Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Of course Democrats should end the filibuster

Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein are worried that the Democrats shouldn't be too hasty about getting rid of the filibuster.

Here's Matt:
The concern I have is that the political timing is wrong.
and here's Ezra:
You can't return from an election in which the public decisively voted for the Republicans and then say that in the interests of democratic governance, you're taking away the tools Senate Republicans use to exert control over legislation.
Of course you can.

Did Mitch McConnell wonder about political timing after he’d lost 14 Senate seats over 2 consecutive elections? No. He decided the new rule was “Every bill needs 60 votes”. And just as quickly, the whole political world agreed with him. He had Tea Parties organized in protest of Obama barely a month after he took the oath of office. Nobody told him his political timing was lousy. And, likewise, nobody but the Republicans will care about the demise of the filibuster a month after it happens.

Here's Ezra again:
my favored option -- is for Democrats to join with Republicans to set rules that will go into place six or eight years from now.
I hate to break it to Ezra, but the Republicans aren't about to join Democrats to make the world a better place. They'll simply wait until they regain the majority and repeal the filibuster all by themselves. If the Democrats don't work every angle to figure out how to govern with 50+ votes then Republicans will get that majority, along with the presidency, in 2012.

Political timing? Seriously? We’re at the edge of another Great Depression. If Democrats are in the majority next January they need to get rid of the filibuster or the government will cease to function. If they hope to keep the majority and the presidency past 2012 they’ll need to solve real problems. That’s political reality.

I don’t know why Matt and Ezra constantly feel the need to be part of the liberal cold water brigade, but if they want to be part of a progressive solution, they'd be better off spending their time dreaming up ways to pass legislation with a mere majority instead of explaining to the rest of us why nothing can be done.

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