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View Diary: Apparently, You Can't Filibuster Incompetence (127 comments)

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  •  Assuming . . . (none)
    that we will ever have elections again.

    Do you think these people would ever willingly go back to minority status? I think they would ban the democratic party as being treasonous before they would give up power.

    Hitler and the nazis were ELECTED in 1932 to the Reichstag (not with a majority, but with 34% of the vote). Once they had their hands on the levers of power, never again were there free elections. They outlawed the communist, social democratic, and even some of the nationalist parties after the staged (by Hitler) Reichstag fire of 1933.

    Scary thought, but such a scenario is totally possible with this lot of proto-fascists in power.

    •  Levers of power (4.00)
      Armando makes an excellent observation here that should be expanded on in the media.  The filibuster fight is actually occurring in a continuum of eroding Senatorial power, commenced by Hatch himself.

      That is, there were "rights", Senatorial privileges and/or Senate rules that Hatch and others in the Republican leadership have vitiated which would have/could have bottled up these contentious judges.  The loss of these rights has made the Senate a much more fractious place.  And it has cost each individual Senator power.  And, most important, the eradication of the previous rights have led now to challenge to the right to filibuster.  If you see this as a continuum, you must wonder, what rights are next.

      That, my friends, is why this fight is so important.


      •  P.S. (none)
        The loss of every individual Senator's power by virtue of these moves begs the question: why would ANY Senator go along with it?
        •  I'm hypothesizing (none)
          (aka guessing) it has to do with 2 mutually reinforcing factors:

          1. the "dumbest generation" thing that kos (or was it Armando?) was talking about yesterday: the Repubs who came in in the mid-90s and after are less professional politicians than previous generations. They don't realize they're losing individual power, because they're not politicians enough to recognize that they could have had it.

          2. Current Senators rely more on national campaigns for their money and national-level lobbyists for their information than used to be the case. They're in lockstep with each other, but it's not because they've agreed, it's because they're in hock to the same people.

          These are just guesses; I'd like to hear what someone who knows what they're talking about has to say.

          If I can't dance, it's not my revolution. -- Emma Goldman.

          by DoctorScience on Sat May 21, 2005 at 06:43:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is an interesting, but scarcely baffling, q (none)
          The matter can easily be seen as one of transfering one's individual power to the group, very much what Locke and Hobbes, from different directions, hold that each of us has done as a citizen.  My power is enhanced, not restricted, by that bargain - under most circumstances, at least, until the sovereign claims my old bald ahead (apologies to Sen Specter, poor old fool that he is LOL)
        •  For this reason: (none)
          You are looking at this from the point of view of a member of the Senate. From this point of view, you are entirely correct: such an action is indeed short-sighted and self-damaging.

          But this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation.

          These Republican Senators do not act as members of the United States Senate. They are not, for good or for ill, acting in consideration of the maintenance of either Constitutional structures or the powers of the Senate.

          They are acting as agents of a great cause, a great movement and a great moral force in the nation. The Senate is but a tool, one tool of many, for the advancement of that cause. To put the shallow interests of any body, let alone the archaic and hobbling rules of that body, before loyalty to the one great cause of honor -- of the furtherance of strength, security, justice, morality and decency in our great homeland, and excising from power those corrupt, degraded and degenerate elites that poison our nation, sneering at and undermining those sacred values at every turn -- would be beyond ludicrous. It would be a betrayal of all that is true. It would be a betrayal of their honor.

          Your bewilderment at the actions of these Senators indicates your failure to understand the source of their honor and the object of their loyalty.

          Their honor is their loyalty.

          •  Heh. (none)
            You've made their case quite well.  

            Just so you know, my bewilderment was feigned to a large degree.  

            And, I think another piece of the equation is the money -- who put these guys in their positions?  They are beholden to the interests that put them there, and those interests are consolidated at the top.  The well-oiled Republican machine.  

            My point was also meant to be a rhetorical one.  If we can get folks talking/writing about how these Senators are destroying the power of the Senate as an institution, and there own personal power, people will begin to look for a motivation for such stupidity.  

            Fortunately, a good percentage of Americans want the Senate to give a hard look at nominees, and by extension, support a strong Senate.

            I would like to try to bump that number even higher.

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