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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/25/13

Filibuster reform is dead

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   3 comments
Message Brent Budowsky

If the obstructionist monkey remains on the back of Republicans in the grip of factions far to the right of mainstream America, the surrenderist monkey remains on the back of Democrats in Washington who will soon face a backlash from the Democratic base that they have no idea is coming. Filibuster reform is dead. Kaput. Bye-bye. Farewell. Done deal. Over and out. For those who think I am a shameless loyalist to Democratic leaders, whom I usually support, I would not try to sell this dead dog to a dead cat.

I have worked for high-level Democrats in both the Senate and House and know the rules inside out, and I could figure out how to obstruct and destroy any legislation under this latest "agreement" in two minutes after 10 beers during the last quarter of the Super Bowl.

Republicans in the Senate have abused the filibuster in recent years in ways that have corrupted Senate procedures more than at any time in the history of the republic. In response and after decibels of discussion in which Democrats suggested Democrats would take a stand, here is what happened:


Before the latest "gentlemen's agreement" Senate Democrats would have to solicit the gracious permission of Senate Republicans before doing the business of the United States on the floor of the United States Senate.

After the latest "gentlemen's agreement" Senate Democrats will have to solicit the gracious permission of Senate Republicans before doing the business of the United States on the floor of the United States Senate.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans, who are in mortal fear of facing primaries from the far fight, including both the Republican leader in the Senate and the Republican whip in the Senate, will seek the approval of the right before granting their permission to the Democrats.

Permission denied.

Nothing changes.

Filibuster wins.

Mr. Smith has left Washington.

There will be a huge backlash from the Democratic base once liberals from outside Washington fully understand what just happened. The backlash will become severe once the Republicans renew their filibuster attacks, which will return before the rooster crows many more times and continue throughout the current Congress, between recesses.

In the meantime there is a lot of misinformation being peddled to the Democratic base about the fight (or fate) of the assault-weapons ban, a subject for another day, though I warn the Democratic base not to put great faith in big promises, and I warn Democrats in Washington not to make promises they do not intend to keep.

Originally published at The Hill
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Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hillà ‚¬ „ s (more...)
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