A Talking Filibuster Will Hurt Dems

By Dick Morris on March 18, 2021

Foolishly, Biden has endorsed a compromise on the filibuster by reforming it so they have to conduct it the old-fashioned way: senators would have to stand on their feet and speak 24/7.

Floated initially by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin as a compromise between eliminating the filibuster and preserving it intact, the idea of a talking filibuster is to make it harder to conduct one.

But I believe that this reform will actually make the talking filibuster a much more effective weapon against the Democrats and Biden.

The simple fact is that these omnibus bills passed by Pelosi in the House are so bad that the more people understand their provisions the less popular they will be. Knowing this, Pelosi rushes them through her chamber with scant opportunity for debate and no public hearings. A talking filibuster would give the public plenty of time to learn the details of the proposed legislation and the more they learn the less they will like it.

During the 50s and 60s Southerners filibustering civil rights legislation would read the phone book or the dictionary, anything to stay on their feet and talk 24/7. In the process the Senate would grind to a halt. No other bills could be considered, confirmations would be delayed, and no business conducted. But that’s not how today’s Republicans will stage a talking filibuster.

Republican opponents of Biden’s agenda will be happy to explore of the issues at length focusing on each of the evil provisions of his legislation and exposing them to public view. In this age of 24 hour news coverage on television channels the Republican speakers will be broadcast live and will make very interesting television for the American people.

Each of the provisions of various stimulus packages will be exposed and each wasteful expenditure discussed in depth. By the end of the filibuster Biden’s proposals will be so unpopular that they might not even carry a fifty-vote majority anymore in the Senate.

Republicans should rally around the idea of a talking filibuster and coalesce with Manchin and even Biden on endorsing the proposal. Nothing could be better for the congressional Republicans than full debate on the outrageous legislation Biden and Pelosi are pushing on the American people.


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