The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 7, 2013

Bodily needs put limits on filibustering



By Monica Hesse

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — What was happening to Sen. Rand Paul 12 hours into this windmill-tilting crusade against drones (but not against droning), as the sun set and the moon rose and he talked and he talked and he — oh, how he talked. What was happening to his vocal cords? To the soles of his feet? What was happening — don't pretend you don't want to know — to his bladder?

"I don't know if it's necessarily the best thing to do." Bill Frohna considers Paul's bladder. Frohna is the chairman of the emergency medicine department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. "Your body gives you signals, and you really shouldn't ignore those. Stay hydrated. Obey the natural process of elimination." However (however!): "You're not actually going to be doing any permanent damage. A little urge to go, that's okay."

Phew. But there's still so much attendant discomfort in watching a filibuster, in witnessing a political figure be forcibly separated from his news bites and prepackaged slogans and just having to wing it. Wing it for hours, forever, like the relative who insists on giving an impromptu toast at the wedding — Dear god, now he's talking about grocery-hoarding survivalists? It could all go so terribly wrong.

Watch Paul's entire production, fully streamable at c-span.org. Better yet, fast-forward Wednesday's filibuster in the Senate to random intervals with the volume down low for the full Kabuki effect of this American political theater. Watch hour zero, minute zero when, red-tied and wide-eyed, the Kentucky Republican strolls to the lectern. Witness the progression:

3:06 p.m.: The whites of his eyes have begun to match his tie.

9:43: The reds of his eyes have begun match the sheen of the Senate mahogany.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video