Harry Reid Blows Up Time And Space With Voting Procedure Change Thing

  we'll wait for the movie version

Sensai Reid in his yoga pants doing his war moves.Here are some of the news story quotes we woke up to this morning, GAH: ancient tribal casino chieftain Harry Reid “pulled the nuclear option” trick in the Senate and as a result the entire chamber is now “in chaos,” (because it is enveloped in a giant ball of radioactive flames) and the Republicans are littered across the Senate floor in tiny, rapidly mutating shards because they “did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight.” SO MUCH VIOLENCE, COMRADE REID! Ha, no, all Harry Reid did was change a procedural voting rule to prevent Republicans from introducing endless non-germane amendments to a Chinese currency-related bill after the Senate voted to defeat a filibuster (zzzzz), but let the record show that news of Harry Reid “doing something, anything” other than whining about Republicans must now be written about as TOTAL WAR.

Try to sit through this explanation of the mayhem from POLITICO so we can get to the fun Mitch McConnell quote at the end:

By a 51-48 vote, the Senate voted along party lines to change the precedent and limit how amendments can be considered once a filibuster is defeated. Under normal procedure, the Senate has 30 hours of debate after 60 senators agree to end a filibuster. Amendments can be considered during those 30 hours if each side agrees by unanimous consent to schedule a vote — or if a senator moves to waive the rules, which would then require the support of 67 senators in order to succeed.

But under the new procedure, senators can no longer move to waive the rules once a filibuster is defeated — a battle that threatens to further inflame partisan tensions and stymie legislative action at a time when frustration with Congress is at an all-time high.

While the rules change may not seriously affect the substance of pending legislation, the process employed by Democrats could be replicated in the future to overhaul bedrock rules like the filibuster. For that reason, both parties have tried to avoid employing such tactics to change the rules over the last several congressional sessions, including in a fierce 2005 battle that nearly limited the use of the filibuster.

AND NOW MITCH MCCONNELL:

“We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pacing on the floor, with his voice rising, referring to the other body’s rules that can limit floor debate.

YEAH, HARRY REID, is this what you wanted? For the Senate to be some poor lady who wakes up one day to find she’s grown a thick beard overnight so she is forced to go off and join John Boehner’s evil circus of doom? [POLITICO/The Hill/TPM]

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177 comments

  1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

    That's it: the end of Democracy in America. It was nice while it lasted, but let's just appoint Mitt as Dictator-for-Life with plenipotentiary powers to kill anyone with drone strikes. Sure, we'll all have to wear magic underpants and store dried foods in our basements, but it'll be a small price to pay to fend of the chaos we now face.

    1. GhostBuggy

      I'm not a Mormon, so I don't know what these underpants do, but I'm ready. My current underpants sure as shit ain't anything I'd call magical.

      1. widestanceshakedown

        Studies show assless magic undies capture and retain 72% more airborne magic per gram of fiber.

        1. Iam_Who_Iam

          I think you meant:

          I don’t have facts to back this up but studies show assless magic undies capture and retain 72% more airborne magic per gram of fiber.

          Fixed. You're Welcome.

    2. SorosBot

      Nah, it's not the of Democracy in America; that happened on January 21 2010, when the Supreme Court officially handed over control of government to the corporations with the Citizens United decision.

      1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

        Or in 2001, when SCOTUS appointed Chimpy.

        Or when the Reconstruction amendments were passed without representation from the rebellious states.

        Or in 1789, with the 3/5ths rule.

  2. ManchuCandidate

    Remember when to pass legislation in the US America Senate it used to take a simple majority?

    When was that? Oh yeah, when Ancient Mutant Ninja Turtle McConnell was the "big" man of the Senate. Poked his head from his shell just long enough to tell the Demrats to stop crying in their hankies and sack up.

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya

      For that reason, both parties have tried to avoid employing such tactics to change the rules over the last several congressional sessions, including in a fierce 2005 battle that nearly limited the use of the filibuster.

      I.E. Back when the Republicans are in charge and threatened to eliminate the filibuster entirely if the Democrats tried one.

      Always hypocrisy, all the time. And they get away with it because our corporate press always gives them a pass for it.
      ~

  3. Come here a minute

    Harry Reid is the old woman who lived in the shoe. She whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

  4. Tundra Grifter

    The US Constitution states that the Senate (and, of course, the House) shall make the rules governing it. That's pretty simple – even for a member of the GNoP.

    I remember the Republicans called this the "nuclear" option until it became obvious President Bush couldn't pronounce it, so the focus groups told the reactionaries to change the name to the "constitutional" option.

    Now that the Democrats believe it's a good idea the GNoP is back to calling it the nuclear option. I guess because Mr. Bush is no longer President, and Mr. Obama can handle big words.

    What other explanation could there be?

    1. SorosBot

      Ah yes, I remember "Some people call it the nuclear option, I prefer to call it the Constitutional option", even though the Republicans were the ones who coined the term "nuclear option", but changed it because it polled badly.

      Sort of like the change of "private accounts" to "personal accounts" in their plan to destroy Social Security, or the teabaggers once they learned the other meaning of teabagging.

    2. jodyleek

      Because Turtle Man and the GNoP are whining toddlers who crap their Pampers every time they don't get their hypocritical way? Could that be it?

      1. Not_So_Much

        Personally, I'm a fan of the Jimmy Carter version, "Newkyah". Could be construed either as making a mealy-mouthed hash of his mother tongue or a thinly veiled threat.

        1. BerkeleyBear

          And since he actually is a trained nuclear engineer, his threats should be a whole lot scarier.

  5. axmxz

    I wish the Senate turned into House. House only takes 45 minutes to find the correct solution to any given problem, as long as it's not lupus. And it's never lupus.

    1. FNMA

      Yeah, but he damn near kills the patient three times before stumbling on the correct diagnosis…Wait a minute…

  6. CapeClod

    We can't let that classy, entitled, high end brothel turn into a rank, proletariat whorehouse.

  7. Allmighty_Manos

    How about a vote to abolish the Senate all together? Rocks and sheep in Wyoming have more of a voice in Congress than the entire population of LA county thanks to this unique institution. Now that would be exciting.

    1. SorosBot

      But then, the interest of farmers wouldn't be overrepresented in Washington, and the interests of city dwellers wouldn't be underrepresented; why that could lead to horrors like agricultural regulation that benefits the consumer instead of the producer, leading to the end of corn subsidies and our food no longer being stuffed full of super-fattening high fructose corn syrup.

        1. SorosBot

          I do love how any mention of cutting farm subsidies is met with an accusation of hating family farmers, when 99.9% of the food we eat comes from such small family farmers as Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto and ConAgra.

          1. BerkeleyBear

            Here's the solution – we dissolve the states we created throughout the Plains, lump them all together and rename the result the state of Agribusiness. They still get 2 votes, and a few house seats, but that's it.

    2. V572-*½‡‡‡‡‡

      Just did the math: CA's 39,961,664 citizens are represented by 2 senators and 53 congresscritters for 55 total congressional folks; WY's 544,270 citizens by 2 sens plus 1 rep = 3 total. So each citizen in WY is represented almost exactly 4 times as much as a vote in CA. If you just count registered voters from 2008, you get the same answer.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        I'm only half joking when I suggest dissolution of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas and every other POS lightly settled state and rolling them back into some MegaWest state. It'll never actually happen, but it would be fun to point out to all the mouthbreathers in the heartland that their "sovereignty" is a fiction.

        1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

          There are some over-represented small blue states too – HI and RI spring to mind. Yes yes, the Founding Daddies meant the Senate to be a check on the directly-elected rabble in the House. But did they mean it to create a tyranny of the minority? And who gives a fuck what they meant? They didn’t want women to vote, either, and chattel slavery was something they could live with. To get rid of those inequities, the Constitution had to be amended. Let’s do it again!

    3. NovaPolice

      That would require a constitutional amendment that would be dependant on the same disportionate representation of North and South DAMOUTAWYORADO.

    4. Guppy06

      Repeal the 17th, take away their political capital, don't let them say they're working "for the American people," and they'll settle right down into a knitting circle like the upper houses in other, civilized countries.

  8. paris biltong

    "What kind of House is this," Mitch asked "where I have come to roam?"
    "If you don't like this Senate" said Reid "you might as well go home."

  9. prommie

    Republican world view is as follows: "We are completely and indisputably right, what we beleive and what we want is Right and True and Correct and Patriotic and Godly. Anyone and Everyone who opposes anything we want or believe is Satanic, Evil, and Traitorous. Therefore we are justified in using any tactic, including lying, cheating, and stealing (and torturing and killing) to Win, and any time we are thwarted is a Monstrous, Outrageous Tragic Injustice, a Crime Against Country, Family, God and the Universe, and its unfair, too."

    1. Buckminster

      And any of you godless liberals who take to the streets to chant, play guitars or carry signs are "criminals." Never forget that part.

    2. user-of-owls

      Democrat world view to date: "We're sorry! Promise it won't happen again, ok? Please don't be mad."

  10. slithytoves

    Maybe if we can get this war right, we can think about ending some of the others. Happy 10th anniversary War in Afghanistan. Here are some aluminum cased bombs.

  11. HistoriCat

    For the Senate to be some poor lady who wakes up one day to find she’s grown a thick beard overnight so she is forced to go off and join John Boehner’s evil circus of doom?

    Is this some new show on HBO or Showtime? As long as someone has a plan to send the evil circus of doom back to Hell or whatever weird dimension it came from, it might be watchable.

  12. prommie

    If the republicans had not elected so many slack-jawed mouth-breathing insane goat-fuckers and unreconstructed confederates to the Senate, it would not have turned into the House.

    1. Ducksworthy

      "Slack-jawed mouth-breathing insane goat-fuckers and unreconstructed confederates" would make a nice bumper sticker.

  13. SorosBot

    “We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,”

    You mean where a law gets passed by majority vote, instead of allowing 40% of the chamber to block any legislation they want? Uh, that would be a good thing, the filibuster is absolutely awful, stupid and ridiculous, as are all of these moronic procedural rules that allow even single Senators to hold up legislation for nearly endless stretches of time.

    1. Buckminster

      Yeah, really. I think allowing rule by the one who can hold his bladder the longest is a crappy way to run the Gov't.

  14. GunToting[Redacted]

    It's a sad fucking state of affairs when a 51-48 vote is the end of the world. What's the definition of "majority" again?

      1. SorosBot

        Smug libertarian douchebag: No, this is a republic, not a democracy; and by being a pedant about this unimportant technical distinction I've proven that I'm so smart and know so much better than everyone else, and not that I'm a moron who repeats the same dumb talking points over and over who thinks that I'm an intellectual!

          1. SorosBot

            That is a joke; I'm mocking the very common response from libertarians whenever someone mentions democracy.

          2. Geminisunmars

            In the midst of the word he was trying to say
            In the midst of his laughter and glee
            He had softly and suddenly vanished away
            For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

          3. prommie

            Thats Shakespeare, The Taming of the Snark, if I recall correctly. English Lit major, donchaknow.

          4. Mumbletypeg

            You might be thinking of "the Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll. Which I have not read, yet feel I ought, if it has snark appeal.

            ETA: On second read, you were perhaps making some wordplay of two literary works?

          5. prommie

            Please forgive for confusiuon, I was making joke, as you say. Commenting on quality of land-grant University literature degree, that I would confuse two such famed works. ha ha, hahaha. I make me laugh, anyway.

    1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

      A "majority" is when elected representatives do what Republicans and/or the Riches want. When they want to do something different , it is called "tyranny," "facism," or "socialism."

      And by the way, facism and socialism are now officially identical. That's why Sweden is embroiled in endless wars….no, wait, that's us.

    2. prommie

      There just may be a double standard. For example, you can call a Bill "Bipartisan" if it is supported by all of the republicans and one democrat, but if it is supported by all of the democrats and say a handful of republicans, its "extremist" and "fringe" and "socialist." So, by analogy, I think its a legitimate "majority" for a republican BIll if it has one more Yay than Nay, whereas for a democratic Bill, its not a legitimate "majority" unless the vote is unanimous.

        1. prommie

          In the final analysis, its the fault of the calvinists and the south. All the evil stems from the calvinists and the Southrons.

          1. not that Dewey

            Are "calvinists" the ones who pee on Ford logos or the ones who pee on Chevy logos? I can never keep that straight.

    3. elviouslyqueer

      What's the definition of "majority" again?

      Um, all of them, Katie?

      What? It's been two hours!

  15. baconzgood

    You wanna know how to get a Chinese currency bill passed? They pull a filibuster, you change the procedure. Mitch McConnell attaches an amendment, you turn the Senate into the House one. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Chinese currency bills passed .

  16. Texan_Bulldog

    I would just like to see Harry coldcock Mitch with some of his boxing moves. Oh, sorry, what was the article about?

    1. widestanceshakedown

      I have no idea, since I instantly blacked out at reading 'cock' and 'Mitch' with naught but a word space between them.

    2. HateMachine

      I would just like you to stop using the word 'cock' in the same sentence as all these crappy old white men.

  17. OneDollarJuana

    “We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

    With this statement/complaint, Senator McConnell openly admits that his compatriots Eric Cantor (True Speaker of the House) and John Boehner (Toady of the House) are huge failures, having driven public approval of Congressmen towards single digits, and also tacitly admits that his obstreperous blanket opposition to reason is the final straw forcing Sensei Reid to invoke this rule change.

  18. Arken

    "ancient tribal casino chieftain Harry Reid"

    Doesn't the book of Mormon say that all Latter-Day Saints are really ancient tribal casino chieftains?

    1. V572-⁂½‡‡‡‡‡

      I'm all right with capitalism, as long as it's in good taste. And not conflated with oligarchy.

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      It's actually working out pretty well for the Chinese. (Well, if you don't mind cataclysmic earth-raping and utter disregard for the lives of proles.)

        1. zhubajie

          You'd be shocked how many bad ideas in China are excused as "that's what they do in America!"

  19. Preferred Customer

    I heartily endorse this event or product, though I am not in love with the fact that when the Republicans regain control of the Senate (as they undoubtedly will, someday) they will almost certainly use this as a precedent to simply murder Democratic senators before they can enter the Senate chamber, or similar.

  20. Goonemeritus

    Harry Reid the Athenian Ideal of manliness or the manliest man when judged to the Athenian ideal?

    1. chicken_thief

      Harry Reid only becomes "manly" when the other options are Lindsay Graham and Louie Gohmert.

  21. Doktor Zoom

    "Begun this Post-Filibuster Amendment and Debate Limitations Voting Procedure War has." –Yoda

    1. chicken_thief

      Dammit!!! Right when they were on the verge of burying the hatchet and actually going to work on some policies good for the country.

    2. HateMachine

      Joke all you want, that is going to be the fucking theme on CNN. "Why can't we all just get alooooooooong?"

      We're going to hear all about Democrats being 'deliberately divisive' whereas when Republicans are the only ones being obstructionist knobgoblins "both parties are at fault."

  22. tcaalaw

    Does anybody else find it appropriate that Harry Reid managed to find the most boring in-baseball-ish way to lead to shocked and outraged headlines?

  23. not that Dewey

    "at a time when frustration with Congress is at an all-time high" = the Senate should stop passing bills and sit around doing nothing at all while drawing paychecks, because that will decrease frustration. Politico is winning the morning!

  24. SayItWithWookies

    This precipitous action of Harry Reid's violates a long-held and deeply-felt principal of the Senate — the principal that Mitch McConnell can stop anything anytime he damn well pleases.

  25. elviouslyqueer

    “We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pacing on the floor, with his voice rising, referring to the other body’s rules that can limit floor debate.

    Oh good grief. With all this bosom heaving, pearl-clutching, and collapsing on the nearest fainting couch, you'd think Mitch was auditioning for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the Lifetime reboot of Gone With the Wind.

  26. JoshuaNorton

    Something called "nuclear option" should at least have a body count.

    All we get is a bunch of inside-the-beltway drama queens yapping at each other like a bunch of over-wrought Heathers. This isn't democracy, it's a Bravo TV series.

  27. vodkamuppet

    I'm not sure I understand what I just read. Correct me if I'm wrong but the senate sets the rules every 2 years, including the filibuster rule, yes? The democrats could have gotten rid of the filibuster in '06, '08, and 2010. Why would the democrats use some procedural crap rule to nefariously banish the filibuster from the senate when they could have used regular procedural bullshit to banish the filibuster from the senate? Why would any thinking person still left in this country ever think that the Democrats have the cunning and balls to even pull such a brilliant, underhanded move off? I feel like screaming "Hi I'm a fellow American and I've been paying attention for the last 30 years, what the fucking hell have you been doing?"

    1. GregComlish

      If the Democrats got rid of the filibuster, then it would be much harder for them to sabotage their constituents interests.

  28. Naked_Bunny

    If Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to be less like the Republican-controlled House, he's free to throw the next election to his Democratic challenger.

    1. chicken_thief

      He's had a life time of thinking of things days or even weeks after someone else thought of them – you'd think he'd be used to it by now.

  29. DaRooster

    Well, the Rethugs have been Dicks for quite a while… finally hearing something from the other side, with some balls, is a pleasant change.

  30. hagajim

    You know, I tried to think of something clever and snarky to say…but it's Friday, it's raining and I'm too fucking tired to think.

  31. James Michael Curley

    Why can't the nuclear option be Beijing and a couple other Chinese cities. No Chinese, no Chinese currency problem. Deliver my Nobel Prize in Economics here.

  32. Soylent Green

    “We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), pacing on the floor, with his voice rising…

    Great. Now I envision Mitch as the floating fat Baron from Dune.

  33. fuflans

    well if we follow the knife quote to it's logical conclusion, harry's going to end up crawling – bloodied – down the hall and die in nancy pelosi's arms and then she will throw mitch mcconnell off the roof.

  34. smitallica

    "We are fundamentally turning the Senate into the House, where other assholes in my party are, with my wholehearted support and encouragement, running this country off a cliff to try to teach the uppity black guy a lesson. And I won't stand for it!!"

    Fuck you, Mitch. Fuck you out loud.

  35. Chet Kincaid

    OT: Some "Nolan" dude at Gawker is invoking Peggington Noonington and linking to her greatest hits on Wonkette, without bothering to drag his ass across the hall and ask The Original Noonington himself to handle the post. Is it some kind of IP issue where only Wonkette can Noonington, like how there will never be another Roger Rabbit short unless Spielberg and Disney agree on it?
    http://gawker.com/5847654/peggy-noonan-observes-a

  36. DustBowlBlues

    Maybe it's my clogged sinus passages and resulting headache (or the fact granma scored some pott yesterday) but that shit in politico about the rules makes no fucking sense.

    Fuck the filibuster, 'cuz you know what? Republitards care about nothing but making massive amounts of money for the douchebag corporations (thereby assuring sweet deals and future lobbying jobs for themselves).

    Even though the Ds also like to get in on some of the money, something in our party's DNA always winds up with them saying, "Yeah, okay. Someone's got to be the responsible one" and govern for the good of the nation while the constitution loving R'tards couldn't care less if they look down from a corporate jet and see the country crumbling on top of the 99%.

    Because corporatism is exactly what George Washington and the bedraggled Army of the Continental Congress fought for when they were camped out in the winter, with rags on their bloody feet instead of shoes and dying from disease. And there goes Harry Reid, trying to spoil it. Bad, Harry. Bad.

  37. iburl

    All this does is strengthen Rick Perry's resolve to do away with the 17th amendment (direct election of Senators).

  38. emmelemm

    I would just like to say that the drawing of Harry Reid is 1000% awesome and brightened my Friday considerably.

  39. Negropolis

    Harry wouldn't have even had to do this if he had had the balls in 2009 and then earlier this year to change the rules to make them more fair. There is no reason why you functionally should have to have a 60-seat majority to actually pass shit. That is actually too much minority party protection, and to be honest, I'd be saying this if even the Dems were in the minority.

  40. KenLayIsAlive

    A guy walks into a vaudville house and tells the manager he has an act he'd like to perform. The manager says "okay, tell me about it". The man explains:

    "There are these two political parties, one is a centrist party, and the other is a rabid proto-fascist party. Now the centrist party had 59 seats in the senate, and a huge majority in the house. But they can't pass any of their agenda because there are these arcane rules which allow the minority party to say "NO" and defeat every bill the majority proposes. Of course these "victories" by the minority look like impressive wins considering the odds, and the minority gets more and more votes. So after a couple of years, the hemmed in majority party wheezes its' last gasps, and the possibility looms that the opposition party will soon have a slim majority. It's bad, but it's really not a big deal because those same arcane rules can be used to prevent the rabid opposition party from pushing through their radical right wing agenda. It is just then that the centrist party suddenly decides to use their last remaining legislative power to eliminate the very rules which might make it possible for the party to save itself, and possibly the country."

    The manager stares in disbelief at the sheer idiocy of the situation and says "So what do you call this joke?"

    And the man responds: "The Democrats!"

  41. BerkeleyBear

    I first read that as circumcised, which I actually think is about the last knife fight any of the posers in the GOP "leadership" got into.

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