At the end of 2012 we were hearing a lot of noises about filibuster reform, remember? Noise from liberal pundits, noise in the liberal press, noise from our newly elected insurgent liberal senators. What happened to all the noise? The war cry is sounding more like a whimper lately.
Is the silence a signal? Is the issue dead – again? If so, expect another season of partisan gridlock, political dysfunction, and rising public discontent.
According to the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Ballin (1892), changes to Senate rules can be made by a simple majority, but only on the first day of each session. Like most everything that happens in Washington, D.C., what you see (or think you see) is not necessarily what you get. To wit: Harry Reid, the sad-sack Senate majority leader is using a parliamentary tactic that shelves rule changes indefinitely but suspends a sword of Damocles over the Republicans. Under Reid’s rule, each new day is still being considered as the “first day” of the new Congress so the rules can be changed at any time by a simple majority vote. Leave it to the highest rule-making body in America to f*@% with the rules.
Click Here to continue reading.