Call Lieberman's Bluff—Make Him Filibuster

Senate rules make delay tactic too easy for fence-sitters
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 2:29 PM CST
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, before the Senate Budget Committee hearing on bipartisan proposals for long term fiscal stability.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The filibuster is supposed to be a last resort. It allows the Senate minority, when it's willing to engage in endless debate—at the cost of holding up the chamber’s other business—to challenge legislation. But today, senators need only signal their intention to filibuster to stall a bill, and fence-sitting Dems like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson need only hint at it to get what they want. It’s merely “filibluster,” writes Renee Loth, and the Democrats should call their bluff.

"Make Lieberman bring the business of the Senate to a screeching halt in order to defend insurance industry interests, and see how the American people respond," Loth writes in the Boston Globe. "Show Nelson holding up his party’s most important legislation in a generation" Going through with the filibuster would be hard on Democrats, but achieving health care reform would be worth it.