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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Filifluster

Cool: someone at Slate today answers my "how do they filibuster" question:

Another fallacy inherent in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the notion that the modern-era filibuster has anything to do with what Sen. Robert Byrd (citing Mr. Smith in a March 1 floor speech) grandly calls "the deliberative process." As Byrd well knows, contemporary practice eliminates the speechifying part of the filibuster altogether; these days, whenever a filibuster is threatened, the Senate majority will typically calculate whether it has the 60 votes necessary to cut off debate, and if it doesn't, it won't bother to bring the legislation in question to a floor vote at all. (Byrd, I should note, filibustered—the old-fashioned way—14 hours against passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That's the law that banned discrimination in public facilities! So forgive me if his views on the subject don't command my full attention.)

This is such a Star Trek solution. You know - the one where, rather than have a real war, two battling planets instead play war games with each other and choose civilian casualties by lottery, who are then gently euthenized? "Oh my god!" the planners shriek, "They've hit Capital City with a nuke!"

2 Comments:

Blogger DarkoV said...

Personally, like so many other American activities these days, filibustering has gone down the road to the ever-increasing in size town of Pansyville. Oh, for the days when politicians were, well, real politicians! Fat, smelling of that fine combination of sourmash whisky, cheap cigars, and dried urine. The good ol' days when they blew out carbon dioxide in the form of verborrhea that had you gagging for an open window. The days when it wasn't uncommon to have one representative club another with his walking stick.
Frankly, I'm surprised the wussification of Congress hasn't come down to our elected officials doing their duties via blogs and e-mails. Why bother showing up in DC anyway? If you don't have the verbal skills to take on a go-down-blazing in a pontificating ever-tightening circle of dreck, why do they run for office.
Bring me that NYC phonebook and leyt me start reading it aloud! It's Ol' Tyme Filibustering!

5:34 AM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Oh heaven forfend they should discover blogging! I used to cringe at the ritual "politeness" of the House of Commons - you knew there was no way that guy was that guy's "right Honorable Friend"; but then I heard some speechifying in the Senate, in which it appears obligatory that every speaker must spend at least thirty minutes congratulating himself, his state, his colleagues, all before coming to some convoluted point. Just go to war already!, I remember thinking!

Can you imagine how boring their blogs would be? Imagine if they crafted blog posts the way they craft bills?

1) Strike Instapundit 5/5/05-334p45line3 "Afghanistan", replace with "Iran"
2) .....

7:35 AM  

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