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Gender: Male
Hometown: NC
Member since: Thu Oct 21, 2004, 09:10 AM
Number of posts: 3,102

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Things that bug me about the filibuster

Yeah yeah, I know - all of us on here are well-schooled and we understand what a filibuster is, but I don't think your average non-political junkie has any idea of how dangerous the filibuster is. Why is that? A few ideas:

1. People don't understand the filibuster because it is so far removed from everyday life. In most elections - local, county, city, state - we vote for our candidate and we expect our candidate to speak for us. Also, the person who gets the most votes wins in every election except the President (that's a subject for another post entirely). In city councils, state legislatures, the US House - laws or ordinances get passed by majority vote. It's what we are used to seeing.

2. The media is dishonest about the filibuster. The headline will say something like "The Senate defeats a bill to establish a bipartisan commission on the events of January 6." That really isn't true, though. They didn't vote on establishing the commission - they voted on whether to end debate on it. Correct me if I'm wrong on this - once they vote to end debate, the vote on the actual bill is majority-rules, right? There IS no 60-vote threshold for bills themselves - only on cloture. That point is too fine for most people to understand.

3. When cloture is not invoked, people get the mistaken impression that "Congress doesn't accomplish anything." And since the Democrats are in charge, we get blamed. The blame is never put on the party who blocks everything.
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