Cloture as a Natural Process

Senate SealThere was some whingeing and hand-wringing about my recent post on the filibuster and cloture. There seems to be a belief that just because the filibuster was rare in the past and is common now, that this is an unnatural situation. Nonsense. Exponential functions always start out small and grow exponentially. By definition. Didn’t you guys take math? So here’s my response to those who think that the current impasse is the fault of Republicans:

The part of the chart from the previous post that is important is the part since about 1969, which I’ve taken the liberty of blowing up:

Cloture since 1961This by itself is interesting, but not that instructive.  Sure, it’s clearly exponentially increasing, but is that the result of some sort of hyperpartisanism by Republicans? I’d laugh if I didn’t know that you actually are that naïve. But in the interest of your education, here is the proof. Below is the number of cloture votes filed color coded to the minority party. The blue line is when democrats are the minority, and the red line is when Republicans are the minority. Notice that the trend is increasing at about the same rate regardless of who is in power. Proof that this is all part of the natural cycle and not the fault of one party.

Cloture by Minority PartyFurthermore, below is the number of cloture votes filed color coded to the party of the President. The blue line is when the President is a democrat, and the red line is when he is a Republican. The trend is still increasing at about the same rate regardless of who is in power. Still more proof that this is all part of the natural cycle and not the fault of one party.

Cloture by Presidential Party

All of this shows that the process is natural and not part of the new partisanship in Washington.  But what is the root cause of this natural exponential increase? I’ve got some clues, and will be posting them soon.

This is great timing, though. The number of cloture votes filed increased at just the right time to stymie the democrats. As a Patriot though, I’m torn. I mean, if we’re actually going to fix our great Nation, we’ll need to be able to actually pass legislation, so this standstill would need to be stopped (if it’s even possible). But can’t it wait until Republicans are in power?

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