On Iraq, Afghanistan, and military spending, Romney, Gingrich and most of the other candidates have mostly sung from the old-time Republican hymnal. Meanwhile, the great sea of Republicans has been doing Vatican II.
Here is a partial list of amendments of interest to those who wish to cut the military budget. The first two -- accelerated military withdrawal from Afghanistan and establishing a commission on the closing of foreign military bases -- are my personal favorites.
If Senator Jeff Merkley's "expedite the drawdown from Afghanistan" amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act makes a strong showing, that could tip the Obama administration towards a faster drawdown.
The Senate has been checking its tendency to talk at length by some such rule since 1917, but the insistence on 60 votes with great frequency is a thoroughly modern phenomenon and probably reflects, to a significant degree, the partisan polarization of American politics today.
As was entirely predictable, once Obama stood up for taxing the rich folk a wee bit more, the Republicans fired back with what they think is the biggest weapon in their arsenal: screaming "Class warfare!"
This will force the public debate to cover the entire scope of the proposals being offered up, and it would do so by providing the data the public most cares about right now: how will this create or destroy jobs?
Imagine how much more honest the Senate will be if the Udall/Merkley proposal passes. You want to filibuster something, you're gonna have to get up on your feet and rock it Jimmy Stewart (or Bernie Sanders) style.
It's time to make sure that any senators who want to hold up the business of the Senate show up and own their obstruction -- instead of making empty threats while keeping our country from moving forward.