QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 25 2005, 12:35 PM)
I retain some optimism that the average American has a sense of decency and fair play -- all the polls showed that the American people were strongly opposed to the elimination of the filibuster.
Yes, and so am I. Filibustering is fine, the problem is using cloture rules to prevent an up-or-down vote on judicial nominees. Here are two polls (one by CBS
and another by the RNC
) that show between 67% and 83% support for the "nuclear option" when questions are phrased in such a way that accurately describe the current situation, rather than only using vague references like "do you thing the filibuster should be abolished?" which hasn't been on the table since Daschle, Biden and Kennedy proposed it a decade ago.
But politics is being taken over by the extremists on both sides; the fact that so many Senators calculated that it was in their political interest to push for this confrontation demonstrates that public opinion is of less importance than special interest power.
Or it could represent greater faith in the accuracy of issue polling that it deserves. Which special interest was hounding the Senate to let judges who have majority support get an up-or-down vote as they always had until recent years? The "nuclear option" only reverts to the status quo prior to recent obstructionism.
It appears, then, that American politics is moving towards ever greater excesses against the notion of fairness towards the minority. If you get 50% minus one votes, then you're screwed, and the majority can do pretty much anything they want to you -- including tilting the system to insure that they remain in power.
That's an inaccurate assessment of what would have happened with the "nuclear option." Cloture would have remained in effect in every case except judicial nominations, and even there, it was gradually reduced over time from 60 to 51 votes. This rule could have been in effect since cloture was first introduced in 1917, and it wouldn't have changed one iota of American history until the last few years. The assertion that the "nuclear option" is a power grab by the majority just doesn't hold a drop of water-- such empty partisan rhetoric might sway the uneducated, but it is simply not founded in fact.Have the dampening factors in American political conflict been surpassed by the driving forces?
If the question considers obstructionism via unprecedented abuse of Senate rules a dampening factor, and democratic processes (majority rule) as a driving force of politics, then no, the dampening factors have overwhelmed the driving forces, ground the system to a hault, and begun to move the country backward into tyranny, instead of merely slowing the majority's forward progress as intended.
The power-grabbing anti-democratc Democrats continue to mount unprecedented abuses by stretching unintentended loopholes in Senate rules as they have never been stretched before, and the Republican majority refuses to crank up the driving forces to overcome such abuses because seven of them are so corrupt as to want to make the abuses available to Republicans in the future. That's not moral leadership, that's pure capitulatory appeasement at its cowardly worst.
Republicans have a name for the seven Senate Republicans who defected to the pro-abuse faction of the filibuster issue-- RINO (Republicans In Name Only). There should be a similar name for their partners in tyranny who oppose democratic processes at every turn: DINO (Democrats In Name Only). Hopeful the public will get so fed up with Rinos and Dinos that a libertarian pro-democracy third party can replace the anti-democratic DNC like the GOP replaced the Whigs.
You know a political party is in big trouble when it begins to forsake the very principles for which it was named.edited to fix some tags