But, as I said in a prior post, the higher purpose of the filibuster is to slow down the process so there can be more debate and so minority opinions can be heard. While the media is focusing on the "talking" aspect of Rand Paul's filibuster, having his say was the important thing. Here's how Ezra puts it:
"When I say that if more filibusters were like Paul’s, the filibuster wouldn’t need to be reformed, I don’t simply mean that Paul spoke while other filibusterers wage silent, procedural war. I mean that Paul’s filibuster was a rare and unusual effort to . . . draw attention to a senator’s very real concerns on a very serious issue. It wasn’t about obstruction of a nomination so much as it was about attention to a set of ideas and concerns that are often brushed aside."Couldn't have put it better myself.
Contrast this with the other, "silent" filibuster begun that same day by some anonymous senator to block the debate on President Obama's nomination for an appeals court justice. Nothing comes of it but obstruction; we don't even hear what the objection is, although it's pretty clear that it's political. That is why it contributes to the terrible dysfunction of the senate these days.