January 6, 2008
The Fabulous Filibuster
About one month ago, the current session of congress (the 110th), received the dubious honor of becoming the most filibusteringest congress of the last 30 or so years with an entire year left in the session. That's the equivalent of Barry Bonds hitting 70 home runs by the all star break in both the rate of record breaking and the amount of public hatred towards the record breakers.
The record is the direct result of obstructionism by the Republicans (expertly discussed in a pdf available for download and two Glen Greenwald columns here and here). These are the same Republicans, mind you, that stomped and cried and threatened the "nuclear option" of removing the filibuster because the Democrats threatened to block the nomination of a few judges.
Before you go accusing me of being a Democrat, let me just say this in my defense. The bills and amendments filibustered would have
1. Restored Habeas Corpus to before the Military Commissions Act (HR 1585 - S.AMDT.2022)
2. Increased support for renewable electricity
3. Reduced oil company subsidies
4. Given people in DC the right to vote (S 1257)
5. Reduced troop levels in Iraq
6. Voted to show No Confidence in Alberto Gonzales
All partisanship aside, those are things I would have liked to see happen.
I'm also bringing this up because the media is doing a piss poor job of covering the issue. Instead of discussing this issue as one of Republican obstruction, they simply say that 60 votes are now needed to pass Democratic legislation and that the Democrats are not delivering on their promises.
For an interesting take on minority and majority party politics check out Act 3 of This American Life episode 325.