Heidi Heitkamp’s First Vote May Be To Gut The Filibuster


If there’s one constant in Washington DC, it’s that the party who controls the Senate hates the filibuster while the party out of power loves it. These positions change, of course, based on who is in charge.

Right now, since Democrats are in charge and feeling their oats after a slight expansion in their majority, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is vowing to gut the filibuster:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will try to push through a change to Senate rules that would limit the GOP’s ability to filibuster bills.

Speaking in the wake of Tuesday’s election, which boosted Senate Democrats’ numbers slightly, Mr. Reid said he won’t end filibusters altogether but that the rules need to change so that the minority party cannot use the legislative blocking tool as often.

“I think that the rules have been abused and that we’re going to work to change them,” he told reporters. “Were not going to do away with the filibuster but we’re going to make the Senate a more meaningful place.”

Republicans, who have 47 of the chamber’s 100 seats in this current Congress, have repeatedly used that strong minority to block parts of President Obama’s agenda on everything from added stimulus spending to his judicial picks.

Of course, back in 2005 Reid felt much differently about the filibuster. “It encourages moderation and consensus,” he said in a floor speech. “It gives voice to the minority, so that cooler heads may prevail.”

I agree with the 2005 version of Reid’s position on the filibuster. I’m not one who buys into the idea that “more is better” when it comes to legislation. The Senate participates in making laws that impact the entire nation. One-size-fits-all policies which impact a nation as large and diverse as America is, both geographically and socially, should only be made with broad national consensus.

One party shoving policy down the throats of another party is a good way to breed faction and resentment among the populace. If a law can’t get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate then perhaps it ought not be law.

Anyway, Heidi Heitkamp was one of nine liberal Senate candidates in 2012 to pledge support for reforming the filibuster if elected. Expect Heitkamp to join Reid (whose PAC spent millions getting Heitkamp elected) in these efforts to undermine the democratic process in Washington DC.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • mikemc1970

    Since the Dems took control of the Senate, how many times did the minority even use it? Zero. They only threatened to use it once and the majority used a continuing resolution to get around it. I guess we can already see this session is shaping up to another my way or the highway session.

    • Matthew

      They used it over 100 times in 2009.

      The filibuster was never intended to make every bill pass with 60 votes.

      The filibuster should go back to what it was originally. You can stop all business as long as you can hold the floor.

      • mikemc1970

        If don’t include any of the opposition in your negotiations for your bills then that is exactly what the filibuster is for.

        • Matthew

          Than all Senate business should stop until there is a resolution. But it was never intended to require every bill to have a supermajority.

          • mikemc1970

            Then tell Harry Reid he needs to include the GOP on some of the negotiations. If you want something you have to give something, not change the rules so you can push your exclusivity.

      • Rick Olson

        Exactly. Just like Jimmy Stewart portrayed in the classic motion picture, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” The politically-corrupt machine from Jefferson Smith’s home state realized that Smith wasn’t going to be a rubber stamp for their agenda, so they trumped up charges which the state’s senior senator Joseph Paine (played by the legendary Claude Rains) brings to the attention of the Senate. The unassuming Smith — who was employed as the director of a local boy’s organization — was appointed by the governor of the state to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the unexpected death of the state’s junior senator. Following a hearing and investigation by what would today be the ethics committee (the movie referred to it as the Committee on Privileges and Elections), which Smith walks out on, the committee voted to recommend that Smith (Stewart) be expelled from Congress. Stewart (Senator Smith) took the floor of the Senate and staged a single-handed filibuster against his ouster from the Senate, and in the climax of the movie, he faints in the Senate after having single-handedly held the chamber for over 24 hours. After going nose to nose with Senator Paine (Rains) on the floor of the Senate, and in a sudden case of remorse, Paine is seen rushing from the floor of the Senate and suddenly a gunshot is heard ring out. An exasperated and hysterical Paine screams out to his fellow senators…”Expel Me!! Don’t expel him. Everything that boy said is true. Every word of it!! My state is full of graft and corruption!” This picture lives on today as one of the best motion pictures of all time.


  • Mike Quinn

    If Heidi guts anything it needs to be the right wing pigs that insist on tax cuts for the rich against the will of the American people. The election clearly proved Americans have had enough of right wing greed. There is no question what Obama represented and what magic underwear Mitt represented. Gut those pigs, and make bacon out of their hate for women, gays, minorities, and working people. Gut Rob Port and make bacon out of his lies. Go Heidi go

    • Captornado

      You really are an angry person. Out of med’s or what?

      • Mike Quinn

        Obama and Heidi won, and you think I am angry? I am just asking the liars to repent and come clean before judgement day. The curtain on Rush, Rob, and Fox has been pulled back and the fraud is there for everyone to see, I am delighted. Now all we have to do is make them confess to their greed and dishonesty and the clouds will lift. The rat has been caught in the trap, now we have to dispose of it.

        • Captornado

          You are using a lot of inflammatory rhetoric in your rants. So if you’re not angry then you are just an asshole. Ok I get it.

          • Dave

            That’s par for course around here by most posters, not just Mike Quinn. I think that’s the function of this blog. It’s like an online bar fight every night. Have you been paying attention?

          • two_amber_lamps

            Hello multiple-personality disorder Krushednutz… I don’t know if it’s more comical or just a hallmark of your malaise that you carry on conversations with/about yourself under your various different personalities.

            You are crazier than a sh%$house rat.

          • ‘Tom Crawford

            I guess he will never be lonely then eh?

          • Mike Quinn

            How is that hiding going? Do you have the guts to put your name on here or are you just a right wing coward. I already know the answer.

          • $8194357

            Der fuher has spoken…
            The nazi hitler youth will out the
            criminal anti statist…
            Ya…History repeats itself with the know it all know nothings..

          • $8194357


          • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

            Say say “online bar fight” like that’s a bad thing.


          • Dave

            Yeah, you’re right … it’s not always a bad thing. But it was just odd that the one guy was singling the other out for stuff that is very prevalent by a lot of other folks on here. And what the heck is that guy with the kitty in his avatar trying to say? My name is Dave Dodds and I live in Grand Forks and I have always posted under “Dave” on here. I am a mutual friend of Ryan Johnson, who now works at the Forum. He can vouch for me. (:

          • Mike Quinn

            Dave I have the integrity to post using my real name. How many right wing rats have enough belief in what they say to own it? None. In order to be certified as a right wing dinger you have to hide behind a name that is not yours. These right wing dingers have no conviction, that is why they are ashamed to take ownership of what they say. How do you respect such cowards?

          • Dan

            Not cowards, just smart. The last time I used my full real name while handing some left-wing loon, such as yourself, their butt on a platter, my car’s paint job was keyed the very next day. You “tolerant” leftist don’t deal very well with reality. May have been the mother of all coincides, but I can’t say I believe in them.

            Speaking of liars coming clean, why don’t you start busting your Messiah’s balls for continuing to blame Bush for all of his own shortcomings?

            The country’s fiscal problems were in large part created by the democrats who were in control of Congress for the last 2 years of Bush’s 2nd term…and even of you could blame it on Bush, when does the jug-eared Marxist begin to own up to HIS failed policies?

            I could go on & on, but everyone knows that it would only end badly for you.

          • $8194357

            10X on the tolerance displayed by the goons from the left..
            Been there…
            Experianced “union brotherhood” in action..

          • AV

            Are you capable of self-reflection? If so, re-read your own posts, and those of the leftists that post on this site.

            It’s not us that are accusing people of being in league with the devil, is it? While we may troll, from time-to-time, we’re mostly willing to explain ourselves, and give links & evidence, and without becoming hysterical.

          • $8194357

            Self reflection is a pshyco babble feel good falsity AV.
            Leftist emotional touchy feely deception..
            When I get outa line..Jesus lets me know…
            don’t need your version of conscience…
            I am simply expaining ideological root systems to where your leftist deceptions originated..

            TRUTH spoken to the dis beileving then becomes
            “HATEFUL” as they reject it…

            No hysteria here at all…

            If God had a child He loved would He not re-buke when in error?
            Would His re-buke be from hate or love?

            If You had a child? would you let them go without at least trying to re-buke them knowing they were in error?

            Scriptural Truths are Gods ways of telling folks…
            I love ya…don’t follow the lie…
            TURN from your wickedness..
            So no AV..
            I don’t hate the world Jesus died to save.
            I just tell them the Truth…
            They are decieved by the father of all lies, deceptions and false ideologies that lead men to damnation…
            If I didn’t love the world God created I wouldn’t do that…

          • AV

            Self-reflection allows one to learn from their mistakes, to build an accurate picture of the world around them.

            For example, right-wing media predicted the wrong election outcome. They simply disregarded and falsified any information that didn’t fit with their beliefs.

            Honest people, with more-accurate world-views, did not do this.

          • $8194357

            Reflect on Paul Harveys essay about America from 1965 apoligist…

            Paul Harvey 1965 radio essay..




            Good and thourough Documentary on the origin of political correctness. As it turns out it is a revision of the marxist concept of false consciousness and has very real similarities with policies made by the communists in the eastern bloc in order to silence dissent.
            The western variant originated in the “critical theory” of the Frankfurt School. Refusing to take any responsibility for their own beliefsystem and present their agenda in a direct and comprehensible manner,they found themselves content with igniting the conflicts within capitalist societies in order to weaken them. Promoting hedonism and making enemies of every thinkable grouping within the free world, they kept authorities comfortably busy on the homefront. Blacks and whites, husbands and wives, young and old, gay and straight etc. If gay-marriages were to become a majority preference one day, they would surely fight for the rights of the minority-group of individuals who want to marry their pets and criticise homosexuals for discriminating against people with a more polymorpheus sexuality than themselves.

            In essence many of the moronic professors now presiding over all the big social “studies” departments at american and european universities are the wounded victims of this aspect of the cold war. Getting a helping hand by the active measures of the soviet union because they had a weakened sense of truth, unable to resist the careful attack on academia, led by the cultural marxists, disappointed by the revolutionary potential of the western working class

            End quote

            A cultural cold war attack on American society..

          • AV

            We get it, you’re scared of change. But free people weighing up the available info and making their own decisions is what I believe in.

            Who knows where it’ll lead, but by looking at history, it’s almost certainly going to lead to something even better.

          • $8194357

            No AV…Again your assumption is incorrect…
            I understand free will as good or better than most..
            God respects it as do I..
            My observations are where folks are, or have went wrong..
            All you “progressives” (another name for communist)
            have every God given right to follow the devil off the cliff..

            I am just the old guy standing there telling folks…
            Ya don’t have to do it…But its your life…Jump if it pleases you..

            Makes me sad so many jump…
            But I will defend to the death their right to take sail..

          • ‘Tom Crawford

            Quite full of yourself today arent you.
            I post with my name – Im Conservative, but more Independent than Republican.

          • $8194357

            We conservitive independents don’t have alot of
            choices these days huh, Tom..
            God Bless brother..

          • $8194357

            Union thugs like to know where the scabs live huh?
            so did the KGB and Nazi’s fellow traveller..
            Four years of “payback” coming for percieved grievences..
            Lets go burn down the meeting hall where they gather and dare defy
            “the ONE”….

          • two_amber_lamps

            Dear Lime Krushednutz…. you have at least half a dozen sockpuppet names traced back to your IP address, you’re about as transparent as your bolshevik presimudent’s administration and lie like a rug, albeit a smelly, ratty one…. a rug who’s obviously been off his prescribed medication for some time. So please Quinn, Emil or whatever you feel you wish to call yourself today, turn yourself back in to the authorities and get the electroshock therapy you truly need. Your derangement is duly noted, but we’re all pulling for you Comrade Krushednutz.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            I always say liberals are irony impaired. Who else would come here, post under a dozen or more different names and then try to sound indignant about someone signing in with a single Nom de Cyber?

          • two_amber_lamps

            Ain’t that the truth… though knowing leftist ideologues and what they are capable of, if that little miscreant knew were some of us lived I’m sure there’d be a brick thru a front window coming…. at the very least.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            Before this clown showed up, Hanni was the Queen of the Sockpuppets. And the Tiny Sociopath was the first to complain if it thought someone else was sock puppeting.

          • tony_o2

            Click on my profile and then click on “comments”. I own everything I have said. I tried to click on your profile, but you don’t own one. You also don’t have a profile for any of the sockpuppets you have been using lately.

          • $8194357

            Funny how disagreeing with an ideology of deception is considered hateful on the left, huh?

          • $8194357

            An angry A hole just like most of the left..
            Ever see an OWS ralley?
            The leftist lies they embrace is fed by the devils hatred so how can they not be “angry” when confronted with “Truth”?
            We crucified Jesus for telling us the Truth about ourselves did we not..

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof


        • $8194357

          Such a earthly noble cause your false morality
          has set before you lemming apoligist.

    • $8194357

      Der fuher led with this same rhetoric leftist nazi..
      More leftist tolerance and inclusion exposed..
      No wonder the KKK stayed with the Dems where they originated..

    • $8194357

      Jihadis like to “gut the pigs” to Mikey..


      Qur’an 8:12
      ‘I will terrorize the unbelievers.
      Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them.
      Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes’

      End quote

      Ya those “ideologs” in the Tea Party are dangerous huh..
      Barry is a 3rd generation communist/muslim….
      He has surounded himself with 2nd and 3rd generation communists…
      Leftist ideologs of false enlightenment are “willfully blind”.

    • $8194357

      Your iedeological jihadis brothers want to “gut some pigs”
      and infidels as well hater.


  • $8194357

    Harrys party line puppet…
    Oh wait…THEY said that was Berg..
    could there be “more” than one?

    • Roy_Bean

      Rob needs a “Heidi Lied” widget on here where we can track how many times she sells us down the river.

      • $8194357

        That would be a money maker, huh.

  • WOOF

    Somethings gotta give.

    107th Congress, 2001-2003, Democrats in minority: 71 cloture motions filed

    108th Congress, 2003-2005, Dem minority: 62

    109th Congress, 2005-2007, Dem minority: 68

    110th Congress, 2007-2009, Republican minority: 139

    111th Congress, 2009-2011, Rep minority: 137

    112th Congress, 2011-2013, Rep minority: 87 (so far)

  • Richard R Solberg

    Heidi = dingy Harrys pupet …. Obummer is going to run amok the way it is ..leave it alone .
    Less legislation is better than more .

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    This really doesn’t make any sense for the Democrats. The Republicans in the House aren’t going to let the Senate go any further than the filibuster would have limited them. It’s not unlikely that 2014 will go the way of 2010 because I believe we’ll be in worse economic conditions then.

  • Phil Gay

    You ND Republicans who are Liberals-could screw up a wet dream, you let Heitkunt win.

    • Eury

      Okay, right there. I’m reading all these analyses about why the Republicans don’t have more women voting for them. So they talk about how they can reach out to minorities and women. They’re talking about how Akin and Mourdoch didn’t really represent the party. But you know what? As a woman, I’m never going to believe you until you start standing up to guys that say stuff like this. Start by saying it’s not okay to call women “cunts” right here in the SayAnything blog, and I might think you’re party has something to offer me again. You’ve got a long way to go.

      • Phil Gay

        Go bake some cookies or find a stripper pole.

        • eury

          Keep going, boys. Nobody’s going to stand up to you here in your little bubble. Meanwhile, Nate Silver just called Heidi a favorite for VP in 2016.

          As you were.

          • JW -American

            I wouldn’t think its my spot to tell Rob how to run his bar, but I’d delete any post crossed a low bar of public decorum. I’t a waste of my time to see that new posts have been added, so I click to read, then have to put up with this drivel all the time. But its Robs show, he makes the call.

      • Phil Gay

        Do you know why dogs are man’s best friends? because women are not trainable.

      • Phil Gay

        Eury, do you know why women are not trustworthy? Who can trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and lives. :)

      • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

        The funny thing is, “Phil Gay” is actually a liberal troll pretending to be a conservative.

        • Phil Gay

          Rob you are a hairy ape pretending to be Conservative & Human.

        • Phil Gay

          Troll? Rob you have the looks of a Hobbit.

        • $8194357

          The devil is in the details and deceptions huh..

      • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

        And you shouldn’t be basing your vote on what some random internet troll says anyway.

        • eury

          You missed my point, Rob. It’s not that Phil says nasty things. The world is full of ‘em. It’s that nobody on the right ever calls them out for doing it.

          • Phil Gay

            I speak the truth

          • $8194357

            with forked tonque.
            like your daddy..

          • Captornado

            Think and vote with your head and not with your reproductive organs and you might find you have more people willing to stand up for you than your originally thought.

          • eury

            I don’t care if you to stand up for me. I’m trying to tell you why you lost the election.

          • Captornado

            I wasn’t running for office so I didn’t lose anything.

          • Waski_the_Squirrel

            I believe Mr. Port did call out the troll for it. One important thing to remember with these trolls is that they thrive on attention. Any reaction, positive or negative, encourages more of the same kind of filth or ridiculousness that got the attention. A response encourages more. The troll used crude language in a desperate play for attention.

            Some forums ban these trolls. Mr. Port has chosen to operate this forum as an open forum. One drawback to such an open forum is that it’s open to the trolls and decent people alike.

          • eury

            Okay Squirrel, I’ll give you that one. And I understand and somewhat appreciate that Rob’s mission is to let everyone say their piece, no matter how ugly. I’ll find another example and bring this up again, maybe.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Give me a break, Rob. You are nothing more than a Troll. All you have done for the last 5-6 years is act like you know what you are talking about while the “Trolls” are predicting the real outcomes and the political climate of the country.

          You, on the other hand live in your cloudy dream world of denial and pretend to know more about the landscape than the “Trolls”, who clearly know more than you do, and who clearly have their feet planted on solid ground.

          Based on your losing record, nobody should listen to a single thing you say.

      • Mike Quinn

        Eury, these right wing dingers are gutless. I cannot tell you how many times I have challenged them with reality, and they run. These are they guys who stood with the bully on the playground. This guys always go with who they think will win. They have not courage to stand up even against their own flamers like Rush, Fox, and the whole host of distorters. So if you think they would take a stand for common decency you are dreaming.

  • JW -American

    “Before I cast my “Yes Vote” against the wishes of my home state of North Dakota, I’d like to tell you handsome Harry Thank You, Thank you for the 8 million dollars you helped pour into my campaign, if I could vote twice for this I would, I love you Harry..”

  • dfm

    I mostly agree with Rob on this one, that is the the role of the filibuster (not on what Senator HH will or will not do, or why).

    The buster It is a great tool for the minority, and the thing is, we never know who is going to be in the minority in any give election. All I know is, some day the Senate be 45-55 the other way. I would rather see legislation I like slowed down now, so that we will have the ability to do the same in the future. Tinkering with the filibuster could set a dangerous precedent. Not worth it, in my view.

    If we get rid/revise the filibuster, we might as well go to one chamber and be a parliament.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    Wow! That was a great vote ND… Heidi is going to be a lock step liberal for “everything” that is Barack Obama… We will soon find out that a lot of people from our state were duped.

    • Mike Quinn

      If you want duped just keep reading this blog. If you like duping you might be a guest writer for Rob, if you don’t mind being wrong about everything.

      • Captornado

        Megan and Erin must be so proud of their loudmouth daddy.

  • $8194357

    You know how the media and the left get to manufacture the narritives and (lets be nice now and not call them what they are, lies) “myths” about the targeted conservitive or RINO’s..Here is one little fact check..



    There is a deal between the poorest inner cities and the rich, who have no contact with people who live in the inner cities. The rich vote to assuage their guilt, and the poor take the trickle-down welfare from Washington. It’s the politics of co-dependence.

    Over 40 years ago, my father-in-law wrote a book on this: Politics of Guilt and Pity. You can read it for free here.

    Here are the facts.

    In the richest, Massachusetts’ Nantucket County, where average annual household income is over $137,000, Obama won by 63 percent to Romney’s 36 percent with all precincts reporting. . . .

    In none of the richest counties was the margin of victory wider than in California’s Marin County, just north of San Francisco, where the president won by 74 percent to 23 percent, with all precincts reporting. In Marin, the average annual household income is $128,544.

    Read more: http://teapartyeconomist.com/2

  • Don Quixote

    mikeemc1970, I don’t think you understand how the fillabuster works. A single senator can fillabuster effectively because he can speak as long as he desires thus holding up the business of the senate. It takes a 3/5’s vote to end a fillabuster which isn’t likely when the majority party doesn’t have 3/5’s of the membership. Thus you don’t actually have to fillabuster, just pose the threat to block legislation. As you said, there are ways of getting around some fillabuster threats but not all. I have always thought that the fillabuster as now used in the Senate was too liberal. I can’t see getting excited without knowing what Reid proposes.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      That is not the way a filibuster works anymore. They don’t have to speak at all and they can do other business.

  • VocalYokel

    “Independent” amnesia?

  • Toots

    Ron, I hope you will follow her voting record on your blog so we can write or call her when she goes against her campaign promises.