The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Filibustering is the new black

Why, it seems like just yesterday that Republicans were threatening to rewrite the Congressional rulebook in order to abolish the filibuster. What could've happened in the last few weeks to make them change their minds so completely?

Back when he was in the Senate majority, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell thought it was pretty outrageous that Democrats were using the threat of filibusters to set up a 60-vote requirement for the confirmation of a handful of George W. Bush's judicial nominees. McConnell called the Democrats' tactics an "ugly denial" of "fundamental fairness" that was "unprecedented in the history of the country" and would cause "great damage" to the U.S. Senate.

Now that the Republicans are in the minority, it turns out that using filibusters to force 60-vote cloture votes is nothing other than standard operating procedure. The Senate is set to debate competing anti-escalation resolutions next week, and McConnell tells MSNBC that all of them "are likely, as virtually everything in the Senate is likely, to be subject to a 60-vote threshold."

Well, for it to be standard procedure, there'd surely have to be examples apart from opposing escalation. Oh, right, there was one this week: refusing to increase the minimum wage for the first time in ten years unless it's paid for by increasing the federal deficit.