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“Fear can only prevail when victims are ignorant of the facts.” Thomas Jefferson

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“And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Thomas Jefferson
Joe Blunt Ltp

The GOP counts on the People’s Misunderstanding of the Filibuster

Cover of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

Obama did not get much of anything he wanted despite the emerging right wing talking point to the opposite.   He has had to put a brave face on a record level of congressional obstruction not seen in history before his administration.  Even though the dems held both house and senate for two years, not much happened without huge give aways to the right wing.  This is because nearly every effort to pass bills through the senate was barricaded by the GOP with by procedural delays such as calls for quorum and threats of a filibuster.

The only stimulus bill to help get the economy back on track was passed in the last days of the Bush administration.  After Obama’s inauguration, conservatives have actively blocked any further attempts by the congressional majority to help along a more successful economic recovery.  The GOP needs to have a crisis to they can try to blame on Obama.

The 1939 movie with James Stuart,  ‘Mr Smith Goes to Washington’ dramatized the use of the filibuster as it came into uncommon use.  In a filibuster, senators may hold the floor and speak out on any subject for as long as they wish purely to obstruct the debate on the bill from going forward.

In recent years, the senate leadership has preferred to avoid the filibuster in order to proceed on other business.  For the convenience of allowing debate on other issues, it went from being a process requiring all day and all night speech on the floor to a short procedure, after which the senator may exit the door.

Until the senate leadership changes its policy on avoiding the filibuster, all the senator must do these days is threaten the filibuster and force a motion for cloture and the issue is closed.   Now that it is such an easy process, the GOP has used it to hold off Democratic initiatives such as the various jobs bills.  The cloture process has been used more in the last two years than in all preceding years combined.  This is an abuse of this arcane parliamentary procedure allowing the GOP to obstruct the recovery of our economy.

The current leadership should call the bluff of the GOP threats to filibuster and force them to stand in the well of the senate until their bladders explode and all phone books have been read into the record.   Maybe then we will see a rollback in the use of this procedure.

Filibuster Chart, Talking Points Memo, Brian Beutler

Author: Joe Blunt Ltp

Blunt Points by Joe Blunt. Liberal Talking Points are here to provide serious thoughts on the state of the nation. If you make less than a million bucks a year you are wasting your valuable personal time if you watch faux news or listen to conservative radio. Don’t get suckered in by the bs and twisted view of facts. We should be brave and not afraid. Freedom in America is not about corporations running amok and taking control. America is about freedom in our personal lives.

1 comment to The GOP counts on the People’s Misunderstanding of the Filibuster

  • Dear Joe Blunt: Let me pick a sentence out of your very fine article to comment upon: (“This is an abuse of this arcane parliamentary procedure allowing the GOP to obstruct the recovery of our economy.”)–
    I think it should be painfully obvious by now, to any but the incurably obtuse, that ‘Anything’ the GOP does—absolutely anything and everything—is designed to obstruct anything that might be considered as “American.” They have been anti-American since the days of the Revolution when, in their other personna (Republicans were formed in the 1800s but their ideologies existed way before that) they were tories, loyalists and protectors of the Crown and of the wealthy (Sound familiar?) and the “Filthy, scummy rabble” called “Patriots” were getting a dose of lead at Concorde Square while campaigning for some new disease called “Freedom.” The GOP ideologists were the same from day one as they are now and the only thing that will ever change them is for America to see the damage they habitually try to do and to de-commission their little fraternity of the privileged and to outlaw it completely. This is some good writing, Mr. Blunt and I appreciate having had the opportunity to read it. Thank you for standing up for what is right and good!

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