Mention is made of Jimmy Stewart’s moving performance in Mr Smith goes to Washington. Mr Webb records with an indulgent smile the 87-year old Senator Robert Byrd (Democratic – West Virginia) reminiscing on the art of the filibuster: “And so when I filibustered 14 hours and 13 minutes in 1964 I never got off the germaneness of the subject.”
Natalie asks, “What measure did the Republican Party propose in 1964 that was so bad in Senator Byrd’s eyes that he was willing to make this heroic effort to stop it?”
Oh, that. As the Star Ledger says,
a relay of Southern senators held the floor for 57 days to try to stop the landmark Civil Rights Act.
Robert Byrd ain’t no Jimmy Stewart. Rotweller Puppy explains,
Actually, the majority of Republicans in the Senate were trying to pass something called ‘The 1964 Civil Rights Act’. Yes. That civil rights act.
Now, given that ex-Klansman Byrd takes such obvious pride in the fact that he can fill 14 hours with meaningful things to say on the subject of why black Americans should be segregated from white Americans, it seems puzzling that Justin Webb doesn’t see fit to mention this.
The Beeb’s article also forgets to mention that it was Robert Byrd who, in 1974-75, used majority rule to change the filibuster rules.
Note to the Beeb’s Justin Webb: the “highjacked by evangelical Christians” meme is so 2004. Can’t you try a new line for once?
But back to filibustering: Bloggers are posting on the subject. Colin also wants the full filibuster. Tiger Hawk continues his discussion. RealClearPolitics has an informative “Battle Over Judges” section. Joe (via Volok) wants to remind the PU students that
filibustering is permitted in the Senate, but Democrats would actually have to filibuster- that is, engage in continuous speech. They can’t just declare “filibuster!” and end the confirmation process.
I might be doing just that tomorrow at 9AM. I’ll be reading Mario Vargas Llosa’s preface to the Real Academia Española’s 400th’s anniversary edition of Don Quijote. (You can purchase Dr. Vargas Llosa’s article through Amazon)
What more suitable?