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View Diary: A real filibuster (62 comments)

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  •  I strongly believe in the idea of filibuster (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rktect, BachFan, sargoth, tb mare, SoonerG, judyms9

    in the sense that legislators should be able to band together to battle against things they are personally invested in opposing. It is an important principle of the legislative process.

    The problem with what we have today is that it isn't a real filibuster. Where's the commitment if you can simply walk away?

    A real filibuster removes the pure obstructionism and replaces it with commitment. Don't like that judicial nomination? You're going to have to back up that view with some passionate action and personal commitment.

    Otherwise, shut up and get out of the way.

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:10:02 PM PST

    •  I, too, think that legislators... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, rktect, happy camper, SoonerG

      ....should be able to band together to battle against things they are personally invested in opposing.

      That is an important principle of the legislative process.

      But if they end up with a minority of the legislators supporting their position, they should LOSE.

      That's why I'm utterly opposed to the filibuster.

      Elections have consequences. And the Senate should have majority rule.

      Hands off our Social Security!

      by GreenSooner on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:16:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'd pay a price for that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rktect, Drocket

        For every Obama, there's a Bush. And sometimes a 51 to 49 vote split can leave almost half the population voiceless.

        A true filibuster allows a large minority to slow a small majority down. I will never be able to be convinced there isn't value in that.

        If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

        by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:22:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We really wouldn't (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North, rktect, happy camper, SoonerG

          In the long history of the filibuster, it has virtually never been used for progressive causes.  And it really wasn't under Bush.  

          But I also continue to feel that elections have consequences. One of the prices of democracy is that, if your side loses, the other side gets to govern. And far more harm has been done in this country through the institutionalized inaction of the Senate than through too much legislative action.

          The other problem with the Senate, of course, is that it's a structurally un-democratic institution due to its system of apportionment.

          That's a very real problem, but it isn't "solved" by giving Senators representing even smaller minorities of the population even more power. Ultimately, I'd like to see the Senate stripped of most its powers (since the Constitution makes it nearly impossible to apportion it differently), turning it into a body much more similar to the world's other upper houses.

          As for allowing a large minority to slow down a majority: I have no problem with that. The problem with the filibuster is that it confers not the power to slow down legislation, but the power to stop it entirely.

          I'd be perfectly satisfied with a Senate with powers similar to Britain's House of Lords, i.e. the ability to delay, but not block legislature. In such a body, investing minorities with added powers would be substantially less problematic.

          Hands off our Social Security!

          by GreenSooner on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:30:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yea think about it. A single Senator from (5+ / 0-)

        a state with a population smaller than most mid sized cities can block legislation on a whim. Thats gotta change.

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 at 01:23:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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