Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D NV) has allowed obstructionist Republicans to block legislation since 2006 without actually going through the traditional mechanics of a filibuster--the old Jimmy Stewart standing on the Senate floor for hours or days on end, railing against whatever is at issue, reading from the phone book, doing whatever it takes to prevent a vote.
But now that a Democrat--the esteemed Chris Dodd--wants to filibuster something that really matters, Reid wants to force him to do it the old-fashioned way. Dodd wants to prevent the Senate from authorizing a FISA bill that gives retroactive immunity to telecom companies that may have broken the law by enabling the government to spy on U.S. citizens. Reid wants to bend over to the Bush administration's wishes on this, and provide the immunity. If he's explained why this is, I haven't heard it. But it's wrong, and it's stupid, and it's no time to actually start enforcing rules he's ignored ever since his party took control of the Senate. Does he remember which party he belongs to?
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