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View Diary: What stands in the way of "forcing" a filibuster? (251 comments)

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  •  Yes, I've read the article and recognize (0+ / 0-)

    that, on the face of it, the 'cost' to the minority appears to be very little; however, I do believe that since the threat has been made so often, I'd say calling for an actual filibuster is the way to show the American public exactly what it could represent for each and every bill.  And, I don't believe that the Rethugs have the heart or energy to back this up.  

    The filibuster is a threat to each and every bill which is an extreme abuse of the filibuster and an extreme response is necessary, IMO.

    What this means in effect is that a dedicated team of participants in the filibuster could take turns an hour or two at a time (or more if they chose) occupying the floor, lying like maniacs about whatever bill was under consideration, and any Democrat who sought to correct them would only help extend the filibuster. And any time they got bored or tired or even just mischievous, they could suggest the absence of a quorum and then disappear, forcing the Democrats to produce 50 Senators or face automatic adjournment. The only rule about how often they can do that is that "some business" must transpire between quorum calls. So if they decided to do it every five minutes or so, Democrats would have to drag 50 Senators to the floor each time, while the Republicans could go take naps. Which means that a "real" filibuster kills the schedule of almost every single Democrat and commits them to sleeping in their offices for however long it goes on, while Republicans can share the duties among 41 of them, one or two at a time, working in shifts.

    Can that be done? Yes. But there's no telling how long that could last, or whether they could ever truly wear out 41 Republicans who can go home for a good night's sleep every night while Dems spent the night on cots and couches, etc. There are, technically, some limitations on how often each Senator can speak. The rules do limit each Senator to two speeches per "legislative day" (not the same -- of course! -- as a regular calendar day) on any particular pending question, for instance. But there are usually ways around that, like offering an amendment, which creates a new debatable question upon which each Senator is again entitled to two speeches.

    If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library? Lily Tomlin

    by msmacgyver on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 08:17:01 AM PST

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