Comments: Another Look at Senate Filibuster

I have softened, but not changed my mind. The best argument against remains "Leader Chuck Schumer (TidePodFancier - MY) will pitch it in a New York Minute."

That is compelling. But I remain wary.

My Main Man, John Calvin, nailed it: "It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones."

So did Michael Barone with: "All procedural arguments are insincere, including this one."

It could be called a bit rich that ThreeSourcers are decrying "the tyranny of the minority." I consider us the vanguard against majoritarianism. The idea is to make it hard to govern: that's being a feature and not a bug.

The larger issue is that spending is on a solid growth path and legislation is required to cut it -- that is where the mistakes were made. To remove what has been an important brake on popular legislation is fraught with peril.

Posted by jk at February 12, 2018 5:09 PM

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

And, mostly. Legislation is required to cut mandatory spending, but discretionary spending must be renewed regularly with - legislation. Legislation like what we witnessed last week in the 2-year budget. Legislation that must have an "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" component unless there are a solid 60 votes to go one way or the other.

My case is that making that 51 (or 50+1) would make it easier for Republicans to shrink government (if they ever did honestly wish to do so) and make it easier for voters to see the true colors of their own senator. It has the effect of giving more power to the voters. You know, Hoi Polloi.

My personal affinity for the 60-vote rule came from a misimpression that it limited Senators' power. In fact, it gives them more of it as explained in the post.

Posted by johngalt at February 13, 2018 10:22 AM

I hear all my anarchist buddies screaming in my ear that "you can't stop people with parchment." So many of the swell features of the Constitution have been neutered.

I hear much Sturm and Drang about the new budget deal. They certainly all have a point, but it is not about who has 51 or 60 votes -- we have, like, three! And they're divided between the House and Senate (okay, there might be low double digits in the House).

But is it "Republicans abandoning their ideals?" Their voters (in plurality) are not clamoring for cuts, The new GOP ideal is "Trumpism." And he has never ever once said he was going to cut spending.

So I am going easy on the poor Republican legislators this week. Fiscal austerity is not the brand anymore. Like free trade, it does not have a home in either party and would be worse if Democrats took over.

But the people who are shocked haven't been paying much attention #amirite?

Posted by jk at February 13, 2018 2:43 PM

No I don't think so. Our media overlords dutifully trumpet Trump's calls to increase spending - on a wall, on defense, on infrastructure (what am I leaving out?) - but just as dutifully omit any mention of growth, cuts and reforms to lower deficits and the debt.

Trump has called for spending cuts. And not just this year. And while your prejudice of the Trump Revolution may be laser focused on immigration (again, think about why that is at the top of your mind) there are other, some would say greater, issues that give enduring life to the "Deplorable" revolution. Instead of thinking of a border wall, when you think of Donald J. Trump, think "Tea Party President of the United States."

Posted by johngalt at February 14, 2018 10:29 AM
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