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Let’s have a real filibuster!

Posted by Richard on April 28, 2005

Dale Franks at QandO likes a proposal that Dick Morris makes in The Hill. I agree wholeheartedly. 

Morris argues that, instead of changing the Senate rules to kill the Democrat’s judicial filibusters, Sen. Frist should make the Dems conduct real filibusters, not these polite, pretend filibusters:

Frist just needs to end the “virtual” filibuster and make the Democrats stage a real one, replete with quorum calls, 24/7 sessions and truly endless debate covered word for word by C-SPAN for all the nation to see — and ridicule.

The Republican leaders, and the Democratic majority leader before them, have allowed the filibuster to be rehabilitated in the public mind by agreeing not to stage one. The gentlemanly filibusters of the modern era, where each side concedes unless one has 60 votes, have permitted virtual filibusters that incur no public wrath.

Yeah! Bring it on! As Franks says:

Right now, the filibuster is a painless and easy option for Democrats to pursue. And simply killing the filibuster rule through a rules challenge to the chair strikes a lot of the public as unseemly, especially if it’s done—as it inevitably will be—on a day when Vice President Cheney is serving as the chair. It’ll look unseemly, especially if people don’t really understand the issues, which, basically, they don’t. The average American neither knows, nor cares to know, about the rules of the senate.

But if you force a real filibuster to take place, one thing will certainly be clear: that it’s the Democrats who are obstructing the work of the Senate. That would make explaining the importance of ending judicial filibusters much more clear to the electorate.

It would also make for much more interesting and engaging news stories, so the electorate would be more inclined to actually pay attention.

The more I think about it, the better I like this idea. Let’s start a campaign to send Sen. Frist copies of (or links to) this Dick Morris column!

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