Sunday, November 22, 2009

Milbank Explains the Filibuster

Dana Milbank uses Tennessee Williams to describe the debate and vote on cloture last night.  In doing so, he also describes the reason for the Senate rules on cloture, i.e., why the filibuster is effective:
Landrieu and Lincoln got the attention because they were the last to decide, but the Senate really has 100 Blanche DuBoises, a full house of characters inclined toward the narcissistic. The health-care debate was worse than most. With all 40 Republicans in lockstep opposition, all 60 members of the Democratic caucus had to vote yes -- and that gave each one an opportunity to extract concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.
Bottom line is that Senators never want to give up power and the filibuster gives power.

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