The Democrats are terribly worried about their ability to gain the 60 votes required for cloture in order to vote for passage of their health plan in the Senate. There are many of us, particularly on the Progressive side, who see the benefits of bringing the bill to the floor regardless of the pre-vote count and let the speeches begin!
The Republicans are griping that discussions regarding the content of the bill have not been open and transparent as promised by Candidate Obama. Committees have had meetings and administration officials have consulted experts in closed-door sessions. Now it is time for the "transparency" for which they pine.
Those bills should be brought to the floor in the state prepared by the respective committees and then allow the floor debates to be aired on C-Span. The benefits for the American people will be enormous. There in all their splendor will stand various and assorted "statesmen" in the very act of speaking for the people of their own states and giving their reasons for the direction of their impending vote.
Allow all the seniors who have been told that their benefits would be threatened by the passage of these measures understand precisely what is in the proposed legislation. Let them know without a doubt that there is no provision for "unplugging Granny."
Allow the unemployed heads of households to watch C-Span as they attempt to pay the family bills with not quite enough money while they worry about the cough that awoke them during the night. They live daily with the fear of yet another doctor's bill which could cost them their homes and force them to seek shelter elsewhere.
Allow the low-income worker who is suffering from an ache or an intermittent pain who dares not go to the doctor to have it checked out because of the high deductible required by his employer's decision to cut the coverage to save on expenses. These things may not generate enough pressure against the nay-sayers but it will certainly be remembered by the voters in each and every district next November.
Then let them stand before the final Court of the land. the people, whom they vowed to represent in the Halls of Congress and try to persuade them that the reasons they gave their fellow solons were for the good of the listeners. We have seen the Tea Baggers and the other manipulated minions of the Right with their prepared talking points. Now let the "public advocates" explain the facts to their fellow legislators and the angry voters why they should vote on their behalf rather than for the insurance companies who have filled the campaign coffers with all those lovely dollars.
"We, the people" have limited opportunity to make our needs felt and to offer direction to our representatives in Congress. The next chance for us to speak with authority will be next year. Let us really witness the performance of those who were elected to represent us and then to determine whether they have done it properly or whether some changes need to be made. That decision will only be made easier if we are allowed to see their performance in their own arena.
Please, let them filibuster!