Harry Reid is hoppin' mad that those mean ol' Republicans are acting like the minority party. Why, they are demanding that the Senate actually address their concerns in legislation and not just ram things like that gawd-awful immigration bill through the process without anybody reading it! So now, Reid wants to pull an all-nighter...and not the kind you had in college just before exams.
Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate.
"Now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end," said Reid. "They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops. They are denying us an up or down – yes or no – vote on the most important issue our country faces."
The Reed-Levin amendment to the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization Bill requires George W. Bush to "commence the reduction of the number of United States forces in Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act" and mandates a withdrawal of most combat forces by April 30, 2008.
I have to suppress a giggle that Dingy Harry is so upset that he can't get his Support Defeat bill out for a vote. Why, it seems like only yesterday that Reid waxed eloquently on the historical nature of the filibuster (don't let Jeromy Brown know that...he'll swear there's some homophobia somewhere).
Here's Reid in 2005:
A conversation between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington describes the United States Senate and our Founders Fathers vision of it.
Jefferson asked Washington what is the purpose of the Senate?
Washington responded with a question of his own, “Why did you pour that coffee into your saucer?” “To cool it,” Jefferson replied. To which Washington said; “Even so, we pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.”
And this is exactly what the filibuster does. It encourages moderation and consensus. It gives voice to the minority, so that cooler heads may prevail.
It also separates us from the House of Representatives – where the majority rules. And it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the government established by the Framers of our Constitution: Limited Government...Separation of Powers...Checks and Balances.
Mr. President, the filibuster is a critical tool in keeping the majority in check.
So, there you have it, Mr. Reid. The Republicans are just using the filibuster to keep Democrats in check.
Anonymous Liberal thinks a real Mr.-Smith-Goes-to-Washington-style filibuster would give Republicans such bad press that they would drop it. I guess they don't remember their favorite Senator, Robert Byrd, who used just that sort of filibuster to try to stop the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Remember that? That's the one Republicans supported and Democrats didn't.
Jonathan Singer questions whether it would work better for Democrats this time than it did for Republicans last time. Of course, being a loyal nutroot, he thinks it would. *eye roll*
According to Michelle Malkin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans are happy to debate the legislation.