Gosh, somebody besides a crazy liberal hippie is noticing that Republicans have overseen the massive inflation of the filibuster, transforming the Senate into a 60 vote body rather than the foreagreed majority vote requirement.
According to research by UCLA political scientist Barbara Sinclair, there was an average of one filibuster per Congress during the 1950s. That number has grown steadily since and spiked in 2007 and 2008 (the 110th Congress), when there were 52 filibusters. More broadly, according to Sinclair, while 8 percent of major legislation in the 1960s was subject to “extended-debate-related problems” like filibusters, 70 percent of major bills were so targeted during the 110th Congress.
The Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on here. They’ve abandoned all restraint, even to the point they would lobby the charge right back at Democrats if they reinstated restraint.
The fact is, the health care reform bill would pass if it cleared the filibuster, which is why the filibuster has become so important. The country has already elected the number of Senators in favor of health care reform to make it possible. They just forgot to make sure there weren’t enough Republican Senators willing to torpedo reform and leave our system broken.
As for Lieberman, who’s been a pro-health care reform guy his entire career, who used to look favorably upon single-payer care, the voters clearly got swindled.
Surrendering to that because Democrats don’t want to be called rude for ending or curtailing the filibuster is cowardice, ignorance, and abettal.