -- nuts. The endgame is always a diminishment of power for the Senate as an institution.

*Mollie Hemingway wrote a column for WaPo indicating that while Trump had never been her first or even second choice for the presidency, she's been delighted with the results of the first year. She cited Trump's record-setting pace of getting federal judges confirmed.

Which is a ridiculous thing, to credit to Trump. They changed the rules. It is as if they made touchdowns worth 20 points, and were then surprised at how a football team set a season scoring record the following year.

I've seen others do the same; saying that not only has Trump gotten more nominees confirmed; he has also gotten some qualitatively-better ideologues confirmed. But again, it is the same mechanism. When you only need 51 votes to confirm, and you own a 52- or 51-vote majority, you can pick almost anyone you want. There won't need to be any compromise.

By the way, Althouse; I agree 100% that this is a Democrat shutdown. (If that is what you were suggesting.) The Senate Democrats shut down the government. Period.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Courtesy is going too far when filibuster is merely threat to do it. They should be peeing on the Senate floor.

Matthew Sablan said...

"He won't let Bills be debated on the floor, and all of the Bills he puts forward are created in a backroom of hired clerks."

-- And Reid would block Republican amendments from even being heard.

McConnell is following the rules laid out by Harry Reid. Is the answer: Republicans should only ever be on the losing end of rules changes, and should change them back to benefit Democrats if they ever get power, only to let them be changed again when they're out of power?

Matthew Sablan said...

"The endgame is always a diminishment of power for the Senate as an institution."

-- President "pen and a phone," basically set it up so that Congress didn't need to do anything to get "legislation" passed. They just never imagined someone that Democrats didn't like might have the pen and a phone again.

Matthew Sablan said...

Etienne: You may be joking about shooting Congressmen, but, uh, considering a Democrat recently DID shoot a Congressman, maybe not the best time to be joking about that.

Tim in Vermont said...

f we can get the school shooters focused on the Senate

Jeezum. Are you sure you want to leave that post up?

Where is Oswald when we need him?

Really, Eienne?

Unknown said...

Like health insurance and our educational system...our government "budgeting" system is a farce. We haven't passed a budget in over a decade as I recall. The gentlemen's filibuster is way past it's sell by date. McConnell should do this immediately, hopefully some of the old arses will drop dead of a heart attack doing a real filibuster.

There is no way a the congresses responsibility for doing a budget should be allowed to just be ignored and played games with like this.

If anyone wants to talk about America getting less respect around the world and does not bring this up, then they are part of the problem. Get rid of them, both sides.

Tim in Vermont said...

t's fine for Trump to Tweet something like that. But if you are a U.S. Senator from either party, it is -- or should be -- nuts. The endgame is always a diminishment of power for the Senate as an institution.

Since Democrats have been using the Senate like a ratchet in their little game of replacing the electorate, I can’t see how the new situation would be worse.

Tim in Vermont said...

never vote for the incumben

Yeah, we can see you are more of a bullets over ballots guy.

Tim in Vermont said...

Because Trump is not known for his honesty,

He seems pretty truthful on important matters, much more so than Obama, for example.

virgil xenophon said...

Forgotten in all of this are those veterans on disability from combat wounds. Many of which are wounds severe enough that they were (a) unable to remain in the armed services long enough to merit a pension and/or (b) unable to work in the civilian world long enough to acquire either a pension or social security benefits (which are not affected by the shutdown) Disability benefits are all they have and now these have gone by-by with the shutdown, and it's all they have to survive upon as most have zero savings to bridge the gap. True enough, they'll get a lump-sum make-up check once this is over but how do they bridge the gap cash-flow-wise in the interim?

Just think about this. The Dems are saying in effect that they care more about the lives of illegal aliens (Dreamers/DACA) than they do for their own countrymen--citizens who fought for this country at the behest of people like Pelosi and Schumer fully as well as Republicans..

Fabi said...

"The Senate Democrats shut down the government. Period."

That rare feeling when one agrees with Chuck.

Sam L. said...

Dems basically walked out on immigration. Illegal immigration. One of the main things Trump was elected for. They've picked a great issue to commit suicide on.

Dude1394 said...

" Blogger virgil xenophon said...

Forgotten in all of this are those veterans on disability from combat wounds. "

What wonderful theater it would be to have trump invite them all around the country to the white house, to the SOTU speech. To show the people who the democrat-media party cares for the most.

I am still quite interesting to see how trump and his stellar cabinet handle this shutdown. This will be the first shutdown in my lifetime where the POTUS did not attempt to punish the citizens in order to put pressure on congress.

Of course that doesn't mean he can't demagogue the congress, that I expect fully.

Tim in Vermont said...

The Wa Po recently fired a “journalist” who was giving a talk on using polls as a way to measure the impact of lefty propaganda, and to make adjustments, because she got caught. But I am sure the “who started it polls” will be coming out soon. The press needs them.

Heatshield said...

The filibuster on the budget just invites abuses like the Dems are trying to do now and the Reps tried to do under Obama. Eliminate the filibuster for all budget and debt ceiling related matters. Probably good to keep it for substantive policy bills to ensure broader support. But even that will eventually die.

Bruce Hayden said...

And remember the thing that the Dems keep hiding - the Republicans are fine with a DACA fix. 6-800k “Dreamers” are not a big deal. It is the other 10 million or so that they would bring in or make legal through chain migration that is the issue. Entire extended families and third world villages brought in just because the parents of a kid brought them here when they were still young. And, yes, the parents who illegally entered the country with their child would be the first recipients. Just keep this in mind whenever a Dem politician or MSM partisan of theirs starts in on Dreamers - it isn’t about the (rare) Valedictorians. It is about 10 million illiterate peasants who would be brought in too. That is the elephant in the room. Heck, one prominent Dem yesterday even talked about funding the wall. It is chain migration that is the catch. The deal killer.

Darkisland said...

Mike R

Agree with you about the speaking filibuster.

But a better image than the fictional Mr Smith would be the demmies in 63. Collectively they held the floor for 60+ days concluding with Senator Byrd (D-KKK) speaking for more than 14 hours.

What were they trying to stop?

Civil rights for black Americans.

John Henry

Heatshield said...

Amazing how stupid politicians are. The Republicans tried to use the budget filibuster to kill Obamacare - Obama's signature issue. Was never going to happen. Now the Democrats are trying it to go after Trump on immigration policy. That's at least as crazy. I may have to go back to watching football.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

The very next time the Democrats gain the majority in the US Senate they will change the Senate rules to a simple majority for closure and effectively eliminate the filibuster. Stupid Republican are living in the past.

Fabi said...

The left is having a difficult time generating a shutdown sound bite that extricates them from putting illegals before citizens. Trump won't let them forget it.

Mark said...

The so-called nuclear option is in reality the constitutional option. And it is troubling when the Constitution is seen as an exception -- an unjust exception at that -- to the rule.

Full and complete debate on issues is a good thing. And a super-majority on some things of major long-lasting impact is a good thing as well since we should have a consensus before enacting such things. But the current Senate rules do not serve these purposes -- instead they allow for the entire country to be hijacked and held hostage by a handful of people.

If they want to go back to the true filibuster of allowing people to actually speak on the floor as long as they wish, fine. But this farce of a rule of cloture has finally got to go.

glenn said...

Diogenes has it exactly right. So does Trump. Do it now. It may be our last shot at fiscal sanity.

Matthew Sablan said...

How well Trump handles the shutdown will probably be a deciding factor on if anyone launches a mutually assured political destruction primary against him.

Ray said...

Donald Trump released a video adding gas to the shutdown fire blaming democrats for illegal immigration crime - powerful video. Very Trumpian - going for the throat:

https://youtu.be/U-nm0vQwO5c

virgil xenophon said...

"....allow the entire country to be hijacked and held hostage by a handful of people."

Let us not forget one of these people--one of the PRIMARY individuals--is Dick Durban--who is on record on the Senate floor and on C-SPAN as calling American troops as acting"LIKE NAIZIS" during a debate on Gulf War policy!

virgil xenophon said...

*NAZIS*

Chuck said...

Lol. They called that Trump video "Complicit." It's going to remind everyone of one of the best SNL segments from last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7o4oMKbStE

Jupiter said...

"The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked."

What he said.

Gahrie said...

The immediate cause of the shutdown was... Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House-passed stopgap measure. What's all that other material?!

An attempt by Democratic allies in the media to deflect blame on the Republicans instead.

The Democrats blocked the vote that would have avoided the shutdown.

This is an inconvenient fact that the media wants to "protect" the American people from.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: And as a born and raised Prairie Stater you cannot imagine my shame at being from the same State. Indeed there are not enough words in the English language to describe the depths of my loathing for that man..

Big Mike said...

Forgotten in all of this are those veterans on disability from combat wounds.

As a 71 year old Vietnam era veteran myself, I will characterize Barack Obama's attitude towards the VA as malign neglect. The man hated our troops, despised our military. And now we have Navy officers who cannot steer a destroyer around a merchant ship. Thankfully Mattis is a marine, and has some familiarity with ships. As to the VA, the sooner it's fixed the better for all of us.

Achilles said...

glenn said...
“Diogenes has it exactly right. So does Trump. Do it now. It may be our last shot at fiscal sanity.“

At this point having a rule of law and an opposition party that obeys the law, doesn’t want to import a new electorate, and doesn’t use the government to spy on their political opponents would be progress.

The republicans should eliminate the filibuster and lock the democrats out until they meaningfully reform their party and become decent human beings.

Achilles said...

rhhardin said...
“The courtesy rules don't work when there isn't a common interest like country before party. The Dems dropped that in Bush II.“

This.

The democrats are using the government to spy on political opponents and justify shooting and attacking opponents. They need to be locked out of government until they are decent people. That means removing and jailing most of the current leadership.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Chuck,
Hemingway's column excellent. It is perfectly valid to consider the number of judges as an accomplishment, and to compare to the number of judges that Obama appointed regardless of the "rule changes," because it speaks to the long-term, positive impact that Trump is having.

It's really surprising that you can't see that!!

Achilles said...

“It's really surprising that you can't see that!”

He sees that. He is just here in bad faith. He doesn’t want anything republican voters want.

Spaceman said...

Schumer done trapped himself a skunk and doesn't know whether to hang onto him (getting stinky quick) or turn loose. Begging for a 1 day, 2 day, 3 day CR - something Mr. Mitt pretty please!

Hagar said...

Perhaps Trump has a trick up his sleeve that he will play sometime this week as the situation ripens, but blustering about "'they' should do this that or the other," while it is perfectly obvious "they" are not yet ready to do any such thing is just blather.

James K said...

Which is a ridiculous thing, to credit to Trump. They changed the rules.

"They" being the Democrats back in 2013, when they had a majority. So Democrats had two years to exploit the rule with a larger majority than Trump has, and without the nuisances like Collins, Flake, McCain, and Murkowski who like to buck the party. So yeah, I'll give Trump credit.

Paco Wové said...

"We'll find out on Monday if Trump will use this as a chance to inflict pain on everyday people like Obama did by kicking veterans out of war memorials and blocking off national parks"

Doesn't look like it:
Sec. Zinke Will Spend The Government Shutdown Ensuring The WWII Memorial, National Parks, Stay Open

The government might be shut down Saturday morning, but that did not stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from doing his job.

Early in the morning, Zinke could be found cleaning up trash on the National Mall and welcoming tours of schoolchildren to the World War II memorial with a smile.

“We’re not putting up barricades,” Zinke told The Daily Caller in an interview. “Absolutely not. We’re passing out brochures until we run out of brochures. I’ll be out here everyday.”

...

Zinke then got into his car and drove to the WWII memorial to greet visitors and hand out maps and helped with directions. “I spent the morning walking around, giving brochures out,” Zinke said. “I got a lot of thanks from both sides of the aisle. We will not weaponize our public lands.”

“The visitor experience will be diminished,” Zinke admitted, noting that some museums and public service will take a hit during the shutdown. “But to the degree possible, we will keep our public lands open. They should not be used as a political weapon.”

Zinke said public parks, monuments and the battlefields “belong to the people and not the government,” and noted that people will see a “significant difference” between the Trump administration and Obama’s in the way public lands are managed during a shutdown.

Birkel said...

Continuing resolutions keep spending, every year, the one-time Stimulus Bill. But the money is spent off books.

Sure the debt increases a trillion per year.
But the deficit will only be reported as 350 billion.

Harry Reid started the insane spending and Bush approved it, with McCain's ok.

Obama tried to make it permanent.
Welcome to bankruptcy.

Paul said...

Nuke 'em high!!!!! Press the button!

steve uhr said...

Takes two to Tango

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

F the corrupt leftwing machine - anyway you can.

n.n said...

Alien before citizen rights. Immigration before emigration reform. Refugee crises for social justice adventures and "clean" wars. Labor, environmental, and regulatory arbitrage. The forest before the trees (a.k.a. "diversity"). #MeToo #TimesUp before due process (a.k.a. witch trials) and equal rights. Trial by press or bullhorn (i.e. public lynching). Choice before Life deemed worthy. Bad optics.

Chuck said...

Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...
Chuck,
Hemingway's column excellent. It is perfectly valid to consider the number of judges as an accomplishment, and to compare to the number of judges that Obama appointed regardless of the "rule changes," because it speaks to the long-term, positive impact that Trump is having.

It's really surprising that you can't see that!

No; I can see that. It is one of the biggest reasons that I voted for Trump. But it is no particular credit to Trump. Any Republican could have and would have done the same. And when the Democrats regain the White House and the Senate, they’ll do the same.

I was gratified to see writing from Mollie that concede the obvious; that Trump wasn’t her first or even her second choice as a nominee. For me, there’s no useful numbering; Trump was simply last on whatever list there may have been. He’s been a Birther and a Truther and a Vaxxer. He said of John McCain that he preferred people who weren’t captured, stealing an Al Franken joke. And Trump was the ever-inexplicable “John Baron” and “John Miller.”

Maybe Mollie Hemingway has a way to resolve all of that. I don’t; and Trump is not worth it to me, to stretch myself for his benefit.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Let us not forget one of these people--one of the PRIMARY individuals--is Dick Durban--

Durbin 's face and name are in the ad.

Chuck: as usual you have it backwards.

steve uhr said...

Doesn't Ann's rule means that it is always the fault of the minority party since the majority decides what bills will be voted on? That doesn't seem like the right standard. Each party can and will blame the other party when there is a shutdown. There is no objective test to determine who is correct.

iowan2 said...

Chuck, come back when you get new talking points. This has run way past the "use by" date.

President Trump is not a politician. He keeps committing political suicide, and lives on. Even stupid people have to realize the President Trump is not a politician.

gadfly said...


“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law ....” ~ U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7

An appropriations bill is a bill that appropriates (gives to, sets aside for) money to specific federal government departments, agencies, and programs that normally originates in the House of Representatives, which is granted the "power of the purse."

But appropriations are a part of the constitutionally-required budget process, which - when and if a budget is prepared - should be in place for the start of each Federal Fiscal Year on October 1. Many administrations, such as the Obama regime, simply refused to go through the budgetary process and operated on "continuous resolutions" set high enough to not impede spending. The all-powerful Trump monarchy, of course, does not comprehend and therefore, has no need for rules or order.

Then there are the strange Senate rules which preclude filibusters on House-prepared appropriation bills such as the recent healthcare legislation but permit filibusters (and accompanying 60% vote margins to break them) on continuous resolutions.

So, "somewhere over the rainbow," an explanation to this mystery awaits our perusal.

Yancey Ward said...

The filibuster is dead, Republicans just don't know it yet. This will always be the progression- Republicans debate ending the filibuster or limiting its effect, but then don't act on it. At the first opportunity where it benefits them, Democrats then end the filibuster. We saw this play out during W's and Obama's terms in office, and it will happen here- the Republicans are debating ending it for all legislation, but won't act, but when the Democrats are back in power (and it will happen), the first time ending the filibuster altogether benefits them, they will do it without hesitation.

Yancey Ward said...

I think the Democrats will have to blink in this case, though, and you can see why right there in that part of the NYTimes article that Ms. Althouse points to- it is impossible to hide the fact that the Democrats shut down the government over the immigration debate and nothing else. As a Democrat you have to defend your actions, and it isn't really possible to do this without admitting you are doing for DACA and nothing else.

Now, there are members of the Republican Party who made this easier for the Democrats to do, two of which did it for the same reason the Democrats did it. Those four member made it possible for the Democrats to protect some deep red state Democrat Senators by allowing them to vote yea on the CR, but even if the Republicans had full party discipline, the bill would still have failed since the Democrats do have full party discipline.

Robert Cook said...

One of the greatest things Congress could do for our budget (and for the world) would be to defund our military entirely.

Our founding fathers opposed standing armies for good reason.

mockturtle said...

Well, Cookie, back when a musket was the ultimate weapon, having a reserve army at the ready, made up of local militias, may have been useful [may have]. Today's weaponry is complex and expensive and requires intensive training. Of course, you don't approve of these modern weapons. Far better for us to simply let our enemies destroy us with impunity. And modern weapons.

rcocean said...

The Democrats made it clear in 2014 they were going to get rid of the Filibuster for everything not just the Judges.

Then they lost.

Even if you believe in the Filibuster to protect "Minority Rights" it makes absolutely no sense to have it for votes on Judges, Presidential Appointments and the Budget.

That McConnell is OK with No filibuster for taxes shows his love of this "old senate Tradition" is just bullshit. This is just a way the R's can please their rich donors and make empty promises to their base. They're NEVER going to have 60 votes.

Birkel said...

gadfly,

So you would take the last budget passed and use the 2006 numbers, adjusted for inflation calculated by the 1974 Budget Reconciliation Act and pass a budget under regular order. I support you.

How will the politics play out when we cut 800 billion from current spending since the Stimulus (which we have spent every year since 2007) was a one-off deal?

Where will you cut that 20%

Idiot Robert Cook suggests zero the military.
Do you have a better idea?

BTW, I support your 20% federal spending reduction. I should be an easy one to convince. Kay out the numbers.

EDH said...

Chuck said...
Lol. They called that Trump video "Complicit." It's going to remind everyone of one of the best SNL segments from last year:

Okay, remind me, what exactly did the SNL sketch say Ivanka was "complicit" in?

She’s beautiful … she’s powerful … she’s … complicit. She’s a woman who knows what she wants, and knows what she’s doing. Complicit.

She doesn’t crave the spotlight, but we see her. Oh, how we see her. Complicit.

A feminist. An advocate. A champion for women. But, like … how? She’s loyal … devoted … but probably should’ve bounced after the whole Access Hollywood bus thing. Oh, well.

Also, I’ll bet when she watches Titanic, she thinks she’s Rose. Sorry, girl, you’re Billy Zane.

Complicit: The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this … but won’t.


"All this"? All what exactly? I guess it's... "Implicit".

rcocean said...

When Republicans shut down Government the headlines are:

"Republicans Shut down Government"

When the Democrats shut down Government the headlines are:

"DC in Turmoil - Government shut down"

WaPo and NYT should just change their names to the "The DNC News".

James K said...

Incidentally, Taranto calls the argument, advanced in the Weekly Standard but identical to Chuck's as follows:

James Taranto
‏Verified account @jamestaranto

This is a notably stupid argument. Trump doesn't deserve credit for what he's done, because an imaginary construct would have done the same.

robother said...

The Senate rules worked for most of US history, because the States elected a majority of Senators from both parties that could cut deals behind closed doors that got policies broadly accepted by the country done. Even the series of compromises that held the country together in the 60 years before the War Between the States demonstrate that. But the Great Sort, coupled with the immigration surge (50 million foreign born adults in our population) has pushed the Democrat States toward a radically different conception of the Union than the rest of the country: Open Borders, Socialist, Identity Group "Justice Wars."

Democrat Senators from Red States talk moderate on the campaign trail, but as the unanimous "No" votes on the Tax Reform Bill show, Pelosi, Schumer and their moneymen like Tom Steyer and Soros call every shot.

Allowing today's Democrat Senators the filibuster privilege in the hopes of empowering moderates in that party is a fond, foolish illusion. Its Soros' Party now, until the last Kamikaze crashes.

pacwest said...

"One of the greatest things Congress could do for our budget (and for the world) would be to defund our military entirely."

Like most of Mr. Cook's comments the elimination of the US military is idealistic at it's core with no consideration of real world effects. And I agree that other than some R&D, military spending is a 'non-productive' use of our tax dollars when you ignore international risk.

So a question to Mr. Cook: What do you think the real world consequences of not having a military would be?

cubanbob said...

What is Schmuck Schumer thinking? Do the Democrats actually believe being the party of everyone but Americans is a winning position? As for the filibuster, the Democrats as others here have noted, killed it. The Republicans are acting like chickens without a head since now they will actually have to act. Trump scares them because he wants to act.

wwww said...



I agree 100% with Trump. Get rid of the fillibuster.

Go to 50 votes. Do it now.

This is going to be the situation in Congress, not just this year, but every year. It's dysfunctional.

Someday they'll default on the debt, causing international currency issues.

Birkel said...

wwww
You do realize it aS Democrats who blew up the budget with the Stimulus, right?

robother said...

pacwest: "So a question to Mr. Cook: What do you think the real world consequences of not having a military would be?"

Easy. Its the ultimate Open Borders Position.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

One of the greatest things Congress could do for our budget (and for the world) would be to defund our military entirely.


Delusional. WWWIII would follow shortly thereafter.

AReasonableMan said...

China - still communist.

wwww said...


Birkel,

The great thing about not being a politician, is that I can choose to refrain from caring about a political skirmish. There's no election coming up that forces me to make a decision or have an opinion. I'm disgusted with all of Congress.

Bottom line is that I agree 100% with Trump. Go to 51 votes. I'm tired of this endless nonsense with the budget, and one day it'll result in a default on the debt. Get rid of the fillibuster. Come up with a yearly budget. Don't run the government on endless CRs.

Legislators need to grow up, do their jobs, work longer and harder then Tuesday-Thursday ever week, and stop imposing this dramatic crap on the public.


mockturtle said...

It is interesting but not surprising that, during a government 'shutdown', Congress still gets paid.

Chuck said...


Blogger steve uhr said...
Doesn't Ann's rule means that it is always the fault of the minority party since the majority decides what bills will be voted on? That doesn't seem like the right standard. Each party can and will blame the other party when there is a shutdown. There is no objective test to determine who is correct.

Steve, since I agreed with Althouse on this shutdown being the clear fault of the Democratic minority in the Senate, I hope you will indulge me if I answer for her...

We have had a half-dozen or so shutdowns of consequence going back to Reagan. As well as some additional shutdowns of a day’s duration and less. They have all involved divided government. G.H.W. Bush versus a Democrat Congress. Bill Clinton versus the Gingrich-led House. Obama versus Sen. Ted Cruz and House Republicans.

They are all complicated, nuanced negotiation failures. But this shutdown occurs in a unified federal government. The Democrats’ only leverage is the 60-vote cloture rule in the Senate. And that is the card they are playing. It is now routinely the card that gets played to shut down any government. The Democrats have shut off federal spending because they didn’t

In fact, the Friday vote was superficially interesting insofar as Senators Paul, Lee and one or two others voted “No” on cloture, while Senator Manchin and a few reddish-state Dems voted “Yes.” Assuredly, it was because everybody knew that vote was going down and they could all vote their consciences and/or their base voters.

Etienne said...

...would be to defund our military entirely.

At least bring the troops home from WW2.

buwaya said...

The Pax Americana has been visibly breaking down since 2008.
It previously came close to failing in the late 1970s.
The world has greatly benefited from the Pax, the US included.
But removing the US implicit guarantee of national sovereignty (in countries that matter), and free navigation and free trade, is going to be tremendously disruptive.

There is as yet no Pax Sinica waiting in the wings to take over. And nobody trusts them anyway. The final breakdown in the Pax Americana is guaranteed to lead to an age of wars.

iowan2 said...

One of the small number of enumerated federal powers is 'to provide for the common defense' and a leftist wants to eliminate it. Not education, or the EPA, or commerce, or energy. No none of those agencies that federal govt is constitutionally restricted from having, but the military.

That is how leftists think

buwaya said...

The problem is with a commitment to prevent future global wars.

At the end of WW2 it was clear that a "policeman" was needed, and it could only be the US. The League of Nations had failed, as no powerful nation cared to step up, and the international consensus of the liberal capitalist system, Britain and France and their empires and clients, was shattered in 1940.

The UN in those days was implicitly a fig-leaf for a Pax Americana, a US global hegemony based, especially, on its overwhelming naval and air power.

If (or rather, when) the US abandons its global military position it will be as the proverbial fellow who gets off the tiger.

narciso said...

No its more like guomintang, in practice. The future warlords will likely be regional play commanders

buwaya said...

The US arguably put the nail in the liberal consensus during the Suez crisis of 1956. It overruled an attempt by the former global imperial players, Britain and France, to hold on to, at least, their independent player status in the Pax. Arguably this was a grave error, it really left the US alone.

And all for an ultimately failed attempt to maintain a forlorn pro-third world, anti-imperialist image vs Soviet propaganda. Eisenhower was living in the past on this, the US position was being subverted by a vastly better propaganda campaign, irrespective of objective conditions, because most of the decolonizing third-world was falling into despotic rule.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Well, Great Britain's draw down following WWI eliminated their former role as keeper of the peace, and we were just as weak, and also unwilling to take on that role. But while there were some minor hiccups, that turned out OK eventually. We did defeat Germany and Japan in WWII, and we ended up winning the Cold War, so yeah, it wouldn't be that big a deal if we eliminated our military.

Tim in Vermont said...

If it has to do with Russia collusion, they will connect dots across galactic voids, if it has to do with blaming Democrats, they can’t seem to jump Plank’s Constant.

David said...

"Or is the shutdown just political theater that doesn't really mean anything?"

So far it is. Has to last a lot longer to be meaningful on other than a political level.

Michael said...

The answer to this is: make them hold the floor. This is nothing other than a filibuster, so make the Dems keep talking all day and all night as was originally. Then the American people would see who are the obstructionists and who want to keep the doors open, and they can decide whether holding the country hostage to a DACA deal is worth it. I predict Schumer would fold in 72 hours.

Paco Wové said...

the US position was being subverted by a vastly better propaganda campaign

My parents were U.S. diplomats in various 3rd world countries throughout the 50's and 60's, and based on their recollections this is absolutely true.

Spaceman said...

Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp and Doug Jones hate Dreamers, who came to this country as youths through no fault of their own. Speak English, are employed, pay taxes, and are contributing to the country.

mockturtle said...

Speak English, are employed, pay taxes, and are contributing to the country

SOME are employed [by employers who break the law], SOME speak SOME English [when they have to] and most send money back to Mexico. While I have no major problem with letting so-called Dreamers stay and become legal citizens, other illegals should go back to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador or Haiti. After all, it's not as if these are shithole countries or anything.

Chuck said...

Blogger James K said...
Incidentally, Taranto calls the argument, advanced in the Weekly Standard but identical to Chuck's as follows:

James Taranto
‏Verified account @jamestaranto

This is a notably stupid argument. Trump doesn't deserve credit for what he's done, because an imaginary construct would have done the same.

Thanks for the tip on that Weekly Standard editorial. Gosh that was a good one. And I was such a fan of Taranto back in the Best of the Web days, I used to send him subject ideas and links and was one of the hundreds (thousands?) of people he so graciously credited at the end of his online column.

I loved that Weekly Standard editorial, and I’m sorry that James didn’t get it.

For my part, I was making a far more discrete point earlier today. It was about the quantity and quality of Trump’s first year of judicial confirmations. Trump was being judged favorably, as having done more and better in his first year than any other president’s first year. And the blindingly obvious answer is that no other president in modern history had so many judicial vacancies AND the sudden overwhelming advantage of needing only the votes of the current bare majority of his own party in the Senate.

I still think it is an unarguable point; different rules produced different results for Trump with his federal judicial nominations and the importance of that understanding springs directly out of Trump fans’ super-simplistic claim that somehow Trump has been a better “nominator” of jusdges than any other president in history.

Spaceman said...

No comprende, bato

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

If (or rather, when) the US abandons its global military position it will be as the proverbial fellow who gets off the tiger.

The U.S. should seize control of the Earth's orbitals. He who controls the orbitals controls the planet. A few KEWs kill a lot of tigers.

James K said...

"I still think it is an unarguable point; different rules produced different results for Trump"

But they aren't different from what the Democrats faced four years ago.

In any case, the fact that some other R would have done it does not change the fact that Trump actually did it. There's no guarantee that any other R candidate would have won the election, held both houses of Congress, and chosen these nominees. Bush 41 saddled is with Souter, after all.

Chuck said...

Bush 41 is indeed blamed for Souter. He is also credited, with Thomas.

And Reagan gave us Kennedy (after, admittedly, the Bork nomination.)

James K I’m not sure what your point was about the Senate’s rules before Trump. The rule changed late in 2013; not the first year of Obama’s first or second terms.

David Blaska said...

The NY Times tortures the language to make it appear Trump caused the shutdown. And those mocking the President for not making the Art of the Deal forget that the art of any deal is to walk away from a bad one.

narciso said...

I beg to differ, buwaya re Suez, we actually dodged a bullet, for who would have been standing in the wings but hassan ramadan and the Muslim brotherhoo

narciso said...

He relied on warren rudman and sununu (who one recalls was irascible a character as bannon sans this pastiche wolff composed.) as for Kennedy, it was the bottom of the 9th and Reagan needed a win, of course his new staff wanted as uncintroversial a nominee as possible. What was your point chuck?

narciso said...

Chris Buckley before he had his sense of humor removed around 2009, satirized Joe Biden as a vainglorious senator who hired a set of advusirs (base÷ on the likes of podesta and Schultz) who savaged every nominee.
So idolatrous of the presidency he volunteered himself as president on a soap with sultry Latin bombshell

readering said...

Remember, Trump alone can fix it.

Spaceman said...

mockturtle:

Let me clarify: Lefty media is painting Republicans as anti-dreamers by voting to keep the government running, hence, delaying DACA and so forth and so forth. You know the narrative. So by their vote, 5 Democrat senators are likewise anti-dreamers. But their votes are not being characterized in the media as anti-dreamers. The few Republicans that voted to shutdown are cited as good guys that aren't afraid to buck their party. Paul and Lee vote ideology - libertarian or whatever they think they are - so they get a bit of a pass. Flake is a renegade. If McCain was able to vote, he may well have voted with the Democrats since also plays renegade at times. So that leaves us Lindsay Graham - why did he vote with Democrats?

Mike said...

By the way, Althouse; I agree 100% that this is a Democrat shutdown. (If that is what you were suggesting.) The Senate Democrats shut down the government. Period.

This is known as "burying the lede," man. It deserves to be up front in your comments.