Precinct 333

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Filibuster For Frist?

I make no secret about my support for Condoleezza Rice at this early stage of the race for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. But one of the other prominently mentioned names is that of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. But what does he need to do to distinguish himself from the field?

If Bill Frist is going to distinguish himself from his likely 2008 primary contenders (like Virginia senator George Allen), he needs to be Bush's game-breaking quarterback in the Senate. In fact, one could argue that successfully pushing Bush's agenda through the Senate would so identify Frist with the Bush legacy that he could run as Bush's ideological heir. But to do this, Frist will need to exhibit some of that famed Volunteer-state toughness, and this means breaking filibusters the old-school way, with non-stop debate, sleepless nights, and cots in the Senate required.

I don’t know if I agree with that assessment, but I agree that a real filibuster, with the Democrats constantly on television actively obstructing the work of the Senate, is what is needed to get the American people to speak out. I don’t know if there exists film of the Democrat filibusters of civil rights measures, but wouldn’t it be great to run them side-by-side? Even more fun would be the film of Senator Byrd in 1964 and in 2005, seeking to keep minorities from voting then and from becoming judges today.


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