Reid tells GOP: Bring on the Nuclear Option and filibuster away

[NOTE FROM MELISSA: I’m leaving this post at the top for awhile, since it’s the big story of the day, and I want to make sure everyone has a chance to see it.]

Sometimes they listen. Now let’s see the Republicans use the “Nuclear Option” so that they can outright refuse to even vote on Reed/Levin Iraq legislation.

From Think Progress:

Moments ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that in response to conservative obstructionism, he plans to force war supporters to physically remain in the Senate and filibuster Iraq withdrawal legislation.

Reid accused conservatives of “protecting the President rather than protecting our troops” by “denying us an up or down vote on the most important issue our country faces.” He said that if a vote on the Reed/Levin Iraq legislation is not allowed today or tomorrow, he will keep the Senate in session “straight through the night on Tuesday” and force a filibuster. From Reid’s speech:

Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end. They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops.

They are denying us an up or down — yes or no — vote on the most important issue our country faces.

I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down.

If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin/Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday.

The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up or down vote on this amendment to end it.


Having meekly allowed the GOP to act as obstructionists on nearly everything Congress has attempted, and with Congress’s approval numbers nearing single digits, it was now or never for Reid.

If Republicans want to give the Neocon Party an endless blank check to fight whatever war they want and use U.S. troops to protect the President;s pride, they need to stand up in front of the world and say so. Reid’s move should ensure that in this case, that happens.

And a whole lot of pressure from bloggers didn’t hurt. But this needs to become SOP. Democrats cannot allow the GOP to threaten filibusters to act as obstructionists. Make them take the nuclear option, as they spent years calling it. On everything if need be. It’s stand up and be counted time. Make the GOP bring it all to a standstill while U.S. Troops are dying, because they are afraid to go on record.

See the video of Reid’s speech at Think Progress.

–WKW

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “Reid tells GOP: Bring on the Nuclear Option and filibuster away

  1. This. is. awesome.

    And a whole lot of pressure from bloggers didn’t hurt.

    FWIW, as I understand it from someone who’s “in the know,” this has been in the works in the Senate for at least a week. And I say that not to take away credit from bloggers, because I’ve no interest in doing that, but because I am usually quick as lightning to criticize the Democrats, especially Reid, when they do something stupid, and I want to give credit to them where it’s due, too.

    In this case, it looks like the Dems were on the side of the angels with or without we bloggers, which is a very good thing.

  2. Susan

    Melissa McEwan:

    this has been in the works in the Senate for at least a week.

    You do not know how happy it makes me to hear this. Thanks!

  3. eastsidekate

    I don’t usually like Sen. Durbin, but I do like his take.
    To paraphrase:
    ‘The Republicans don’t like a real filibuster because it’s an inconvenient gimmick… Well, we don’t mind being a bit inconvenienced for the sake of war policy. Do the Republicans mind spending a few hours being inconvenienced for the sake of the troops?’

    Yeah! Bring it on bitchez! It’s really depressing to see it come to this, but it’s also refreshing to see the Democrats show some backbone.

  4. William K. Wolfrum

    FWIW, as I understand it from someone who’s “in the know,” this has been in the works in the Senate for at least a week

    Hey, however this has happened is fine. It is a very, very good thing. The Democrats have to start playing to win. Hopefully once they start, it will just keep getting easier to tell the GOP to stand up and be counted.

    –WKW

  5. JoAsakura

    man. i just hope this isn’t a case of “too little, too late.”

    I’ve felt very depressed by this congress. :T

  6. but it’s also refreshing to see the Democrats show some backbone.

    Ya. Now if they would just do the same on impeacment. Sigh.

  7. Sigh…….Impeachment…….sigh.

  8. The Democrats have to start playing to win. Hopefully once they start, it will just keep getting easier to tell the GOP to stand up and be counted.

    Agreed.

  9. ‘BTF!*

    I would like to think that this has been the Democrats’ plan all along; sucker the GOP into thinking they were easily rolled, then, WHAM! Call their bluff when they least expected it.

    But you know my motto; “Hope is my greatest weakness.” Chances are that they just lucked into it.

    *’Bout Fuckin’ Time.

  10. I imagine the filibuster will hold (and even if it doesn’t, Bush will veto), but anything Reid can do to add pressure to end the war is a good thing and great improvement.

  11. Hey, the beauty of a true filibuster, as many have noted, is that it requires the GOP to actually resort to all the trival methods of keeping the Senate going — meaning that Norm Coleman will be reading from a phone book or John McCain will be sharing apple pie recipes by the end of this.

    Pack a lunch, GOPers. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

  12. Brynn

    Let’s hope it’s the first step signaling a change in the Dems.

  13. oddjob

    I imagine the filibuster will hold (and even if it doesn’t, Bush will veto), but anything Reid can do to add pressure to end the war is a good thing and great improvement.

    Exactly! Yes, it probably will hold, but the more often the Dems. force the Republicans to reveal themselves as unpatriotic schmucks who really only care about making sure Georgie doesn’t have to clean it up when he craps all over the country (again), the better!

  14. Pingback: Birmingham Blues » Blog Archive » Breaking: Harry Reid to Force Vote on Reed-Levin Amendment

  15. For anyone who’s interested, Bob Geiger has a great post detailing the specifics of the process: “Reid will be using the provision of Rule 22 that allows for up to 30 hours of continuous debate once it’s made clear — in this case, by Republicans trying to avoid an up-or-down vote on Reed-Levin — that there is a desire to continue debating the issue. … Senate Democrats will then be prepared to take to the floor and speak all night and, if their Republican colleagues do not remain in the chamber, invoke ongoing quorum calls and other procedural maneuvers to force GOP members back to the Senate floor.” Etc.

  16. I’m afraid to get my hopes up. The Democrats have made such a habit of saying, “this time we REALLY mean it!” then rolling over and peeing on themselves. I really WANT to believe this time will be different…

  17. John McCain will be sharing apple pie recipes by the end of this

    I can’t wait!

  18. Glory be and hallelujah!!! It’s way past time that the Repellicans were held to task for their obstructionist tactics.

    Sic’em, Dems! Hound their asses all the way to the 4 November 2009!

  19. Ewwww, I’d never trust an apple pie recipe from John McCain. Knowing him, he’d probably leave out the apples and substitute wet Ritz crackers. (Pitooey!)

    So this is what six and a half years of dry powder finally comes down to. Better late than never!

  20. amish451

    “…this time we really mean it ..”
    Please, please ..this time …

  21. Make the bastards stand up and be counted! That’s the way. These asswipes in the GOP read the polls even if Deacon Dipshit doesn’t. And they have to get re-elected, he doesn’t. And they know what happened in 2006 even if they won’t admit it. So with some 70% of the people, read voters here, wanting this mess to end immediately it is going to make one BIG difference. A lame duck president always has trouble with getting his congresional delegation to keep to the party line on key but unpopular issues and since this is the lamest fucking duck that ever sat on the big nest in the history of this country I’ve got a feeling he’s in for some big surprises soon.

  22. Jay in Oregon

    I commented on this in another thread.

    Give ’em Hell, Harry!

  23. NMRon

    I’ve written to Reid and my Dem state Senator to express my support and hope that they’ll nail the sobriquet ‘Obstructionist’ to the head of every Republican on every issue.

  24. As I said over at Pandagon, let’s make sure this isn’t the only time we do this. If the Republicans have decided that their job is to make sure nothing gets passed, let’s make them stay awake to do it. It’s not like the public thinks Senators do too much work, after all. They’d probably get a kick out of hearing Lindsey Graham whine about being forced to stay on the job for 5 days out of the week. Remember the backlash when the Democrats took over and Republicans whined about having to be in DC more than 3 days a week? Let’s play that to the hilt from now until the 2008 elections.

  25. this isn’t the frist nuclear option which would have destroyed the whole concept of filibuster, a needed protection of legislative minorities. the way they are doing it now, however, is bullshit. if the republicans want to hold the floor and talk to the issue, then fine. cato used to do that to caesar and crassus on the senate floor of rome. he’d simply talk entire issues to death. if they gots the lungs, fucking have at it. but they have to stand there, and talk goddamn it. i don’t think that chinless fuck mcconnel has the stones to pull a jimmy stewart. that other rat bastard from arizona, kyl, puts his own family to sleep when he talks more than 15 seconds.

  26. I always did hate the modern fake-filibuster, where they simply announce their intention of filibustering. If somebody wants to hold up congress,the least they can do is put their mouth where their money is and actually stand there talking.

    Now we’ll see whether the Republicans can stand up to telling the country to its face why they want our troops to keep dying.

  27. boatboy_srq

    It’ll be interesting to see how the neocons spin this: after all, it was the GOP who “shut down the government” not so long ago, to the loud applause of the wingnuts, for their cause. Let’s see what reality does to them when the tables are turned.

    I have real hope for the Dems this time around – if they can keep this up.

  28. William K. Wolfrum

    Your MSM at work:

    This story is currently not mentioned on the front page at CNN.com

    Nothing.

    –WKW

  29. Let’s see what reality does to them when the tables are turned.

    Well, obviously, the Democrats will be terribly rude to do such a thing, because, as always, IOKIYAR.

  30. oddjob

    i don’t think that chinless fuck mcconnel has the stones to pull a jimmy stewart.

    The last one I knew for sure had that kind of stamina (once upon a time) is dead – Strom Thurmond (back in the day).

  31. This story is currently not mentioned on the front page at CNN.com

    It ain’t much, but it’s on the front page at MSNBC–the Politics page, mind you. Not the front page.

  32. Jovan1984

    It was two years ago that the then-wingnut majority accused the Dems of obstructionism in judicial nominations without merit.

    What the unpatriotic wingnuts are doing at this minute — that’s obstructionism.

  33. The difference, Jovan, is that obstructionism is a good thing when Republicans do it, dontcha know. 😉

  34. Pingback: Sexing the Cherry: Congressional Democrats: Now Available with Backbones

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