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Filibuster Myths Still Circulating on FNC

Reported by Deborah - May 21, 2005

John Kasich was talking about the latest developments in the Senate with Steve Malzberg and Ellis Hennican tonight. When Kasich referred to the "nuclear option", Malzberg was on him in a flash telling him

"Please don't call it the nuclear option and blow up the senate. The fact is the nuclear option was employed by the Democrats when they did the unprecedented in filibustering appellate nominees who had the up and down votes on the floor. This is a reaction to the nuclear option that the Democrats instituted.

Kasich interrupting: Yeah... Yeah... That, of course, is false..
Republicans have done this and they've filibustered and this has blown up the senate. Cause I think there's well, Ellis, tell us what the fallout's gonna be.

Hennican said that he thought that the fallout would be profound and Kasich wondered if anything could be done with the partisanship. Malzberg countered that the partisanship is on the part of the Democrats.

Kasich asked Hennican, "Are the Democrats ever gonna be yes on anything? They're no on Social Security, they're no on the judges. They're no on everything. Even liberals like you are writing columns saying why don't they yes for something?"

Hennican answered that Democrats are yes on protecting Social Security adding "Listen, I'm trying to keep the tone very calm. I don't like these (sic) name-calling, finger-pointing, ugly stuff"

Although Ellis Hennican's desire to keep calm is admirable, he could have conducted a more spirited defense of the Democrats. He allowed Malzberg to throw out a lot of misconceptions about the Democrats role leading up to this battle.Many of the points Malzberg made against Democrats were very unclear but left a negative impression in viewer's minds especially if they know very little about the issue

Ellis Hennican, a Democratic spokesman, should have recognized and countered the negative mythology about Democrats and the filibuster immediately. Media Matters has a list of all the myths and talking points used by the Republicans on their on their website and Hennican should be informed if he gets paid to debate on national television.

note: This post has been corrected. In the original post there was a mention of Malzberg blaming Democrats for coining the term "nuclear option". In reality he was blaming Democrats for a lot more than coining the phrase. The dialogue was taken from an audio tape of the show.

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