Grand Obstruction Party

Americans United for Change

Americans United for Change made the following ad highlighting GOP obstruction in the Senate. It is well done. But it doesn’t go into the kind of depth that I would like. What is so annoying about what has happened in the Senate is that for the first time—Let me say that again: for the first time!—the media report filibusters as though they were normal votes. It is common to hear things like, “The bill was voted down on a party line vote of 55-45”! Really?! It was voted down as though everyone knows that normal Senate procedure is that you have to get 60 votes for everything. This is, by the way, one of the many subtle ways that “objective” media distort the news. The way that norms are maintained is by people noting extreme behavior when it happens. If everyone treats the disregard for norms as de rigueur, those norms are not long for this world.

But what you really need to know about Senate obstruction is that whenever the Democrats are in the minority, the number of filibusters stays constant or goes down. Whenever Republicans are in the minority, the number of filibusters goes up—way up. See for yourself:

Filibuster by Party

So despite what Megan McArdle may think is “arguably” the truth, this is a Republican Party problem. And unless everyone stands up and admits this, there is no downside for bad behavior. And it will continue.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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