My Photo


Progressives Ad Network

« Party this Saturday! | Main | Gordon Smith exposes true colors on filibuster issue »



Of course there's a silver lining, but it's not even close to worth it in this case. Of course the filibuster has been used by Republicans before, and if it survives, it will be again. But that's an argument to make to Republicans, who are treating this is a power game.

Manjoo's arguments about population are particularly weird. He shows that because of the population differences between states, the filibuster can be used to protect a minority that is even smaller than the 40% in the cloture rule today. Or, in extreme circumstances, maybe even smaller than the 33% that was in the 1917 cloture rule. How about looking at the flip side: Today, the filibuster is protecting the majority of the population. Democrats in the Senate represent significantly more people than Republicans.

In that sense, the filibuster is actually cancelling out some of what he calles the "un-democratic nature" of the Senate. Yes, it lets minorities who represent less than 40% of the population block things if they really really want to. In exchange for that, the filibuster ensures that major changes that are strongly opposed cannot be put in practice without a real majority. 51 Senators can, and indeed do, represent less than half of the population. It is highly unlikely that a block of 60 Senators will represent less than half the population.


Good point. I've blogged before about a commentary piece by E.J. Dionne that pointed out the interesting facts about the Senate and population representation.


Another argument against worrying about the fillibuster's disappearance is that we have a case in which, paradoxically, by relying on a mechanism that protects "minority" rights we make the election process less important.

In the parallel case, with judges protecting rights we don't really feel the political consequences of some voting choices made by the public. Compliant radical right judges make elections matter in new ways in the future, because you can't count on the judiciary to protect you.

Likewise with the fillibuster we also don't feel the consequences of losing a Senate majority. But without the protections of independent judges and fillibstering Senators elections and voting are more consequential.

People will actually have to live with the consequences of voting for the radical right and its allies.

Life in the new United Biblical States of Corporate America will be painful at first but maybe people have to experience the world the far right really wants in order to perceive the choice that the left presents as valuable.

As for the democratic disaster represented by the 2 Senator per state system... well yeah, but that's not changing soon.


United Biblical States of Corporate America

That's a nugget.

The comments to this entry are closed.