For all the political disagreements and (on some parts) preening involved, this episode turned out to be a great Senate moment — see my post below for a sense of why I think that. But now I’m seeing some people say, See how bad it is that all these people were trying to reform the filibuster? This is what you’d destroy!
But this is up is down talking.
This was a real talking filibuster. And as I said earlier today, three cheers for it. It’s a good safety valve and it is self-correcting. Making filibusters visible like this does nothing to diminish the power of the filibuster and would preserve it as a robust minority right. It would be something that could be maintained for long periods of time if substantial numbers of the minority supported it. But it would be far, far less open to abuse than the current system of an accountability-free ability to block majority votes at will precisely because of its visibility. (See my argument on why here.)
This was about the best argument of the need for reform that I’ve seen.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.