December 12th, 2008

Pixel Stained

Going Nuclear

It may be time to change the senate rules on filibuster, and at this point I sort of wish the, "nuclear option" the Republicans were using to threaten the Dems over judicial nominations (which led to the "Gang of 14" and proof that 1:Lieberman wasn't a dem, and 2: what passed for honor among senators was perhaps rarer than what passes for it among thieves, as the question of who counted at, "extreme" seemed to be answered with, "no one whom a Republican president chooses to name.").

Why do I say this? Because of this sentence in an article about the proposed automaker bailout:

Moments later, the Senate failed to win the 60 votes need to bring up the auto rescue plan for consideration. The Senate voted 52 to 35 with 10 Republicans joining 40 Democrats and 2 independents in favor.The White House issued said it would consider alternatives but offered no assurances.

Which is, plain and simple, nonsense, and bullshit. It doesn't take 60 votes to bring it up for consideration, it takes 60 votes to kill a filibuster. But the dimwits in the Senate have let the merest sign of whiny displeasure from the Repubilicans become a victorious filibuster.

Filibusters are supposed to be hard. They require the speaker to, without support, or break, hold the floor. The scene in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" where Jimmy Stewart (as Mr. Smith) is stitting on a desk, with a glass of water, reading "Gone with the Wind [which was an anachronism, as it hadn't been written when the film was supposed to be taking place, but I digress), is wrong.

I've said it before, and I suspect I'll have to keep saying it; if the Republicans want to use their minority status to prevent the actions the majority want to pass (and not just the majority of the politicians, but often the majority of the body politic) that's thier right, but don't let that sort of game go on in the dark. Make them do it in public.

Hell, make them do it. Force them to stand up in the light of the C-Span cameras and speak against things the people want.

More to the point stop lying to us about how it take, "60 votes" to get anything done in the senate.