Josh Marshall is up with a piece today about how filibuster reform “isn’t all-or-nothing” — a fact that some of us were saying a while ago. He notes — as I did here — that the real culprit is the so-called “silent filibuster” that allows the obstructionists to filibuster and not pay any price for it. But then he unleashes what seems to me to be this whopper:
Given what’s happened over the last four years, it’s probably a bit rich to expect Dems to make a good faith effort to reform or limit the use of the filibuster. Indeed, it’s probably unrealistic to expect the minority ever to do so. And frankly I don’t even think abolishing it outright is even a good idea. It probably makes sense to have some brakes on simple majority votes on the Senate. But some brakes, not absolute brakes, which is what the Republicans have brought it to now.
(Emphasis seriously added). Now, the passage is a little unclear, but do you catch the problem? Marshall seems to be assuming that the Senate Democrats are a minority when in fact they are not! In the 112th Congress, they will hold a 53-47 edge. Harry Reid will be the Majority Leader. But Democratic impotence has become so common, Democratic inability to get it way so typical, that a Democratic majority is assumed to be a minority!
After Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, I think it was the Village Voice that led with a headline something like: “Republicans seize Senate majority, 41-59.” It was funny. It was also telling.
It’s time to end this nonsense: get rid of filibusters for executive appointments, and end the silent filibuster. The Dems will chew up time filibustering Medicare cuts, and the Republicans will chew up time ensuring tax cuts for billionaires. I’ll take that.