Coleman to Klobuchar, Franken and reform-minded Dems: ‘Don’t shatter Senate precedent’

WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Norm Coleman on Thursday blasted Sens. Tom Udall, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken and others who hope to change the Senate’s filibuster rules by majority vote in the coming weeks, saying the reform-minded Dems “are eager to muzzle the minority.”

The comments came in an op-ed for the conservative National Review, in which Coleman and co-author Martin Gold, an attorney and former counsel for several GOP senators, blasted plans to change the Senate’s rules using the Mondale plan. That would see the Senate approve new rules using a simple majority vote (as outlined here), as opposed to the usual 2/3 rule. Both Klobuchar and Franken have introduced legislation to amend the Senate’s filibuster rules, and support using the Mondale method to do it.

Coleman also took a dig at Democratic claims the Senate is broken, using their own words against them, while warning Democrats that their present actions may come back to haunt them later.

“We marvel at the argument that the Senate is broken and extraordinary steps are needed to fix it. After all, Senator Reid recently pronounced the outgoing Congress “the most productive Congress in the history of the country.” President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have similarly characterized it”

“In January 2010, after the Democrats rammed the health-care legislation through with a 60-vote majority, the voters of Massachusetts ended that filibuster-proof capability by electing Scott Brown. In November, voters again rejected the Democrats’ agenda in both the House and the Senate. The current effort to change the filibuster rules reeks of election nullification and should be rejected. If the Democrats lose their Senate majority in 2012, they will be thankful that precedent and common sense prevailed in deciding how Senate rules are amended.”

Read the whole thing here.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/07/2011 - 01:31 pm.

    So what’s he running for now?

  2. Submitted by karl karlson on 01/07/2011 - 02:40 pm.

    Didn’s Norm used to be mayor of saint paul before he lost the governor’s race to a professtional wrestler and then lost re-election to the senate to a (very funny) clown?

  3. Submitted by Edie Johnson on 01/07/2011 - 02:49 pm.

    What a joke. “Muzzle the minority?.” How about remove the lazy dogs, who earn the big pay checks that just call in for filibuster as a delay tactic, while those who go to bat for real reform physically go and stand in for the American People, like they are paid to do.

  4. Submitted by scott cantor on 01/07/2011 - 04:10 pm.

    If someone believes in majority rule, which I’m told is one of the principals this country was founded upon, then amending the Senate’s rules to make it a little bit more onerous for a 41% minority to impose gridlock shouldn’t pose much of a problem to you, regardless of your political affiliation.

    When the Senate flips control in some future election, as it inevitably will many times, that will be because the electorate spoke their intentions for the direction of the government. The current rules, if left in place, serve only to effectively disenfranchise the entirety of the American public–it hardly matter who wins an election, because they are hamstrung from implementing sound and effective policy.

  5. Submitted by John Roland on 01/08/2011 - 07:07 am.

    Scott, I agree but just for the record in the last session of the Senate, if you consider the population that the 41% (the corporate Republican Senators) represent, is only 33% of the population. It’s more lopsided then you thought!

  6. Submitted by Eric Larson on 01/09/2011 - 02:07 pm.

    Hypocrits- Espcially Franken. Turning down the rhetoric should start with Senator Frankin apologizing for his remarks as candidate and satirist. The rhetoric of David Letterman and John Stewart also comes to mind. Letterman and Stewart claim to be ‘non-partisan’ and say the vilest things about those right of center. Don’t talk to me about Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. They talk politics for a living and hold no office. I’m more interested in politicians who call me a racist because I oppose a government spending program (Former Prez Carter). I’m interested in the tone down by an elected official who calls me a ‘slurpy drinker’, ( Prez Obama). Leadership is needed here. Here is a teachable moment, Mr. President, now lead.

  7. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 01/09/2011 - 04:37 pm.

    Am I mistaken, or was the Republican Senate in power until 2010 not the group that “shattered precedent” by changing the rules to require 60 votes?

    To return to a simple majority would seem actually to be a return to precedent.

  8. Submitted by Brad Robinson on 01/10/2011 - 02:29 pm.

    I would like to see a change, not for the convenient politics of the moment, but for majority rule. Do you know they don’t actually have to actively filibuster, that is hold the floor until the matter is given up? They just have to state “filibuster” and the matter is automatically dropped, floor or no floor. Revising the filibuster rules would simply allow a matter to be fully discussed and expounded upon until there is nothing more to be said. Then it is majority rule. I like it, no matter who is in control.

  9. Submitted by John Clawson on 01/13/2011 - 06:10 pm.

    And as along as we’re at it, and speaking of disenfranchisement, let’s require that a senator who puts a ‘hold’ on a nomination or piece of legislation declare him/herself and state his/her objection. There should be a time limit on that hold to allow disagreements to be worked out before the matter proceeds for regular action/attention.

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