“...I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires....” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Senate Rule XXII has “guided and protected the chamber since 1789.” It was last revised in 1975 following a rancorous debate that lasted months, not minutes, to require three-fifths of the entire Senate, or 60 votes, to end a filibuster.
Oh sure, there has been some noisy posturing from both sides of the aisle from time to time about changing this. Butt until last week nobody was brave, or stupid enough, to actually launch the nuclear option. Primarily because, as Mark Levin explained, nuclear wars, once launched, generally result in mutual annihilation.
So that just goes to show you how ticked off Harry was by the tyranny of the minority that has been getting in his way. His sense of outrage forced him to employ the tyranny of the majority (aka “the nuclear option”) to break a few eggs in order to change the rules.
Because sometimes, getting what you want right now is more important that ensuring the long term integrity of the game.
So, without benefit of any debate, let alone a filibuster, Harry detonated the nuclear bomb (explained here) and changed the rules to require only a simple majority to end a filibuster from this point forward. The rule applies – for now - only to judicial and executive appointments; butt I assure you that’s not going to be “the final solution.”
With the exception of Big Guy, everyone from Dana Milbank:
If Congress wasn’t broken before, it certainly is now.
to Mark Levin has weighed in with scathing reviews. Even old Dem Senator Carl Levin scolded:
“We need to change the rules, but to change it in the way we changed it today means there are no rules except as the majority wants them,” Levin said. “This precedent is going to be used, I fear, to change the rules on consideration of legislation, and down the road — we don’t know how far down the road; we never know that in a democracy — but, down the road, the hard-won protections and benefits for our people’s health and welfare will be lost.”
Yikes! When a lifelong Democratic hangdog like Carl agrees - in any way - with Mark Levin we may have ourselves a bit of a problem…butt that would be down the road a piece. No worries today!
Not surprisingly, Big Guy is completely on board with Harry and his flock in the Senate.
Because Big Guy thinks the tyranny of the minority (the big “R” in “republic”) always trample on the rights of the tyranny of the majority (the little “d” in democracy). That’s why Big Guy is always for the little guy, see? It’s all about social justice…or something.
So I guess if you’re more interested in a country run by the rule of law instead of a mob, you may have to elect someone other than a
little “d” a wolf next time.
Either that or get yourself one of those well-armed lambs.
Today’s post was brought to you by the Great Gatsby collection of fine tailored suits and exquisite stemware:
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Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network