Right Question

Asking the right question is usually more productive than trying to prove the right answer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Filibuster Insanity.

Apparently, it wasn't just Robert Byrd.

Power Line reports that in a recent mass-mailing from Howard Dean, again framing the filibuster as a "Free Speech" issue:
Today Harry Reid and the Democratic Senators asked us, the American people, to help them preserve the right of our elected representatives to speak their mind on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We have to act. Sign this petition, which we will deliver to every U.S. Senator, asking them to protect the right to free speech in the Senate.

All of this is entertaining enough. But here's a point that had slipped my mind (via Right Rainbow) -- except in episodes of the West Wing, Senators no longer stand up in the Senate and speak while exercising this "free speech" right. Thanks to a gentleman's agreement (dating back to the '70's?) they now merely inform the leadership of their intention to filibuster, and everyone politely accepts this.

Go back and read the quote from Howard Dean's letter again -- and remember, we're talking about the right of a Senator to nod his head at the leadership and prevent a vote from taking place, no debate required.


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