Of course, many of his sonnets were written with a similar premise, but I digress.
As of this writing, Bernie Sanders, with an assist from Sherrod Brown and Mary Landrieu, has kept a filibuster-- a real one, not the I-Can't-Believe-They're-Not-Speaking silent filibusters we've been used to from the GOP-- for just over four hours. When Americans talk about the filibuster as a safeguard for minority rights, I think that they're still glossing over the fact that it killed every civil rights bill the Congress tried to take up until 1964, but if they all had to be done like this, I could live with it. I still think it needs to be changed so that it can't last forever, but with no further introduction, I give you Senator Bernie Sanders, the proud Socialist from Vermont.
UPDATE: It's just past 7 hours, and Bernie Sanders has yet to read from any text not relevant to the matter at hand. How he's able to do this is quite simple: You could take a year talking about better ways to spend 858 billion dollars. The question is, how many of those can we make happen.
There has been plenty of hypocrisy surrounding Democratic outrage at President Obama for this tax cut deal. Democrats traded away reconcilliation as a tool when they let Blue Dogs wuss out of voting on another Obama budget. They drained their political capital by letting Max Baucus spend an entire summer giving away the store on Healthcare Reform. They traded away favorable field position when they gave the decision about whether to stage a vote on the matter before the elections to those Senators who were up for re-election. Senator Mary Landrieu, the queen of off-shore drilling--to borrow a phrase from the brilliant, beautiful Melissa Harris-Perry-- has spoken of the moral outrage of the tax cuts. She's not wrong. Not right now, at least.
But she voted for them in the beginning, and as much as she pretends, there was never any real math that concluded that the tax cuts wouldn't lead to deficits.
Chuck Schumer's bill, which would have extended tax cuts to millionaires but not billionaires for five years-- at far greater cost to the deficit than the $858 billion tax cut framework-- didn't get to 60. And that bill contained NONE of the Obama tax cuts, and thus would have constituted a tax increase to working families. Having failed to come up with legislation that would actually pass the Senate, he is now fuming at President Obama for coming up with one that might pass.
But Bernie Sanders has earned his sense of moral outrage, speaking forcefully as an independent member of the Democratic Caucus against each capitulation by Congressional Democrats that led up to this deal on tax cuts. He is one of very few authorized to throw stones.
And he's not wasting it at all.
Thank you, Senator Sanders.