Thoughts of an American Centrist

Friday, April 15, 2005

Robert's Rules of Order and the Filibuster

So it appears that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is poised to take the plunge and take the lead in banning the use of the Filibuster.

I personally think that would be a shame, since the filibuster is one of the tools ways a large minority has to keep polarizing legislation from being rammed through congress by a bare majority. Being a radical centrist myself, I like these sort of internal checks and balances, and would hate to see another barrier to extremism fall. Haven't these guys ever seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

That's not to say that Senator Frist doesn't have a point. Presidents appoint judges who agree with their views. They always have and they always will. The Democrats' overuse of the filibuster (or at least overuse of threats to use it) have turned the practice from a dramatic display of conscience into a mere legislative annoyance.

Whatever the outcome, here are some suggestions for filibustering activities if the rule does not get changed.

When a Senator gets up to filibuster he or she could....
  1. Read the entire script of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" with full dramatic poise.
  2. Sing Nat King Cole love songs to Teddy Kennedy
  3. Do the Macarena
  4. Perform old Leno stand up (bonus points if the joke is about themselves)
  5. This is the song that doesn't end.......
  6. Rap
  7. Put on a Ventriloquism performance
  8. Play Marco Polo with the remaining Senators
  9. Give a stirring tribute to bad Presidents, such as Andrew Johnson
  10. Play spoons
  11. Tell the truth (unlikely)


  • I once dreamed of becoming a senator and filibustering for 24 hours and 20 minutes - just to beat Strom Thurmond's record. After that I imagined voting to pass the same bill, only to enrage the other senators. Now my dreams may never come true.

    By Anonymous Benjamin of Montezuma, at 5:56 PM  

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