Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let's put the filibuster back in the filibuster.

Senator Bernice Sanders got up today and spoke for eight hours against the tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Here is a news story on it, and the comment I wrote for it which may or may not be posted. (It's up to the author, who did not do a very good job in my opinion.)

I not admire not only what Sanders is filibustering--outsized, unproductive debt-increasing tax cuts for the very wealthy--but how he chose to do it. He got up and spoke. Under modern rules, Senators no longer need to "hold the floor" and speak for long stretches to filibuster, they simply have to indicate that they are filibustering. This is why the Senate Republicans have been able to achieve record-breaking number of filibusters, often on the simplest procedural votes. And this is why most Americans probably don't even realize these filibusters are happening. It's time to make a Senator who wants to filibuster actually filibuster.

I should have added that though Sanders speech wasn't actually a filibuster because he wasn't

there was a modern sit-on-your-ass GOP-led filibuster that day, blocking a vote on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell which would have certainly passed. I wonder how many people know that.

Addendum: I still support Obama, and I support the Democrats who are fighting him. The President is pressured form all sides, and Democrats must not sit back and assume he'll do whatever they want. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once told a group of reformers, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."


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