Can Klobuchar’s Minnesota Nice melt Senate deadlock in 2015?

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Current Senate Majority Leader (and soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid announced Klobuchar's new role as lead liaison to Republicans shortly after the November election.

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Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 12/10/2014 - 11:14 am.

    Positive change or dealmaking…or both?

    I do believe Elizabeth Warren has the capacity to move mountains…and however honorable are Klobuchar’s intentions to ‘reach across the aisle”, moving the soil at the bottom of the mountain – sticking to domestic issues I assume – she may be the perfect “deal maker”?

    But just how far and what deal is compromised in the process, guess one will have to wait and see and think positive?

    Elizabeth Warren is an honest voice…no slippery slope deal making here. Her voice defines truth to power in a most positive way and hope rises…

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/10/2014 - 11:23 am.

    One word: Cloture

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/10/2014 - 04:57 pm.

      One word, Mr. Swift

      Veto. By the president

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/10/2014 - 11:44 am.

      But . . .

      I thought that the filibuster rule was adopted for the *specific* purpose of slowing the progress of legislation. According to this theory, it is tangible evidence, “put out there for all but the most simple minded to see,” of the Senate’s commitment to sober deliberation.

      Can’t remember where I heard that, though.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/10/2014 - 12:14 pm.

    Minnesota knife.

    Sorry, Senator, but as I look over your track record and I see a politician firmly wedded to the winds of industry. Two industries in particular come to mind, the adoption industry and the medical device industry.

    You’ve been in the adoption industry’s pocket since the beginning, supporting increases in and making permanent adoption tax credits which serve no useful public purpose but which raise the profits of the industry. More recently, you’ve championed CHIFF, a bill which seeks to undermine the progress made in ensuring ethical international adoptions by the United States belated approval of the Hague Conventions.

    Your record on the medical device tax is equally abhorrent. Despite the lack of any reasonable argument for its repeal, you’ve bowed to the demands of a few powerful local companies to relieve them of a few percent in taxes which apply across the board to all medical devices sold in the United State and from which exports are exempt. If you really support the ACA, you have to support funding it.

    I predict great things for you, Senator. For the people of Minnesota, not so much.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/10/2014 - 01:16 pm.


      …would you have preferred Mark Kennedy or Kurt Bills?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/10/2014 - 05:39 pm.

      Medical Device Tax

      Just curious. Who do you think is paying the medical device tax?

      Do you truly believe that it came out of the profits of the manufacturers?

      In my opinion, the tax just increased healthcare costs for all of us to provide subsidies for the few.


  4. Submitted by Mike Downing on 12/10/2014 - 12:26 pm.

    MN will not be represented in the Senate with Klobachar & Franke

    Your title presumes a Senate deadlock in 2015. The Senate deadlock was due to Harry Reid not bringing >300 House Bills to a vote on the Senate floor, not allowing GOP amendments and eliminating historic Senate rules.

    The first order of business for the Senate in 2015 will be restoring normal order in the Senate with House budget Bills. Something that the Harry Reid controlled Senate simply ignored.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 12/10/2014 - 04:18 pm.

      “what goes around, comes around”

      Despite some sympathy for the Democrats, it’s not like they’ve treated the Republicans with great respect and now it’s not being returned.

      When the Democrats ruled the house and passed the ACA, they shoved it down the throats of the GOP, not giving an inch on ANYTHING whatsoever – even debate and discussion, much less getting a proposed amendment out of committee for a floor vote. At the time, the GOP practically foamed at the mouth and howled mightily about the unfairness of it, and swore revenge.

      When later they came to power in the House, they got their chance at revenge, and hardly missed an opportunity to p*ss on the back of the Democrats.

      Mr. Downing correctly described the intransigence of Harry Reid, who on the other hand, saw himself as only a true and unwavering Democrat, dealing with lunatics.

      The Democrats, in both the cases cited above, forgot to be careful what you do to the other side – lunatics or not – because they might just turn around and do it to you, as turnabout is seen as fair play.

      We’ll see something similar to the Democratic reign in the Senate, but with Mitch McConnell, the GOP strategy and tactics will be more nuanced and sophisticated, with maybe enough daylight, even a little bit of sunshine for the Democrats, to get things passed. A top priority would be to paint the GOP as the party that is willing and able to get something done, rather than the party of “no”.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/11/2014 - 10:17 am.

        From the Department of Tired Talking Points

        I didn’t know anyone was still trotting out the old “Democrats shoved the ACA down the throats of the GOP, without letting them do anything to the bill.”

        The Republicans had nothing constructive to offer (limiting medical malpractice suits is not “constructive” in this context). They had already vowed to do anything they could to stop health care reform–remember the “this will be his Waterloo” remark? Rejectionism, not compromise or constructive input, was the order of the day. If Republicans wanted to help shape the bill, they should have started with a different approach.

        “A top priority would be to paint the GOP as the party that is willing and able to get something done, rather than the party of ‘no’.” You’re going to need at least two coats for that paint job.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/11/2014 - 02:29 pm.

          McConnell’s Law

          I think there may be a new political adage we can refer to as “McConnell’s Law.” The law, as stated, would be that “at any given moment in the life of a bill or policy initiative, Republicans stop participating and criticize the process.”

          Looking backwards upon the Obama presidency, we can see this law in effect everywhere:
          Iraqi Troop Withdrawals
          Federal Appointments
          Federal Spending / Sequester
          Gun laws
          Student Loan Reform
          Immigration Reform
          CIA Torture Report
          Banking Reform
          Climate & Energy policy

        • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 12/11/2014 - 02:58 pm.

          Any even-handed observation…

          …that the two parties share MUTUAL responsibility for non-cooperation is greeted like the proverbial turd in a punch bowl here on Minnpost. It’s not an acceptable observation. Whether it is relatively true or not is beside the point, right??

          Also, re: “You’re going to need at least two coats for that paint job”. I’m describing some Republicans’ sense of urgency about repairing their public image. And it is not an opinion of my own, but rather, an accurate characterization of those Republicans’ sentiments, . No paint here.

          The level of civility in debate is reaching new lows on Minnpost. The vituperation here has become so tiresome – and so common – that the forum is becoming less and less interesting all the time.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/11/2014 - 04:23 pm.


            …It’s not even handed. This is another point that needs to be made again and again, namely that mutual responsibility is not equal responsibility. Indeed, the “both sides do it” argument doesn’t help, because both sides don’t do it equally.

            And indeed, the level of civility is low in many forums in American life these days. I wonder if that simply has always been the case, though, and we all look upon the past through rose-colored glasses.

            • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 12/11/2014 - 05:43 pm.

              No one said equal responsibility, rather MUTUAL responsibility..

              …which means both parties are contributors to the problem. Of course not equally – when have you ever seen an instance where warring parties contribute exactly equally to their problems ?? If you think you’ve found one, it’s an illusion.

              So your “not equal” is a straw man here. And this is not a case of “both sides do it” either – yet another straw man !! Each side contributes in their own unique ways.

              Now, it’s entirely possible to insist and demand that you’ll only attempt to deal with problems where both sides contribute equally – or, which seems more likely based upon your attitudes and views – only when the OTHER SIDE admits it is a bigger part of the problem THAN YOU. But this is puerile, indicating a kind of blindness to your own responsibility in the nurture of a dispute.

              To clear up your confusion on what my thesis is: My thesis is that both Republicans and Democrats struggle for power in ways that lowers the estimation of both parties in the public mind, and which prevents them from dealing with the important matters of the public interest effectively. They are mutually responsible.

              Here is a reasonably good summary of what the “straw man” argument is and how it works:

              “A straw man is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on the misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument. To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument. “

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/11/2014 - 08:08 pm.

            I agree

            It will be interesting what readers here will say when things are soon being supported by the moderate Republicans and Democrats, and being blocked by the far right and far left politicians…

            Kind of like the current spending bill… Folks got together and compromised, and both extremes are dragging their feet.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 12/11/2014 - 06:40 am.

      300 House Bills

      jammed full of GOP social engineering and pet projects. You people always leave out that part.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 12/11/2014 - 03:42 pm.


      “Reid didn’t kowtow to GOP demands”

  5. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 12/10/2014 - 01:05 pm.

    Not when you play it safe

    The senior senator has done nothing except be a rubber stamp for this president and offered nothing of substance in her time in office. If anything, her votes for the ACA and then repealing the medical device tax was nothing more than taking the lollipop from the baby and giving back the almost eaten stick.
    She will not get Congress to agree. There’s no need because it’s too late. The Dems completely wasted their majority on their efforts to swing the country too far to the left where the voters don’t want it.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/10/2014 - 02:24 pm.

      Too late for what?

      Four letters, VETO. Learn to love them conservatives, because you’ll be seeing them, a lot. Then in 2016, when your heroes have regained minority status, perhaps somethng might get accomplished in the short time until the midterm. Welcome to governance in the 21st century.

  6. Submitted by Nathaniel Finch on 12/10/2014 - 03:27 pm.

    The important stuff…

    I suppose Klobuchar will be bringing us deals on more really important stuff like laws about pool drains and lead in toys – things that could have been dealt with by regulatory agencies. Amy loves the noncontroversial bills. Fixing the real and difficult problems of the country – not so much.

  7. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 12/10/2014 - 05:16 pm.

    not so fast

    I can see that the old saw that the public forgets everything every two years is at work here. Your statement is Fox News naive when it comes to ACA. There was no shoving down the throats, it was passed as a reconciliation bill, as was Medicare part D. In fact it passed just like part D, no help from the other side. And instead of howling about the doughnut hole in the benefits, both sides fixed the issue. although most of the fix came via ACA.
    Republicans will do not better than Democrats, both sides are “ideological” because laws have to pass in the caucus if the other side does not cooperate at all. That is what we had with Bush, and what Obama has had to deal with.
    It will be fun to see McConnell suddenly act bipartisan, like when he said the first day of Congress in 2009 his goal was to defeat Obama, not fix the economy, not fix the bank and mortgage mess, rather to defeat Obama. Well, he has his chance. And Amy is pretty pragmatic, not very ideological compared to most. She might be more effective than these local pundits think.

  8. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/11/2014 - 08:39 pm.

    Given the assignments for the two Senators

    Which one do you think is being groomed for a Presidential run?

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