Friday, November 22, 2013

Democrats Break 200+ Year Old Senate Rules; Will They Rescind Just Before Losing Power?

Update: Prof. William Jacobson makes a case for the upside of the fall of the filibuster.

This makes the Democrats two for two in blowing up liberal pet causes in just five years. First Barack Obama blew up the politics-is-ugly-with-so-much-money-involved by being "the first candidate ever [since the mid-1970's] to opt out of public financing in the general election". So much for campaign finance reform (which gave the Democrats an edge because union volunteers were not counted as money donations).

And now down goes the filibuster.

This does not count ramping up the use of drones, continuing to enforce the Patriot Act without major changes, vast expansion of presidential power, expansion of government spying, using the IRS against political opponents, and Guantanamo Bay still open for business.

Liberal Dana Milbank:
“Congress is broken,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday before holding a party-line vote that disposed of rules that have guided and protected the chamber since 1789.

If Congress wasn’t broken before, it certainly is now. What Reid (Nev.) and his fellow Democrats effectively did was take the chamber of Congress that still functioned at a modest level and turn it into a clone of the other chamber, which functions not at all. They turned the Senate into the House.
One wonders if the Democrats will rescind the rules change just before losing power saying (tongue in cheek) that they realize their mistake. That will force the Republicans to vote the nuclear option back in.

H/T Byron York


MAX Redline said...

Well, the Senate hasn't done much anyway; Hairy just increased the overall dysfunction.

MAX Redline said...

Darn! Meant to add this:

T. D. said...

Thanks for the link!

I'm not sure I agree with Prof. Jacobson. The constitutional setup is aimed at slowing government down (except in times of war and danger)--not speeding it up in its decisions.

I'm just finishing volume 1 of Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention, and the Senate was specifically set up to slow down and temper popular decision making that might come from the House.

MAX Redline said...

I agree, unfortunately the Senate is nuttier than the House, these days.

T. D. said...

Yes, well that's a function of leadership and majority party members who do not see constitutional and historical checks and balances as that important.