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Friday, May 11, 2012

Minority Abuse

I admit up front to loving the Senate, filibuster and 17th Amendment.  I even love unanimous consent agreements.

But when I look at charts like this and this, even I have to go along with Harry Reid's frustration.  It's time for a rule change, as well as a bit more assertion of majority prerogative on the part of Democrats.

I don't think the filibuster needs to be gotten rid of, but requiring actual debate would be a good thing, as would not relying so heavily on agreements that require a supermajority.  Protecting minority rights in the Senate--which is thankfully anti-democratic by design--is a good thing, but anything can be abused.


[Update: Ed Kilgore:

I’d prefer to avoid the confusion and go after Phil A. Buster entirely, if the opportunity actually presents itself. I’m with Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein on this; you can constantly rationalize a deeply anti-democratic system on grounds of imagining scenarios where a brave minority of progressive senators are the only barrier to horrific right-wing policies. But you don’t have to imagine how a filibuster-wielding Republican minority can bring the country to a virtual standstill. We’re living in that world right now. It’s time for it to stop.

The problem is not the filibuster qua filibuster.  It's the consistent reliance on a no-cost faux filibuster through UC agreements.  Keep the mechanism but make it have a price associated with it--obstruction is an important mechanism to prevent tyranny of the majority, but you have to put skin in the game.]

Show a little "yuhyoohappy" during the NTodd Ain't Ann Romney Fundraiser *

May 11, 2012 | Permalink


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