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Senate must ease filibuster rules [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-12 07:09 AM
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Senate must ease filibuster rules
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Senate must ease filibuster rules

Popular notions of the U.S. Senate filibuster, the practice of talking bills to death or delaying their passage, tend to come from film, such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or from legendary past examples. ...

In the past, senators actually had to stand on the floor and talk all day and all night to keep debate going. That naturally limited filibusters.

In the last decade, however, filibusters havent worked that way. The Senate allows silent filibusters the mere threat of a filibuster to force the majority to assemble 60 votes to cut off debate and move legislation. These pseudo-filibusters, or obstructionism on the cheap, have turned the filibuster from a tool of last resort to a regular part of Senate procedure. ...

No longer do senators attempt to put together a majority coalition to carry the day. They threaten filibusters and the business of the Senate grinds to a halt.

<snip>

In our constitutional republic, the majority is supposed to rule, with checks and balances to prevent rash decisions. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 22, the fundamental maxim of republican government requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.




http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20121130/OPINION0... (reprinted from the Sacramento Bee)

The article approves of Reid's position of modifying the filibuster. This is nonsense, IMO. The checks and balances on the Senate intended by the Constitution on a majority of Senators is not a minority of Senators, but the House, the President and the judiciary.

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