What We Now Know

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Up host Chris Hayes  discusses what we have learned this week about congressional gridlock, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) “gentleman’s agreement” handshake with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the dwindling hope for considerable change to the filibuster. He is joined by Mike Pesca (@pescami), sports correspondent for National Public Radio; Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman (@Sum_Of_Us), executive director and founder of SumofUs.org and partner of Internet activist Aaron Swartz; Susan Crawford (@scrawford), author and  professor for the Center on Intellectual Property & Information Law Program at Carodozo School of Law; and Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisi), senior editor for The Atlantic.

Real Filibuster Reform Will Not Be Coming to the Senate

What Killed Filibuster Reform?

Scott Lemieux, The American Prospect

Senators have a disincentive for getting rid of the anti-majoritarian rule: It gives them more power.

The failure to reform the filibuster is a very bad thing. The question is why so many Democratic senators-including some blue-state representatives like Vermont’s Patrick Leahy and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer-showed so little inclination to act in the interests of progressive values.

One issue is that some senators may not accurately perceive the damage that the filibuster does to Democratic interests. [..]

The larger problem, however, is that even for senators who understand the history of the filibuster and its inherently reactionary effects, the filibuster represents a disjuncture between the interests of progressives as a whole and the individual interests of Democratic senators. Collectively, the filibuster makes it harder to advance policy goals. But on an individual level, the filibuster and the Senate’s other arcane minority-empowering procedures give senators far more power than ordinary members of a typical Democratic legislature (including the House of Representatives). This helps to explain why even relatively liberal senior members tend to be more reluctant to abandon the filibuster than newer Democratic senators; once you get used to power, it’s hard to give it up.


    • TMC on January 27, 2013 at 02:17

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