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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Senate procedure - why not force them to REALLY filibuster?

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Author Topic: Senate procedure - why not force them to REALLY filibuster?
RickyB
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All this talk about the republicans (and dweeberman) staging a filibuster stems, imnsho, from one thing only: That people aren't expected to actually get up there, one after the other for hours, to actually filibuster. It has become a formality. You warn that you will and it's assumed you really will stick with it. Why? You wanna filibuster? Go right ahead. Get up there and go on record as holding up the works and tell us why. We're all ears.

They wouldn't last a week.

So my question: have the rules been changed in recent decades to explicitly say they don't have to really filibuster? The republicans can announce that they intend to filibuster, Reid can bring it to the floor anyway and let them yap to prevent a vote from being called.

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PSRT
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Senators have more in common with each other than with their constituents.
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Greg Davidson
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To give you a sense of how true that comment is, PSRT, when I was a government employee I once took a week-long training course on Capitol Hill (taught by staffers). The quote that I remember these best was from a Senate staffer who said "The other party - they're the opposition, but the House of Representatives, well, they're the enemy"). And that's just infighting on the Hill, imagine the gap between Senate offices and actual constituents...
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RickyB
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""The other party - they're the opposition, but the House of Representatives, well, they're the enemy"

You heard that first hand? [Smile] I've read of that line as an old standby.

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Greg Davidson
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It was not said with rage, more with a chuckle, but with the sense that there was an element of truth in it. Clearly when it comes to Health Care Reform, the best predictor of a person's vote will be their political party, not what chamber they belong to. But at the same time, there are prerogatives of each chamber that they take pretty seriously.
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Gaoics79
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I'm with Ricky. There's just something sterile and phony about a filibuster without any sacrifice on the part of those doing the filibustering. Let them demonstrate their commitment to their cause.

Alternatively, I would suggest that we bring in the starfire wheel. The leader of each party goes in, and the party whose leader is willing to die for them gains ascendancy.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I applaud efficiency. If a bluff produces the same result as the actual act, more power to them.
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ken_in_sc
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The ‘enemy’ quote, I heard another way. I’m retired Air Force. I heard that an AF general corrected a subordinate who had referred to the Soviet Union as the enemy. The general said, “ The Soviet Union is our adversary. Our Enemy in the US Navy.”


BTW, the word filibuster originally meant what today is usually called a “coup”. It was when a small group of people took over the entire government using force and intimidation. There were several Latin-American filibusters in the 1800s involving US Americans, and others. The term was broadened to include when a small group of Senators took over the US Senate by refusing to stop talking.

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hobsen
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At least the U.S. Air Force never went so far as actually to sink the U.S. Navy.

The original meaning of filibuster is new to me. Interesting.

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Kuato
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I definitely vote that the filibuster-protocol be renewed. I think if they had to get up and SAY something foolish (on C-span) we would have fewer foolish filibusters.
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Pyrtolin
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Reid could well force the issue to stay on the floor till it's resolved one way or another; he doesn't have to allow other legislation to be worked on while the filibuster threat hangs over his head.

But it doesn't come without a price for the Democrats as well. The Republicans only need to keep one or two people in the room at a time- the one that has the floor, and the next senator in line to have it. The Democrats would need to keep at least 49 around at all times- not just to be ready to force a vote if the Republicans accidentally fail to cede the floor to the next one in line, but just to keep enough of a quorum present to keep the session going. If enough leave, as I understand it, business is closed and the Republicans don't need to keep carrying on until enough are back on the floor.

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Mormegil
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Remember that Star Trek episode where people fought a war with computers? Their computer alerts them of a simulated attack with simulated weapons, and tells them who the casualties are. They then report to the disintegration chamber.

At the end Kirk blows up their computer (of course) and tells them they have made war too neat and painless; they can either start a war for real with all the horrors it entails, or make peace.

Seems rather apropos.

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