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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 04/19/2013

Friday rant: Loaded and locked edition

So now we have, again, nothing. No sensible response to loophole gun laws, no compromise, no democracy. The majority of the country wants action, but they don’t get it. The majority of the Senate votes one way, but the opposite happens. The crazy exception of the ‘filibuster without talking’ wins, everybody else loses.

This is one place where media critics have it right. The filibuster has grown from an obscure and controversial contrivance used in extraordinary circumstances to being redefined as an accepted understanding that the Senate was designed to require 60 votes to pass legislation. This change has passed into the common understanding and the media have facilitated this weird and hugely destructive change as if nothing has happened, and as a result, nothing DOES happen. Senator Byrd used to prattle on in his old age about how George Washington described the Senate as a saucer to cool the coffee in before it is drunk. This situation is not what Washington was talking about.  Now Congress is drunk in the other sense, and the saucer is used for skeet shooting by the NRA. The coffee has become Kook-a-Koolaid, served by the media and lapped up cold by the voters who dizzily wonder why their government doesn’t work.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 04/19/2013

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