« Programming note | Main | Closed for vacation »

Republican filibuster hypocrisy?

A blog called "Hoffmania" tries to demonstrate it, but falls laughably short. He cites seven whole examples of GOP filibusters from the past 70 years, including two by Democrats (Huey Long and Strom Thurmond)!! That's an average of about one GOP filibuster per decade (or about one per 14 years, if you weed out the, you know, Democrats).

This post actually does nothing but reinforce the GOP's contention that the filibuster, once reserved for extreme cases, has now become routine, forcing a 60-vote majority on almost any controversial vote.

Look, let's be clear. There is nothing inherently evil about a filibuster. Majorities hate them and minorities like them, that's just the way it is. And yes, it's to be expected that senators hypocritically change their rhetoric about the practice as the fortunes of their own party shift. But Hoffmania's post, attempting to show that the current state of affairs in the Senate is business as usual, has in fact done the opposite. Go check it out now, before he edits it out of embarrassment (of course I've saved a copy just in case.)

UPDATE: Just to clarify a point about Strom Thurmond, he did indeed run for president in 1948 on the "Dixiecrat" ticket, but he was not a Dixicrat in 1957; he was a Democrat, plain and simple. He was elected to the Senate in 1954 as a write-in candidate, and was re-elected in 1956 after successfully winning the Democratic primary. He remained a Democrat until 1964, when he switched to the Republican party.


While Republicans may not have filibustered as much as Democrats, judicial nominees were pretty effectively blocked during the WJC years. I think at least a few (and maybe more) of the judicial appointments that W had to make? Were because judicial nominees never even came to a vote during WJC's presidency. In fact, I think that the bench Estrada was up for was one of those left empty because of Republican refusal to bring things to a vote on the floor.

Two things here. Strom Thurmond was first and foremost a Bigot, as were most of the Dixiecrats. Before 1964 they were Democrats because Lincoln had been a Republican, however, after 1964 they became Republicans in response to Lyndon Johnson signing civil rights legislation.

Second, Republicans blocked votes on 69 judges (7 times as many as the 10 Democrats ahve blocked) through the use of "blue slips", secret holds (now there's a democratic principle) or just not scheduling hearings. W complains about not getting up or down votes, but his party wouldn't even allow hearings, now that's hypocrisy.

Face it, the neocons and "cultural warriors" lost the battle of ideas and now their only recourse is to change the rules before they lose the majority. Look at the polls regrding their policies.

If filibustering 10 judicial nominees is an attack on people of faith, are we to assume that the other 95% of W's judicial nominees are godless liberal activists? Why aren't the television ministers more worried about the ones that the Democrats liked?

I was going to quote some numbers on blocking appointments but the others before me have done it better than I could. The White House wants ALL nominations confirmed. If the slight minority of liberals in this country cannot have ANY input then we really don't have a democracy anymore.

Post a comment