The filibuster

@dawnald (84146)
Shingle Springs, California
March 6, 2013 11:07pm CST
I've received a few petitions in my in-box regarding getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate. A Senator (or series of senators) who gets the floor can speak (or not speak) for as long as he can hold out, read poetry, the phone book, Shakespeare's entire works, tap dance, etc., with the intention of preventing a vote on a piece of legislation that they don't like. It takes a 3/5 vote to end a filibuster. You could argue that a filibuster is a subversion of the democratic process because it prevents our chosen representatives from voting on our behalf. Or you could look upon it as a tried and true way for the minority in the Senate to keep from getting walked over by the majority. If you had an opportunity to vote to end the filibuster would you vote for or against, and why?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
7 Mar 13
It would depend on what they are trying to accomplish. Like in this case, I hope it goes on because of whom Obama wants to be in charge. In some cases the fillibuster is used to keep a bad policy in place so in that case it would be wrong. For instance if the republicans or the libertarians wanted voter id, and one of the democrats went and fillibusted, it would be wrong because a bad person could vote for the same person numerous times by putting on a wig. However if the party fillibusted because the majority party wanted to make the law that babies who survived abortion should be let to starve, then that fillibuster would be all right.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
Allow the filibuster when you agree with the person doing it, but not when you disagree? No, no, no. You can't have it both ways. Either both sides can use it, or neither.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
8 Mar 13
It is nothing to do with disagreement. It is the reason the person using it. Stop thinking of it being me. Because then I would think that you are against voter id and for killing babies who survived abortions. And I doubt you are like that. Think of what the filibuster is doing. For instance is the filibuster doing it to prevent a bad law from going in or the opposite? And think of what Rand Paul was doing to prevent drone strikes against American citizens in America and of course if they are allowed, that would make the FBI and the police very lazy. I am for filibusters, because in most case, they are used to prevent bad laws coming in. It also makes people think. That is, those who were for drone strikes might think "well it might go too far and even though we want to kill that evil terrorist, he might be holding a family captive, and we cannot have that."
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Mar 13
I get your point, but if one side can use the filibuster to prevent a bad law, the other side has equal right to use it to prevent a good law. It's frustrating, but if you allow the filibuster, it's a frustration that you just have to deal with.
1 person likes this
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
8 Mar 13
I think I would let it stay. If nothing else it gives time for the Senators to think about what they are getting ready to vote on and in many cases to actually take the time to read the legislation they are about to vote on. In the most recent case it was to slow down the approval of an Obama appointment so the Senators could realize that he and Obama were for using drones to kill American citizens on U. S. soil without any kind of legal action being taken to approve it. It would just be done on Obama's orders or some member of his White House saying to do it. Who knows what kind of collateral damage and loss of life would come from such actions. So much for the guarantee of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness when Life is not protected.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Mar 13
I agree with you on the drones, but I would point out that it didn't start with Obama.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
9 Mar 13
Of course it started with Obama. Bush never threatened to use drones to kill American citizens on American soil. He never implied that he would even consider such a thing.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Mar 13
I was referring to drones in general, not their use against American citizens specifically. The use of drones started with George W. Bush.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Mar 13
I'd vote to end it, because something designed to prevent a vote doesn't sound terribly democratic to me. Mind you, not being American, it's a new idea for me and I perhaps don't understand all the nuances.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
Well let's just use the example that Taskr mentioned above. Obama's choice for CIA Director. There was questioning about the use of drones to kill people the US government had targeted, including American citizens. He basically ducked all the questions on the subject. So there was a filibuster to try and prevent a vote on confirming him. I assume it was a matter of conscience for the Senator doing the filibuster, and possibly, since his party is in the minority, he felt that it was the best way for his party to have some control. The filibuster ended though, so I'm not sure what it accomplished.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Mar 13
one small step
@crossbones27 (21262)
• Redlands, California
7 Mar 13
Hell ya, I would get rid of it. Last I heard a democracy is about the majority of the vote. 51 percent is the majority. This is not Republican math were 60 percent is the majority. Its funny how the constitution is holy grail , unless it does not work for our point of view. So many arguments I have heard that are supposedly unconstitutional. Yet even if it is constitutional and it goes against our point of view we have right to change that viewpoint. If it is for our viewpoint you can't touch it holy grail like I said.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
7 Mar 13
The US is not a democracy. You should have learned that in grade school. The constitution makes it very clear how our government works and it's not a simple majority rule system as that would be two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. Does the idea of a filibuster really bother you more than the idea of murdering American citizens, on American soil, who have not been charged with, much less convicted of a crime, just because the president unilaterally decides to act as judge, jury, and executioner. Tell me, do you think that's constitutional? Have you ever read the 5th amendment? "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am5.html
1 person likes this
• Redlands, California
7 Mar 13
I get your point, how come that logic does not work towards the working class? Hell I rather them bomb the sh@t out of me than taking all the rights away that makes life worth living. People freak out about this stuff but they let people with money screw us royally. Why aren't Constitutionalist defending that point of view?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
The US is not a democracy. If it were, we would be directly voting for laws, as opposed to voting for representatives who vote for use. As for the filibuster, it is hilarious how the Democrats hate it when the Republicans have the majority, and vice versa.
@MoonGypsy (4613)
• United States
7 Mar 13
i would vote to end the filibuster because it seems like a way to pull a trick off. it's a shame that they can waist time like that as way to prevent on a vote they don't like.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
7 Mar 13
What if that vote puts a man in office who believes it's ok to murder American citizens, on American soil, using military drones, without being charged with a crime?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
A matter of principle - if you could use it to prevent a vote for something that was morally abhorrent to you, wouldn't you?
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
11 Mar 13
I see the filibuster as a useful tool. I don't agree on just filling up time with nonsense, I like what Rand Paul did, he filled the time with something that pertained to the vote he was holding up. A related topic is compromise and bipartisanship...both of which means give me something and I will give you something. A tactic that often leaves the American people with NOTHING. lol I don't get it, why compromise with something you think is bad for your country could be a good thing? And the bipartisanship in my opinion is just one hand washing the other...so both sides kinda wind up blending together and the result is something no one recognizes.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Mar 13
Sadly, all too true...
@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
7 Mar 13
Its there for a reason, to force the majority to work with the minority and I wouldn't change a thing. These days even the threat of a filibuster can make the majority work with the minority and this is the first real one in decades.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
Which is why I didn't sign the petition.
1 person likes this
@alberello (4755)
• Italy
7 Mar 13
Well, dear friend. You will have heard about the recent elections in Italy, where he won albeit slightly the PD (led by Pierluigi Bersani), despite the PDL leader Silvio Berlusconi, with all its scandals, had several supporters! There was the boom of Beppe Grillo with his "Movement 5 star", many people think a buffoonery, you should know that Beppe Grillo is a comedian! At the moment is talk about the problem of filibuster! The thing is now Italy, is a country ungovernable! The various political, should not be fully agreed between them. Many politicians think back to the polls to repeat the elections.   Poor Italy!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
All countries have their problems...
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
7 Mar 13
I can't imagine how listening to someone prattle on and on would change my views on important topics.
• Redlands, California
7 Mar 13
I think it does do one thing and that is you are being genuine about the cause on which you are talking about. I do not know many many people that can ramble on about something for so many hours, unless they have a passion for subject the are talking about In that way I can respect what they people are doing. The thing is I have now only heard 2 people do this. One was Bernie Sanders which is considered one of the top senators in the country even though he is a self proclaimed socialist and now Rand Paul. The difference between the two is Bernie Sanders (whether you agree or not with his view points) seems to have a logical approach to life where Rand Paul just seems a bit crazy. I know I only watched the highlights of Rand Paul's Filibuster but when you start talking about how Americans might turn to Nazism 30 minutes in. The person appears to be a bit paranoid and are adding problems to the situation that is not needed. Bernie Sanders might of said some off the wall crap when he did his filibuster but it did not make me queasy to my stomach. I am sure this is just personal preference on where your view points stand Ideologically though. As they say, "It takes one to know one."
• Redlands, California
7 Mar 13
I think maybe I would have no problem with the filibuster if people actually stood their and talked for days. At least then, I would know then they are not playing politics. I am sure somehow people would find a way to corrupt that too.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
7 Mar 13
Crossbones, I don't think you realize how easy it is to convince people to accept things like what the Nazis did. FDR threw Americans in concentration camps and you didn't see revolution or riots in the streets. Even today, ignorant morons proclaim him one of the greatest presidents ever despite his use of concentration camps. Now we have a president who feels he has the right to murder American citizens on American soil using military drones. As you can see, most Americans just don't care. I don't see anything crazy about a man doing everything in his power to bring crap like that to light. We know that the left wing media outlets are covering for the president and the left in this country doesn't trust Fox News so he had to do everything in his power to make sure the American people knew exactly what was going on.
@mariaperalta (19094)
• Mexico
7 Mar 13
i saw that on cnn, one guy spoke for 13 hours. OMg. What a waste.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Mar 13
he did stop, but I suppose he made a point...
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
12 Mar 13
He also, indirectly made it painfully obvious the difference between the Old Guard GOP and the new Tea Party GOP. Some are saying he breathed new life into the Grand Ol' Party.
• Mexico
12 Mar 13
I assume many times, they tell a bunch of junk. As to think of something to talk about for 13 hours. has to be hard..