Sunday, February 18, 2007

 

Parsing the meaning of 56 votes

Yesterday in the Senate:

“Senate Republicans for a second time blocked a symbolic attempt by Democrats to reject President Bush's troop increase yesterday…

With the 56…Democrats fell shy of the 60 votes required to kick off debate on a nonbinding resolution…”
Iraq Vote In Senate Blocked By GOP

May 2005, also in the Senate:

Senate Democrats refused to end debate on John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.N. ambassador yesterday, extending the contentious issue into next …

… senators voted 56 to 42 in favor of ending debate on Bolton's nomination. The vote fell four short of the 60 needed to halt a filibuster…” Democrats Extend Debate On Bolton

So to summarize this civics lesson provided by the Washington Post: When the Democrats do it, they are EXTENDING debate; when the Republicans do it, they are BLOCKING debate.

I think Republicans should offer a compromise whereby Senate rules are changed so that filibusters can be overcome by a simple majority in cases of both Nonbinding Resolutions and Federal Judicial appointments.

Comments:
I'm mightily confused by what you're trying tell us. Isn't refusing to end debate the opposite of blocking debate? Seems to me the inconsistency arises from the minority parties' doing completely different things in the two cases.
 
the votes referred to were procedurally the same - to invoke cloture and bring a matter to vote - the GOP wanted JOhn Bolton's nomination voted on and the Democratswanted to vote on the Non-binding resolution. Invoking cloture requires 60 votes which neither majority could muster. What;s funny here is how the Post spun it as a positive for the Dems and a negative for the GOP even though they were doing the exact same thing.
 
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