The Filibuster Double Standard

Kevin Drum is concerned about filibusters today:

I wonder how many Americans understand that you can’t pass legislation in America with 50% of the votes in Congress? How many of them understand that, outside of budget resolutions, you need 60 votes in the Senate? That a filibuster isn’t a matter of Jimmy Stewart talking himself ragged for hours on end, but of merely declaring an intention to filibuster? And that this is done for all but the most routine matters? With the result that the 60-vote minimum is no longer reserved for occasional high-profile issues, but has been institutionalized for virtually all legislation of any consequence?

But he misses the point. When Republicans controlled Congress and Democrats would vote against cloture, the media was none to ready to marshall voices, mostly pundits, to denounce the tactic as obstructionist and to claim the tactic should only be used under extreme circumstances. Now the Republicans are in the minority in Congress and are using votes against cloture on virtually everything (13 cloture votes in first session of 110th Congress versus only 4 in first sessions of 108th and 109th combined), the media seems not so worried and willing to accept 60 votes as the standard for passing legislation.

It is not the failure of the people to understand, but the failure of the media to let the facts be known.

Just another example of the “liberal” media at work.

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