Friday, April 15, 2005

Filibuster Change A Pyrrhic Victory?

Showdown. I was wondering where my fellow warmongers stand. Iain Duncan Smith's recent warning in the NYT's was scary: England's filibuster limit for parliamentary debate is called the 'guillotine rule' and minority parties suffer. Conservatives should want to conserve such rules. Especially these rules. How long before it applies to more than judges? A simple majority will push things faster, and this will be less conservative. Still I support the change. So does TNR's Cohn, in a straightfoward appeal to Majority Rule. Our ways and government are more & more partisan. If the filibuster is going to be used more and more, eventually the rule will change. Because it will eventually go, I can accept todays' battle is a fair line to draw. The filibuster must not be used so widely for judges. Still, the coarsening of our political process is sad.


Blogger Milhouse said...

But there is no tradition of using filibusters on judicial nominations. Perhaps there was never a specific tradtion not to, but certainly in 224 years there's never been an instance of it's ever being done, until the last term. This is not one of those weapons evolved by generations of trial and error, for keeping Leviathan from the door; it's an obscure clause in the Senate's internal rules, which it never occured to anybody to pull out and use. We lose nothing by closing off the option.

Remember, this isn't the constitution we're talking about here, it's the internal rules that the Senate has written for itself, rules that it has changes all the time, usually without anyone raising an eyebrow.

Fri Apr 15, 10:11:00 AM 2005  
Blogger C.M. Burns said...

I agree with Milhouse. The filibuster used to be a lot different, a lot harder to do, and more meaningful. Those stupid commercials that invoke the memory fo Jimmy Stewar in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" only piss me off because it's ALREADY impossible to do something like that in the Senate. They changed the rules years ago. Maybe the filibuster should remain in some form(maybe bring back the Mr. Smith Model?) but to say that not allowing it for judicial nominee votes is "undemocratic" or unconstitutional is stupid and absurd. Like the man who often says it, Sen. Robert Byrd.

Fri Apr 15, 03:02:00 PM 2005  

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