Rich Galen

So, the Senate Democrats are trying to figure out how to change the filibuster rules so that Republicans can't (with their 47 seats) tie the chamber up in knots.

But, they don't want to change the rules so much that when they lose control of the Senate after the 2012 elections and the Democrats are in the minority they can't tie the Senate up in knots as they have been so ably taught to do by the Republicans.

Today is the first legislative day, but there appears to be (at this writing) no consensus among the majority Democrats how to do this. Oh, my. The clock is ticking. Whatever shall they do?

Stop. The. Clock.

By recessing at the end of each day, rather than adjourning at the end of each day, the clock effectively stops because the Senate will still be on its first legislative day.

This is not a new trick. In 1980 when, according to CNN, the late Sen. Robert Byrd was Majority Leader he stopped the clock and kept the Senate on its first legislative day from January 3 all the way to mid-June.

That's why bills sail through the House and get bogged down in the Senate.

I'm OK with that. Someone once said: "The nation never sleeps so soundly as when the Congress is in recess."

Or when the Senate is stuck on its first legislative day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at