Jon: WELCOME BACK TO GRUDEN TALK, THE TALK SHOW WHERE WE DISCUSS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF THE WEEK. BANDLEADER HERM EDWARDS, DID YOU ENJOY YOUR VACATION LAST WEEK?
Herm: BUILT SOME SANDCASTLES BUT THE OCEAN DESTROYED THEM. I HATE THE OCEAN.
Jon: LEMME TELL YA HOW I SPENT MY VACATION. YOU GUESSED IT, I WAS GRINDING TAPE. 14 HOURS A DAY AT THE FIRED COACHES CLUB, FIGURING OUT HOW TO DEFEND THE 93 Y-CROSS. BUT NOW GRUDEN TALK IS BACK AND WE HAVE OUR FIRST RETURN GUEST, NORMAN ORNSTEIN OF THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, TO DISCUSS FILIBUSTER REFORM. NORMAN, HOW YA DOIN’?
Norm: I’m doing well.
Jon: SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SENATE REPUBLICANS. THESE REPUBLICANS, I CALL THEM THE FEARSOME FOURSOME BECAUSE THEY’LL STOP AT NOTHING TO PREVENT PASSES EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE VASTLY OUTNUMBERED.
Herm: JOHN CORNYN HAS A GOOD SWIM MOVE.
Norm: Well, constitutionally they’re supposed to advise the president on certain posts and consent to their appointments. It used to be that the Senate would only block dangerously unqualified nominees like John Tower.
Jon: THIS JOHN, I CALL HIM BUDDY RYAN BECAUSE HE TRIED TO RUN DEFENSES WHILE FALLDOWN DRUNK.
Herm: JOHN TOWER PUNCHED KEVIN GILBRIDE.
Norm: Then Democrats retaliated in 2005, when they were in the Senate minority, by filibustering Miguel Estrada on ideological grounds. Republicans have used that as an excuse to filibuster almost any Obama nominee that they might disagree with ideologically.
Jon: LEMME TELL YA, YOU GOTTA USE ADVISE AND CONSENT SPARINGLY. OTHERWISE YOUR OFFENSE WILL BECOME PREDICTABLE.
Norm: That’s kind of what happened. Democrats know that Republicans will filibuster every nominee so they feel like they have no other option but to change the Senate rules.
Jon: AND THEY’RE CALLING THIS THE NUCLEAR OPTION. I THOUGHT THAT STARTING CHRIS SIMMS WAS ABOUT AS DESPERATE AS DESPERATE COULD GET BUT THESE DEMOCRATS REALLY HAVE THEIR BACKS AGAINST THE WALL.
Herm: THE DEMOCRATS MIGHT HAVE TO START TIM RATTAY.
Norm: Well if you’re the Democrats then what options do you have? You won more votes than Republicans in presidential, Senate and House races yet the Republicans thwart all of your attempts to govern. It’s a breakdown of small-r republican government caused by the intransigence of big-r Republicans.
Jon: AMERICA NEEDS TO GO BACK TO THE TAPE, SEE WHAT CAUSED THIS BREAKDOWN AND CHANGE THEIR PLAYBOOK. THAT MEANS DOING AWAY WITH THE FILIBUSTER.
Norm: I agree, it’s an antiquated rule that is not being used as intended. The principle underlying American government is majority rule and minority voice, but Republicans have used their levers of power in state legislatures and the federal judiciary to thwart that with aggressive redistricting, deregulated campaign financing and the filibuster. You can’t blame Democrats for trying to remove these structural disadvantages.
Jon: WHEN YOU FACE A STRUCTURAL DISADVANTAGE YOU HAVE TO GO ALL OUT. TEAMS ARE SEEING THAT RIGHT NOW WITH THE READ OPTION. WHAT DO YOU DO? USE A LINEBACKER AS A QB SPY? USE MORE 3-SAFETY SETS? YOU’RE NOT GONNA FIGURE IT OUT UNLESS YOU WATCH A LOT OF TAPE.
Herm: THE FOUNDERS DIDN’T WANT TO ABANDON THE BASE 4-3 DEFENSE.
Norm: I’m lost.
Jon: THAT’S OK BECAUSE WE’RE OUT OF TIME HERE ON GRUDEN TALK. PLAY US OFF, HERM EDWARDS 7.
Herm: WE’LL BE FEELING HOT HOT HOT WITH SOME BUSTER POINDEXTER.