While my kids were off doing somersaults in PE yesterday, I stumbled on this article about Rand Paul breaking his 12-hour-long filibuster over the drone strikes policy with a trip to the bathroom.
Politics completely aside, I was tickled by the news of the traditional filibuster in use. If you want to be obstinate and hold up progress of a particular bill, you’d better be willing to stand up and read from a phone book like the Founders intended! The newer silent filibuster, which requires only the announcement of a filibuster without anyone having to stand or talk or even be present, delays things by changing the required number of votes to pass a bill.
With such a low (non-existent) hurdle to clear before holding a bill hostage, it not surprisingly gets used and abused. It just seems so absurd! This isn’t how it’s supposed to be done; forgive me, your rules are asinine.
It reminds me of the way my kindergartners play tag: by crossing their arms like an Egyptian mummy and shouting “Shield!” they are apparently un-tag-able. It’s a silly rule that doesn’t advance the game.
Paul’s epic filibuster made quite a splash, but ultimately the outcome was something a lot of my kids could relate to: it’s a good day if you can get to the bathroom on time.