In Preparation for the Senate Debt Ceiling Vote, Actors Who Would Give Great Filibuster

If, in fact, a threatened filibuster materializes tonight as the Senate prepares to vote on the debt ceiling compromise, said filibuster will keep a lot of Washington up late. It will also be exceedingly boring. American lawmakers may be good at a number of things, among them raising money, asking leading questions in hearings, and appearing on cable television, but almost none of them are even close to entertaining for more than a few minutes at a time. So if we’re going to have to suffer monologues, here are six people I’d rather see yielded time than any of our representatives in Congress.

1. Ian McShane, now and forever. Whether he’s reconciling God, evolution, and breakfast on Kings:

Or explaining the importance of calm to conquering the difficulties of life on Deadwood (which, NSFW unless you put your headphones in):

I would listen to McShane talk forever, and unlike most members of Congress, consider it a privilege to pay him to do it.

2. If you want to go full-bore crazy to match the circumstances, Tom Wilkinson, in Michael Clayton, does it better just about anyone else.

3. Or, if you want people to forget they’re being kept from the business at hand, bring in Emma Thompson, who can do inspired impressions all night long:

4. If the goal is to depress both yourselves and the journalists monitoring you, bring in Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs:

Then, he can cheer everyone up and creep everyone out by telling Truman Capote stories.

5. Or to talk your colleagues into economic stimulus, Gary Oldman in Fifth Element mode is always a good bet:

6. Meryl Streep, on sweaters. On anything: