Fix the filibuster
A few weeks ago, I was prattling on about how swell the French are with their elections/campaigns, and how lovely it would be if we copied them and so on and so forth.
OK, for this week, I’m thinking maybe I should prattle on about stuff that might actually happen on this plane of existence before the year 2525. If man is still alive. I mean, gazing into space and fantasizing about notions that sound good but have a snowball’s chance is all jiffy and everything, but it is good to balance such cerebral masturbations with an equal amount of verbiage dealing with shit that might actually transpire before the Space People come to take us away to our new paradisiacal home in the nearby star cluster XYZ420.
So come Jan. 21 (way before Space People arrival), please dig there will be some solid action in the U.S. Senate, as a group of focused and earnest Democratic senators will pass, via a simple majority vote, new rules stripping the now notorious filibuster of its crippling ability to make one of the great legislative houses on this planet a completely dysfunctional blob of poop. I was going to say you should write to Sen. Harry Reid to encourage him, but really, it’s unnecessary. Harry knows. He knows, and he has this piece of business at the very top of his 2013 to-do list. As in Number Goddamn One.
And if Harry should forget, there are new firebrand females in the Senate, namely Elizabeth T. Warren (the T stands for Troublemaker) and Tammy A. Baldwin (the A stands for Asskicker), who also have this task rated Numero Uno, and they can’t wait to get sworn in and get this haywire parliamentary tactic revamped and tidied up.
See, the Dems don’t want to abolish the filibuster. No, they just want to return it to its old school glory. That is to say, no longer will just the threat of a filibuster be enough to tie everybody up in a lame, unproductive tizzy. As of Day Two in the New Senate, if you want to filibuster, fine. Start blustering. As in, stand up there for freaking hours and babble away, reading phone books and Shakespeare, in the grand stalling style put forth by legendary senators and shitheads from years past. (This stalling, or filibustering, is done to prevent or delay a vote on a measure coming to the Senate floor.) Yes, it’s not unheard of for senators to read names from a phone book in order to extend their soliloquies. What Reid wants to do is bring back the work of a real ’buster, rightly figuring this change will greatly reduce the general constipation in the Senate by about 90 percent.
It will be a very positive move. Once it’s passed, something might get done. Something good. Maybe. We’ll see. No guarantees. But it can’t hurt.