Gail Collins: Filibuster Has Prevented Obama from Doing Anything
What a joke this column is
. Talking about the Massachusetts special election, Collins gripes that his status as the 41st Republican senator could prevent the health care bill from passing. She does a little exercise to show how only a small minority of the country could bring the process to a halt:
There are 100 members of the Senate. But as Brown is currently reminding us, because of the filibuster rule, it takes only 41 to stop any bill from passing.
U.S. population: 307,006,550.
Population for the 20 least-populated states: 31,434,822.
That means that in the Senate, all it takes to stop legislation is one guy plus 40 senators representing 10.2 percent of the country.
In theory, of course. In practice, the 40 Republican senators do not represent the 20 smallest states in population. Texas has two Republican senators and is the second largest state with a population of 24,000,000. Florida, the fourth largest, has one GOP senator.
Getting back to Massachusetts, Collins talks a bit about the enthusiasm gap:
The tea-party types are euphoric, pouring money in Brown’s direction. The people who voted for Barack Obama, meanwhile, are sullen and dispirited. This is, of course, partly because of the economy, but also partly because of the sense that the president is not getting anything done.
Which brings us back to the 10 percent rule. Don’t get me started again.
Doggone those nasty Republicans! Why are they filibustering all the president's programs!
Labels: Filibuster, Gail Collins, New York Times