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View Diary: It's not about "secret holds." It's about the filibuster. (46 comments)

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  •  Congrats on (6+ / 0-)

    getting paid work as a Fellow for the Progressive Caucus Action Fund.  That's great!

    I agree.  Secret holds need to go, but the filibuster is the real problem.  It's undemocratic and it uhas the effeect of elevating the Senate over the House, contrary to the US Constitution. It may not be formally unconstitutional, but it violates the founders intent of two, co-equal house in the legislature.  Thus, it really is Un-American on multiple levels.  

    Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

    by TomP on Fri May 07, 2010 at 11:04:53 AM PDT

    •  Interesting point. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, KenBee, TomP, elwior, effervescent

      You're constantly hearing about how the filibuster was part of the founders' design for the Senate, but it really wasn't. The original Senate rules had the same mechanism available for forcing an end to debate that the House rules had: a "previous question" motion.

      They ended up getting rid of that rule (at the suggestion of Aaron Burr, apparently) in the early 1800s, because no one was using it. Which probably also means that no one was filibustering, or else they'd have used it. It was likely just inconceivable that an issue important enough to be debated by the Senate wouldn't come to a vote eventually.

      So the filibuster was created by accident, after jettisoning a rule that had gone unused, but not realizing that that left no way to close debate if someone decided to go nuts. It certainly wasn't part of any original plan, and has never been enshrined in the Constitution or anything.

      But what is interesting constitutionally is the fact that this accident, created by the absence of a rule, had the effect of elevating one house's power above the other.

      •  current disclosure rule easily defeated? (0+ / 0-)

        a rotating cast of secret objectors would do it, every 5 days.

           It could be coordinated by the local Young Repub chapter, I've heard enough of those people, that and the credit card fine print to fertilize the whole farm.

        Congrats on the gig, onward and upward.

        I am not a number, I'm a free man!

        by KenBee on Fri May 07, 2010 at 03:51:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And thanks! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, TomP, effervescent

      We'll see how long we can make it last! It's not a great deal of money, but it helps keep the gears turning.

      There's a lot we can do beyond filibuster reform with this fellowship program, and a lot more people besides me who can help do it. But like anything, it takes some organization and some funding. CREDO's made a very generous offer that enables us to get started and for people to help out without putting up their own cash. They're making a donation to the fellowship fund for every signature on their petition.

      I'm not a big petition guy, myself. But that's a pretty painless way to pitch in, all things considered.

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