Red Letter Day

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nut up or shut up, Democrats

With Brown's win, why don't the Democrats, instead of giving up, call the GOP's bluff on the filibuster?

Negotiate a good compromise bill and put it up there. Make the GOP engage in a real filibuster, bringing the business of the Senate to a halt. While Scott Brown (or whoever) spends days on end reading "War and Peace" into the Congressional record, Obama and other should take the offensive, excoriating the filibustering Senators for blocking the business of the nation, and calling on a fair, simple, and straightforward up-or-down vote.

Meanwhile, why doesn't the President, you know, try to sell his plan to the country? They guy used to know how to give a speech, and no matter how angry the teabaggers are at the thought of more people having health care, I don't think the majority of America actually likes having their health care decisions made by insurance company bureaucrats.

That's what the Democrats would do if they had any balls. But of course, they don't, so they won't.



  • I suspect that there are a number of Democrats who are secretly relieved by the results of the Massachusetts Senate election. It's one thing to say they should just come up with a reasonable compromise, but it's another thing to do it. The original house bill had 220 votes. Since then, two of the "yeas" have resigned. That leaves exactly zero margin for error on a bill that raises serious conflicts between various Democrat factions.

    At least now they can blame Republicans. I have serious doubts they ever would have come up with a bill that could get the support of Democrats.

    By Anonymous Tim Williams, At 7:35 PM  

  • From Wikipedia:
    In the modern filibuster, the senators trying to block a vote do not have to hold the floor and continue to speak as long as there is a quorum. In the past, when one senator became exhausted, another would need to take over to continue the filibuster. Ultimately, the filibuster could be exhausted by a majority who would even sleep in cots outside the Senate Chamber to exhaust the filibusterers. Today, the minority just advises the majority leader that the filibuster is on. All debate on the bill is stopped until either cloture is voted by three-fifths (now 60 votes) of the Senate. Some modern Senate critics have called for a return to the old dramatic endurance contest but that would inconvenience all senators who would have to stay in session 24/7 until the filibuster is broken.

    They don't have to halt congress. It would take exactly five minutes for the republicans to filibuster this. This rule allows them to keep working on other stuff.

    Learn the rules before you start insulting people.

    By Blogger John, At 9:22 PM  

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