Editorial: Filibuster in need of major overhaul

  • Article by: EDITORIAL BOARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 25, 2012 - 5:12 PM

Minority party's cynical abuse is an affront to democracy.

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minn12Dec. 25, 12 5:37 PM

Typical liberal hypocrisy. When the repubs were in power, and the dems were the minority, all you heard was how important the filibuster was to the process. The dems protested against any attempt to invoke the 'nuclear option', threatened to shut down the senate, etc. Now that THEY are in power, they are talking about actually doing the nuclear option. And they wonder why they are the party of hypocrites.

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Flash_GordonDec. 25, 12 6:17 PM

This is not a liberal or conservative problem, this is an AMERICAN problem! The majority party should be able to control the senate. The Democrats have been just a guilty as the Republicans in abusing the filibuster. The American people, who have voted in the elections are the ones being disrespected and abused by this practice.

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theagonygopDec. 25, 12 6:57 PM

minn12: "Now that THEY are in power, they are talking about actually doing the nuclear option." It was the republicans who first suggested the "nuclear option" if you recall. The also recommended the health insurance mandate in the early nineties, deceived us about the need for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they nominated Condoleeza Rice (who failed us on 9/11 and lied about WMDs) as Secretary of State. Hypocrisy from the GOP covers over two decades and knows no bounds.

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bearclaw500Dec. 25, 12 6:58 PM

First of all, we are a constitutional republic, not a democracy. The founding fathers of this country hated democracy. Ben Franklin said it best "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." Secondly,the governing process in this country was designed to be inefficient and cumbersome. The founders understood that government, has and will always be the antithesis of freedom. They created a government that made passage of new laws cumbersome.

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joeshermanDec. 25, 12 7:36 PM

If anything the minority should have more power as in getting some of the 420 bills already passed by the House brought up in the Senate for an up or down vote.

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callmeronDec. 25, 12 8:04 PM

When Democrats were the minority party in the Senate and used the filibuster to thwart Republican legislation, you didn't hear the Democratic Party or liberal left complaining about the filibuster then, did you? Nope.

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goferfanzDec. 25, 12 9:50 PM

No, give the editorial credit. It admits it is a bipartisan problem. The real dilemma is: why 60 votes are soooooo hard to achieve? It is a testimony to the extreme polarization of both parties. Face reality: of the last 12 Congress chambers, 6 have been Dem, 6 have been GOP. Yet, people on blogs will espouse endlessly that the massive problems of this country are due to the one party they dont like. 21st century America............

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crystalbayDec. 25, 1210:52 PM

" When the repubs were in power, and the dems were the minority, all you heard was how important the filibuster was to the process"..............All you have to do is actually look at the historical record number of times the GOP has used the filibuster to see beyone a doubt that it's being used to stop all nominations, all legislation, and stall out any semblance of governing this country. The Dems have come no where near this number of filibusters when they were in the minority. No where near. It's disgraceful and undemocratic to employ this tactic for virtually every single action which needs to be taken. In effect, abusing the filibuster affords the minority party the power to stop virtually everything in its tracks, even filling minor posts. The filibuster was intended for major pieces of legislation, not for the purpose of shutting down government as the GOP is trying to do.

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scottkyDec. 25, 1211:10 PM

Why isn't legislation passing? It used to be the Senate was the collegial body - It would generally work to get bills to pass with about 80% of the vote and temper the passions from the House of Representatives. But with politics now played as a zero-sum game in the Senate, that collegiality has gone away. Drop the partisan bickering and passing items that would only carry partisan support and work on the agenda that would have 80% support.

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potter101Dec. 26, 1212:12 AM

minn12Dec. 25, 12 5:37 PM Typical liberal hypocrisy. When the repubs were in power, and the dems were the minority, all you heard was how important the filibuster was to the process. The dems protested against any attempt to invoke the 'nuclear option', threatened to shut down the senate, etc. Now that THEY are in power, they are talking about actually doing the nuclear option. And they wonder why they are the party of hypocrites.*******************Might want to take a look at what party uses this filibuster in excess. the numbers are clear. this is a regressive tactic. I don't care who's in power you shouldn't be able to call in a filibuster,Minimally you have to hold the chair. but the reality is there is something wrong with anything in congress that can stop our representatives from voting. Get rid of it.

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