Thursday, March 5, 2009

About the Filibuster

I think that in light of recent debates in Congress, it's time for Harry Reid to call Mitch McConnell's bluff. The agenda of President Obama, which is what is currently being stopped up in Congress, is favored overwhelmingly by the American people, as demonstrated by public opinion polls. The Republicans have been able to successfully use their filibuster power to slow the passage of the legislation and even make some changes to it, yet they have yet to take to the Senate floor to read out of phonebooks, cookbooks, or anything else that might be used to stall for time in the Senate. In light of the popular support for the Obama agenda, the Democrats don't need to back down when there are only 58 of them in support of a bill and the Republicans threaten to filibuster. If it's an important issue, they should all but beg the Republicans to spend 12, 24, 48 hours standing in front of the cameras wasting the nation's time in opposition to a measure that voters generally favor. It might work for a few hours the first time, and maybe the second time, but it won't be politically viable in the long run to stand in front of the country and almost physically block legislation that has widespread support. Maybe the Democrats don't want to do it because it seems fickle and partisan, but the debate I'm seeing these days seems pretty fickle and partisan too. Maybe it would make it too easy for the Republicans to tie a bad economy to the Democrats in 2010 if things haven't turned around by then, but then again, if they don't believe that what they're doing will actually help, they're screwed anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment