Sunday, November 24, 2013
E.J. Dionne recently tweeted, "It is odd in a democracy (or a democratic republic, if you prefer) that being for majority rule is considered going 'nuclear.'" Why the Democrats had to "go nuclear" in response to Republican filibuster abuse is made evident in the chart above provided by Think Progress. It shows the unprecedented spike in cloture motions filed since Sen, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) became Minority Leader. Think Progress explains:
Though it’s not a perfect measure, a common mechanism used to gauge the frequency of filibusters is the number of “cloture motions” filed during a particular Congress — “cloture” is the procedure used to break a filibuster. So, while filibusters certainly were not unheard of before Democrats gained their current majority and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) became the Republican leader, they spiked massively the minute McConnell assumed this position. Indeed, nearly 3 in 10 of all cloture motions filed in the history of the Senate were filed during McConnell’s tenure as Minority Leader. Any claim that the Senate’s current minority is simply following past practices is not credible. The filibuster existed before the Age of McConnell, but McConnell made them commonplace.