Wednesday, November 20, 2013


My TAP column this week argues that Republicans could have tried out some of the ideas that conservatives have been pushing if only they had decided to run their own state exchanges. I'm pretty confident that Democrats, either in 2009-2010 or later, would have been willing to cut deals to allow that sort of experimentation on a state level.

Meanwhile, I packed way too much into a short post over at PP yesterday -- including an outline of the filibuster deal I'd like to see (but has no chance of happening, even though the core of it actually makes sense for both parties). Yes, there's a Superbill! appearance.

Housekeeping: I'm traveling today; I might sneak in another post, especially if something happens with the filibuster, but probably not. And might as well get this out of the way now...posting is going to be hit or miss from now through Thanksgiving week, since there are a bunch of days next week I'll either be traveling, or trying to have some family vacation time, or filling in for Greg. I'll try to have something here every (non-holiday) weekday, but it's just hard to plan out exactly what or how much. I'm sure I'll be writing about the Senate showdown, though, one way or another. Beyond that, things should be back to normal the first week of December. 


  1. I keep reading that a compromise on judicial nominations would be one where the minority party agrees to only selectively filibuster nominees. The part that I never see is, how do you end up defining selective? Imagine that President of party X nominates 10 judges. How many would the opposition be allowed to filibuster before it stopped being "Selective?" would 9 out of 10 be okay? 5 out of 10? 2 out of 10? How do you determine this?

    This desire for a deal like that strikes me as a little mushy, like most deals that rely on subjective interpretations and not hard and fast rules.

    1. To start, the objection to a nominee should be over a nominee's ideology or qualifications and not over the President exercising his ability to fill judicial and executive positions.

    2. So, let's imagine then that the minority party decides to filibuster 20% of nominations at random, and claims that the reason is because of "ideology." Is that selective enough?

      Or rather, it seems that the objection I'm hearing to the current GOP strategy is that they have filibustered all of the administration nominees, in spite of the fact that all three are seen as mainstream left of center judges. If the GOP had chosen one of the three at random and let the other two go, would that be "selective" enough? Even though the three aren't ideologically all that different from one another?

    3. In your scenario the minority is no longer fully objecting to the President filling vacancies. They clearly don't like that he is exercising his authority, but it's better than what we currently.

      To get to your point, is there a % of filibustering that is acceptable. Seems like there would be and it's clear that % is less than 100%.

    4. There is nothing that can be done to prevent Senator Cletus (R-Bumblefuck) from sharing his momma's moonshine recipe on the floor.

      You cannot negotiate with nihilists based on handshakes and norms: they will not abide them the second it no longer suits them. Filibuster (at *least* of appointments) has to go.


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