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Republicans Filibuster, Nobody Notices

April 20th, 2007

Remember how Republicans used to rail against the use of the filibuster? Remember how they used to claim that it was undemocratic and un-American, and that there should be a straight up or down vote? Remember how they used to threaten the nuclear option if the Democrats dared to be so vile as to even consider filibustering?

All of that is interesting when you consider that in the past few months, Republicans have used the filibuster more than Democrats did over a period of years. As The Carpetbagger reports:

…over the last couple of months, Senate Republicans have filibustered a minimum-wage increase, filibustered a debate over a non-binding resolution on the war (twice), threatened to filibuster two appropriations bills, and filibustered a bill that would have led to lower prices on prescription medication.

That last one is the most recent: Republicans have stopped cold an attempt to allow Medicare to negotiate for drug prices. There really is no defense for that; it is a complete and utter sell-out to Big Pharma, and is a betrayal of the American people. That’s almost as bad as stopping the minimum wage hike with a filibuster. And now the Republicans are threatening to filibuster a vote which would give Washington D.C. citizens representation in Congress; I mean, how more democratic and American could you be in wanting to give Americans the right to vote and be represented? But D.C. is mostly Democratic, so…

What’s amazing here is that their filibusters seem targeted at stopping legislation that follows the will of the people–most Americans want a minimum wage hike, and end to the Iraq War, and Medicare negotiations. And even more ironic, the filibusters aren’t even necessary, as Bush has vowed to veto all of this legislation in any case.

So where is the “liberal media” on this story? Well, they’re reporting on the filibuster as a background story, no big emphasis, but virtually no one is noting the extreme hypocrisy practiced by the Republicans in their hyperactive usage of the practice, or that Democrats are not threatening the “nuclear option” every time a filibuster is hinted at. Maybe it would be a bigger story if the Democrats railed against the filibuster like Republicans did, if they threatened the nuclear option constantly, like the Republicans did. Maybe it would even be more effective politically. But it would also be inconsistent.

In short, the Democrats are being fair and honest in accepting the use of the practice, while the Republicans are being unbelievable hypocrites. But because the Democrats are being fair and honest, nobody is picking up on the story. Instead, the media goes hog-wild when Nancy Pelosi wears a scarf. Nice to see their priorities are in order.

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