December 15, 2007

from The West Wing--The Stackhouse Filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid loves parliamentary procedure so much that he is essentially selling out his own party to allow the Senate to debate the FISA bill with the telecom immunity. As Glenn spells out:

The summarized version is that there were two competing bills which Reid could have brought to the floor -- the Senate Intelligence Committee version engineered by Jay Rockefeller and Dick Cheney which gives the administration most of what it wants, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which does not contain telecom amnesty and contains far more extensive oversight protections. Reid could have brought the bill to the floor using whatever process he wanted, and he has decided -- contrary to weeks of assurances -- that the SIC bill will serve as the "base" bill, meaning that improving it (by removing amnesty and increasing oversight) will require 60 votes, rendering such efforts virtually impossible. In doing so, Reid is brazenly ignoring the demands of 14 Senators -- including all of the Democratic presidential candidates -- to have the Judiciary Committee bill be the base bill.

Worse still, Reid is completely disregarding the "hold" placed by Chris Dodd on any amnesty bill -- simply refusing to honor it, even as he respectfully honors literally scores of "holds" from GOP Senators such as Tom Coburn. And while Dodd is interrupting his campaigning to fly to Washington to lead the filibuster he vowed, Reid has ensured with scheduling manuevers that the filibuster will take place only over the weekend -- when all of the members are away raising money anyway and journalists aren't paying attention -- with the intent to try to force cloture once everyone returns on Monday.

So if that's the way Harry Reid wants to play it, Chris Dodd is going to use parliamentary procedure as well--to filibuster the SIC version of the bill. Thank the deity of your choice for a Democrat who not only represents Democratic values, but also acts like an opposition party leader. I don't mean you, Harry. And like the The West Wing clip above, Senators Feingold and Kennedy have promised to help by asking questions, to give Dodd a chance to rest or have a bite.

But Dodd needs things to say while filibustering on the Senate floor. Shall he read the complete works of Shakespeare? George Orwell's 1984? Every time I see Karl Rove's face, I can't help but think of Animal Farm, myself. Or perhaps Shock Doctrine? How about the transcripts to one of Olbermann's Special Comments?

All good choices. But how about if Chris Dodd speaks for the American public as well? After 7 long years of feeling left out of the political discussion, there are many things I'd love to have a Senator say out loud on the Senate floor. I've been communicating with his office and they have authorized me to put out this invitation to you, as well as readers of FDL and other blogs.

What would you like to hear Senator Chris Dodd say as part of his filibuster?

I am going to sticky this post at the top of the page today to get as many responses as possible. Obviously, we're making no guarantees other than his office will definitely be looking at your posts. Normal commenting policies still apply.

And Senator Dodd? Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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