The Corner

The Real Fake Filibuster

Is it a filibuster or not? Apparently this depends on who is speaking. In 2010, socialist senator Bernie Sanders performed precisely the same trick that Ted Cruz has over the past twenty-plus hours: He asked for permission to make a long speech that doesn’t actually “delay or block” a piece of legislation. Back then, though, Sanders was a filibustering hero. Buzzfeed reported rather breathlessly that:

Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is being a badass today and doing a real filibuster of the Obama tax cuts to counteract the bullshit fake filibusters everyone else has been trying to pull recently.

Actually, “badass” Sanders was doing a fake filibuster. This, of course, is fine. But we should expect some consistency. That is to say that if Sanders’s filibuster was “real,” then so is Cruz’s; if it was a “bullshit fake” filibuster, then so is Cruz’s. Buzzfeed, however, has other ideas today:

This is a distinction that Talking Points Memo also saw fit to observe. In 2010, the site reported that Sanders was engaging in a ”a filibuster as filibusters were originally intended.” Ted Cruz, on the other hand . . .

In short, his “filibuster” is not actually a filibuster. It’s merely a speech to kill time.

Just like Sanders’s, then. Same, but different. On average, as Conn Carroll points out in the Washington Examiner, the headlines when Sanders spoke for 9 hours all contained the word “filibuster,” without mitigation:

The Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders Filibuster: Senator Stalls Tax Cut Deal

CBS News: Bernie Sanders Holds Old-School Filibuster Against Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal

The Los Angeles Times: Sen. Bernie Sanders ends filibusterNPR: Sen. Bernie Sanders ‘Filibusters’ Tax Cut Deal

Salon: Bernie Sanders’ epic tax cut filibuster rant

C-SPAN: Sen. Sanders Held a Tax Cut Filibuster

Talking Points Memo: Sanders Ends Daylong Filibuster Of Tax Cut Compromise

Cruz’s headlines, unsurprisingly have not. It doesn’t really matter what you call what Sanders did and Cruz is still doing — call it a “Teapot” if you wish. But some consistency would be nice.

Most Popular


The Kaepernick Saga Drags On . . . off the Field

Colin Kaepernick’s workout for NFL teams in Atlanta this weekend did not run smoothly. The league announced an invitation to scouts from every team to watch Kaepernick work out and demonstrate that he was still ready to play. (As noted last week, the workout is oddly timed; the NFL season is just a bit past its ... Read More

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More
White House

Decide Trump’s Fate at the Ballot Box

If Donald Trump’s presidency is going to end before 2025, it should end at the ballot box. A lot of what has been revealed by Trump’s desire to see Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden -- or at least publicly announce an investigation -- merely confirms character traits, instincts, and habits that have ... Read More

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More