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Well, brace yourselves - it turned out that was just too radical an idea:
The final agreement reached by leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell and passed overwhelmingly by the Senate Thursday evening did not weaken the filibuster. It essentially served to move uncontroversial Senate business more quickly. Democratic senators roundly backed it — even the ones who were eager to end silent filibusters. Republicans didn’t object either.
How did it all fall apart?
According to conversations with pro-reform Democratic aides, party leadership sources and outside opponents of the filibuster, Reid’s main goal was ultimately not to weaken the 60-vote threshold that reformers desperately wanted to change. Instead his objective was to eliminate mandatory gaps between votes in order to move legislation and nominees that have cleared a filibuster more quickly — which he achieved.
Filibuster Reform Ends With A Whimper: How It Fell Apart
Wow, I bet none of you saw that coming, huh?
I felt so negative at the time for writing this:
To break a filibuster, the majority party needs to have at least 60 Senators ready to vote for it at the next opportunity. The minority party only needs to have the one speaking, and a couple of relief Senators at any time. As things stand now, that still gives the Republicans an advantage.
And that, I think, is the point. They still don't want to honk off their benefactors by doing what their supporters want.
As long as that's true, real change is worth about as much as a filibustering Senator's words.
Senate Democrats Might Do Something About The Filibuster, Kinda...
It turns out that I was too optimistic. Things may go a little more smoothly in the Senate, assuming there's no contention over at least a few things, but most of the legislation and appointments will move as slowly as they ever did. What the end result will be, of course, is that the Republicans, and conservatives generally, will get even more of what they want, and progressives won't. Why? Because they'll get what everyone agrees on, which was at least endangered now, and they're still going to obstruct everything else, because they can and their base expects them to actually accomplish something.
Folks have taken to blaming Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader for this, but it sure looks like he still has his job. If Democrats were upset over his failure, they could have removed him. They didn't. As far as I'm concerned, that makes this the Democrats' problem, not just Harry Reid's. At some point, you really have to blame the electorate for the people they vote for.
Maybe progressives will figure that out some day... Nah!
The next time some idiot of a "progressive" asks me why I'm so negative..., well, I already had lots of reasons. Now, I just have one more.