Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Should the U.S. Senate ditch the filibuster option?

Asked by LostInParadise (29759points) February 13th, 2015
34 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

That is what some House members are suggesting. I say go for it. The filibuster has become one of the main reasons that Congress has become so dysfunctional. How did this rule ever get passed in the first place? Whoever was in the majority had to agree to giving up power.

The Democrats would be hurt a little in the short term, but the President still has veto power, which can only be removed by amending the Constitution. I would refrain from pointing out to Republican senators that what goes around comes around

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Answers

Jaxk's avatar

Actually the filibuster is not what has stopped legislation. Democrats had a filibuster proof majority the first year of Obama’s term. Then they dropped to a 59 seat majority and the filibuster was in play for the second year. Republicans took the house in 2010 and Democrats could no longer push legislation through with or without the filibuster and Harry Reid stopped almost all legislation from even getting to the Senate floor. for 4 years. Now the Democrats are in the minority and they can filibuster. So up til now the filibuster for legislation has only had an affect for 1 of the 6 years of Obama’s term.

Harry Reid has already broken the ice on this by ditching the filibuster for Presidential appointees (judges and such). I don’t think that was a good idea when Harry did it nor do I believe it is good now. The filibuster gives the minority party some leverage otherwise, they have none. It forces the majority party to work with those in the minority and try to convince them of the benefits. That really is the issue that has caused congress to become so dysfunctional. Obama has not seen any reason to try and work with or gain support from Republicans. Instead he has tried to muscle his way through and it hasn’t worked. Consequently very little has gotten through.

Maybe Harry should have read your ‘what goes around comes around ’ article before he changed the rules last time.

sahID's avatar

The problem isn’t with the filibuster itself, but with how it is used. This idea created by Senate Republicans that every piece of legislation face the risk of filibuster needs to go. Instead, there needs to be a limit on the number of times either party can filibuster a piece of legislation per two year term. This would force the Senators to pick and choose their fights more carefully.

The other problem, especially since 2011, lies with House Speaker Boehner himself. Far too often the Senate has passed a needed piece of legislation, only to have it die in the House because the Speaker either didn’t like it, or didn’t approve of it. Somehow, the power available to the House Speaker needs to be reigned in. Once that is accomplished, then the filibuster, and whether it has outlived its usefulness, can be seriously discussed.

Darth_Algar's avatar

When you have certain members of Congress filibustering their own goddamn bill then yeah, the filibuster is being overused a tad.

jerv's avatar

There are enough other procedural tricks that both majority and minority parties can (and do) play that I think filibusters are a red herring. And Congressional rule changes are often made with the assumption that your party will remain in power forever, which often bites them in the ass when the balance of power shifts later on.

That said, the fillibuster has been abused so much that it probably is time to retire it. And since Congress hasn’t done anything useful for years, it’s probably about time to retire them too.

@Jaxk “Obama has not seen any reason to try and work with or gain support from Republicans.”
It could be argued that the Republicans see even less reason to compromise. In fact, it has been… by Republicans! To cite just one source for brevity’s sake, lets hit the polls. If this Gallup poll is any clue, the one thing mainstream “man on the street” Republicans and Democrats agree on is that the Republican party is too rigid and unwilling to compromise. You’ll also see from those numbers that Republicans made that complaint against their own party over twice as much as they did against the Democrats. Hell, Republicans criticized the Republican Party even more than Democrats did on that point.
My thinking is that it’s kind of stupid to call either side out here though. There has been a long history of unwillingness to compromise; a history that predates Obama’s presidency. And depending on which time period you look at, both parties have been the stubborn ones at some point. Sure, many would say that it’s been mostly Republicans in recent years, but American politics existed even before Reagan took office and both parties have had plenty of time playing the villain here.
You can go ahead and blame Obama and the Democrats if you want to (and I know you do), but I see the current situation as just the perpetuation of a pre-existing systemic flaw that transcends party lines.

Also, you might find this paper on political compromise interesting.

ibstubro's avatar

I think the US Congress just needs to shut up and find common ground between Republicans and Democrats on something – anything – and pass it.

For cripes sake, the Republicans in general and Boner specifically have become the penultimate party of “NO” to the point that the house GOP is bucking the Senate GOP.

Screw the filibuster. Screw the AHCA for now.

How about we pass funding for Homeland pork barrel Security (cause we know they’re goning to) then get after some immigration reform that supersedes Obama’s proclamations by passing laws, as is the function of Congress?

Strauss's avatar

Elimination of the filibuster rule would be like restricting the sale of toilet paper after a rash of tp-ing on Halloween. Just because something’s misused or abused, does not negate its original purpose.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – I just lost my response to the Internet gods so I’ll make it brief. If Obama can’t work with the congress he’s got, that’s on him. Reagan, Clinton, and Bush were able to do it with a divided government and some fairly heated opposition. As your link describes it, constant campaigning won’t facilitate compromise nor even a good working relationship. He’s got to get off the campaign trail and start to govern. Alas, I think it’s too late for that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Reagan, Clinton and Bush never had to deal with an opposing party who’s stated primary goal was to obstruct everything they did. They never had to deal with the kind of childish disrespect that Obama has had to deal with. Not even Clinton, and he was dealing with impeachment.

Jaxk's avatar

Clinton was facing impeachment but Obama had it worse because Republicans didn’t want him to be re-elected? Did you read your own post?

Darth_Algar's avatar

I did, but evidently you did not. No surprise there.

jerv's avatar

I have to agree with @Darth_Algar. Maybe you don’t see how the GOP has radicalized since Clinton, @Jaxk, but they actually have stated obstructionism as their goal, and because the more moderate ones are afraid to be called RINO and lose party support in the next election, they march in lockstep with their extremist elements rather than ditch the two-party system.

The Gallup Poll results I posted above illustrate that the Republican Party now only speaks for the Far Right, not for all Conservatives. (At least that’s how I read having over one-quarter of them complain about unwillingness to compromise in light of other shenanigans I’ve seen since 2008.) But the record has spoken for itself for years and you still won’t see it, so I won’t bother citing facts, at least not on a digression.

My point still stands; the issue isn’t the fillibuster, it’s the people we currently have in Congress, and a system that allows them to act like petulant children and take the nation hostage without losing their jobs. I don’t know why we allow Congress to do things we wouldn’t let a fry cook at McDonald’s get away with, and I think it’s time us voters reminded these self-important Oligarchs who is really in charge.

The problem there is that our population is at least as polarized as Congress so there is no chance of the US surviving, but we haven’t been united for years anyways. Again, societal issues reflected in the how Congress misbehaves are not because of fillibusters, and altering congressional procedure won’t fix the real problem we have. Our society is what it is, and our flaws as a culture are reflected in our “of the people,for the people, and by the people” government. Government is fucked up because our society is fucked up. Taking away senatorial fillibusters won’t solve that.

ibstubro's avatar

Not that I’m disagreeing with the bulk of your post, @jerv, but I feel compelled to point out that your statements:
“The Gallup Poll results…illustrate that the Republican Party now only speaks for the Far Right, not for all Conservatives.’
and
“The problem there is that our population is at least as polarized as Congress…”
Contradict each other.

Finding a way for mainstream Republicans to re-take control of their party would go a long way toward getting back to ‘politics as usual’, ala “Pre-Bush”.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – No they said making Obama a 1 term president was their goal. You all seem shocked that they would say that even though ousting the other party has the goal of every minority. Every time I’ve ever heard liberals define conservatism they’ve called it opposition to change. The truth is conservatism more likely to support slow and logical change but either way how do you get ‘Radical’ out of that definition.

I might add that an opinion poll merely shows that the democrats have been more successful in their messaging. Messaging gets a bit easier when you have the mainstream media on your side. They’ve been pushing this idea that Republicans won’t compromise but what exactly is Obama’s compromise position. So far his compromise position has been that Republicans should vote for what he wants. Not really a compromise.

Finally, Obama has been the one that has divided us into subgroups. That has been an effective campaign strategy but it has made governing almost impossible. Republicans have their own problems but radical left has consumed the Democratic party and it’s likely to continue for quite some time. The days of a democrat like Clinton are truly gone.

LostInParadise's avatar

Democratic radical left? Where? Point in the direction and I will follow behind. Surely you are not referring to Hillary Clinton, who will almost certainly be the next Democratic presidential nominee and whose politics looks an awful lot like those of Bill.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Anyone who uses “radical left” to describe Democrats hasn’t a clue what they’re talking about.

Jaxk's avatar

@LostInParadise – You’ve got Elizabeth Warren on the far left, Obama close behind and Hilary will go wherever the votes are. Hilary has no resemblance to Bill in her politics.

jerv's avatar

@ibstubro Not really, though I can see how one may think so at a quick glance. Let me walk you through my chain of thinking, and it might make more sense.
Look at voter turnout in recent years. How many people would self-identify as either Republican or Democrat without actually bothering showing up at the voting booth every other November? I would think that someone who is burnt out on politics for whatever reason may show up in the Gallup Poll without showing up in the election results.
Now, if nearly two-thirds of Americans have basically thrown their hands up and stopped caring (voter turnout for the 2014 mid-terms was about 36%), that means that the votes that do get cast are made by a minority of people a little further from center. And if the only people voting for you have some extreme desires, it would be political suicide for an elected official to be even remotely moderate; radicalization is a re-election technique these days.
The combination of having two vocal groups with strong opinions and a third group nearly double the size of the first two groups together voicing opinions without matching them to a vote yields pretty much what we have now. And what we have is two polar opposites whose enmity towards each other has overshadowed their job, who live solely to spite each other and care nothing for the collateral damage their rivalry causes so long as they can twist the knife in each other’s guts just a little more. Those are the ones that are voting our officials in. But there’s more.
What also exists in the polls and populace but is missing from government is the far greater group who have just given up. The ones who think DC is as farcical as the WWE. The jaded ones who are just sick and tired of standing between two packs of rabid animals. Their voices are not heard in DC because they didn’t bother to elect someone moderate to speak for them.
If we had voter turnout like pretty much every other country that holds elections, then… well, we wouldn’t be having this conversation as the election results would more closely mirror public opinion. But it’s not that way; we have a pretty large group of people whose opinions aren’t heard, and those who still care enough to to vote (and thus have a voice in government) are more mutually antagonistic (or polarized) than they were back when both groups were watered down by a large number of moderate voters.
Therefore, even without looking at anything else from the last few years other than that Gallup poll and the 2014 voter turnout, it’s not only possible, but statistically likely that our political landscape is highly polarized as only an opinion poll counts the unpolarized masses that have left the field. Any other situation would lead to different numbers, and other observations seem to corroborate that deduction.
Do you see where I’m coming from now?

@Jaxk You are too intelligent and observant to not see the numerous cases where, either by action or explicit, direct quotes where the GOP has gone WWAAYY past the point of wanting to keep Obama a one-term POTUS. Since you are neither stupid nor dense, I must presume a profound ideological blind spot. It’s okay; confirmation bias is human nature.
The results of the 2014 midterms show that Republicans are even better at marketing though. Messaging is a bit easier when mainstream media is on your side, and since mainstream media did not say, “Don’t bother to vote”, it’s logical to assume that mainstream media is right-leaning. I mean, that is assuming mainstream media has any effect on which way people vote.
Obama used to be willing to compromise, but it got him nowhere. Anything less than 100% total surrender led to all sorts of obstructionism. Sadly, a few years of that has made him start sinking his heels in as he realizes that he’s in a no-win situation. Of course, this being his second term, he has nothing to lose either. Basically, Obama and the GOP are in a perverse Prisoners Dilemma at this point, so the next couple years are goin got be…. interesting.
Finally, that subdivision predates Obama’s presidency; Mark 9:40 was written just a tad before Obama (or even America) was conceived, and centuries before that, Sun Tzu wrote about the whole “divide and conquer” thing. And is Obama the one calling moderate Conservatives “RINO”? I mean, historically, the Democrats have been eclectic to the point where there is no need to divide. If there is a need to subgroup, it’s in order to avoid the “with us or against us” false dichotomy by recognizing that there are still some who disagree with Democrats that are not batshit crazy. In other words, any division into subgroups actually favors traditional Republicans who embrace the ideals of the old party rather than the radical agenda of the Tea Party. I say “radical” because their bucking the decades-long status quo makes them fit Sense #3 of the definition of the word.

Strauss's avatar

There hasn’t been a “radical left in this country since the 1930’s.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Jaxk , I think of Warren as more of a populist than a radical. She has everyone, even Jeb Bush, talking about income inequality. Maybe Bush will resurrect his father’s phantom compassionate conservative, which I have seen defined as someone whose compassion extends to feeling your pain, but whose conservatism prevents him from doing anything about it.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – If you believe the mainstream media is right leaning, your living in lala land. From Wikipedia: ” In 2013 a 59% majority reported a perception of media bias, with 46% saying mass media was too liberal and 13% saying it was too conservative” and another from PEW.

You’re either completely delusional or you’re just trying to be contrary. Either way, I see no point in continuing this farce.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Actually, I was being more facetious than anything. I can understand how that may grate on you though. It can be annoying when you can’t tell whether someone is earnest, playing Devil’s Advocate, or just being a smartass.
In all seriousness, I am curious about the precise definition of “mass media” in this context, specifically, whether in includes non-US sources. The reason I consider that relevant is that the US is a bit to the right by global standards, and when you’re off-center, there is more stuff to one side of you than the other. If you assume that the US is Centrist, then yes, mass media is left-leaning; I merely refute the assumption that the US is Centrist.
I also question the real effect of mass media on public opinion as I don’t recall mass media ever promoting voter apathy, which in turn counters your assertion that Democrats are better at messaging.
In short, I’m not trying to be difficult here. I’m merely questioning a few of your assertions in light of a broader range than simply Recent US History; we are living in a world where roughly 95% of humanity is outside of the US, in a reality where more things happened before 1980 than after.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – It’s not that it grates on me but it is impossible to have a conversation when one party is asserting patently false positions. you assert that the world is left of the US. Can you support that? Are you merely referring to Europe? Are you trying to compare us with communist China? Is there a point in there?

I didn’t say anything about ‘mass media, I said mainstream. Mainstream media refers to the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) and the major print media (NY Times, LA times, etc.). I made no assertion about voter apathy and that is a completely separate issue. Again I don’t know if you just don’t get it or if you are again simply prattling on without any real point. Are you, like Obama, trying to solve the issues of the Crusades?

All that is why it impossible to have a conversation with you. If you have a point make it.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk You mean Capitalist China? They seem to have realized enough of the failings of Communism to have emulated the US in many ways, and aren’t the same country they were back even during Reagan’s tenure. But I digress.

Aside from the US, the most developed nations on Earth as well as the ones with the biggest economies tend to be European aside from Australia, so I suppose that, by default, I am comparing us with Europe… mostly. There really aren’t many developed nations with strong economies and even partially democratic governments in Asia or Africa, and I don’t think comparing us to Ethiopia or North Korea would really help.

However, if things like nationalized healthcare, full rights to LGBT people and such are labeled as Socialist by many Americans, Socialism is left-of-center, and the rest of free/industrialized world embrace those things while we Americans reject them, I suppose it accurate to consider the US to the right of that crowd. If you wish to broaden the view even further to include all nations on Earth, then you invite comparisons to Banana Republics, dictatorships, and other such undesirables.

So, “mainstream” excludes international journalism and is mostly US-based organizations? Well, if you wish to restrict the definition to US sources, and measure relative to US opinion, then yes, I will concede that moving the goalposts would make mainstream media too liberal. To my mind though, moving the goalposts that way is just as grating on me as my flippant nature is to you.

If you want simple, bullet-point conversations with narrow scopes revolving around the goalposts that you yourself set, then there is no chance of you following my thought process due to tunnel-vison and stubbornness. It’s easier to write someone off than budge enough to even see through someone else’s eyes, especially when those eyes look in many directions at the same time. But I will try to accommodate you anyways as, while I don’t respect your positions in most cases, I do have enough respect for you and your intelligence to deal with the frustration.

If you insist on a sound-bite synopsis, then it’s simply that, unlike you, I do not feel that Democrats are to blame for EVERY bad thing in DC, still refute the notions that the US is Centrist or that media is liberally-biased except from the viewpoint of people who themselves are off-center, and (back to the original question as-asked) think nixing fillibusters will solve nothing and (possibly the one thing we agree on) may cause more problems than it solves down the road.

Jaxk's avatar

Yes, you take a wonderfully global; view while I’m stuck with more narrow view on what is a US domestic issue. I’m sure the Goteborgs-Posten has keen insight into whether we should eliminate the filibuster rule and who we should be electing president. Unfortunately the people that get to vote on these issues, at least most of them, are Americans and don’t read it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a few that do but not enough to be called mainstream.

Maybe the next time we are discussing some Swedish domestic issue, I’ll agree with you that the Goteborgs-Posten is mainstream. Then you can give us you insight into how left or right they are. Until then. it is irrelevant.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk With voter turnout as low as it tends to be here, I doubt American media is relevant either, but you brought it up. With those numbers, it’s actually more likely that a larger percentage of American voters follow media that falls outside of what you consider “mainstream”, whether it be more global (and thus left-leaning) or conservative (therefore not part of The Liberal Conspiracy). Or did you miss the part where I cited a disconnect between opinion polls and election results? If what you consider “mainstream” mattered and they are Liberal, explain the last few years. Occam’s Razor would say that you’re making at least one wrong assumption.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – OK, here’s my opinion on that. There is a large swath of America that doesn’t follow politics. They barely know who is president and don’t have a clue who their representatives are. All their time is consumed making a living. What they know about politics comes from The Tonight show, Comedy Central , or maybe a headline here and there. During election season they get bombarded with political ads, mostly negative ads. Some may actually watch the news for ½ an hour but mostly to get the sports scores. So if you ask them what they think, at best you will get them to regurgitate what the latest headline was. Listen to any of those ‘man on the street’ interviews and you’ll see what I mean. Most of these people don’t vote because they don’t have a clue and they know it. Those that do vote, vote for a reason. It may be political affiliation or concerned issues but there needs to be a reason to go to the polls. So if you survey you’ll get those that have some knowledge and some that only regurgitate the headlines. Many of the headliners won’t vote so you’ll see a discrepancy between vote count and survey results. That’s why some polls use ‘Likely Voters’ to get a more accurate forecast of voting results.

The liberal media will influence the headliners of which a portion will vote. That’s where the bias becomes significant.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I agree with much of that post, actually. In fact, it’s the sort of opposing viewpoint I like to see.

Were this 1980 when we only had 3 TV networks and no internet, I would agree more fully. But now that TV is à la carte and the internet, a medium where anyone can speak to however many people are willing to listen, is not only around but nearly ubiquitous (potential audience in the billions), I think that there are enough media options out there that any bias in the media is the result of market influence. In other words, outside of the internet (a generally neutral source overall) I think public opinion influences media coverage more than the media influences the public.

Yes, some high-rating sources are a bit to the left even on an absolute scale; I don’t think anyone would argue that Rachel Maddow or Jon Stewart are Conservative. Of course, we also have Fox News and a fair number of Conservative celebrities as well. But print and TV media are more about getting audience share in order to hike up advertising revenue than anything else, so I seriously question any larger agenda beyond mere Capitalism on their part. And the internet is merely a product of the wide range of viewpoints and thus includes roughly equal content from all over the spectrum, with the median being Centrist. We have enough media options nowadays that it’s only truly possible to push an agenda on people who already agree with it.

One point I agree with wholeheartedly is that it’d be far more accurate to poll only likely voters. Unfortunately, recent years seem to indicate that a large enough percentage of the general population is apathetic, with a larger portion of that being people who used to care but are now burnt out, fed up, or otherwise put off by the circus that government has become.

I think this is rather telling; even many Republicans feel their own party is out of touch and a bit hardcore. Also, both sides are viewing their parties less favorably than in the past. It seems to me that the best thing all around would be if Conservatives reigned in their rogue elements. I’ve seen a variety of numbers from many sources over recent years, and most agree that there are a growing number of Independents, and that they are right-leaning more often than not (despite the Liberal media, hence why I question media’s effects on public opinion). It would seem to me that the reason Liberals seem so prominent is that Conservatives are divided, largely by their own hand, and many of them consider their more moderate brethren “Liberal”. That is funny when you consider that those considered “Liberal” in some people’s eyes include Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell.

Now, imagine what would happen if we got those disenfranchised voters back into the voting booth. Sure, it’d mean either a less radical GOP or breaking away from the two-party system, but the alternative is to continue our trend of both sides drifting away from the center while also having a government that either passes extremist legislation or winds up deadlocked and ineffective and leaving over one-third of Americans voiceless in government. I think we can both agree that higher voter turnout with a government that is neither paralyzed by infighting nor radical in action is better than what we have now.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – I think you’re letting your liberal bias confuse you. Yes there are lots of news sites out there but the people that are actively using the internet for news aren’t apathetic. voter turnout is down a bit from historical standards but not as much as you may think. My son is a typical example. He spends 2 hours commuting to work each way. He has 4 kids and by the time he gets home, spends some time with the kids and has dinner, he’s pretty much ready for bed. He may have the TV on during dinner and gets whatever news headlines come on between talking with the kids. He spends a considerable amount of whatever free time he has on the net but I guarantee it’s not looking for news. Luckily he has me to inform him of what’s happening :-)

The republican party is not divided as you seem to think. The idea that Reagan would be too liberal is hogwash. That is made up and not even worth discussing. Colin Powel I would agree. If a Republican endorses the Democratic candidate for President, he is a RINO. He isn’t considered a RINO, he doesn’t look like a RINO, he IS a RINO. You can disagree on issues or not endorse certain candidates but once you completely cross over, stop calling yourself a Republican.

The issue you see in the polls is not what you think it is. Republicans agree on most issues. It’s the tactics that cause disagreement.

Finally I don’t agree that more voter turnout should be the goal. If only half the country is informed, I’m fine with only half the country voting.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk ~Well, I disagree with you, so I MUST be brainwashed by Liberal Media.

There are many people who have just as much going on and yet still manage to keep up with current events and all. Hell, four hours a day in the car is plenty of time to get the news, probably more news than he’d want. And I’m assuming that both his TV and his car radio have a way to select stations, so it’s quite possible that he could take in Conservative media if he so desired. Sorry, but I take that as actual apathy. Those who care find a way.

Those that are actively searching for news will go after whatever they want, whether that leads them left, right, or center.

“The idea that Reagan would be too liberal is hogwash.”
While I agree, my actual point was simply that there are quite a few people who would/do assert that to be the case.

As for Colin Powell, I think that is a case (one out of tens of millions) where the Republican party went far enough to the Right to disenfranchise him. Are you now claiming that Republicans favor larger government and increased spending, two things that Powell opposes? Or are you conceding that the Republican party has drifted to the right over the last couple of decades? Or is it just a simple “No True Scotsman…” argument? Given how “Liberal” and “Moderate” are used interchangeably by many Conservatives, I’m not entirely sure any more.

“The party has taken a sharp turn to the right…over the last 10 or 15 years the party has moved increasingly away from someone like me.” – Colin Powell

Also relevant

” Republicans agree on most issues. It’s the tactics that cause disagreement.”
Republicans and Democrats also agree on many issues, yet disagree strongly on tactics. Also, Republicans and Republicans disagree on some issues. I mean, is same-sex marriage something that should be federally banned to uphold “traditional values”, left to states as the Tenth Amendment says, or remain untouched in order to limit government intervention? All three of those positions are totally in-line with Conservative ideology, so you don’t even have to cross party lines to get an opposing viewpoint.

If only half the country is informed, we have enough issues that voter turnout is the least of our problems. However, I think that the decline in education and rise of anti-intellectualism is best discussed at another time in another place. Then again, less voter apathy may get more people to educate themselves on the issues instead of just having the bobbleheads from both sides of the fence elect our officials. And no, I do not assume that those who vote now are informed.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – There are none so blind as those that will not see. That is actual voter apathy. He listens to music (if you can call rap music, music).

“Those that are actively searching for news will go after whatever they want, whether that leads them left, right, or center.” Yes those are the people that vote. As it turns out, a little over half the voting age population. Give or take a few that are rounded up and driven to the polls for a free hamburger.

As for Reagan, I’ve never heard a conservative say he was too liberal. The only times I’ve ever heard that was from liberals trying to make the case you’re trying to make. I assume it’s the old ‘if you say it enough, maybe someone will believe it’. As for Colin, whether the party moved right or Colin moved left is irrelevant, once he starts endorsing the democratic party, he is a Democrat. Twist it however you want, that won’t change.

Republicans have a variety of views. They are not a monolithic block. but most conservatives agree with conservative views and Republicans best fit that view. There are areas where both parties could come to an agreement but that can’t happen with this administration. For instance, immigration is very contentious. However, the bill democrats support has strict border enforcement. Republicans support strict border enforcement but won’t support amnesty until the border has been secured. We could get the border taken care of but Obama won’t let that happen without amnesty. Alas, we’re at a standstill. I’ll pass on the same sex marriage issue since you don’t seem to understand the point and I’m not ready to go through another back and forth on that one. And I’m too weary to go through any more talking points.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Rap. Music? I put the period there as I don’t think those belong in the same sentence.

I’m not entirely sure if there actually is a correlation between how well-informed one is and whether one votes. Anecdotally, I know enough ignorant voters and news-addict non-voters to question if there is a relationship between the two, but small sample size is small.

There are some who also think that Obama is a Republican, and with a rather surprising amount of merit to their arguments. But I suppose that these two people are Liberals;

“Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party. ”Mike Huckabee

“The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.”... Chortling, he added, “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”Lindsey Graham

Republican brinksmanship with the debt ceiling during the Obama administration shows how willing Republicans are to compromise, yet you insist that the obstruction is solely from Democrats. In the face of that sort of thing, I’m too am weary now.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Strauss's avatar

@Jaxk, @jerv , Congratulations for showing us what a really good exchange of ideas can be! It seems like a long time since we’ve seen such a well-thought-out political discussion with minimal derisive comment. Thanks to both of you!

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv – Before I close out on this one I want to acknowledge your links to the Reagan quotes. I hadn’t heard them before and they are stupid. I’m surprised at Huckabee being that self serving. If I use his logic, Romney could never be nominated either and that obviously is not the case.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Now you see a little of why I am how I am, and why I think how I think. Politics being what it is, I think it best to close out with (regrettably relevant) famous words from J.B.S. Haldane;

“Reality is not only stranger than we suppose but stranger than we can suppose.”

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