August 17, 2012
Dictatorship By Filibuster
Given the filibuster, forty one percent of the U.S. Senate can block any vote they don't like. Thus, a minority of reactionary right wing Senators gets to kill a lot of worthy legislation. In recent years abuse of the filibuster has become increasingly intolerable; even ordinary Senate business — like approving the appointment of Federal Judges to empty benches — no longer gets done. This wretched rule, however, being merely a Senate tradition, could easily be changed or discarded. Somebody should tell the Senate to grow up. And somebody has. Common Cause, led by Bob Edgar, recently filed suit [.pdf] in DC District Court against the Senate to try to restore democratic best practices. Win or lose, it's a teachable moment. Thanks, Bob! Total runtime forty two minutes. Gignī de nihilō nihilum, in nihilum nīl posse revertī.