Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Filibuster: I Confess

May I take a moment of your valuable time to make an ignominious confession of ignorance here: filibuster.  Specifically: I'm, like, y'know a pretty well-read guy, follow the news and all that, and I have not the foggiest clue  why we still have the wide-open no-filibuster fillibuster anymore.  Yes,  yes, I know about minority protection, just like the bill of rights and all that.  And I guess I could tolerate a filibuster back when it meant that Strom Thurmond had to pee down his leg.  But in this day and age when it is only a convention, a charade, what possible (good) reason is there for the Dems to put up with it?

Update:  A commentator suggests that they don't want the Republicans to do it to them. But this is fanciful, yes?  For surely the Republicans will do it to them, as soon as Repubs get 51 votes?


Anonymous said...

"what possible (good) reason is there for the Dems to put up with it?"

My little pea brain thinks both Senate R's and D's like it because it makes the House sit in the back of the bus.

The New York Crank said...

The Dems put up with it because one day they may want to use it, too. Say, on a (God forbid!) day when a Senate majority votes to privatize Social Security.

A sclerotic gunman will not kill good people. Nor, for that matter, will he kill bad people.

Very crankily yours,3015
The New York Crank

mike shupp said...

New York Crank has surely got 75% of it. The other thing striking me is that the quasi-filibuster offers protection to Democrats who wish to appeal to voters with different preferences. "Yes, I'm a reformer, you can count on me, I voted for gun control," we might imagine a Congressman telling many of his constituents. "But Congress will never pass those evil anti-gun bills," he can assure another set of constituents, "You can count on it!" Thus pleasing all the voters. Presumably this sort of pleasure is of greater value to Senators than House members, which might explain why the House hasn't created a counterpart to the filibuster for itself.

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

The answer is pretty obvious, IMO. The filibuster may decrease the power of the Senate, but it vastly increases the power and dignity of the Senator.

Now how does one say this in Polish?