Tag Archives: Filibuster

Filibuster(?) update . . .

. . . Ah well, I now hear that Cruz’ ‘filibuster’ is “in name only” as the vote has already been scheduled and his talkie-talkie can’t delay it further. So it’s theatre and therefore well suited to our Cuban Senator from Canada who is totally – TOTALLY – a natural born citizen.

Filllibuster!!! Popcorn please!

ringmasterLadies and gentlemen! Citizens of television land! I call you to gather at the CSpan for the Greatest Show on Earth!! Ted Cruz has taken the floor.

This is the third real filibuster in the last few years and that should be a good thing. I much prefer it to the invisible procedural nonsense of  placing holds.  Last year, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) did eight hours and last winter Rand Paul did thirteen hours. I don’t think either changed any minds, but they were presented honestly and honorably.

But this one? After hours of Ted Cruz sends the whole populace rushing for the showers, other Congress Critters might decide that doing business in the shadows was the better idea after all.

My way! My way!

So, Harry Reid wants to amend the filibuster rules and Mitch McConnell is shocked, shocked I tell you because Harry dares to propose that the majority should rule on this matter.

In his Wonkblog at The Washington Post today, Ezra Klein takes a look (great read) and notes that while McConnell weeps upon the sacred steps of the Senate decrying any changes to the rules (as did the Dems before him) and claims the filibuster to be a historical sacrament . . . well, here’s some real history:

The American system of government was built to protect minority voices, but the Founding Fathers explicitly rejected designing the Congress around a supermajority requirement. In Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton savaged the idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.”

8 hours, 35 minutes

Sen. Bernie Sanders just wrapped up his filibuster. Good for him. I listened from 4:30 till now and could have gone on for hours. He was riveting.

Hey Republicans, that’s a real filibuster.

A real filibuster. Right now.

I’ve been off-grid, off-line almost all of today – got home a short while ago and, as I do, checked the news by scanning the news channels. I landed on CSPAN2 and am staying there. Bernie Sanders is filibustering the tax bill. The cryon says he began at 10:25 a.m. today – almost eight hours.

I cannot remember the last time there was an actual filibuster in the US Senate.

UPDATE: Politico has a story up dated 4:04pm, almost an hour and a half ago. They were apparently among the 12,000 people trying to access the Senate’s video servers at the same time – the servers crashed. I don’t understand why their story isn’t being updated. Wonder how long Bernie will go on?

I just checked and the last real filibuster appears to have been in 1986 – SEn. Al D’Amato of NY went for 15 hours. The longest in modern history was by Strom Thurmond. He went for 24 hours trying to stop the 1957 Civil Rights Act.  He read the phone book.

Bernie is still on subject – reading constituent letters right now.

Our government does not work any more

There have been a number of fine articles and columns recently examining the increasingly dysfunctional U.S. Senate. (see also Eric Alterman’s really important essay for a look at how the executive branch is doing.)

Norm Orenstein of the American Enterprise Institute (that’s the thoughtful conservative think tank, unlike Heritage which is entirely ideological) has an op-ed today in Times. (Yes, I am still reading the editorial page.) It is definitely worth a read. From it:

“Filibusters aren’t just more numerous; they’re more mundane, too. Consider an earlier bill to extend unemployment benefits, passed in late 2009. It faced two filibusters — despite bipartisan backing and its eventual passage by a 98-0 margin. A bill that should have zipped through in a few days took four weeks, including seven days of floor debate. Or take the nomination of Judge Barbara Milano Keenan to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: she, too, faced a filibuster, even though she was later confirmed 99 to 0.”

This is quite remarkable. And entirely irrational.

Now, it is on to A Face in The Crowd. And by the way, Beck’s DC side show has every movement person of color on the stage. None in the audience of course cuz all two dozen of them are on the stage. An Indian too. Also I thought I saw a Pakistani.