April 23, 2005

Fausta Wants Her Filibuster

And I quote:

"What I want is the full filibuster treatment: the whole Mr. Smith Goes to Washington kit and caboodle treatment."

I would have to agree with her on this one. I think it's wrong, wrong, wrong to mess with procedural rules that were put in place for a reason. As someone who is a big fan of the more arcane portions of procedural rules and who adores Robert's Rules of Order I have to applaud Frist for being very clever in attempting to work his way around the procedural rules, and for actually doing something about getting these nominees confirmed. Yet, it's nonetheless a violation of democracy. The filibuster is there for a reason. Just because you don't have the votes to overcome it doesn't mean you should get rid of it because it's more expedient that having to, you know, actually convince people to come over to your side of the argument.

Besides, when was the last time anyone actually filibustered a bill? I honestly can't remember. But, to my mind, it's always the threat of the filibuster that stops legislation dead in its tracks. If you don't have the votes to break a threatened filibuster, well, that's the end of that, and no one actually has to stand out there on the senate floor and talk until they drop. Call their bluff: make the Democrats follow through. I, like Fausta, would love to see it. The bit about Teddy Kennedy being bloated---read hungover---on the senate floor at three a.m. sounds like something I'd want to watch.

But Frist doesn't want to do that. He wants to shoot past it entirely, and he's dragging the Vice President into the fray. It behooves me to mention that he shouldn't act surprised and outraged when this comes back to bite him on the behind. Because it will. If you don't think the next time the Democrats are in power and won't attempt the same sort of stunt, you're nuts. In fact, I'm sure more than a few of them are sitting in their offices saying to themselves, "Gee, I wish we would have thought of that."

I didn't vote Republican so that we could gain control of the senate and weasel past rules that have been in place for hundreds of years. Frist, ultimately, is trying to make a small majority worth more than it actually is. That I can understand why he's doing it and sympathize with his frustrations nonetheless doesn't make it right.

Posted by Kathy at April 23, 2005 10:53 AM

Thank you Kathy!
And you put it a lot more coherently than I -- I wouldn't resist a good filibustery melodrama and its blogging possibilities.

Posted by: Fausta at April 23, 2005 02:25 PM
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