The Ed Show | January 25, 2013
>>> with us tonight. liberals are furious about filibuster reform. here is some reaction from my radio show .
>> what harry reid has done is just outrageous. what else needs to be done?
>> i am so angry. i feel like the president has been torpedoed, stabbed in the back, bamboozled, hoodwinked by the head of his own party.
>> i expected nothing less from harry reid than this. i mean, we've watched him over and over and over cave like this.
>> they are not happy. senate majority leader harry reid agreed to a watered down deal with senator mitch mcconnell , the minority leader. reid and mcconnell also made a gentlemen's agreement to reduce the frequency of filibusters. last night i expressed my dismay at the idea senator mcconnell would change his ways.
>> you mean to tell me that 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 forward, especially on jobs? they have said no to everything. well, today we have evidence senator mcconnell , he didn't wait for the ink to dry on the deal before sending out a fundraising letter. his campaign manager writes "we beat the liberals. can you imagine what the left might cook up unchecked power? we would be sure to see a litany of anti-cool regulations, tax hikes, anti-second amendment bills, forced unionization bills and crazy new deficit spending . it's the same old mitch mcconnell , same operation. and he will block president obama 's agenda. it's basically selling out the efforts of the progressives in this country, in my opinion. let's turn to senator bernie sanders of vermont, who is the only member of the democratic caucus to vote against the so-called filibuster reform. senator, good to have you with us tonight. i'd like you to respond to that fundraising letter of mitch mcconnell . i mean, are things going to change? are we going to see the same old mitch?
>> look, at the end of the day , what that legislation did is made it easier for some cabinet appointees to take their jobs. that's important. it's going to speed up the process in the senate. that's important. but at the end of the day , ed, this country faces enormous economic crises. we've got to deal with global warming . we've got to deal with education. we have to deal with deficit reduction. we are not going to be able to do what the american people want if we have to get 60 votes. and as a result of that agreement, we're going to continue to have to get 60 votes. and that's why i voted against it.
>> isn't mr. mcconnell showing it's going to be the same attitude? he beat the liberals.
>> no, i think it will. look, here is what has happened. historically, there was a gentleman's agreement in the senate, and that is that you will not use the filibuster requiring 60 votes unless it was something really you felt very passionately about. when lyndon johnson was majority leader, he had to use cloture on one occasion. since obama has been president, reid has had to use it hundreds of times. in other words, the republicans have changed the rules. any significant piece of legislation now requires 60 votes. you can't govern effectively under those conditions. what we should have said, if you want to oppose something, go to the floor. talk and talk and talk. but when you're finished, it's going to be 51 votes that makes the decision.
>> senator, you heard some of the comments from my radio show . it was all over liberal talk radio today. it's all in the social media . i mean, how much more abuse must the democrats take in this process before they finally adopt meaningful filibuster reform? i mean, we've got, you know, this ruling by the court in washington on some of the appointments of president obama . you can be sure that mitch mcconnell is probably behind closed doors , smiling about that. he is not there to help the president. but the question is why don't the democrats realize what is happening here? they may realize it, but they're afraid to move forward on it. and people are frustrated in this country. this is what they voted for.
>> no, ed, you know, i agree with you. that's why i did not vote for that package. and i think what everybody has got to understand, and you've made this very clear, this is not some kind of inside the beltway abstraction about senate rules . this is really important stuff, because we have a nation that is demanding action to create millions of jobs to transform our energy system, to come up with a fair tax proposal so the wealthy and large corporations start paying their fair share . we are not going to be able to do those things and many other things, the things, in fact, that mitch mcconnell and his billionaire friends are worried about, we are not going to be able to do that if we need 60 votes. no, i think what ended up happening is we could only get to the best of my knowledge 47, 48 votes. that was the reality. there were seven or so democrats who chose not to go along with what we call the talking filibuster, which would have meant 51 votes. and that's the story.
>> it looks to me like we're reaching the point where the american public is growing more aware of filibuster reform that relates to substantive issues. and this is not a good deal. and it's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. next week the president is going to be going to nevada to talk about immigration reform . i mean, do you think that we can get immigration reform in this country? i mean, are there going to be -- i don't think there is going to be 60 votes for the assault weapons ban . there is not going to be 60 votes for climate change . what about immigration reform ?
>> well, i think you're probably right. and what ends up happening is if you manage to cobble together some agreement, which does get you 60 votes, what you can be absolutely assured of is that that piece of legislation is going to be much, much more conservative, much less effective than it otherwise would have been. could we get 51 votes to create millions of jobs and rebuild the infrastructure? yeah, i think we can. can we get 51 votes to ask the wealthy and large corporations to help us with deficit reduction rather than cut social security and medicare? i think we can. but can we get 60 votes for those proposals? no, we can't.
>> senator bernie sanders , good to have you with us this evening. thank you so much.
>>> coming up, the republicans told us the stock market would just good wild under president romney if he had gotten elected. it's soaring okay right now, don't you think, under president obama ?
>>> and later, bobby jindal leads the effort to rebrand the republican party . but there is one problem. they're selling the same old policies. karen finney and eugene robinson will join