Senate Filibusters Should Have a Strong Defense
When a senator or senators from our United States Senate decide to oppose a bill from being voted on by blocking it with a filibuster, then that senator or senators should have to provide a strong defense on why they oppose it and why it should not be put to a vote, on the floor of the Senate.
It is obvious that our legislative process is being held up sometimes by the objections of just one senator, and without even a proper explanation and defense of their objections to the American public.
I am not one for completely removing the filibuster rule in the Senate but I do think that when the rule is used just to stop all or most legislation to go through, to bring discredit to one’s opponents, the rule obviously needs some amendments.
I do believe that if even one of our distinguished senators passionately opposes a piece of legislation enough, then they should be passionate enough to bring it to the floor and argue it from their very hearts and souls. That will surely get enough attention for Americans to pay attention and hear their passionate plea, and see if it convinces the American people that they are right.
I understand that there are times when the majority is wrong and perhaps only one voice cares enough to stop a bill from being passed. Yet it is not overly convincing when that one senator need not whimper one word in defense of his or her own filibuster.
Many of us have fond memories of the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, in which Mr. Smith, or Senator Smith, used the filibuster effectively and passionately to stop his own ouster. Nowadays, filibusters are only a senatorial action that has nothing to do with a senator standing on the floor and speaking their mind. Filibusters happen consistently, without fanfare or even much effort on the part of the senator or senators bringing the filibuster.
This is what must change. It makes no sense that good legislation can be so easily stopped, and for political reasons. We would all think that when we elect these politicians to go to Washington to represent us, we were sending adults, civil servants who would put the good of their constituents and the nation as a whole first before partisan politics.
Yet what we see is what I call child’s play. One party decides they are angry with the other party so they refuse to cooperate, instead they throw up roadblocks, or else they just refuse to come out and play, angry because they are not in charge. Then if they are in charge, it is always payback time for when they were not in charge.
So, let us keep the filibuster rule but let us also get serious, if a senator or a group of senators does not want a bill passed then let us all hear about it, from the floor, just like good ole Mr. Smith. Let us hear their passion for why they feel that particular bill must not come to the floor. Otherwise, let the bill be voted on, so that the legislative side of our government can move forward.