Sunday, January 10, 2010

Filibuster: Tool Of The Minority Party

The Democrats led by Senator Tom Harkin would like to lower the bar for controversial legislation and end filibusters on a graduated scale. Now I am no fan of the minority using the filibuster to fatally kill every form of legislation. The Democrats employed the filibuster at every turn from 2001-2006. Needed reform such as saving Social Security and Medicare/medicaid was filibustered by the Democrats and today both Social Security and Medicare are shelling out more than the programs take in on a monthly basis. Judges are routinely filibustered delaying our court systems. Now the Democrats who for years while in the minority used the tactic to stop legislation dead in its tracks would like to have it stopped. I must wonder if this will be written in such a way that only the Democratic party may take advantage of changing the filibuster system.

American's need only research the Democrats in MA to see why I question their motives for changing the filibuster requirements. When John Kerry was running for resident in 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy led a fight in his home state to change a law on how the state filled an open Senate seat. In order to ensure a Republican could not use an open seat to fill at his prerogative, the MA legislature (at Kennedy's behest) wrote a law that limited the State to having to wait for a special election. The Governor was stripped of his authority to replace an open seat with Senator of his choice. However, when a seat was open in MA for Senator Kennedy following his death, the same Democrats simply changed the law because they couldn't wait for the special election with a democrat in the governorship. The twisted mindset of the liberals is amazing. The Democrats and Liberals are all for limiting the powers of the Republicans when they are in power but expanding government rule when the Democrats are in power.

As I said I would have no issue with changing the filibuster rules. However, the Democrats are being disingenuous. We as a country can not allow the Democrats to change rules just because it allows one sided debate on important issues. As long as both parties play partisan politics the filibuster must remain as it is. The government has become a government for the two political parties and not for the people. Both political parties are guilty. Instead of writing legislation in committee with bi-partisan support, the legislation is written only with the majority opinion. All too often rhetoric such as "I Won", "We Won", or "elections have consequences" become the meme of the day. When politicians use this type of rhetoric it is not saying Americans won, the people, or this is what the people want. No it is all about the party affiliations. The party in power is all about staying in power and govern with their minority bases in mind.

Here is what happens. Both parties run a nomination for elected office. During the primaries candidates from both parties pander to the bases. After receiving the nomination candidates move towards the center with rhetoric. The candidate that receives the vote of the moderates wins. After the election the candidates move back to their political bases and forget the moderates. Our politicians place party above the people and the party before the country. Until both party's in this country start governing from the political center for the good of the country instead of the good of their bases the filibuster must remain unchanged.

Just look at the health care debate. The country and the people are overwhelmingly against the proposed legislation. Yet the Democrats are going against the will of the people and pressing forward. In a country where the will of the people should become before all else the Democrats simply want to lower the bar to ram anything their political arty wants to enforce. The Democrats have 60 Senators in their caucus and still are having a hard time keeping them together.

Instead of seeing this as having an unpopular bill or a bill that strayed too far from the political center the Democrats simply want to lower the bar. Perhaps had the Democrats invited the Republicans to the table a bill would have emerged with bi partisan support. The Democrats could have picked up 5-10 Republicans easily had the bill discussions included Republicans. Instead the Democrats went alone and are now complaining the bar is too high. The filibuster is the tool of the minority Party and until the party's start governing for the people instead of the Party's the rule must remain unchanged.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The filibuster needs to stay, especially because it is a pain in the ass to the party in charge. It should be hard to pass laws. If all we need is a simple majority, we'd be making laws, then changing/repealing them constantly whenever to party in power changes. If Dems want to end the filibuster, they must feel condfident that they'll be able to fix enough elections to never lose the majority again. What a bunch of hypocrits anyway, this is the same party that threatened to filibuster a JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION.