Wednesday, June 27, 2007

institutional goldfish memory

From USA Today:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that would allow labor unions to organize workplaces without a secret ballot election.

Democrats were unable to get the 60 votes needed to force consideration of the Employee Free Choice Act, ending organized labor's chance to win its top legislative priority from Congress.

The final vote was 51-48.

The outcome was not a surprise, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., saying for months that he would stop the legislation in the Senate. The White House also made it clear that if the bill passed Congress it would be vetoed.

Apropos of the GOP "block", I would like to ask a question: why have I not heard the word "filibuster" since the Democratic takeover of the Senate? That's the single word term for "a move requiring 60 votes to force consideration," so why are so many newspapers and news shows refusing to use the term? I was starting to wonder if the Senate rules had been changed so that now 60 votes are required to pass bills, as every vote the Democrats lose these days "falls short of the necessary 60 votes to force consideration." Then I realized that Trent Lott has been organizing filibusters of virtually every bill Harry Reid brings to the floor. What happened to the moral necessity of the "up or down vote?" More importantly, how come they're "filibusters" when the Democrats did them but just "blocks" when the Republicans do them?

I expect the GOP to be craven and hypocritical, they've made it their business to be such and their goals and strategies pretty much require them to be. But what's USA Today's excuse?

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