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 The filibuster is dead. Long live the filibuster.

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Artie60438

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PostSubject: The filibuster is dead. Long live the filibuster.   7/16/2013, 11:43 am

The filibuster is dead. Long live the filibuster.
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With today's Deal avoiding the "nuclear option" in the Senate, Republicans essentially agreed to drop the filibusters that had provoked the "crisis" in exchange for Democrats agreeing to keep the filibuster rule intact.

In one sense, that means nothing has changed—the filibuster is still every bit as intact as it was before the confrontation began. At the same time, however, Democrats showed that they have the ability to stop Republicans from using it by doing little more than telling the GOP to choose between stopping their abuse of the filibuster or eliminating it altogether.

This battle was fought over presidential nominations, but the key thing is that virtually every Democratic senator has now taken the position that the filibuster can be eliminated by a majority vote. That's a big deal because if you can get rid of a super-majority requirement by simple majority vote, then the super-majority requirement is essentially optional.

In recent years, Republicans have treated the filibuster as if it were an irrevocable Constitutional right, and not a simple rule that can be changed. Today, Democrats—whether they realize it or not—have killed the GOP's interpretation of the filibuster as a perpetual, immovable feature of the Senate meant to be used on routine matters of business.

That doesn't mean the filibuster is gone, and it doesn't mean Republicans won't continue to abuse it. It's here, and surely they will. But when they do, Democrats won't be able to claim to be powerless in the face of GOP obstruction.
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