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  • Sunday, May 22, 2005


    The Dying Filibuster

    There are all sorts of reasons to care about the possible elimination of the filibuster from the Senate but I think the most important is the role it plays in helping the minority party have some last ditch option for blocking legislation or nominees. Daily Kos has a fairly good summation here.

    Because our national political system is almost entirely a two party affair, I think there is a place for some finessing by the minority party. If the ruling party can essentially do everything it likes through simple majority decision, it starts to seem rather futile for the minority party to even show up. Why participate if you can have no affect on the outcome?

    Something I was surprised to learn is that filibusters no longer mean actually standing (or sitting, I guess) in the Senate chamber and reciting the phone book or such like. Apparently Senators can sign a "intent to filibuster" and just skip the hard hours of actually being there. I'm thinking this is a little flakey, even (dare I say it) wimpy. If the matter at hand is important enough to invoke the filibuster, I think it's important enough to do the hard work of an actual filibuster, not a virtual one.

    This is PBU21 in solidarity/association with the Progressive Blogger Union.

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