Weren’t the founding fathers mostly richer than sin lawyers? I thought most of the initial batch of representatives and senators were, too. The original government design was a lot more focused on elites running things - no direct election of senators, an electoral college that was practically an independent body, etc. I don’t know how long the average tenure was, though.
I think things have gone a bit downhilll in some ways since FDR coalition years (income, connections necessary to get elected) and got better than others (don’t have to be a white male anymore.)
Of course, 100 years ago, the stakes involved and power involved in running the Federal Government wasn’t anywhere near as high. Increased centralization of power and discarding the vestiges of a republic have historically predicable long term consequences.
No, I think they do realize that, the problem is that the Republicans filibuster, or at least threaten to filibuster, every single fucking bill Bush might just decide to veto. And then they all hang together as a group and rely on their dog Lieberman to make sure it never reach’s Bush’s desk.
What I don’t think they realize, actually, is that the media ain’t reporting it right. Whenever the Dems tried to block a nomination or whatever the so-called liberal media would call it what it was - filibustering. They aren’t calling that now, they literally say stuff like, “Congress fails to pass bill” and then talks about how 56 or 57 votes “wasn’t enough”.
The Dems need to start making these motherfuckers actually filibuster and talk all night or whatever. But then again, they tried that earlier this year and when that didn’t work the media said it was a “major loss” for the Dems. So I dunno. At best it would make everyone realize the Republicans are making sure both (A) nothing gets passed, and (B) making sure they are mocked as a “do nothing” Congress. Reid needs to make sure these guys don’t give a shit about procedure or gentlemanly conduct or whatever and he needs to start getting his hands dirty.
I think you’re giving them too much credit. The Democrats shut things down with their filibustering when they were the minority - they haven’t once even tried to pass something for the Republicans to filibuster. I doubt the Republicans have the balls these days to filibuster anything - they’ve got their heads low. In fact, it seems like both sides of the aisle are just trying to see if they can be lower profile than the other, other than when it comes time to put on dog and pony shows like give speeches when a general gives his report to congress.
??? You haven’t been paying attention. There’s been lots the Republicans have filibustered. They really have shut down Congress with this. They are on pace to triple the previous “record” for most filibusters in a Congressional term. Of course, when I say “filibuster”, I mean, they announce their intention to filibuster, adn as part of a gentleman’s deal a few decades ago, the Senate treats that as an actual filibuster and then 60 votes become necessary for cloture, yadda yadda. Reid tried one actual filibuster, earlier in the year. It was about the war funding bill. It didn’t work.
I agree that the Dems haven’t done nearly enough, but their errors are tactical - they have been putting out the bills, they’ve been getting blocked, they’ve been getting “only” 55 or 56 votes, and the media has then not called it what it was - Republican obstructionism. You can’t really get a whole lot done in that type of environment.
I don’t buy it. The Democrats literally filibustered to keep out nominees they didn’t like. Saying that doing a straw poll, seeing you won’t have the votes to overcome a filibuster, then not actually submitting the bill - sorry, if you believe in it, put the bill up for vote, make the Republicans filibuster, then do it for the next one. I want to see the gonad-less Republicans actually put up filibuster after filibuster. I think they are too scared to actually do it.
It’s not obstructionism until they put the bill up, get the 55 votes, and the Republicans filibuster it. And I think they would make the Republicans look even worse than they to today if they did it (which is why I don’t think the current GOP crop would follow through.)
As far as I know there was never an actual, “we have to talk all night” filibuster about any of the Republican nominees. They did what the R’s are doing now. I might be wrong but if I remember right the R’s threatened to gut the filibuster (nuclear option) and eventually that gang of 14 deal was made, for the SCOTUS nominees at least. I also remember a term being bandied about a lot - “up or down vote”.
I agree, they should make them actually filibuster instead of the fake filibuster gentleman’s agreement Reid has been letting them do. The problem is, when they actually do a real filibuster (as they did with the Iraq funding bill), the so-called liberal media airs wave after wave of GOP operatives saying how Reid is playing “political games” and the “Democrats are unserious” and “do-nothing” and how they aren’t “funding the troops”. This actually happened, a few months ago. At some point they should say, fuck it, we are going to do what we have to, but if the media won’t report it accurately, then the battle is halfway lost.
And I am no Senate expert, but I think the filibuster comes before the cloture vote. The cloture vote has been getting 55, 56 votes, and that’s what you need to end debate.