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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The True Function of the Filibuster

Need a good piece of evidence for the proposition that the latter-day Senate filibuster tactic is aimed at obstruction of action by the majority rather than opposition to questionable policies? Look at the final vote on the first “jobs bill” (a relatively small package of payroll tax credits for companies hiring new employees, and money for transportation construction). Six GOP senators who voted against cloture on the bill, and two others who were absent on the cloture vote (the functional equivalent of a “no” vote) flipped and voted for final passage.
As Josh Marshall points out:

It shows you a lot of the cowardice, buck-passing and general nonsense behind the current use of the filibuster. By any logic, the numbers should go the other way: the number of people who are willing to allow a vote should if anything be greater than the number who are willing to vote for the legislation on its merits.

You’d think so, but “logic” isn’t the ruling principle in the Senate right now.

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