While the opponents to the President's Federal Marriage Amendment stand in the well of the Senate and decry the political cynicism of the Republicans and enumerate all the issues purportedly sacrificed in order to debate this issue, they are filibustering the resolution. That is, instead of calling the question, which all parties seem to acknowledge lacks the necessary two-thirds for passage, the opponents cravenly block a vote that would put their opposition on record.

As many of you know, I am a filibuster defender. I love the image of Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) talking himself hoarse in defense of principle. I believe that the filibuster represents the spirit of James Madison, who envisioned the Senate as a slow-moving, consensus-building department of government.

However, this is not a filibuster born out of principle. This is an attempt to CYA. Either call the question and vote, or stop the hypocritical rhetoric.