Colbert on filibuster rules: ‘Democrats are pussies’
After claiming the late Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat in Massachusetts, Republicans are set to use the filibuster more than ever. Stephen Colbert thinks he knows why the other party wouldn’t make as much use of the filibuster in the same situation: it’s because “Democrats are pussies.”
Now that Democrats have lost their supermajority in the Senate, reporters and pundits have all but predicted the collapse of the party (all but one prominent Fox host, anyway). “Because the Democrats are being completely undermined by the only thing that could jeopardize their being in power– their being in power,” joked Colbert Tuesday.
Monday, Democratic Strategist James Carville told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “everything’s at risk.”
“In retreat, the president and Democratic leaders are scrambling to salvage something,” Fox News’ Brett Baier reported last week.
“The Democratic Party is collapsing,” announced Glenn Beck.
“Yes,” agreed a sarcastic Colbert. “The Democrats are totally collapsing with only the presidency, a 70-seat majority in the House and an 18-seat majority in the Senate.”
CNN’s Brianna Keilar reported that the loss in the Massachusetts was “moving Democrats into what is essentially, you know, a bit of a minority.”
Colbert did the math to determine that Republicans definitely have the edge in the Senate. “My calculator agrees 41 is more than 59,” he said.
It’s the filibuster that makes that backwards math possible. It’s “a time honored Senate procedure in which the minority party blocks a bill by staging endless speeches like when Jimmy Stewart did it in ‘Mr. Smith goes to Washington’ and the time Strom Thurmond staged a record-setting filibuster in 1957 to block the civil rights act,” said Colbert.
“But the rules changed in the 1970’s,” explained Colbert. “All you have to do now is threaten to filibuster. It’s really better for everyone.”
“I mean, Joe Lieberman threatened to filibuster the public option, and no one wants to see what he looks like after 36 hours of no sleep,” Colbert joked.
Some senators want to change Senate Rule 22 which effectively requires 60 votes to pass any legislation.
But why is it that the rule seems to apply more when Republicans are in the minority? “What’s to stop the Dems from filibustering everything the next time they’re out of power?” wondered Colbert. “Only one thing: Democrats are pussies.”
This video is from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, uploaded Jan. 26, 2010.