Remember for the last six years hearing in the traditional media how "the Senate blocked" or "the Senate voted down" this or that legislation? And how Senate Democrats and those of us in new media would report that once again Republicans actually filibustered those bills, and how they set all kinds of records
for filibusters once President Obama was inaugurated?
This probably won't be a huge surprise, but now that Republicans are in the majority and Democrats are doing the legislative blocking, the traditional media finally decides to use the "f" word. Politico
Senate Democrats are falling back in love with the filibuster.
After eight years of complaining about obstructionism, the Senate's new Democratic minority is embracing some of the same tools Republicans had wielded so skillfully to jam the legislative machinery. On Tuesday, Democrats used the filibuster to stop a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security—and roll back President Barack Obama’s immigration policies—dead in its tracks.
To be fair, Politico then does go into a pretty accurate reading of recent history and Republican tactics, like pointing out this:
In fact, the previous Congress’ Democratic Senate majority was incensed by the myriad occasions when Republicans blocked debate from starting on legislation. They were particularly offended when the GOP demanded amendments, then prevented debate from starting on the underlying bill, including with legislation on intelligence reform or pay equity. Bills can't be amended if the floor debate can't start.
But wouldn't that have been a useful bit of procedural knowledge for Politico—and all other outlets—to be explaining when it was actually happening? Perhaps they could explain how Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise of an "open amendment" process during the Keystone XL debate was not open at all
It would be nice to think that now the Senate has changed hands, outlets like Politico would start digging into the deep story of Senate procedure, how the Republicans used it, and what Democrats have been pushing with filibuster reform. But that takes work, much harder work than just reporting that senators are spatting over it.