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GOP "Filibuster Hypocrisy"
Parry is editor of ConsortiumNews.com, a reader-supported investigative webpage. He recently wrote the piece "The GOP's Filibuster Hypocrisy," which states: "Though seemingly forgotten by most TV talking heads, it was only three years ago, when the Republicans had control of both the White House and Congress -- and 'filibuster' was a dirty word.
"It was usually coupled with 'obstructionist' amid demands that any of George W. Bush's proposals deserved 'an up-or-down vote.'
"Yet now, with the Democrats holding the White House and Congress, the Republicans and the Washington press corps have come to view the filibuster fondly, as a valued American tradition, a time-honored part of a healthy legislative process.
"Today, it's seen as a good thing that Democrats must muster 60 votes in the Senate to pass almost anything."
Parry's latest piece is "The GOP's Jihad on Obama." His books include "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. More Information
Professor and chair of the government department at Suffolk University in Boston, Berg is author of "Unequal Struggle: Class, Gender, Race and Power in the U.S. Congress." He said today: "The filibuster is an undemocratic relic. During the '50s and '60s, the filibuster was used by racists to block civil rights laws, and so no one used it for years after that. Then, some anti-war senators like Wayne Morse used it, but only in limited circumstances. It wasn't used frequently until Bob Dole used it constantly during the Clinton presidency.
"There ought to be a way whereby a strong point can be made by a few, but a determined majority can ultimately work its will. Part of the problem now is that a filibuster used to be a real filibuster, senators actually had to make speeches, or at least read out of the phone book -- they'd bring out the mattresses. Now, the minority party just says they're doing a filibuster on an issue and everyone acts like that means they have to move to other business." More Information