President Obama was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and attacked the filibuster not once, but twice. It is funny that the President was one of many liberal Democrat Senators who fought to protect the filibuster in 2005.
The filibuster is contained in the Senate Rules (Rule 22) and merely protects the right of extended debate by Senators before a final vote is scheduled on a matter. The rule specifies that after 16 Senators sign a cloture petition, a petition to shut off debate, the Senate needs 60 votes to end debate. The evidence suggests that the left is preparing liberal Senators to push for the elimination of the filibuster in the next Congress if they hold onto a slim majority.
They despise debate and contrary opinions and hope they can snow the American people by stifling dissent. The right of extended debate didn't work out for liberals in the Senate, therefore they will move to abolish the filibuster to make it easier to transform America without the input of the American people. The President and Jon Stewart had a good laugh at the expense of participatory democracy last night.
As I cited in a blog post on The Foundry a few months ago, Senator Obama used the filibuster to obstruct President Bush's nominees.
Senator Barack Obama voted on January 30, 2006, to filibuster the nomination of Sam Alito to be a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Obama filibustered the nomination of John Bolton to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations … twice. The President’s words do not match up with his actions as a Senator.
In April of 2005, Senator Barack Obama spoke on the Senate floor in defense of the filibuster. He critiqued Republicans who wanted to abolish the filibuster for judges as the practitioners of an "ends justify the means" strategy.
Last night, the President adopted different talking points. He used the filibuster as an excuse for his inability to pass legislation "quickly." He expressed an intent to "transform" the filibuster process into a simple majority vote.
Look, I would love not to have a 60 vote requirement, which is not in the Constitution, but is in the Senate rules right now that apply to everything we do.
This President has changed so much since is days in the Senate.
On April 13, 2005, Senator Obama expressed his support for the filibuster.
Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse. Now I understand that Republicans are getting alot of pressure to do this from factions outside of the chamber, but we need to rise above the ends justify the means mentality.
Too bad President Obama no longer agrees with Senator Obama. Senator Obama also implied that those who did not support the filibuster were not patriotic because the right to "free and open debate" is what our Founders had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.
If the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party, then millions of Americans who ask us to be their voice if fear that the already partisan atmosphere in Washington will get be poisoned to the point that we will not be able to agree on anything and doesn't serve anybody's best interest and it certainly isn't what the Patriots who founded this democracy had in mind.
Hypocrisy will not go unnoticed and conservatives need to fight the forces of the left who want to remove the filibuster as a means to the end of a bigger and more powerful government. The Senator Obama of 2005 would be very disappointed in the strong arm tactics of the President Obama of today. President Obama is probably already laughing that he sounds like a Republican in 2005 by advocating for an abolition of the one Senate rule that protects extended debate.