Whoops. Wrote this on Friday but I didn’t quite publish.
Playing off the swearing-in of Scott Brown, officially ending the 60-Dem Senate, the “PBS Newshour” on Thursday put up a segment about the filibuster and related issues and their panel included Minnesota’s own Norm Coleman (plus MN native Norm Ornstein, plus our neighbor, former Sen. Tom Daschle of SoDak).
Coleman, unsurprisingly since it has been one of his signatures, said the answer was to reach across the aisle to get things done. You listen for yourself, but it sounded to me like he was putting the onus on the Dems to do the reaching, not sure why.
Me, I don’t hear anyone talking straight about the need for filibuster reform, except maybe in the setup piece. But I’m becoming obsessed. Every time people talk about the filibuster as a guarantor or full debate, I want someone to say: It isn’t about full debate. You could easily guarantee full debate and still guarantee that bills eventually get a vote. The issue not whether debate should be squelched. The issue is whether 41 senators should be able to squelch 59 from passing a bill.
Anyway, I’m putting this up mostly because of the unexpected Coleman sighting. Also notice, the think tank that Coleman will be running now has a name. The American Action Network. It will be, as described in the Wall Street Journal, “a new political group with the goal of organizing grass-roots support and raising funds ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.”
OK, here’s video. It’s 16 minutes long. The panel that includes Coleman starts about four and a half minutes in, after the setup. (During the setup, from the Parallel Realities department, note that Repub. Sen. Jon Kyl, expresses his pain over the cheap shot that Obama took at Senate Repubs when the prez said, in the SOTU address, that the Repubs were demanding 60 votes on everything and always saying no. And, of course, in a strict sense, that is true. Repubs have not filibustered everything (nor did Obama say they did. He said that if they were going to demand 60 votes for everything, then — given their new cloture-proof minority — the must share the responsibility of governing.)