Mommy, what’s a filibuster?

Dear Bull Moose:

A little while ago you wrote this piece of “awesomeness”:

However, first, the actual vote has to be taken and Republicans have thus far fillibustered [sic] a vote on the Warner resolution.

To begin, you misspelled “filibustered.”

Secondly, you are completely WRONG in your use of the word. A filibuster is NOT voting down a bill, resolution, amendment, etc. as happened today in the Senate. A filibuster IS, according to Merriam-Webster, “a: the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly, b: an instance of this practice.”

Standing on the Senate floor reading Mama Thurmond’s cookbook = FILIBUSTER.

Voting down the Warner-Levin amendment = NOT A FILIBUSTER.

Have you ever seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or taken a political science course? Maybe you should start there and THEN begin opining on the “big kid” subjects.

Your apology is accepted in advance.

And with that, I now return you all to your 24 fetishes.


  1. commonsense says:

    Mr. Fogle your wit clearly knows no bounds, including reality.

    A little history for you,

    In 1961 the filibuster fundamentally changed. During that year the Majority leader of the Senate changed the rules to allow other bills to be considered if cloture could not be reached on a particular bill. Thus the filibuster was no longer, as you noted, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but rather simply meaning that a particular piece of legislation lacked the necessary votes to end debate. A filibuster came to mean that the bill didn’t have cloture.

    In 1959 LBJ, as Majority leader, got the threshold for cloture down to 2/3rds of the Senate. In 75 Byrd got it down to 3/5ths or 60 votes.

    Now to explain to you what happened today…Republicans said that if all three measures did not come up for a vote then the GOP would prevent cloture on the Warner Amendment. Now, as I explained above, preventing cloture is commonly known as “filibustering.”

    Don’t take my word for it, he’s the Washington Post’s account, “Republicans insisted that the impasse soon would be broken, but after Democrats came up 11 votes short of the 60 needed to break the filibuster, a solution was nowhere in evidence.”

    So what did the Republicans do today Mr. Fogle? That’s right, they filibustered the Warner amendment. I suggest you use a history textbook instead of popular cinema to determine the rules of the Senate.

  2. Rick Day says:

    I’m not sure what this has to do with GA politics..some rural GA elected officials can’t even spell “fillibuster”.

    yet, this blog still feels like one big (dysfunctional, but big) family.

  3. Erick says:

    Commonsense, it’s still not filibuster. In fact, during the judicial nominations, CNN never referred to the Democrats as filibustering, except when the GOP actually made them talk all night.

  4. Adam Fogle says:

    yet, this blog still feels like one big (dysfunctional, but big) family.


    That’s the beauty of Peach Pundit… and part of the reason you keep coming back.

  5. commonsense says:

    If preventing cloture is not a filibuster by your definition then a filibuster hasn’t existed since Strom.

    Cloture=”The only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster.”

    Also note the Senate’s own definition
    “filibuster – Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.”

    …any other means of delaying or obstructive actions…

    A filibuster means preventing cloture

  6. Adam Fogle says:


    Notice the following portion of the M-W definition:

    … extreme dilatory tactics

    Pay close attention to the word “EXTREME.” Voting against a measure is NOT extreme. Not even if that measure is a motion for cloture.

    Holding the floor for 24 hours while reading the great works of Shakespeare or War and Peace or back issues of Cosmopolitan is extreme.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Ah, leave it to Fogle to not be able to see the big picture of consequences.

    If cloture is invoked and fails, then the minority has indeed, launched a FILIBUSTER on the issue that is at hand to be voted on in the Senate.

    I think there are some Republicans that will regret this tactic. It only causes the issue to continue to go into the week.

    Vote up or down on the Warner resolution. Period.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    I’m sorry, but Fogle, you are incorrect in your literal interpretation. And your focusing on my spelling instead of the issue is stupid.

  9. commonsense says:

    Thanks Fogle, but I’m going to stick with the Senate’s definition.

    Eric- Even if one accepts your point Mr. Fogle fundamentally misrepresented what happened today. It wasn’t a vote on the Warner resolution it was a vote on cloture.

  10. Bull Moose says:

    Republicans are going to take the brunt in the media as blocking a vote. That’s a bad move for those who might be vulnerable in 2008.

    I say vote your conscience on the Warner amendment, and be ready to defend it however you vote.

    For now, I’m on the McCain side of the war issue, but lacking progress by summer, it’s going to get tough.

  11. Adam Fogle says:

    Also note the Senate’s own definition.


    filibuster – Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.

    So there are basically three ways to filibuster.

    #1: “… by debating it at length.”
    #2: “… by offering numerous procedural motions.”
    #3: “… by any other delaying or obstructive actions.”

    Well, today’s floor action was obviously not numbers one or two. Number three? Hardly.

    They voted against cloture. In Bull Moose’s “big picture of consequences,” that’s certainly not obstructive and would barely qualify for delaying.

    In the Senate’s “big picture of consequences,” voting against cloture is common. Democrats did it during the Patriot Act, and it happened a number of times during the 109th Congress.

    It only gains attention when controversial legislation hits the floor. Otherwise, it’s commonplace.

    And your focusing on my spelling instead of the issue is stupid.


  12. commonsense says:

    Dear God Adam,

    They voted against cloture. This means no vote on the bill. You can tell this by the fact that a majority of the Senators voted for the action today but the Warner Amendment did not pass.

    The vote has been delayed indefinitely unless cloture can be reached.

    Again this really isn’t complicated, they delayed the action on the Resolution. Simply putting the word “hardly” after what occured today doesn’t make your version of reality so.

    More to the point, even your version doesn’t warrant the original post. If you’re going to be a jackass at least stand on firmer ground

  13. Bull Moose says:

    Hmm… in Fogle’s world, the media doesn’t matter…

    Funny, I just went to the Washington Post website, and the lead story is: GOP stalls debate on troop increase

    Hmm… stalls debate… that’s pretty synonymous with FILIBUSTER

  14. Bull Moose says:

    commonsense you are debating with someone who is really far right and thus is not going to be able to see this in terms of objectivity.

    That’s a rare thing where people can set aside their personal partisanship and see the big picture.

    The Senate should vote up or down on the Warner amendment. Delaying or prohibiting a vote is a non starter for many on both sides of the issue.

  15. Bull Moose says:

    My LOCAL news just covered the matter in the Senate today as Republicans blocking a vote on the issue…

    I’m telling you, that is not what the Republicans need.

  16. bowersville says:

    “A resolution- a Senate – passed resolution of disapproval for this new strategy in Iraq – would give the enemy some encouragement, some feeling that, well, some clear expression that the American people are divided?” Lieberman asked.

    “That’s correct, sir,” Petraeus replied.

    Needless to say, Warner was upset when it was his time to speak, even defending his patriotism, which wasn’t in question. Warner added “Those who say we’re not doing the right thing, tell me, what is the obligation of the Senate? Do nothing?”

    The “debate” resolution by the Democratic led Senate was nothing but an attempt to limit the debate, and Warner’s resolution would accomplish that goal. Anyone following this would realize there was actually an attempt by Republicans to expand the debate to 3 resolutions.

    One resolution in particular would have each Senator vote whether or not they would stop funding of the surge.

    The Democrats and a few Republicans, having no gonads, were simply trying to throw the anti-wars a carrot with a non binding resolution and throw the soldiers under the bus.

    But as usual, the political hacks, the pantie waisted ones, are looking for nothing other than a safe political position. If you are going to vote your conscience, make the resolution real!

    Senator Warner, voting on a none binding resolution is doing nothing other than giving our enemy encouragement and demoralizing our troops in the field.

    This is not about winning an election, this is about winning a war. If the war is lost, cut the funding and bring our troops home today!

  17. Decaturguy says:


    It is a positive trait, sometimes, to admit you are wrong. You don’t have to be right all of the time.

    If you are right, then the Democrats never fillibustered President Bush’s judicial nominations, so what was the big fuss about?

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