October 28, 2008

Record Number of Filibusters: why Democrats couldn’t get anything done last term (except take the edge off Bush Administration). And why Democrats need to ride Obama’s coattails if we want Change.

Below please find a great piece by Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post (which I just got a column with…I’ll post my first article for them this week, please support me by commenting whether positively or negatively).

Excerpt: With eight days to go before Election Day, both sides are worried.

…with victory within sight, the question becomes: how much change can he deliver if Democrats don’t reach a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate?

If the recent past is prologue, the answer is: not nearly enough.

In the just-ended 110th Congress, obstructionist Senate Republicans, led by human roadblock Mitch McConnell, mounted a record 104 filibusters (and that was with Bush in the White House; imagine how much more intransigent they would be with Obama). To put that number in context, in the previous Congress, the 109th, in which Democrats were in the minority, there were just 54 filibusters.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called the GOP tactic “obstruction on steroids.” McConnell countered by deeming the filibuster flood an “ordinary procedure.” And he makes it clear it’s going to become even more “ordinary” if he’s allowed to wield it in the 111th Congress: “I think the Senate works best when it makes things happen in the middle and that happens when you have 41 or more people who resist an idea to the point where you can compromise.” In other words, to the point where you can derail, shut down, and gridlock real change…

…for the rest, click here.

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