Strong opinions, weakly held

No backtracking on torture

One of the reasons people hate politics is the hypocrisy of it all. Politicians excuse behavior from their allies that they are eager to rebuke from their opponents.

Perhaps the most shocking recent example of this was the Republican effort to eliminate the filibuster when they had the majority in the Senate and House until 2006. After decrying the filibuster as an unconstitutional travesty for years, the Republican minority in the current Senate has used the filibuster more than any other Congress in history.

Now we see Democrats who were unequivocally against torture equivocating. The only way to prevent this sort of thing is to make people aware that it’s going on, and for voters to let politicians know that principles shouldn’t change regardless of who’s in the White House. So that’s what I’m doing.


  1. Can you document the claim that “current Republicans have used the filibuster more than any other Congress in history?” Cursory searches yield no firm stats on filibuster usage by each congressional term. There is substantial anecdotal evidence of its use by both sides for well over 100 years. The most egregious modern examples of filibusters were those used by Democrats in an attempt to stop most civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 60s, including (then Democrat) Strom Thurmond and the always-delightful Democrat Robert Byrd.

    Given that filibuster is primarily a minority party tool, and that Democrats have maintained a Senate majority for most of the past 60 years, the general tilt should be towards the Republicans, but the idea that the most recent Republican minority has set some sort of record seems unlikely.

  2. It’s a tough one, since it’s hard to count threats of filibuster in any official way. Even so, the Republicans have used the filibuster a heck of a lot after trying to get rid of it entirely not so long ago. As far as the claim goes, I read it somewhere, and was unable to find any helpful statistics or charts to back it up.

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