Penny wise Pound Foolish

Posted: January 27, 2011 by datechguy in politics
Tags: ,

A lot of people on the left are upset that the filibuster rules in the senate:

They could have recently used the “Constitutional Option” at the start of this new Congress to rewrite the Senate rules to either eliminate the filibuster outright or at least make staging a filibuster more difficult. Yet, due to a combination of a greedy refusal to give up any individual power, and a pitiful cowardice about a potential future in which the voters reject them, Senate Democrats collectively chose to throw away this opportunity. By doing nothing, they effectively voted to give Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell total veto power over everything.

Byron York explains that’s its just not future minorities that are the issue

Why did Democrats give in? Two reasons. One, they know they might soon need the filibuster themselves — not in a few years, but in a few months. Republicans now have 47 votes in the Senate. If they can peel away four Democrats on any given piece of legislation — say, the repeal of a portion of Obamacare — they could be stopped only by a Democratic filibuster. The Democrats who are now denouncing the filibuster when it’s used by Republicans might soon be employing it themselves to fend off GOP challenges to Obamacare and other Obama initiatives.

I’ve already pointed out that Harry Reid needs to give democrats the ability to vote against Obamacare, is there is no filibuster then he can only give that ability to three of them. (With Biden breaking a tie)

If the Filibuster exists then he can give this to as many as 12. But lets not also forget that the Senate was designed to slow things down as this story states:

“Why,” said Washington, “did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer before drinking it?”

“To cool it,” said Jefferson; “my throat is not made of brass.”

“Even so,” said Washington, “we pour our legislation into the Senatorial saucer to cool it.”

I think the filibuster is a good thing, I think it should stay right where it is no matter who is in charge of the senate.

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  2. Roxeanne de Luca says:

    Agreed. The filibuster is good in that it forces the Senate to get more than a bare majority to get something through. Majorities can be temporary and don’t necessarily represent the will of the people (as we saw in these last two years); a super-majority, however, usually represents the will of the people.

    Further, if the Senate were to actually go through legislation slowly, reading all of it, dissecting it, making changes, arguing over different parts, the filibuster wouldn’t be as necessary – people would be doing what they are supposed to do on their own. However, since they rush things through and try to “pass it so we’ll know what’s in it” (a House phrase, I know, but the Senate expressed no more deliberation than did Pelosi’s crew), the filibuster can at least keep them honest.