Matthew Yglesias flags Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, invoking civil rights in an argument defending the filibuster:
Rep. John Lewis wins the prize for most dissonant pro-filibuster argument yet:
"Sometimes we can speak with one voice as a nation," said Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), "but there are times when our conscience requires us to take a different path. This nation has been made more fair, more just, more true to its own destiny by the voices of dissent that spoke out against injustice in America. We have been made a better nation by those who fought to end slavery and legalized segregation, by those who struggled for the cause of human dignity and equal justice in America. It is our ability to make room for difference that has made us a beacon of light for people seeking justice around the world. We cannot turn back now. We do not want our elected representatives to be silenced. We do not want the voices of dissent to be stamped out in the U.S. Senate, because we know it may be the minority that saves us from ourselves."
Ah, yes, the filibuster -- lifelong friend of the Civil Rights movement.
Aside from the historical tensions here, let me say it once again: the filibuster does not protect free speech! Lewis is making a nonsensical argument, though I guess it's still better than the animated Flash clip starring a walking megaphone named "Phil A. Buster," which also recapitulates the standard pro-filibuster fallacies, implying it is in the Constitution and that it protects free speech. (Yes, "Phil A. Buster." That cuddly filibuster. Like Lewis Black says, I don't have the time or energy to make this shit up.)
(Note: For past posts on the "nuclear option" clown show, click here.)