Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End the Filibuster? No Thank You

After listing an impressive run of liberal legislative victories in the Congress just past, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation tells us in this morning's WaPost that there could have been more--if not for that pesky filibuster.  I submit that the filibuster (or its threat) has therefore done its job.  The framers saw the Senate as a deliberative body, the "saucer in which the hot tea" of the House cools.  While there is no reference to the filibuster in the founding documents, its presence is a wholly predictable given the framer's desires for the Senate and the Constitutional power of each chamber to set its own rules.
vanden Heuvel

I wonder if Ms. Vanden Heuvel was as aggressively anti-filibuster when GWB had a Senate Majority and was seeking to place conservative judges on the bench.  Methinks not.  The point is, while the filibuster has come to be used more than it has in the past, the Senate continues to pass legislation, fill vacancies, pass treaties, and authorize wars.  That it sometimes serves to slow those processes should surprise no one, and should serve as a reminder of the dazzling brilliance of the founders who created the Senate in the first place.

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