Thursday, February 11, 2010

Keep the filibuster, but make them really make it a filibuster

There's a lot of discussion about getting rid of the filibuster these days, since the Republican party at the moment has gone completely overboard with it.  My feeling on this is one of frustration at the fact that every vote needs a super-majority, but I still don't think that we should get rid of the rule.
My reason?  I'm a conspiracy theorist at heart.  I believe that the whole use at the moment is an attempt on the part of republicans to get the democrats to get rid of the rule.  Then, next time they are in the majority, the rule is gone and they can pass laws as they please.

I'd rather see a different change in the rules: let's make sure that the use of the filibuster means that there has to be a continued presentation on the senate floor, a la Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, rather than the mere "we're blocking this: give up" rule we have now.

This way, filibusters will be very visible, and parties who use them frivolously (as now, by republicans, in my opinion) will pay a penalty at the ballot box.  Parties who use them wisely will reap benefits.

Yours, frustrated, but still certain that scrapping the rule is the wrong thing to do,


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