Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Lights

I just saw Senator Sheldon Whitehouse speak at a Brennan Center lecture at NYU Law School. Whitehouse is an excellent speaker, a committed defender of the Constitution, and a major badass.

Do you know what he told us? Out of thirty-six weeks in session this year, the United States Senate has had four weeks of working sessions. Four weeks. What happened to the other thirty-two weeks? They were sucked up by Republican filibusters. That's right: Republican filibusters. Remember the people who hate the filibuster so much that they were willing to "Go nuclear"? Them. There have been ninety filibusters this year and there's no end in sight. Ninety. I sat there wondering why the Democrats had not gotten this message out to American citizens (because you have to admit that "Republicans have obstructed the United States Senate's work for thirty-two weeks this year" is a pretty compelling message) when Whitehouse told us that the Democrats have realized that they need to take that message to the people (and that at least some of them are discussing changing the filibuster rules). Stay tuned ...

He also discussed the importance of the Citizens United vs. Federal Eleciton Commission case currently before the Roberts court and said that depending on the ruling, it may be necessary to amend the Constitution to deal with the Democracy-degrading implications of the case. With regard to that possibility, he said, "Gird your loins..."

I like this guy.

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