I am watching The Daily Show. Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Dr. Ruth of presidential history is being interviewed about Wednesday’s State of the Union address (see video below).
She began talking about the threat of a Republic filibuster and then said, “Let them do it!¹.”
Hmmm…. where have I heard that before?
OK–it was me.
Seriously though, currently the Republicans get all the advantages of filibustering with none of the downside. They are treating the Senate as if it’s their friend with benefits.
Meanwhile the Democrats shy away from a filibuster as if:
- it will make the Democrats look bad
- It will slow things down.
Hey Dems–you couldn’t look worse than you look already and at the current pace you’ll accomplish nothing in my lifetime! Obviously your strategy sucks.
I felt so flattered to hear DKG take my position I almost forgot about her reasonably inexcusable plagarism.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Doris Kearns Goodwin|
¹ – Like an idiot I erased the show before confirming the quote. If this wasn’t it exaclty, it was pretty darned close.
3 thoughts on “Doris Kearns Goodwin Agrees With Me”
I’m not surprised that you and I both thought of that action, but if SHE agrees, then Obama really did screw up by not letting the minority anger the American public by forcing government to a halt.
Geoff, I’d agree with you, but it appears that the Senate rules have given the filibusterers (is that a word?) an easy out. The following is excerpted from the site http://searchwarp.com/swa248379.htm:
The cloture rule continued unchanged until 1975, when under President Ford and Vice President Rockefeller, Rule 22 was amended by a vote of 51-42 to allow a cloture vote to pass with a favorable vote by a three-fifths majority of the Senate membership. This lower requirement made it easier to invoke cloture on a debate to prevent a real filibuster.
However, the 1975 changes also made it possible for a filibuster to be “invisible.” With 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster and 41 votes needed to prevent cloture, the 1975 rules changes allowed for 41 or more Senators to simply state that they intended to filibuster and the issue would be set aside. In that case the filibuster would be assumed and would not actually have to be performed. Thus, the “procedural filibuster” was born. (Caveat: the credentials of the article’s author seem kind of light.)
In other words, the days of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington style filibusters are over. The obstructionists can say, “We choose to filibuster,” and that’s it.
This may not be the final word: Wikipedia says that the Senate Majority Leader can demand an actual talking-style filibuster if he/she so desires. It there’s any truth to that (and who knows–it’s Wikipedia), Harry Reid needs to show some backbone.
I think the answer is in the last paragraph (and I am assuming Doris Kearns Goodwin knows what she’s talking about)–Harry Reid needs to ‘man up.’