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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

The Trouble with Filibusters

Posted 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.


Update #1:

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.

Update #2:

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.

Update #3:

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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Hey Transplant,

You will note, I attempt to provide detailed information, rather than engage in endless slurs and personal attacks in the manner of several Neo-Con posters here.

You will note this past week, when a certain Cretin tried labeling me a "Freeloader" I was somewhat terse, brief and direct.

This is the key problem with the Duffus, Ol' Septic and some others here -- They can't retain a thread of debate more than a few seconds, so launch into unfounded attacks and slurs.

As to filibusters, having sat in the Senate gallery listening to DixiCrats reading page after page from the Atlanta or Birmingham telephone books -- the meaning of filibusters is clear.

A lot of civil rights legislation was delayed and sidetracked for decades, because DixiCrats filibustered for weeks at a time -- reading Grimms Fairy Tales, telephone books, the entire Old and New Testaments and entire newspapers into the record.

Now their fellow believers in legislative obstructionism object because the other side came up with the required "Super Majority" to shut off the filibustering.

Somehow, constitutional use of Roberts Rules of Order by Democrats is suddenly Unamerican.

You might notice, during the 2008 elections, there were no reports of "no working voting machines" in Republican precincts, or other irregularities required to allow DubYah to claim victory.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Wed, Nov 25, 2009, at 9:19 PM

No actually it made a lot of sense

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Nov 25, 2009, at 12:20 PM

Sorry if that last post sounded condescending. A few glasses of scotch makes me sound like a bad philosopher ;)

-- Posted by jhat on Wed, Nov 25, 2009, at 12:05 PM


No need to apologize.

There is no shame in being wrong. Being wrong is simply a step on the path to being correct. There is only shame in refusing to acknowledge your error, in refusing to take that step.

-- Posted by jhat on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 7:06 PM

jhat I do apologize I was wrong.

I would also like to say that you have made every point clear and precise. Good job.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 6:49 PM


You are incorrect. A major goal of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was to create and protect jobs.

As far as creating/preserving jobs, currently the recovery.gov tracker indicates that over 640,000 jobs have been created/saved.

(Caveat: these numbers are reported by the recipients of "stimulus" money, and may not be entirely accurate. Nor were they designed to be. Recipients of funds report on jobs created/saved, and the information becomes immediately available to the public. It is later verified by the government, but that takes time.)

As of now, a bit over half of the "stimulus" money has been awarded, and less than 15% has actually been received.

And I'd recommend that you not engage in any sort of debate with Dufferxyz until he raises his level of discourse a bit. (using only one punctuation mark at the end of sentences would be a good start. It's all right for emphasis, but it gets a bit dramatic when he uses it so often.)

And Dufferxyz,

And yes, the current health bills on the table will reduce the deficit. Please don't act so shocked. The numbers come from the Congressional Budget Office.


And as far as fear-mongering goes, you are correct, both the dems and reps do it. But drawing a false equivalency between them is just fallacious. (IMO) The republicans have clearly been more engaged in fear mongering than the dems.


If I'm fighting someone, and I kick them in the groin, but they stab me with a shiv, we're both fighting dirty, but nobody would claim that those are equivalent actions. And nobody would claim he's justified in stabbing me because I kicked him where the sun don't shine.

-- Posted by jhat on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 4:31 PM

I'll be happy to debate you duffer but unless you can do it in a civil way don't expect much out of me.

First of all can you provide me a link to where you got this information? Because I would like to research it.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 10:30 AM

Gee, they lie about the stimulus package, they lie about the results, then say "trust us," "we can "fix" health care!" Wonder why we just can't find it in our hearts to trust them??

And Mikey, the BS about reducing the deficit! Are you still waiting on the tooth fairy, Mikey???

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 11:10 PM

"It didn't create jobs because it wasn't designed to,"

You can't rewrite history fast enough, yet you bust your chops to rewrite current events, Mikey!

"Sec. 3. Purposes and Principles.

(a) Statement of Purposes.--

The purposes of this Act include the following:

(1) To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery.

(2) To assist those most impacted by the recession.

(3) To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health.

(4) To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.

(5) To stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.

(b) General Principles Concerning Use of Funds.--

The President and the heads of Federal departments and agencies shall manage and expend the funds made available in this Act so as to achieve the purposes specified in subsection (a), including commencing expenditures and activities as quickly as possible consistent with prudent management."

Read 3 (a) (1) very carefully Mikey. "To preserve and CREATE jobs"

Was that just another lefty lie, Mikey? Like all the rest of the lies coming out of the ObamaNation? Or, like the dumbass congress that gave the rockstar a blank check, you didn't bother to read the Act?

Where did you get your teaching degree, Mikey, out of a cracker jack box????

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 10:24 PM

For all the fear mongering that has been pushed about the Canadian Health System I actually know someone that lived in Canada for ten years in their health care system. She is nurse here now. But she said that system was the best she has ever been in. You got to choose your doctor and hospital. You paid no medical bills if you ended up in the hospital and you paid no prescription bills.

Sounds really far from the one-sided lies and distortions that were presented as fact from one side of the political spectrum at the very beginning of this debate.

Just as usual someone can't debate a supporter of the health care reform truthfully so they just change to subject to the stimulus package which has worked in the way that it was signed. It didn't create jobs because it wasn't designed to, pretty much the same way that the trickle downs of Bush and Reagan the provided nothing but tax cuts and incentives for the rich but nothing for the rest of us. But of course that time doesn't count on this website. Anything wrong done over the last eight years is never explained, the only thing that happens is someone calling out the mistakes and then instead of being corrected with facts the posters descend on that person for being a Bush hater and blaming everything on Bush. All I have to say is that the shoe fits.

I guess it doesn't matter that the current bill being debated along with the one passed by the House would actually cut the deficit. Of course it doesn't, even though it's true.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 8:33 PM

Like the fear mongering coming from the left today? Have you seen the one with the kids on ObamaCare? Isn't that fear-mongering? Didn't they pass a dumbulus package that only allowed them to print money and create jobs in place that don't exist, preaching that if it didn't pass, unemployment might reach 10%? Isn't that fear-mongering??? (by the way, even with the dumbulus package, unemployment is over 10%!)

Oh, I forgot, its only fear-mongering when it doesn't come from the left!!

Like polls were important when they favored the left! Now they are swinging away from the left, and all of a sudden, they are insignificant!!

And really lefty, don't talk about EMTALA unless you really understand it!!

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 6:40 PM

This country has debated universal health care for years--remember it was a "hot topic" when I was in high school in the late 60's.

Bill and Hillary's attempt to update our system gave the insurance industry and the Right notice to come up with something more effective.

The only result of which I am aware is double digit annual increases in health insurance premiums most years since then.

For all the fear mongering coming from the right, why haven't they come up with any substantial alternatives?

Though a while back Dick Trail proclaimed how wonderful and affordable his health care is, he is the only person I have heard espouse that philosophy.

The status quo is not working for a significant portion of the American population. And if fear of socialized medicine conerns one, wake up, please. Hospitals are required to treat the ill and injured already with reimbursement from the state.

The United States grows when honest, constructive debate occurs. On the other hand, fear mongering erodes our freedoms; fear mongering was a chief tool Hitler used in gaining power.

-- Posted by ontheleftcoast on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 6:02 PM

Congratulations Mike, you got through a whole blog without figuratively urinating on a soldier's grave!!!!!

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 4:40 PM

Why would you spend your valuable time p&m'ing about a filibuster when:

a: Filibusters are rarely successful, nor last that long.

b: A filibuster against ObamaCare will be squelched by Reid and his inner circle before it ever gets started.

The trouble with you libs is that you are terrible losers and even more terrible winners!!!!

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 4:38 PM

A sort of blog filibuster is Herndon Hanks posts, I'm sure he has some good points, but I don't have the time to read them. His responses to commenters often seem longer than the original blog.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 4:35 PM

Is that how you handle your unfortunate students, who can't shut you off, Mike???

-- Posted by dufferxyz on Mon, Nov 23, 2009, at 4:34 PM

That is also what debate is for wallis. I've always seen the filibuster as the cowards way out of debate (Republican or Democratic).

fredd, they don't admit those kinds of things. The last eight years were just a dream that started on 9/11/01 and ended on 1/20/09. Anything that happened during that time doesn't really count and they won't admit to it anyways.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Nov 22, 2009, at 6:03 PM

The reason for the filibuster is to stop new laws. Remember, when this country was founded, the people wanted little to no government in their lives. We live in a different world where people want the governement to control most of their lives.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Nov 22, 2009, at 2:43 PM

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