Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Filibuster Flip-Flops

Here's a pop quiz (with answers) for left-wing blogger Joe Sonka, who rants at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today for the use of filibusters -- what Sonka calls "the most cynical and selfish of tactics within the Senate":

1. Who wrote the following?

"The filibuster is one of our democracy's oldest and most important checks on the power of the majority. It preserves two of our bedrock values: protecting the rights of the minority and promoting compromise."

Answer: People for the America Way. This organization (which even The New York Times acknowledges is "a liberal group") also wrote: "For two centuries, our leaders have supported the tradition of the filibuster in order to promote cooperation and compromise, and because they have recognized the dangers of one party control and the importance of protecting the rights of the minority."

2. Who wrote the following and on what on-line blog did he write it?

"Do I support a filibuster? The answer is yes."

Answer: Senator John Kerry (D-MA) at dailykos.com (where Sonka's blog is cross-posted today). Kerry and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) were all for the filibuster in a last-ditch effort to defeat the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

3. Who said the following?

"As matters stand now I could not support it and I would support a filibuster absent additional information coming forth that would convince me differently."

Answer: Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Neither she nor Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) had any problem with a filibuster in October, when they both sought to block enactment of pending FISA legislation.

4. Who wrote the following?

"There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it."

Answer: The New York Times Editorial Board. The quote comes from an editorial in The New York Times opposing certain proposed anti-terrorism legislation when the Republicans held the majority in the Senate. Last Sunday, however, Times reporter David Herszenhorn bemoaned the filibuster and likely gave Sonka the idea for his piece, which quotes Herszenhorn's article.

Here's a recommendation for Sonka before taking on any new blogging assignments: study those "progressive" sources more.

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