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

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  •  No, sorry (0+ / 0-)

    Please read the diary again. Your idea about the filibuster the way it used to be is not accurate.

    It's actually very easy for the Republicans to filibuster, and very hard for us to break it. They aren't the ones who would have to stand up there and read the phonebook; we would have to keep 50 senators on the floor round the clock while they would only have to have one at a time, rotating them. They could each do two or three hour shifts. Easy stuff.

    Read the diary again, please. I think you'll see what I mean.

    •  Well, I read the diary again. (0+ / 0-)

      And we'll have to disagree about what history says about the filibuster.  Doris Kearns Goodwin seems to think that a filibuster is breakable.

      Words like "easy" and "hard" are not really specific enough. I'm interested in "possible".

      We didn't send these guys to Washington just to do "easy" stuff.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 02:33:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As described in the diary (0+ / 0-)

        it is theoretically possible to break a filibuster if the other side gives up before you do. But we're not talking about something academic here. We're talking about how to do this in the real world. How long would 50 actual human beings remain continuously on the floor of the Senate for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the month, while Republicans take turns with one person at a time? They could keep that up indefinitely, and they would, too. That's what they really want: they want the business of Congress stopped. They want nothing done. So, yes, Democrats could do this, but it does not seem at all likely to me that it would work: I think with the Republicans would wait them out, and we would have an impasse.

        •  Rule #19 (0+ / 0-)

          states a speaker may not speak twice in the same "legislative day" on the same topic without leave of the Senate.

          A "legislative day" only finishes the session is adjourned, and can stretch over several calendar days if need be.

          Therefore the Republicans can't tag team back and forth. At best 41 Senators (42 if Lieberman joins them) can speak sequentially.  If all of the Republicans can match Strom Thurmond's 24 hour eighteen minute record, we're in for 41 consecutive days of phone book reading.  Note that you have to yield to go the potty, so in all probability most Republicans won't be able to manage more than twelve hours.  So figure three solid weeks on the outside.

          I've lost my faith in nihilism

          by grumpynerd on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 04:46:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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