Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The real story of the vote not to vote on the intolerance amendment

No one seems to be reporting, much less talking about, the real story behind today's vote not to end debate on the intolerance amendment. (See my previous series of entries, which explain, among other things, why I call it The intolerance amendment .)

The New York Times writes,
"Senators Block Initiative to Ban Same-Sex Unions

After more than three days of debate, the Senate voted 50 to 48 against moving forward on the proposal, effectively killing it for now."
The Senate didn't vote against moving forward, the Senate voted not to impose cloture.

Why would the Senate prefer not to impose cloture? Because if debate is not cut off, then no one has to vote on the actual issue.

Originally, the Republicans thought that they could force the Democrats to take a position on the amendment on the eve of the Democratic convention, and that doing so would be a lose-lose choice for the Democrats. In response, the Democrats started a filibuster to avoid bringing the issue to a vote. The vote taken today was whether or not to end the filibuster -- and it lost.

Lots of Senators, not just Democrats, apparently preferred not to have to vote on the amendment itself. By allowing the filibuster to continue they saved themselves from having to make that hard choice.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Your analysis is non-sensical. The vote for cloture is a vote that puts senators on record about how they feel about a particular issue.

Nobody seriously believes that any senator votes against cloture because they want to go on debating.

I notice you spend a lot of time picking gnat shit out of pepper on political issues and provide little substantive analysis.