Professor explains recent use of filibuster - abc27 WHTM

Professor explains recent use of filibuster

Posted: Updated:

Strom Thurmond holds the record for the longest filibuster. That was in 1957 and lasted for 24 hours. It was the first time the famed phone book tactic was used.

Republican Rand Paul may not have read from the Yellow Pages, but his actions are being called historic.

"I rise this day to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA," is how Paul kicked it off to the Senate on Wednesday morning.  

Filibuster he did, exercising a process that started in this country with our founding fathers.
They intended to make it so that one member of the Senate could slow things down and force everybody to pause and take a moment to look at the issue," said Brandon Lenoir, a political science instructor at Dickinson College.

A pause so that the majority could not automatically overrule the Senate minority. But pushing 13 hours?

"It's hard not to interpret that as political theatre," said Lenoir.

At the core, Paul was standing up against the use of drone strikes on U.S. citizens.
"It's something that cannot and should not be tolerated in this country," Paul said.  

Except he was filibustering the nomination of CIA director John Brennan; two things tied loosely together by drone policy.

In the end, compromise was reached.

Jared Shapiro, a freshman at Dickinson College, said this process may not be exactly what our founding fathers had in mind.

"It allowed Rand Paul to voice his opinion," Shapiro said. 

"He did get the issue of drones in the public discourse. He got answers he was looking for, but there were other ways he could have done this...members of his own party called it grandstanding," said Lenoir.

On top of everything, it gave Paul a chance to show off some commendable bladder control. The biggest winner in it all though may have been the makers of a candy bar.

"He had a quick break where he ate a Milky Way, but that's it," Shapiro added.  
In praise of Paul's action, Pa. Senator Pat Toomey sent him a little gift; a bag of Milky Ways and a note calling the filibuster "an important moment for the Senate."

Powered by WorldNow