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After six (not four) years of Republican obstructionism, Sen. Reid awakens to the notion that rules reform might be a good idea. Unfortunately, the package that he is shopping around reflects the lethargy that we have come to expect.

So what's wrong with a talking filibuster? Let's do the math. There are 24 hours in a day. If you have 40+ obstructionists, then each has to speak for only 35 minutes a day to sustain a filibuster indefinitely. That's hardly a barrier. What would be unsustainable to Republicans would be to require them to keep 40 members on the floor for the duration of the filibuster. Or we could abolish the filibuster altogether seeing as how the polarization of the parties has made debate rather obsolete.

More below the fold.


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Furthermore, because the Republicans can weather a talking filibuster, it won't be long before they won't have to. Once they have demonstrated that they can and will sustain a filibuster indefinitely, then we are right back to them only to having to make the threat to push Sen. Reid to surrender.

Equally unforgivable is Reid's apparent detachment from the Republican tactics in 2005. Reid is basing his rules changes on what he would be comfortable with were he in the minority. Those of us that remember the Republican's threat of the nuclear option during the Alito confirmation know that acts of good faith and fairness will not be returned.

Lastly, we need a majority leader who is more concerned with passing good legislation so that Democrats don't lose in the future as opposed to one who is constantly preparing us for "inevitable" failure.

We need a majority leader who is willing to strike the filibuster entirely or maybe, maybe negotiate down to requiring 40 filibustering senators to remain on the floor. And we needed that leader four years ago and counting.

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