Monday, February 05, 2007

Filibuster Follies

It looks as though Senate Republicans have successfully filibustered an effort to pass a resolution critical of President Bush's Iraq policy. As readers may know, I hate the filibuster and this is just another example of why. In this case, a minority of Senators has managed to prevent a debate on a non-binding resolution! This is hardly the sort of dangerous and repressive legislation that filibuster proponents say filibusters are supposed to prevent.

Anyway, as a way of getting around the filibuster, why don't Democrats offer up a non-binding resolution expressing their unstinting support for Bush's Iraq policy? If Republicans filibustered that, Democrats could argue that it represents a vote of no confidence in the President's policy. If they do allow a debate on the resolution, Republicans, especially those up for reelection in 2008, would have a hard time giving such unequivocal support to an unpopular policy. Heads I win, tails you lose.

1 comment:

Chris D. said...

Shoot. I hope I live to see a day when Democratic Congressional leadership is hard-nosed enough to do what you suggest.

As far as the filibuster goes, I've always argued for what I call the "popular filibuster." Each Senator is assigned the value of the number of votes he or she won in the last election. Cloture can then be invoked with a simple majority of Senators who also represent 50%+1 of the total vote votes cast for of all the Senators in their last election. So, then you are assured of a majority of Senate as well as popular support for cloture. Tell me that wouldn't shake the Senate up a bit.

I've never met a fellow Democrat or even a Republican who doesn't like the idea. Tonight, I'll test this against yesterday's vote. I'll let you know what I get. And, to think, my parents didn't know what I'd do with a political science degree.