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View Diary: Abolish the Filibuster? Be Honest (74 comments)

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  •  Sure, so long as 70% oppose... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what's the harm?

    Remember, we didn't stop it in 2005 because of the filibuster--we stopped it because the GOP wasn't suicidal and knew how to read polling on the issue.

    Meanwhile, consider the Civil Rights Act.  We had to wait until 1964 because filibusters stopped us in 1948.  Was that better for America?

    Look, the issue with the filibuster isn't that it ensures a certain proportion of the country supports a measure before it passes, but that a certain proportion of rich elites who may or may not be representative of the people (and aren't even meant to be!) supports a measure.  It empowers individual Senators far beyond where they ought to be, and it turns the Lower House into a Lesser House, making the people's representatives mere advisers to the legislative process.  It's no way to run a country.

    If you want a structural protection for minority viewpoints, there are other, far better ways to  accomplish that.

    "Speaking for me only." -Armando

    by JR on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry but (0+ / 0-)

      destroying a 1/3 of the countries economic lifeline so you can gain some future electoral gains is not something I will endorse, and I will actively oppose such a stupid and sociopathic course of action.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

      by Lestatdelc on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 02:38:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You haven't made the case yet, Mitch. (0+ / 0-)

        We didn't filibuster in 2005.  Why do you think Social Security is therefore doomed?

        Let me pose the question a more plausible way: say Social Security faces a severe shortfall due to there being 60+ Senators who didn't know how important fiscal management was and enacted stupid policies. In order to preserve the program and keep people getting benefits, we either need to cut benefits, raise the retirement age, or increase payroll taxes.  Which of those gets to 60 first?  How secure is Social Security then?

        The funny thing is that, without the filibuster, right now we'd still have Social Security (again, no filibuster necessary during the Bush years on that one), plus we'd have non-profit public health insurance available to every American.  Remind me again how the filibuster put us in a better position?

        This isn't about "future electoral gains."  This isn't electoral.  This is about being able to govern effectively.  The filibuster is an enemy of good government, and all that can reasonably be said in its defense is that, every now and then, we enjoy stonewalling and stagnation.

        "Speaking for me only." -Armando

        by JR on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 04:42:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We didn't filbuster (0+ / 0-)

          because we had a compromise which kept the filibuster in place (and the nuclear option was being threatened  over judicial nominations).

          And not having a simple majority threshold to do things like scrap Social Security, or any other major move is good governance (albeit an ugly messy process).

          I just find it highly hypocritical (not to mention wrong-headed) that so many here, Kos included were crying a river to defend the existence of the filibuster in 2005, even Kos himself proclaiming that "He (Frist) will now attempt to impose the will of the majority on a minority against long-standing Senate tradition.

          And your hypothetical actually underscores my point. If there is a serious enough issue then you will eventually get 60 votes to break a filibuster via a cloture vote.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

          by Lestatdelc on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 05:01:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except for all the times we don't get 60. (0+ / 0-)

            "Eventually" is a long time for something like the Civil Rights Act.  And my hypothetical, if you understood it, should have shown that it mandates good policy be sacrificed for what's politically acceptable to a very narrow band of elites who don't actually represent the public will.  My point is that if there's a problem with a program like Social Security, and there's a 60-vote threshold, and the options are a) fix it right by showing a modicum of political courage or b) "fix" it with harmful or ineffective yet politically palatable pablum, it'll be Option B each and every time.

            The survival of our government should not rely on the egos of our Senators.

            "Speaking for me only." -Armando

            by JR on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 09:40:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand it very well (0+ / 0-)

              I just simply disagree with your take on the issue.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Who is a Tea Partier? Someone who listens to Glenn Beck. Who's an anti-Tea Partier? Someone who understands Glenn Beck

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 11:18:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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