21 thoughts on “Harry Reid’s legacy

  1. Adam S. Sieff

    Politics has changed so dramatically over the last 35+ years since the filibuster was last reformed that institutions need to accommodate those changes. Ruefully, when a moderate working government isn’t a possible, a strong partisan government that works is preferable to a strong partisan government that doesn’t work.

    1. RedSt8r

      If the current (and all subsequent) administration(s) were actually “moderate” you might have a point. However, it most decidedly is not “moderate” however that may be defined.
      More importantly the nation was founded on the basis of institutional checks and balances to ensure that a simple majority cannot take over the nation. Really, look at Venezuela today. A majority vote in their legislature has given their president sole authority to create laws for the next twelve months. That is a “government that works” but is that what you might want for the U.S.? It certainly isn’t what I want. In point of fact what you might term a strong bi-partisan government that doesn’t work is exactly how the process is supposed to work.

      1. Adam S. Sieff

        If the filibuster were used sparingly—as it had been until around the 1970s (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/the-history-of-the-filibuster-in-one-graph/2012/05/15/gIQAVHf0RU_blog.html)—your point about checks/balances would stand.

        But abuse of the filibuster has transformed the Senate into a chamber requiring a cloture vote just to do regular business. It has ceased to be Washington’s “cooling saucer” and instead become a 10-gallon bucket of ice water. The tyranny, in other words, now comes from the minority, not the majority.

        As the President noted yesterday, both parties have unclean hands. But the GOP’s historic intransigence during the Obama Administration is especially remarkable (49% of all Presidential nominees filibustered in the history of the United States have been nominees appointed by President Obama).

        In the absence of a better and more moderated political culture—of Senators who are willing to compromise—weakening the filibuster is a necessary maneuver.

  2. Adam S. Sieff

    Also, the GOP is going to need to figure out how to win an on-cycle national election before that graphic matters. And I don’t think hoping for more and better voter suppression will cut it.

    1. doriangrey1

      Presuming that you have bothered to read anything that the Founding Fathers wrote, you would understand, that it was their intention that getting any legislation passed through either the House or Senate was supposed to be like trying to pick cactus needles out of your own rear end. By design, it was intended to be an excruciatingly slow, painful and humiliating process. The Founding Father’s believed in limited Government so much so, that all of the limitations in the United States Constitution were placed on the Government.

      “That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves. If we are directed from Washington (heads of an organization) when to sow and when to reap, we will soon want for bread.”

      ― Thomas Jefferson

  3. Pingback: Future History? What the nuking of the US Senate filibuster may be bringing — GraniteGrok

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