Filibuster

Oddly enough, the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language online contains little or no etymological information about the word “filibuster,” which of course may be used as a noun and a verb. My layperson’s understanding of “filibuster” as related to U.S. Senatorial matters is that senators, by various means, may stall legislation indefinitely by talking indefinitely. Somehow that seems like a perfect tactic for senators, the Foghorn Leghorns of the political spectacle.

Anyway, the OED online perceives filibuster to be an American word and dates it to the mid-1850s:

1853 LONGFELLOW in Life (1891) II. 247 Youths..rather inclined to filibustering in Cuba. 1862 S. LUCAS Secularia 135 He prayed with fervour as he went fillibustering.

However, other Internet sources suggest that the French filibustier and the Spanish filibustero preceded the American manifestation, and once source [Online Etymological Dictionary] suggests that the Dutch vrijbuiter (“freebooter”) is involved.

In any event, Senator Lieberman has vowed to filibuster health-care legislation in the Senate. I don’t know if he’ll do all the talking himself, but he does have an interesting voice for it. The voice reminds me a bit of Sylvester the Cat’s, as performed by Mel Blanc. Others think Lieberman sounds like that of the actor who played Alf’s dad on the show, Alf, which I never watched. Still others think he sounds like the Cowardly Lion. But let us end the post here, lest we be accused of filibustering.

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