Jun 18 2005

Second Thoughts on The Filibuster

Published by at 7:14 am under All General Discussions,Filibuster Showdown

I am still Chillin’ but Andre Martinez, in the New Hampshire Union Leader, makes some excellent points today on why the filibuster might need to be nuked any how. These points are especially valid in light of the vacuous Senate apology for not addressing anti-lynching legislation for decades (which is still crazy, murder is murder and people of such strong intent to do the right thing would have found a way to prosecute – I would think).

On Monday, a mere three weeks after the centrist, bipartisan Gang of 14 agreed, ever so proudly, to save the institution’s fabled filibuster, senators passed a resolution apologizing for the chamber’s failure to enact anti-lynching legislation.

What wasn’t said is that the Senate was “uniquely culpable” because it cherished the filibuster — a procedural rule that enhances each member’s individual power — over the Constitution. The Senate’s failure to acknowledge the cause of its homicidal negligence robs its apology of much meaning or sincerity.

Those unfamiliar with history today, or generations from now, might blame the American people for sending senators to Washington who were evil or out of touch. But there were 70 senators willing to sponsor anti-lynching legislation as far back as 1938, and lives could have been saved if the federal government had taken action then.

The apology, in effect, covers up just how self-interested the Senate’s actions really were, and how indefensible the filibuster remains. It distorts history by suggesting that a majority of senators were on the same moral plane with the anti-civil rights posse

So true. The results are all that count, not process or procedure. If this country wants to stand for the greater goodand to fight injustice, we cannot allow our collective hands to be tied by a minority of selfish partisans. Liberals are today’s hate-filled minority. They want to push all religion out of public life because they cannot deal with it. They hate the military because it makes them feel insecure and threatened by its strength. They prefer everything European of everything American because they feel socially inferior in the ‘upper strata’ of elite society. All personal issues or failings which do not require new laws or changes in America.

As the liberal political force is rapidly losing momentum, its reason to exist has shifted from protecting the poor and needy to protecting the power of the dead enders. Protecting the myth in their heads they are still not only relevant, but the only salvation mankind has. And their last remaining tool to control where this country heads is the filibuster.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine, said the agreement “helps preserve the unique culture of this institution,” a “culture in which legislative goals are reached with patience and perseverance.”

Unique culture, unique culpability; take your pick.

These senators are insulting our intelligence. The filibuster is an anti-democratic instrument that upsets the delicate system of checks and balances already written into the Constitution. Liberal Democrats in the Senate aren’t in favor of lynching, but they are fighting to preserve a reactionary weapon that, in future wrenching national debates, will empower obstructionists to kidnap that body just as they did during the civil rights debates.

The liberals are not guiding the ship of state anymore, they are grabbing the wheel we the people handed over to the conservative block that runs from leftward moderates to the VRWC. They use the filibuster to grab the wheel and try and stop the country from going where it wants to go, like someone trying to fight the tides of history.

And why? All the reasons I can think of are not very good reasons.

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