Sunday, May 15, 2005

Will Republicans Change The Cloture Rule And Implement Their Scorched Earth Policy?

I haven't been inclined lately to actually write about politics per se, because I find the Republican plans to change the rules of cloture overwhelmingly depressing.

Cloture is the only way the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill (thereby ending a filibuster). Under the cloture rule, the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, if they have 60 votes to do it.

60 votes for cloture has always been intended to uphold the rights of the minority and as a check and balance against extremism. The minority, which the Democrats are
(just barely), is not completely frozen out and may influence legislation by forcing compromise through a filibuster threat.

Ending the supermajority requirement will leave the Democrats in the deep freeze. We will be a party of desperate and obsequious bootlickers. Or, worse, a party of the ignored.

We had the chance to the same thing to the Republicans. We didn't. President Clinton even went so far as to nominate moderate candidates to the court, in the spirit of cooperation. I didn't like it, but I understood that you have to work with the opposition. But the Republicans, in what I hope is their last term in the White House for many years, have decided to kill the filibuster, and strongarm through their two or three dubious Supreme Court choices, and hundreds of reprobate district court, and appellate judges.

They may well succeed in nominating and confirming judges of the pathetic caliber of Justice Thomas, or another smart extremist like Scalia, not to mention the hordes of knuckledraggers they will place in the lower courts.

They may succeed. . .but it is absolutely a scorched earth option, because they may very well be the minority three years from now. There is no putting this genie back in the bottle.

The only good that may come of this is the destruction of the Republican Party. Bring back the Whigs.

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