No more Filibuster….
Senate Democrats finally voted away filibusters for Presidential nominees, excluding Supreme Court Justices, on Thursday, November 22, 2013. Republicans, of course, view the move as a form of corruption, though both sides are hypocrites as their views often change with which Party is in power. According to Senate Leader Harry Reid, half of all executive and judicial nomination filibusters throughout the history of the US have occurred during the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, today filibusters have been used to shutdown government in a time when government needs to be more responsive.
In many ways, removal of the filibuster for nominees is an experiment. Filibusters exist to modulate the inherently erratic nature of the more democratic House and reduce the damage caused the whims of the day’s politics, or at least goes the theory. The main charge of Republicans is the elimination of the filibuster creates a situation where the minority has no power. Clearly, a majority vote is still needed, but our two-party, deeply polarized system makes it difficult for the minority to resist the majority rule without a filibuster.
If we had a multiparty system and if our parties were more fractured, the need for a simple majority would be enough to block an unpopular majority effort. Even though this is currently not reality, Congress is still divided and Senators are elected in staggered terms, so differences in the House and Senate will continue to help minimize the power of the majority. Meanwhile, removing the filibuster tool may well encourage internal fracturing of the parties on issues key to constituents, new alliances, and an overall shakeup in our political system. Besides, what really stops the majority from acting against the will of the American People is an engaged populous. That said, what may come is unknown; we will just have to wait and see.
Read old posts