Who Won the Week? 06/06/2021

FWWTWThe idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week’s Who Won the Week winner is Philip Uster. Who, you ask, is Philip Uster? Oh, he’s just a senator in the U.S. Congress who may be singlehandedly responsible for the death of democracy in America, is all.

Okay, that is not true. There is no Senator Philip Uster in Congress. He’s is a fictional creation. I’m actually writing about the filibuster, and when I decided to write a post about filibustering, I thought I was being quite clever in creating a persona named Philip Uster as a literary device for that infamous congressional procedure.

So what is a filibuster? The word originally derived from a Dutch term for pirate, robber, or “freebooter.” It was defined as someone who engaged in illegal activities for self-gain.

It has since evolved. According to Dictionary.com, a filibuster is “the use of obstructive tactics by a member of a legislative assembly to prevent the adoption of a measure generally favored or to force a decision against the will of the majority.”

It also used to be an exceptionally long speech, as one lasting for a day or days, or a series of such speeches to accomplish this purpose. But more on that later.

Philip Uster — I mean the filibuster — was born in 1806 when the Senate changed its rules, enabling a way to delay or block floor votes. The first actual filibuster in the Senate occurred in 1837. But it wasn’t until the 1930s when the filibuster really came of age.

Senator Huey Long of Louisiana used it against bills that he thought favored the rich over the poor. He would take up time — once up to 15 hours — by reciting Shakespeare and reading recipes. The record for the longest individual speech, however, belongs to South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond, who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Do you remember when I said earlier that the filibuster used to be an exceptionally long speech? Not any more. In the 1970s, the Senate introduced the concept of the “silent filibuster,” which enabled members to indicate that they merely intended to filibuster to block a measure. To bring this “non-filibuster” to an end in order to vote on the question, at least 60 senators must vote for cloture. So while the Senate likes to call itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” these days the minority party uses the filibuster as a blocking tactic for nearly any significant legislation that doesn’t address that party’s priorities.The Republican strategy in the Biden administration, like it was when Obama was president, is crystal clear: obstruct everything. The GOP battle cry has been to stop Biden from passing legislation at all costs. If Biden and the Democrats support it, they oppose it, even if “it” was something they previously supported or even proposed.

This past week the Republicans in the Senate were able to kill the effort to create a bipartisan commission to study what happened during the insurrection of the Capitol building — their place of employment — on January 6th because not even ten Republicans voted in favor.

In the Senate today no significant legislation can be introduced or votes taken without a super majority of 60 votes. Thanks to these arcane procedural rules on filibusters, it requires only 41 senators out of 100 to quash a bill.

So much for “majority rules.”

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

30 thoughts on “Who Won the Week? 06/06/2021

    • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 1:29 pm

      Yeah, the era of having to stand up to say why you’re against something (or at least having to stand and say something officially) is in the black and white past.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. annieasksyou June 6, 2021 / 9:39 am

    This is a useful overview of a tactic that somehow, some way, we must get rid of before it’s too late…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 6, 2021 / 9:54 am

      Democrat Joe Manchin said he will vote against ending the filibuster and against the voting rights act. 😠 So it may already be too late.

      Like

      • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 12:36 pm

        Well, that “seals the deal” on him being a jerk. (That he won’t even vote for the voting rights act.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mister Bump UK June 6, 2021 / 9:47 am

    It’s funny isn’t it? We all live in places which like to call themselves democracies, and none of them is a democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 1:09 pm

          Such a good point, Pete. Even when I thought I was “a” conservative, I was progressive compared to these people because they were fooling me (and many others certainly). The more those who weren’t fooled (or who have subsequently taken the Republican Party [which includes those who put forth right-wing apologetics but say they aren’t Republican] off a bridge to hell) show their vicious and horrible selves, the more I see being progressive is better (if we have two political choices). And it’s not, really, two sides or points of view on how to steward our country. Bipartisanship is dead (or worse), and one contingency seems determined to destroy any semblance of representation of the population. It’s like, if we won’t all be “originalists” — if the republic isn’t about white supremacy — then there’s no point in functioning effectively to them.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mister Bump UK June 6, 2021 / 1:16 pm

            If it were just a few hundred politicians in DC, it wouldn’t be a problem, but these people, though, carry the weight of 50 million voters.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 1:27 pm

              You’re right; they do seem to be representing a little less than half of the voters. Still, it would be a problem (just not as big of one) if it were a few hundred politicians.

              Liked by 2 people

  3. rugby843 June 6, 2021 / 9:49 am

    Agreed, an obvious insurrection of its own

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light June 6, 2021 / 10:00 am

    It’s clearly not a government by or for the people 😦

    I don’t know who won. It’s depressing to think about the news…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 6, 2021 / 10:57 am

      I’ve cut back on watching/reading the news. I get so angry.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol anne June 6, 2021 / 10:33 am

    I learned something from you with this post, Fandango! Clever use of the word too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. XingfuMama June 6, 2021 / 10:49 am

    I think that the senate should not be paid unless they get off their hindquarters and debate and vote on bills. If they are not going to represent the people who pay their taxes then they need to have their salaries cut to represent the amount of taxes paid by corporations only, since that is who they represent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 6, 2021 / 10:59 am

      I agree. They are not representing the people who voted them into office.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 12:40 pm

      I do wish we could make that happen. Sadly, they vote on their own pay and benefits.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. JT Twissel June 6, 2021 / 10:56 am

    Your post points out how much needs to be reformed in the senate. Philip Uster! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen June 6, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    Poor Jon Rahm (Spanish golfer); had a six stroke lead against his closest competitors when it was announced he tested positive for the coronavirus. He withdrew, yesterday. I grew up in a house adjacent to a golf course (and have memories of meeting famous people there and selling them lemonade), or I’d probably have no interest. But I thought, “so sad.” We will see who wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marleen June 6, 2021 / 2:04 pm

    The Jealousy & Hatred It Took To Do That, I Can’t Comprehend: Artist Who Painted Tulsa Mural Speaks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 6, 2021 / 2:46 pm

      The artist, in the above video (not in the article), is reminiscent of my dad — who was chosen to undertake a major art project and installation for the school district in which he worked as an art teacher. My dad created a semi-large sculpture out of copper. It wasn’t politically controversial or provocative, unless you count today’s politics — with “conservatism” being largely against public education (unless it’s privatized using public money).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen June 8, 2021 / 6:38 am

    Fox Host Calls [Sen.] Joe Manchin Stupid[/a liar] to His Face

    Liked by 1 person

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