Last Call for the Filibuster

Charlie Burr

So, here’s where we are folks.  Over the past few weeks, NARAL Pro-Choice, Oregon Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, OTLA and others have been working hard to get the word out about the “nuclear option” to limit judicial filibusters.  We’ve generated a blizzard of calls and emails, including many from this site.

Basically, we’re winning the PR battle, but need to keep the pressure on. 

Sen. Smith also seems to be backing away from being a soft “yes.”  Here’s the latest:

"Returning from a weeklong recess, Republican senators admitted they were getting conflicting advice from constituents," the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports. <b>"'Don't change the rules but give them all a vote. Thanks a lot,' said Sen. Gordon Smith (R., Ore.),</b> paraphrasing what he had heard from voters. If any rules change is approved, he is one who seems to cling to the hope that it won't effect permanent change. 'We're caught between the pragmatic desire on all of our parts to preserve the Senate as an institution versus giving credible nominees by the president their day for a vote.'"

Tuesday’s the day it’s most likely to come to a head.  And on Tuesday, local activists are giving this one last shot.   What’s being planned?   A filibuster to preserve the filibuster.  In front of Gordon Smith’s downtown office, from 11 am to at least 5 pm.   

If you’ve always wanted to filibuster, now’s your chance.  Come wax philosophical about anti-choice, anti-New Deal judicial nominees,  Louisiana culinary delicacies , or anti-choice Operation Rescue activist Neil Horsley’s recent admission that he has had sex with livestock.  Whatever.

If you’d like to speak, give us a call Jesse at 503.381.7173.  And if you haven’t given Smith a call in a few weeks, give him a holler at (503) 326-3386 and tell him to vote NO.

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    Sounds great. ill be there

  • Rorovitz (unverified)

    If you haven't already, make a point of reading the hyperlink on sex with animals. I didn't believe Burr's characterizaiton, but in fact, he WAY understated it.

  • McBain (unverified)

    Wow, that Horsley link is disturbing, and a little ironic given his last name and adolescent animal preferences. Anyhow...yeah...I really don't know what to say after reading that...

    Back to the filibuster?

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    Just remember folks, these are the people who want to impose their moral values on the rest of us. Yep, not making this stuff up.

    But back to the event: come help us spread the word if you're so inclined.

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    I'll be there, speaking at 5:15 p.m. tomorrow. Not sure what just yet. It's a filibuster, so I may be the one with gumbo recipies, or maybe I'll read some BlueOregon posts, or maybe I'll actually make a presentation on the effective use of technology in politics.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I think I'm beginning to understand Republicans' attitude toward these judicial nominees: if Shrub is qualified to be president, then any horse's ass [or maybe "mule's ass" is more apropos to the day] should do as a federal judge. By extension, no one is unqualified for any position. Republicans have breached the walls of meritocracy. Anyone can be anything, that is, as long as he has powerful friends in the Shrubbery.

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    if Shrub is qualified to be president, then any horse's ass [or maybe "mule's ass" is more apropos to the day] should do as a federal judge.

    Any apparently, for anti-choice activist Neil Horsely, any horse's ass will do as a sexual partner too.

  • Bert (unverified)

    I think filibustering of any kind should have boundaries...reasonable ones if not hard-bound... one of the problems these days is that over-deliberation can amount to the same as avoiding making a decision at all. Our state and federal systems are wasteful both in terms of time AND money, and in the interest of both a strong economy and a well-managed government, waste should be frowned on and prevented whenever possible.

    Filibustering, or deliberately running out the clock and preventing people from acting on legislation, is the best thing to ever happen to politicians in terms of perpetuating their positions. Why actually DO anything when you can just perpetuate a problem indefinitely? This is one of the reasons that less people vote with each passing year, because they probably feel that it doesn't amount to much.

    Maybe the filibuster topic is as good as any to take as case in point in reviewing what, if any, responsibilities to the public in terms of public accountability, general overall efficiency, and good faith are still inherent in today's system, and how to best go about abandoning dysfunctional practices so as to restore the public's faith in a system that costs more and more and does less and less with each passing year.

    The windbag nationals may make for great sport on C-span, but what do they accomplish? Is there no way for legislators to bring their bills to the table for a vote in something like an efficient manner? Does the practice of permitting riders etc. impair the decisionmaking process to the point where no one has the gumption to make effective and timely decisions anymore? These and other questions are worthy of pondering in the face of staggering national debt and other issues such as immigration that are sure to come to a head in our times. We can ill-afford politicians who are willing to pontificiate on subjects vast and sundry, but actually do little else. The world is changing, Congress, too, must evolve....

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    I invite folks to take a look at my post on the matter from waaaay back in November on the subject... with the caveat that I forgot to mention that judicial filibusters are very much with precedent.

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    The filibuster is a tool to enable the minority party to have a voice in legislation and judicial nominations. It's designed to prevent one party from having absolute power- which is a very healthy thing.

    What the "nuclear option" would do is to destroy our sytem and replace it with one in which the Republicans could confirm the most right wing judicial nominee imaginable with only 50 votes in the Senate, with Cheney breaking the tie. The Senate has already confirmed over 200 Bush nominees; we're only talking here about 10 truly extreme judges who've been filibustered. BTW: we have the lowest vacancy rate right now than at any time since 1990- during the first Bush Presidency.

    It's not just a woman's right to choose they want to go after, we're talking rolling back the New Deal here. If you care about worker safety, environmental protection, labor issues, this is your fight.

    Also, I would much rather have a democratic and fair debate than an "efficient" one. Not everything in life should be efficient. What about "efficient" sex, for example?

    There's a lot at stake here, and the reality is the Republican leadership is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game once again in order to bring us closer to a one party America. It's not only bad for progressives, it's bad for the system and bad for our country.

  • Sarah Wetherson (unverified)

    I'll be there this afternoon representing the National Council of Jewish Women ( reading from the Federalist papers because, you know, I've always dreamed of being able to be part of a campaign where I get to say something purposefully longer than a soundbite.

    You can learn more about NCJW's effort to preserve Roe at

  • Sarah Wetherson (unverified)

    uh, that would be

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