November 22, 2013
Daisy Ad 2013: Senate Filibuster Nuclear Option Remix (Video)Topics: Political News and commentaries
As Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg note at Reason, what a difference eight years and a Senate majority makes. Back in 2005, Senate Democrats (including Barack Obama) were in the minority - and dead-set against a Republican plan to allow judicial nominations to proceed to an up-or-down vote based on a simple majority. The so-called nuclear option, warned Obama and others, would have the Founders spinning in their graves and usher in a tyranny of the majority in the world's greatest deliberative body.
But now, faced with a truculent Republican Senate minority, the Democrats have done just that, effectively overturning 200 years of precedent.
The whole point of the way the Senate has run for over two centuries is that even the minority party can have a major influence on the outcome of legislation, unlike the very majoritarian House. The Senate is the deliberative body, where legislation necessarily moves slowly, subject to countless objections and obstacles. This is the process that was intended, from the first days of our Republic, to produce a more perfect bill that would have true input from all of the states, via their senators.
While it's true that today's nuclear event doesn't apply to legislation, does anyone seriously think that the precedent isn't set now for the filibuster to disappear there too?
If the Senate silences the minority party, and runs itself like the House, what is the point of its existence?
Posted by Hyscience at November 22, 2013 9:36 AM
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