Monday, September 27, 2010

Filibuster reform still breathing

Here's a glimmer of good news in a otherwise dismal news cycle. I thought it was pretty much dead, but while it may be on life support, filibuster reform is still alive.
“It was already virtually certain that we would do something,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “The gridlock has been so frustrating already that the prospect of it getting worse only adds additional logic to try and help the filibuster problem … This is an unprecedented abuse of the filibuster that is completely out of conformity with the traditions of the Senate, and all we’re trying to do is to get it back to its traditional use … The question is about how we do it, not whether we do it.”
Whether anything will really come of this tough talk is another question, of course. The usual suspects, like alleged Democrat Ben Nelson, are against it, along with the GOPers who are against everything. In fact it appears it's pretty much the new kids in the club against the old guard, so I don't have much hope for any changes, but at least it's not DOA yet.

In any event, I'm glad to see the focus is on reform rather than killing it outright. I know a lot of people who think the filibuster is useless and should just be abolished, but I still think it would be better to figure out a way to prevent its current abuse and keep it as a means for the minority party to have a meaningful voice in the debate.

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