The Ed Show | January 24, 2013
>>> show." liberals in this country should be outraged tonight. you are looking live at the senate floor, where they just adopted the new rules by a vote of 78-16. senate majority leader harry reid caved to republicans on meaningful filibuster reform. reid reached a watered-down deal with minority leader mitch mcconnell keeping the filibuster alive and ready to be abused by republicans again. now, i was going to tell you what's in the deal, but it really doesn't matter. because democrats still need 60 votes to break a filibuster and republicans can still filibuster without speaking on the senate floor. so what are we here for? republican senator johnny isakson of georgia told tpm this afternoon, "the rules change doesn't really do a lot." well, how about that? harry reid knows that. and he tried to explain away his failure earlier today by telling the " washington post " wonkblog, "i'm not personally at this stage ready to get rid of the 60-vote fleshhold. with the history of the senate , we have to understand that the senate isn't and shouldn't be like the house." well, it's obvious that reid is more interested in protecting the senate tradition than moving the country forward. that's my read on it. he went on to say this -- "the only way we'll get rid of the filibuster is if it continues to be abused." hello. with over 380 filibusters in recent years it's shocking that reid would come back and trust republicans not to abuse the filibuster. he knows better. what's going on here?
>> back in may harry reid apologized to senators jeff mercury and tom udall for blocking their original filibuster reform bill in twtd.
>> if there were ever a time where tom udall and jeff americaly were prophetic it's tonight. these two fine young senators said it was time to change the rules in the senate and we didn't. they were right. the rest of us were wrong. if there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it's the filibuster rule. because it's been abused, abused, and abused.
>> so we can get something done in this country. this is a massive failure for the leader of the democrats. and the democrats who are walking in lock-step with him, what's wrong with you guys? what's going on here? what about all those people who fought voter suppression and waited in lines for hours to make sure that president obama would get elected and would go down the road of a progressive agenda? what about all the ground troops who went door to door? the get out the vote effort that worked really hard to re-elect this president. this was a romney vote. that's what this was tonight. they didn't do it to face the same obstruction from republicans . all those workers out there. that's not why they did it. harry reid is leth the minority party run the country. he's giving the republicans all the ammunition they need to block president obama 's second-term agenda. and you know what? he's going to regret it. so what does this mean? this means that activist groups are the only ones that can save the country when it comes to legislation because the activist groups are going to have to go out and get in these districts and in these states where senators are who are not doing the right thing and primary them. and let them know that they're not going to win the next election. do the unions of this country deserve what just happened tonight after as hard as they worked to get president obama and the democrats in the senate ? give me a break. for more let's turn to larry cohen , president of the communication workers of america . larry, i'm stunned. your thoughts. your initial reaction to this vote tonight on the filibuster.
>> initial reaction is one of incredible disappointment and anger, as you expressed it. but also as you just said, that 2 million of us, way beyond labor, the 2 million of us who have worked on this, have to keep working. we have to connect it to every issue of the day. what's going to happen now to social security and other budget issues? what's going to happen to immigration reform ? they get away with this because they don't connect the dots. they make this a separate issue that puts people to sleep, although you've been waking them up. and we have to continue that fight. we also have to hold up. merkel, udall, harkin and the others who signed on to senate resolution 4 and 25 more who are ready for change. so we don't give up. we have to keep standing up and fighting back. apparently, senator reid said if the senate is not functioning we will go back to this. well, let's see. it won't be more than a few days till we see how the senate functions for the majority on these critical issues of the day or, as you said, led by senator mcconnell as we were on fiscal cliff.
>> mitch mcconnell 's going to go into caucus next tuesday, and they're basically going to say how the heck did you pull that off? i mean, we filibustered these guys 380 times and they gave us the same damn rules? i mean, folks, climate change ? forget it. immigration reform , you probably won't get that. taxation and more revenue to the treasury? you're not going to be able to tax wall street now. minimum wage, that's out the door, raising that. workers' rights. and you know what this is all about in my opinion? this is about guns. harry reid knows that 51 votes would be available for the assault weapons ban but he knows damn well there won't be 60 and he doesn't want to hang this on the democratic party at all to all these rural senators. that's who he's protecting in this. but he is not standing up for the people at all. i just -- i don't know what kind of message can we send at this point?
>> i think we send a message of total determination that as every issue is discussed and if mitch mcconnell has to sign off to put it on the floor, which is where we believe this lies, then on every issue we have to link this up and say you said if it wasn't functioning you would change it? 51 can change it. we're fighting to change it. and not let up for a minute. and the broader democracy initiative that we're a part of has got to go on on all the issues.
>> this is another comment that struck me today. tpm asked senator dick durbin today if the deal would make it easier to pass bills. durbin said "it requires goodwill and good faith." are you kidding me? you're telling me we're going to get a new mitch mcconnell and a whole new group of republicans that just can't wait to help barack obama move this country 235 forward, especially on jobs? they have said no to everything. larry cohen , we'll have you back. this is a story that's going to go on. and the democrats are going to pay for this. i don't -- you know, i don't want to fight with the democrats. but my lord, what was this election all about? coming up, days after a pbs "frontline" special, someone in the justice department is stepping down. we will get to more on the filibuster in just a moment. we're right back on "the ed show." stay with us.