Filibuster go boom? Not a good move, even now

  • Article by: Richard A. Arenberg
  • Updated: July 14, 2013 - 5:59 PM

However justified it may feel, nothing good would come of ‘nuclear option.’

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gofurnuttJul. 14, 13 9:42 PM

Since Congress can't Get anything significantly accomplished...Let's Send 'em all home and Pay 'em by the Hour for the times they Deem to show up from their usual weekly Tuesday afternoon arrival 'til their Thursday evening adieu..... Minimum Wage Seems about right.....

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docgeddyJul. 15, 13 6:28 AM

The Democrats shouldn't blow up the filibuster. Instead, they should call the Republicans on their threats. Make them stand up and drone on about a resume they were just handed, or some ideological idiocy that will never pass. Make C-SPAN campy TV at last. And reveal obstructionism for what it is: maintaining the status quo the Republicans claim to hate. Make 'em stand up and and reveal who and what they really are.

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Packman_1Jul. 15, 13 6:37 AM

The problem is that the fillibuster can now be used without even having to stand and defend you position. A simple objection by any one Senator can stop confirmation. The simple fact is that the GOP has used the fillibuster more times in the last 4 years than all other Senates combined. When Obama can't even get a nominee for the head of the EPA an up or down vote, something's got to give.

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cstoney48Jul. 15, 13 6:54 AM

The Convention of 1787 created our current Constitution because Congress under the Articles of Confederation was unable to address the issues confronting the new nation. The 1787 convention delegates understood that paralysis is not governing. So while minority concerns were protected in the new document (three branches which served as limits on each other and the equality of the states in the Senate to protect each state’s sovereignty), the delegates were intent on creating a government which could actually function. The filibuster is not found in the Constitution. Cynicism and its widespread abuse has paralyzed an institution that once actually functioned--most of the time. Historically, the filibuster was used sparingly--not as an everyday, every issue threat. Its most intense use was in the defense of slavery, segregation and racial discrimination. Horrendous legacy--the best that can be said in its defense was that its implementation was limited and Senators were once required to hold the chamber floor and defend their stance on the issues before other members and the nation. Not so now. The mere threat of it is currently sufficient. Retuning to the the Founders, they were very specific which items would require a super majority--they debated the issue at length--see the debates on navigation acts and treaties as examples. Simply maintaining something because it exists is no defense for a noxious rule. So for all the Constitutional conservatives--here is your chance to support what you claim to believe--original intent. Besides, Mitch really wants Harry to end the filibuster so Harry will be blamed for abolishing a “sacred Senate tradition”. Mitch is counting on retaking the chamber in 2014 and doesn't want the responsibility but will not tolerate having his obstructionism used against him and his ideological allies. Changing Senate Rule 22 is only a matter of time and which party will do it.

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armybratJul. 15, 13 7:10 AM

"The simple fact is that the GOP has used the fillibuster more times in the last 4 years than all other Senates combined"

Simple solution: When the democrats decide to negotiate and compromise their will be litle need to invoke the filibuster.

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tomstromieJul. 15, 13 7:50 AM

I like the filibuster for the simple fact that it forces the government to do less rather than do more.

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braxozJul. 15, 1310:31 AM

armybrat Jul. 15, 13 7:10 AM "The simple fact is that the GOP has used the fillibuster more times in the last 4 years than all other Senates combined" Simple solution: When the democrats decide to negotiate and compromise their will be litle need to invoke the filibuster.________ So the Democrats should give the GOP what it wants and call it a compromise? Both sides have used the filibuster but the Republicans have institutionalized it since Obama was elected.

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luxaeternaJul. 15, 1311:00 AM

The Republicans, who are a minority in the Senate, aren't interested in any sort of compromise, and use the threat of filibuster to shut down the U.S. government, including even the filling of key positions in the Executive branch of government. Their intransigence has brought us to this point that the rules have to be changed so that the will of the people, who elected a Democratic senate majority, can be upheld.

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hermajestyJul. 15, 1311:14 AM

armybrat: In the past few years, the Democrats have compromised with the Republicans way too much, watering down their legislation until it has no teeth, and then the Republicans vote against it anyway.

Such behavior only encourages the bullies who are currently in charge of the Congressional Republicans, especially those in the House.

I'd be fine with filibusters if they were done the old fashioned way, with a Senator standing up and talking for hours with no bathroom breaks. This would force Senators to filibuster only on important matters of principle and not just to hobble the current administration's distressingly few deviations from G.W. Bush's policies.

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jimjimjimjimJul. 15, 1312:49 PM

Looks like the liberals have a short memory. What does it mean when Obama says "Move to the back seat" or "Get out of the way". How about calling the GOP the enemy or telling them "We won - get over it". The democrats do not know the word negotiate and do not compromise. They then blame the GOP as obstructionists which low information voters but without question.

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