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Archive for September 21st, 2009|Daily archive page

Who’s Afraid Of A Filibuster?

In Politics on September 21, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Cots in Senate - Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

It’s been a week since the Baucus health care bill was introduced and insta-panned. It’s since been downplayed to the role of additional building block and is being revised. The lead headline in The New York Times the morning after the plan was introduced read: “Democrats in Senate Reach for 60 Votes on Health Care Overhaul.” The implication here is that Democrats need those votes to get the legislation passed, because without them, Republicans will resort to a filibuster.

Who cares?

It’s confounding. Why are the Democrats so terrified of a filibuster?

The filibuster is a gift.

Grow a backbone. Call them out. For their political goals, the Democrats should force the GOP to back up its threats and filibuster.

As a friend so brusquely put it: “There is nothing I would rather see than the GOP filibustering health care for poor people. That is a Democratic attack ad for the next 50 years.” Democrats: that’s the win-win you face.

This filibuster is precisely what the Democrats need to reinvigorate themselves and attempt to demonstrate that they are looking out for the not-so-special interests. Otherwise, they’re going to look more and more like bought-out corporatists each day.

Besides, it would be the greatest spectacle in years! Would it not be more impressive than America’s Got Talent to see these old folks read the rules of blackjack, the Bible, BusinessWeek, and recipes for Bundt cake without their bladders bursting? (Sans Flomax.) I bet some Americans would even leave it on CNN in the background at bedtime. When interviewed they might say, “It’s like white [man] noise. It helps me to fall asleep.” Read the rest of this entry »