WASHINGTON — Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is joining the fight to reform the filibuster, arguing that change is needed to move beyond “political obstructionism.”
“I was elected to put progress ahead of politics and to make sure that Washington works for Wisconsin,” said Baldwin in a statement to The Huffington Post. “Unfortunately, Washington has come to be defined by partisan gridlock. Recently, the threat of filibuster has been used far too often and as a result political obstructionism in the United States Senate is now worse than it has ever been. The people of Wisconsin and our state’s progressive tradition deserve better.”
Fuck this. You want to prevent a bill from becoming law? You talk for 99 hours, then, son. You get up there and read entire cookbooks about cheese or whatever the hell. You sing nursery rhymes until somebody changes his or her vote. You DO IT, because this whole act where nothing will pass so let’s not try to pass anything is getting old and the country does not GET what your fucking problem is. It’s been explained to me such that I actually understand it and I still don’t get it, so suck it up and show up for work for once.
What’s more, the threat of something shouldn’t be enough to cow the entirety of Congress. I seem to remember the threat of weapons of mass destruction seeming reason enough to go to war in Iraq once upon a time, because bring them on, and all that. I seem to remember many, many congressmen opining from their office chairs that anybody who didn’t respond to the slightest possibility that we might maybe someday somehow sometime be attacked with bravado and drama that would put the Count of Monte Cristo to shame was a snivelling French traitor. Yet now we’re supposed to believe that the threat of fellow congressmen no longer saying hi to each other jovially in the cloakroom is going to ruin the world? That’s gonna bring us all down? Allow us to filibuster in secret because to do otherwise is mean?
If the Senate held a cloture vote to end debate, and a majority of senators voted to end debate, but not 60, the Senate would enter a period of “extended debate.” In short, once the Senate has voted for additional debate, senators who feel that additional debate is necessary would need to make sure that at least one senator is on the floor presenting his or her arguments.
If, at any time during the period of extended debate, no senator were present to speak to the bill, then the presiding officer of the Senate would rule that the period of extended debate is over. The Majority Leader would then schedule a simple majority cloture vote on the bill.
If I don’t show up for work shit don’t get done. I see no reason why it should be any different for Congress. I get that in some situations analogies to my life won’t work for government — ferrets, coffee and scotch will never be tax-deductible — but this is a pretty easy one, senators. Y’all get free health care. It’s not like the only time you could make your Viagra refill appointment was during the vote and besides, don’t they just dispense that shit for free in the men’s room on Capitol Hill? You’d think, what with all the screwing that goes on. So what’s the excuse? You just don’t wanna?
Then sit DOWN like you supposed to, and let us move along with the business of confirming judges and passing laws and declaring things national vegetables and such. Proclaiming the anniversaries of stuff to be notable and worthy. The things America used to like you for, once upon a time.