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The Trouble with FilibustersPosted Saturday, November 21, 2009, at 1:26 PM
I'll be honest I've never understood the filibuster. Well that isn't entirely true. I understand the spirit behind the filibuster. What I don't understand is why it takes more votes to end a filibuster than an actual vote on a bill does. It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster. It only takes 51 to approve most bills. But before a bill can even be voted on once it gets passed a filibuster debate has to be closed which also calls for 60 votes.
Today in the Senate with Republicans promising to filibuster, Democrats are trying to shore up 60 votes to block the filibuster. As much as the Republicans hate this bill one would think they would want to get to the debate part so they can express why they don't like this bill and try to amend it to get their ideas into the bill. The Republicans have been filibustering from day one, mind you not because of purely ideological differences in bills or appointees, they just don't want Obama or the Democrats to succeed at anything.
Remember this is the same group of Republicans just a few years ago when they had the majority threatened to use the nuclear option if the Democrats threatened to filibuster. The Nuclear Option would allow one party to only need to get 51 votes to end a filibuster instead of the required 2/3. When Republicans threatened this conservatives all over the dial and country cheered loudly and extolled the Republican leadership for suggesting the Option.
More recently the Democrats have threatened to use the Nuclear Option the same group of Republicans have decried at as being against the rules and dirty handed politics. Remember: These are the same exact politicians who tried to use the Nuclear Option a few years ago calling Democrats dirty handed politicians for attempting the same thing. But this does go back to a point that I have made several times, when Democrats or liberals do something it is un-American or treasonous but when Republicans or conservatives do the EXACT same thing its heroic and patriotic.
There are enough Conservadems (or to paraphrase a commenter on this site talking about Republicans that aren't conservative enough, Democrats in Name Only) to help the Republican filibuster. Also there's that enigma wrapped in a riddle Joe Lieberman.
Personally I believe that a filibuster will hurt Republican except with the extreme conservative crowd, but there aren't enough of that base to provide a sweeping win for Republicans next year. One thing most Americans don't like is a government that isn't working. During Clinton's Administration Republicans shut down the government twice because they didn't want to vote on bills being pushed by Clinton. Both times the Republicans took a hit in the polls and Clinton got a bump.
I honestly think that it is in the best interest to not filibuster and then debate until time ends if that's what the Republicans want to do. I believe that a filibuster will only continue to lead Americans that the Republican Party is nothing more than an obstructionist party with no ideas.
It appears that the Democrats will get the needed 60 votes to break the promised filibuster. Nothing of course is a guarantee until the actual vote takes place but it is progress.
The Senate successfully voted to end the filibuster which means that after all the debate about debate the Senate can actually have a debate. Not sure which Republican didn't vote still looking but the senate.gov hasn't released the information as of yet. Much to my surprise after making a promise and going on Fox News every weekend to keep his promise Joe Lieberman did vote to end the filibuster.
As the story develops I will try to keep up with it. The Republican Senator that did not vote with the Republicans and did not even cast a vote was George Voinovich of Ohio. Oddly enough he purposely missed the vote. His reasons don't really add up. Maybe he just didn't want to be part of the obstructionism of the rest of the GOP and save his NO vote for when it really matters when the bill comes for a final vote. I don't know I can't read the man's head and won't even attempt to.
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