I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face: the filibuster in the Senate has become one of the biggest impediments to our government’s ability to function.

I don’t generally have a very high opinion of the American voter – in large part because they routinely fail to hold the right people to account for things that go wrong in Washington – but I guess you can’t really blame them when so many media outlets fail to even use  the word “filibuster” to describe what Republicans have been doing for the last few years on nearly every piece of substantive legislation.  For example:

BusinessWeek:

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ proposal to cover the cost of a one-year freeze in government student loan interest rates by requiring some professional services firms to pay withholding taxes on their income.

The Senate, in a 52-45 vote with 60 required, didn’t advance the plan to avert a July 1 increase in college-loan interest rates to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. No Republicans joined Democrats in voting to advance the measure.

USA Today:

Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill on Tuesday aimed at keeping interest rates on federal college loans from doubling July 1 in an election-year battle aimed at the hearts — and votes — of millions of students and their parents. [...]

Tuesday’s vote was 52-45 in favor of starting debate on the Democratic legislation — eight votes shy of the 60 needed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was the only one to defect his party’s position, a procedural move that will allow him to hold the vote again should the two sides work out a deal later.

I guess you can’t blame those precious low-information voters out there who pay attention to politics for a few nanoseconds every year or two for not knowing about the rampant, unprecedented use of the filibuster by Senate Republicans over the last few years – considering that they probably don’t hear about it on the local TV news morning show or the toilet paper newspaper hotels give you for free each morning.

But just in case one of those responsibility-shirking mouthbreathers happens across this post, here again is an illustration of how Senate Republicans have been abusing the filibuster:

 

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