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thekoukoureport's avatar

Why not make them actually fillibuster?

Asked by thekoukoureport (4023points) September 21st, 2010

The republicans have stalled much legislation this year with the threat of a filibuster. Why not make them stand up and talk and expose them for the frauds they are?

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18 Answers

Ron_C's avatar

Exactly. There are a number of parliamentary tricks that lazy politicians use. The threat of a filibuster is sometimes enough, even when there is one, there is no one holding the floor, they just assume that it would be done and move on to other business. There is even a pocket veto that a Senator can threaten in secret and is often enough to stop progress.

I think that congressmen should be allowed to challenge each other to duels on the floor. Best shot wins the debate and we get a better turn over in congress. It’s a win win situation for all.

Thammuz's avatar

@Ron_C Stupid idea, texans would win all debates.

thekoukoureport's avatar

A fillibuster is not a debate. The Texan who apoligized to BP didn’t win a debate! Just showed his ignorance and that is exactly what we need to do. Shed light on the ignorance of these individuals.

Thammuz's avatar

@thekoukoureport I have no idea what a filibuster is, i’m not american and i’m unfamiliar with your politcal system beyond the raw basics, i was just replying to @Ron_C‘s idea of solfing the problem with a gunfight.

dalepetrie's avatar

This year at the MN State Fair, Senator Al Franken promised constituents that something is going to change next year, but not exactly what you think. Essentially, he says the problem isn’t so much that they don’t have to stand up and filibuster, but the problem is, it just takes one to object, and the side pushing for it needs 60 votes to overcome it. That means that ONE Republican could show up that day and say “we’re filibustering”, and that’s that. He says they are looking into changing the procedural rules so that rather than needing the 60 to stop, the opposition will actually have to come up with 40 votes to filibuster. He says this will solve the problem because many times he’s seen a Republican filibuster when ultimately they actually voted FOR the legislation, proof positive they were filibustering just to make it harder for Dems, and not because they believed in it. If 40 opponents were required to cast actual votes for a filibuster, we’d have far fewer, and they would no longer be able to use it as an obstructionist tool.

I hope he’s right

thekoukoureport's avatar

@Thammuz if you want to know about filibustering watch Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

Ron_C's avatar

@Thammuz I’m from the hills of Pennsylvania and I think our politicians could hold their own with the Texans. Besides if they let the Texans kick their ass, they don’t belong in congress.

tedd's avatar

@thammuz In the US senate they actually have votes to decide whether or not they’ll take time to debate a piece of legislation and then vote whether or not to approve it. This is normally a simple majority vote, if 51 or more senators vote to take the legislation into debate they do so. BUT, if the majority in favor of debating the legislation is less than 60 (the “super-majority”) then any member of the minority can “filibuster” the legislation.

A filibuster is a parliamentary movement that lets a member of the minority in a vote speak, as long as they want, about a topic before it goes to vote as to whether or not the senate will debate it. If someone chooses to filibuster it they have to stand at the podium and talk (about anything they want) and can only have water and no bathroom breaks (that may be like 1 break every 2 hours, I forget). When that person is done with their filibuster, then the senate votes and a simple majority (51) is enough to take it to debate. BUT, as many members of the minority as they want can filibuster it as many times as they want, one at a time, possibly drawing out the filibuster for days and weeks and months (as was done during civil rights legislation in the 60’s).

The argument the OP is making, is why don’t we let them filibuster. That way they have to go up there and speak non-stop, and look like the idiots they are and be exposed for the frauds they are.

Unfortunately the Democrats have refused to do this yet in the Obama presidency.

Seek's avatar

My high school history teacher used to tell a story about the days when to “filibuster” meant you got up on the podium and talked nothingness until you pissed yourself. He mentioned one Senator who had had enough, and tackled the speaker and sewed his mouth shut with a needle and thread.

Where is that coverage on CNN? Talk about ratings.

tedd's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Sadly those days preceded CNN by a good 50 years at least.

ETpro's avatar

I vote YES! for that. When a party is going to play constant obstructionist, at least make them stand up and read the phone book over and over again to do it SInce it seems today that every single issue the Senate is set to consider requires a cloture vote to bring it to the floor, let the old rules return. Senators who want to filibuster must stand up and speak. Only as long as they hold the floor speaking can they stop a vote. Let the public see news clips of nothing but constant reading of phone books, of constant obstructionism when the economy is in such dire need of action, and maybe folks will catch on to why things aren’t getting better fast enough for their liking.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Because we can’t. The senate rules changed so that we don’t require them to stand in front of congress continually, just to sort of pop in and say “I’m filibustering” and then they can go out for a hoggie or a boilermaker at an s&m strip club. The senate also introduced what’s called “dual-tracking” awhile back, meaning that they can do more than one thing at once. Before this, filibustering was like stopping a car on a one-lane highway. Now it’s like stopping a car on a mulitple-lane highway.

ETpro's avatar

@papayalily They set the rules all over again with the start of each successive Congress. The 112th Congress begins January 3, 2011. Until Senate rules are adopted, there are no rules of cloture, So the constitutional rule of a simple 51 vote majority is all that’s needed to change the rules.

Thammuz's avatar

@tedd I see. That actually sounds excruciatingly painful, and really dumb. Who didn’t see a problem with a measure that can go on indefinitely, essentially halting the democratic process, in favour of a minority when democracy is the rule of the majority?

tedd's avatar

@Thammuz Actually when they first made it it was worse, the super majority used to be like 70 votes. lol

thekoukoureport's avatar

Painful is a system choked waiting for judicial nominations to procede, cabinet and administration officials to be confirmed. 21 months and the congress is still stalling. How do we expect government to run when they can’t fill the posts needed to run government effectively? And despite always being required to have a supermajority this adminstration has been succesful in passing some of the most historic legislation for the people ever! Thanks Senator Snowe and Senator Collins you are my favorite republicans in the world.

But the best way to end this show is to let them speak and loudly. Because everytime they open their mouths to justify their stances they say the same things. Over and over again, NOTHING! So if they are required to actually answer for each and every one of their stances the people will have to see that they are empty. With nothing to offer 98% of our country. Right?

Thammuz's avatar

@thekoukoureport Wrong. Politicians make their careers by stalling the democratic process, it gives them leverage to pass legislations they can profit from.

Say i want to pass a legislation about an issue nobody really cares about because there’s no money involved. Like gay marriage. There’s this texan senator who happens to have a brother that deals in, i dunno, wood, and there’s this forest that is state property and thus cannot be touched. The texan stalls the legislation until the other guy votes for his motion to make the forest available for business and BAM the texan has another fat roll of money in his pocket at the expense of the state and democracy itself.

This example comes from my country, but i could see it implemented in your system in no time if it isn’t already.

I used a texan because i thought of the texan guy from the Simpsons.

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