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That fabled filibuster-proof majority? Show me.

I'm sorry if I'm late to this party, but I can't help it. I have to say this.

All the brow-smiting and hand-wringing over the loss of a filibuster-proof majority for the Democrats in the Senate -- what a paper tiger!

It's time to call the Senate's bluff. It's not enough to threaten a filibuster. Make them deliver.

Make them actually stand in the well of the Senate and talk. And talk. And talk. Until their knees buckle. Until their bladders blow up. They can read Martha Stewart's recipes or the prophecies of Nostradamus or recite the periodic table until the cows come home -- I don't care. Just make sure that the filibuster is not a hollow threat but an actual and real event. Call C-SPAN. Hook up the viewer-meter.

Guarantee that when someone in the Senate brings out the threats and starts talking ''filibuster'' that they're ready to follow through and do it. No mercy. No chamber pots. Strom Thurmond hated the civil rights bill so much that he filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes to stop it. He prepared his body and his mind to the task. Someone even waited in the Senate cloakroom with a bucket, in case his bowels or bladder got the better of his politics.

That's the way it's done. Filibuster? Sure, bring it on. We'll be  getting a little shut-eye; wake us when you cry ''uncle.''

-- Patt Morrison


Comments () | Archives (12)

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andrew nelson

I'd go carefully with this. Obama did not change anything with his speech last night, in regard to the overwhelming angry unpopularity of his agenda, and democrat performance in that agenda. The filibuster keeps a safety valve on the tyranny of majority, especially a majority that has lost it's legitimacy to govern. You risk out right rebellion among the states, and the population, and you risk destroying the democrat party for at least a generation.

Bernard Kane

The Senate rules do not actually require a true filibuster in order to have a filibuster. In order to proceed to other business and be as efficient as possible, it is simply necessary, under Senate rules, to SAY that one will filibuster a bill, and only a 60 vote count can overrule that threat. That is why the 60th vote was so needed. And President Obama is right when he challenges the Republicans to be more than the party of "no". Leadership is required, so it's time to get off their collective keisters and govern.

pasadena jag

Obama is nothing but hot air that should never have been elected. I voted for him and he is a total disappointment. As for his cabinet - what a joke!


We've been waaaaay too careful about this filibuster worry. I agree with Pat. Time to ante up. Spine matters.

The losers do not get to dictate the policies of the winners. There's a reason they lost. How Mr. Nelson can support the people who want to turn him and his progeny into homeless hamburger is simply beyond me.

I'd go carefully about questions of 'legitimacy to govern.' There's that whole messy matter of 'Election By Appointment By SCUSA.' Then, too, Mr. Nelson's last champions ignored good intelligence and led us back into the abyss of war. Of course, they make money from war, so that probably explains it.

And by the way, it's called the Democratic party – for a reason.


Funny she mentioned Strom Thurmond because Morrison is just another Liberal dinosaur headed for the scrap heap of history. She can keep trying to prop up Obama to no avail. He deflates each day and takes his pandering party with him down the toilet.


It's funny to see that so many people blame the Republicans for failure to pass the health care bill. The Republicans could have gone on vacation and the Democratic party could have passed anything they wanted without them. They had 60 votes for a whole year. It was their own inner divisions that stopped the health care bill from proceeding.
It's also funny to see how Democrats call the Republicans the party of "NO". Lets assume that the Republicans have a 60 vote super-majority in the house. How many democrats would vote yes on many of the Republican's core issues such as tight restrictions on abortion or full off-shore drilling or even deep tax cuts? Of course the Democrats would vote no to ALL these issues because they go against what their party believes in. You can't blame the other party for saying no if the only things you put in a bill are things that only your own party believes in such as a public option and other things.


Amen! Unfortunately, nothing ever gets done "in Congress assembled" anymore, precisely because everyone counts and recounts and shuffles and guesses, but lacks the courage to call a bluff. If nobody ever calls the bluffs, the bluffers always win. As Kenny Rogers said, "ya gotta know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em," but sometimes whether you hold or fold doesn't depend on the cards you have, but on what you can convince the others at the table you have. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are both gutless wonders, afraid of their own shadows. They are not leaders, they are pollsters.

Industry Wag

Perhap Ms. Morrison is finally willing to concede that Democrats are outstanding at whining and obfuscation, but have no clue how to actually run a government.

This has nothing to do with having a filibuster proof Congress. It's more an issue of creating a coalition of unlikeminded directionless splinter groups and calling it a political party. No much different than in Will Rogers era, eh?

In the old days we used to call it incompetence. Not sure what the politically correct term is now that the term "worthless idiots" is no longer acceptable.

Like it or not, we have to compete on the world market with out best products, education, economic, and even political philosophy. Mediocrity is no longer an option.

Sadly our current political leadership is mediocre at best and hopelessly mired in their own inabilities.


You are right on the money.... the SPINELESS DEMS have let the rethuglicans 'bluff' their way to obstructionism and have sat there in their seats and DONE NOTHING... MAKE THEM FILIBUSTER !!

Think about it.

Checks and balances, checks and balances. There's a reason things such as filibusters exist. It forces a majority to compromise and work collaboratively so as not to run away with the government. Otherwise we might as well go back to a monarchy. Would it really be prudent for the democrats to force legislation through at this point in time?

And another point, good luck getting all the ducks in a row right now on any major issue. The latest political developments have changed the way those up for reelection are seeing things...


I agree Patt . Let's so who is willing to play chicken on the fillibuster. It's real convenient for someone like Lieberman to state he will fillibuster, but will he actually do it with all of Connecticut watching ?
As far as some of the other comments made here, I also agree that even if the GOP never showed up the Dems would still have a hard time passing a bill. How many times does Harry Reid need to be told to toughen up ?! Geez, Geo. Bush never had the number the DEMS have in the SENATE and yet he passed his Medicare Plan D, his tax cuts in 2001, 2003, and 2005 through reconciliation. Yet Reid refuses to go that route.
On the bright side, I do think the American people did see how uncooperative and disinterested the GOP actually is by seeing them at the State of the Union. And if they watch the tape of Obama at the GOP retreat today smack down GOP misinformation , they will get another eye full. I think the veil is at last lifting on the GOP and they will be seen for what they really are, bullying, blowhard loudmouths who think they are the only legimate governing party .


You're the best! You remind me of how Bette Davis described herself: "There are ladies and there are proads. I'm a proad!"

Tara Murphy



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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