Take a look at this story on CNN:
Barely a month in office, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, is putting some muscle behind his independent image by twice voting against his own party and questioning the use of the filibuster.
Brown took to the Senate floor Tuesday to announce he would vote for cloture, or to end a Republican filibuster, on a bill extending unemployment benefits and tax credits. This, despite the fact he opposes the bill and technically the filibuster helped his cause.
“I have very serious concerns about the overall cost of the bill,” Brown told the chamber, “but my vote for cloture signals that I believe we need to keep the process moving.” He also said, “there has been a week of debate and allowing this bill to receive an up-and-down vote, would be a step, I feel, in the right direction.”
Nothing really bad in there, but then take a look at this part:
It is rare for a senator to vote for cloture, thus advancing a bill, while opposing the bill itself. Votes on filibusters are often defacto decisions on the content of the proposal.
Rare? Yes if we are talking about the past 2 years, but not when you look at the overall history of the Senate. Without saying it, the reporter is talking about a filibuster – a practice that’s use has risen exponentially these past couple of years. Before that it was common for Senators to allow a bill to proceed to a final vote, even if they disagreed with it. It’s called majority rule and something that is very common. Perhaps CNN should send their reporters back to 3rd grade social studies so that they can have a bit of a clue of how our government is supposed to work.