Frist Center hosts its very own filibuster

Princeton students stage a pro-filibuster filibuster against the Republicans. They're at two days and counting.

Published April 28, 2005 7:45PM (EDT)

With a strong majority of Americans opposing Republican plans to end the judicial filibuster in the Senate, and high-profile Democrats arguing eloquently against the threatened change, students at Princeton have joined in with a very educational protest of their own: an actual filibuster demonstration outside the university's Frist Campus Center. And yes, it's that Frist -- the Senate Majority Leader with the finger on the nuclear button is also a Princeton alum, and his family donated $25 million to fund the campus center's construction. Students and faculty started their show of support for Senate Democrats on Tuesday, and are still going strong 49 hours later. (The protest's organizers report that the university has made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to shut them down, an effort we're sure the filibuster-fightin' Frist would appreciate.)

The demonstrators' lighthearted tactics -- which include reading aloud from such diverse sources as Republican talking points on Bush's nominees, the Bible, and the President's favorite children's story, "The Pet Goat" -- seem to poke fun at the notion of the filibuster as much as they praise it. Still, it's not easy to make Senate proceedings engaging enough for passers-by to take interest in, and the protesters deserve credit for staging a demonstration that actually demonstrates the act of filibustering.

Meanwhile, Sen. Frist is getting negative reviews off campus, too -- the Center for American Progress on Thursday offered a comic timeline of his transformation from Dr. Frist, an allegedly compassionate alternative to Trent Lott, to right-wing hardliner, Mr. Hyde.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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