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View Diary: Republican attacks on labor board haven't just broken government, they've broken lives (41 comments)

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  •  Only the part that says they (0+ / 0-)

    can make their own rules (Article I, Sec. 5).

    •  Yep, they can make their own rules. (0+ / 0-)

      So, clearly, they are entitled to make it a rule that before a vote can be held on a bill, at least one female member of the Senate must first pull a train. And by the way, that's not a joke. If you can justify the supermajority-for-cloture rule, you can justify the gangbang-for-cloture rule, and if the Supreme Court were to decide one way on the former another on the latter, their only justification would be moral indignation, rather than reasoned argument.

      I want to say that again: There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent the Senate from adding to the rules of the chamber the requirement that a bill cannot be brought to a vote until at least one female Senator first pulls a train -- and there can be no legalistic argument against this requirement that would not also smash the cloture rule.

      If the Constitution were going to explicitly lay out every reasonable constraint on any/all of the branches and offices of government, it would have to be the length of the Britannica. At some point, the people who created these forms and institutions had to put some small amount of faith in the eventual office-holders, to behave in the aggregate with something resembling a moral sense.

      Pointing to that clause as if it somehow absolves these people, yea, even, empowers them to behave as they do, suggests that you haven't quite figured out that it is always impossible to use language to fully contain and constrain any set of rules that is not absurdly simple to begin with. B.S. like the filibuster is an obvious and clear violation of the Constitution's obvious and clear stipulation that a majority vote carries a bill in the Senate. Inventing rules that destroy that stipulation by requiring a supermajority in order to permit a vote isn't government by law, it is government by childish gamesmanship. Only the most pedantic understanding of the nature of law -- which unfortunately what most lawyers and lawmakers have -- could possibly accept, nevermind endorse, such behavior.

      Let me reiterate that: If it is okay for the Senate to make a rule that says "90% of Senators must agree to have a vote on a Bill", then the law that says a simple majority carries the Senate is effectively moot -- the Senators have chosen (by simple majority, of course) to abrogate the Constitution. This can only make sense -- it can only be acceptable -- to the sort of guardhouse-lawyer thinking that fails to comprehend why the judge isn't buying today's bullshit. It is wishing for more wishes.

      Meanwhile, every one of those Senators has taken an oath to execute the duties of the office, which includes Advice and Consent on appointments. By any humanist interpretation, (which is to say, an interpretation rooted in such human qualities as common sense, memory, imagination -- which have been enumerated and explicated by the Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul), as opposed to a hyper-rational literalist parsing (the word "interpretation" hardly applying), it is a violation of that oath to withhold Consent of an officer for any other reason than ineptitude, insanity, or moral turpitude. Most egregious is withholding Consent in defiance of the majority of the Senate, by exercising the wished-for-wish of the virtual filibuster, as a straightforward refusal to permit the government to govern as the legislature has previously directed -- that isn't just a violation of the oath, that is sedition.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 11:53:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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