Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Need A Bigger Hammer

The left wing is giddy with the idea that Tom Harkin has plans to break the filibuster when the Senate convenes the first of the year, getting rid of it or otherwise making it much harder to use. “Hooray,” they are hooting, “we will finally be rid of that thing that has prevented us from getting anything done.”

Meanwhile, Obama and the Democratic leadership are saying that “this has been the most productive Congress in several decades” and are citing a long list of legislative accomplishments.

Somebody is seriously disconnected from somebody else here.

The filibuster is a valuable instrument that has served us well for a great many years. It has assured that the minority has a voice, that it is permitted to remain engaged in the process of governance. Without it the majority becomes a tyranny and the minority is rendered voiceless, impotent, and utterly meaningless. That is not a desirable form of government, and not a permissible state for a nation. That the majority rules does not mean that the minority is rendered into political serfdom.

If you have a rule that is being abused you do not abolish that valuable rule, you take steps to prevent its abuse. You do not blame the rule for impeding progress and abolish or weaken the rule, you blame those who are abusing the rule for their own personal gain and abolish the abusers.

Of course, this nation does have a habit of doing precisely the former. We established a national speed limit of 55 mph that was saving lives and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but because too many were not obeying the speed limit we raised it back up and increased the death toll and oil consumption again, serving the desires of the abusers instead of doing what was best for the nation.

We raised taxes to balance the budget, too, and formed an economy that was thriving and forming new jobs at a record clip. But, of course, we had to screw that up too, and cut taxes to pander to the greedy. Even when we knew we had screwed the pooch on that we continue it, complaining about how screwed the pooch is and still cutting taxes even more. If it doesn’t work do it bigger and maybe it will work.

It’s called the “I need a bigger hammer” theory.

So of course, we will abolish the filibuster, and then we will complain that the minority has no voice in governance. Democrats have already done that, actually. They had the filibuster when they were in the minority, they just didn’t use it, and complained about not having a voice.

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