Eliminate Filibuster Right Now and Change the World

12 02 2010

The case made:

So, why not recognize the inevitable?
Eliminate the filibuster right now.

Then, the Republicans’ pompous posturing will dissipate after a couple of months now, not near the election, and the Democrats will have a chance to do a “First Hundred Days” of year 2, to pass a robust agenda that will indeed have brought about change . . .

Today, the world is disintegrating. Republicans fear the president’s success, both at home and abroad. So does al-Qaeda and Ahmadinejad. They are all reveling in his troubles, because his capacity to force change abroad is limited by his inability to do it at home.

A majority of “real Americans” including swelling ranks of southern Republican voters, seem to get the sense of this, according to new polling:

Four out of five voters thought Congress was more interested in serving special interests than voters.

“I think Congress and the Senate need to be completely revamped,” said Michael Wish, 30, a Democrat from Medina, Ohio. He added, “The old way of doing things is no longer working.”

Americans appear hungry for an end to partisan infighting in Washington, so much so that half of respondents said the Senate should change the filibuster rules that Republicans have [ab]used to block Mr. Obama’s agenda. Almost 60 percent said both Mr. Obama and Congressional Republicans should compromise in the interest of consensus . . . 62 percent said Mr. Obama was trying to work with Congressional Republicans, while the same percentage said that Republicans were not trying to work with Mr. Obama.

Harry Reid of course says it can’t be done — like everything else in the Senate, it won’t work. (Trivia stumper for a trivial politician: what was the last thing this majority leader DID do successfully, anyone, anyone, Bueller? Was it before Obama? Does this unprecedented Senate majority even manage to pay its own staff anymore, get the offices and chamber cleaned, keep the lights on?)

. . .it would so tear away at the framework of the Senate for the last 150 years. . . Reid fiercely defended the minority’s right to filibuster and argued that the Senate was bound by its past rules until the supermajority acted to change them.

But this rationale about conserving and revering America’s institutional traditions isn’t stopping a supposedly conservative and reverential Senate-confirmed chief justice from leading his Supremes into uncharted, earthshaking “nuclear” repudiation of a century’s worth of Constitutional rules protecting the majority of Americans from corporate bullying, not just some school playground code Reid desperately clings to hoping it might protect him from even worse bullying than the pummeling underway (could it be worse?)

We could just eliminate all the current members of Congress and a supermajority of Americans, 92 per cent in fact, see the sense of that!

But the evidence is overwhelming now: that won’t fix what’s broken, only who we’re maddest at next . . .



3 responses

12 02 2010
14 02 2010

Speaking of bullying and just in time for Valentine’s Day, did you ever think of Limbaugh bullying Rs and their own loved ones, with words and names that break the bones of any sort of love, as classic Shakespearean romance?

They say America lacks public intellectuals, but just look at Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh’s week-long exploration of “retard.”

And be it moon, or sun, or what you please.
And if you please to call it a rush-candle,
Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

I say it is the moon.

I know it is the moon.

Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun.

Then, God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not,
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it nam’d, even that it is;
And so it shall be so
for Katharina.

15 02 2010

And speaking of which all-American traditions are to be cherished and conserved — do enough real Americans understand and respect our self-governing, self-correcting history, to be able to fight for it and look back on the fight as “our greatest moment” against even our own politicians if need be?

Is McCarthyism worthy of our all-American values and principles, or does it threaten to destroy them?

I ask Sarah Palin and her supporters to select of these two textbook versions, which they would prefer being read by their grandchildren years from now:

This was our greatest moment. We gave constitutional rights even to those who tried to destroy us. We afforded them counsel and a fair trial.


This was our greatest moment. We detained suspected terrorists indefinitely without charges (many of whom were innocent), without lawyers, without a hearing, without the rights of family visitation. We tortured some and sent many to foreign venues where greater torture could be inflicted. We gave military trials to 3 of the more than 700 we imprisoned. Of those tried before military courts, two are free, one remains in prison. We broke the Guinness World Record for the number of times we waterboarded one suspect.

Since it is apparent that Sarah Palin seems to prefer the second version, we need a modern day Joseph Welch to come along and say to her: “Have you no sense of decency madam, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

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