Busted!! The earliest use of the filibuster can be traced to 1790, 1837 or 1841, none of these involved slaveowners’ issues. An Alex Brandon/AP image
— News covered by Quincy Quarry News with commentary added.
Massachusetts Senator Ed Malarkey (ed.,) busted over his factually inaccurate claim of the origin of the United States Senate’s filibuster rule.
Needless to say, this wire report made the Quincy Quarry newsroom’s day.
As Quincy’s John Adams’ famously said, “… facts are stubborn things.”
Accordingly, Senator Malarkey was thus slapped with three Pinocchios by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker team over his false claim that cloture, the actual name for filibustering, was invented to protect slavery.
The filibuster was created so that slave owners could hold power over our government.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) March 16, 2021
In reality, the earliest uses of cloture as a delaying tactic can be traced to 1790, 1837, and 1841.
That and none of these instances involved slavery.
Additionally, the option of delaying action by a minority of senators was formally, however inadvertently, codified in 1806 per the recommendation of then Vice President Aaron Burr.
Further note that similar ways of delaying action within a legislative body go back to Roman times.
Rather, at best, Senator John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina and who was also a two-term Vice President under two different Presidents (John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson) took advantage of Senate rules as regards cloture to defend challenges against slavery.
While Senator Malarky errantly claimed that Senator Calhoun had invented cloture, as Calhoun had used closure to defend slavery, the folks at the Washington Post’s Fact Checker Desk most generously only hit Senator Malarky with Three Pinocchios.
Even more generous, however, was how the Fact Checker only assigned Three Pinocchios in the wake of Senator Malarky’s office foisting a tortured walking back of Malarky’s mistaken claim that Calhoun had invented cloture to defend slavery when the folks at the Washington Post were researching things and so reached out for comment.
As Quincy Quarry News’ ever-growing legions of loyal readers know, such behavior foisted the Quarry’s way would have rated the awarding of Five Pinocchios on a scale that technically tops out at Four Pinocchios.