When I first started reading the stories about the Iraq debate in the U.S. Senate I was very confused.
Why are all these news organizations saying the Democrats need 60 votes to pass a withdrawal bill? Don’t they remember that 51 votes is considered a majority?
And then a Washington, D.C. contact clued me in. The Senate Republicans are threatening a … filibuster.
But it would be hard to know that from reading many of the news stories surrounding the debate, especially the ones that have been written over the past two days. The F word is rarely used. Some of them don’t even mention it at all. One article I read called it a "procedural tool."
The worst offender seemed to Vermont’s good friends at FOX News. Their headline today was, "Lawmakers vote 52-47 to reject plan to bring troops home by early next year." That is exactly the opposite of what happened.
Now, every minority party in the U.S. Congress has the right to filibuster. It’s a useful tool that Republicans and Democrats have used to shift the balance of power in the chambers.
But we call a spade a spade, right?
So let’s call a filibuster a filibuster, okay?