Thursday, November 15, 2012
The Buster we could do with less of
When one party or the other makes it its' primary function to do nothing more than obstruct the other then the gridlock is akin to the office managers heading out to a gulf junket for the day or in this case the better part of four years. The filibuster is all well and good when it's used on rare occasions to make a differing point but as has been experienced with our current deadlocked congress it doesn't make the system run smoothly and surely makes no room for compromise. Exactly how someone could present a position and piece of legislation and then proceed to vote against it is beyond comprehension. As we attempt to move forward it will be interesting to see if any procedural changes can be made to make the process functional again. I have my doubts about that and can only envision yet another fruitless fight resulting in more of the same. It seems we have an ugly system but since everybody involved can game the system then nothing will change. As long as some obscure procedure remains on the books we know somebody will use it to their advantage at some point to slow things down.
So we can surmise three possible scenarios going forward. Either the congress will somehow magically come to a budget deal or the country falls off a cliff (not really as some would think more like a slow motion train wreck). The other option would be to undo the legislation there by kicking the can down the road once more. But even then there is only so much road left before we come to a dead end. At some point the game must end and real decisions must be made. I suspect those at the top of the economic food chain are making out quite nicely with our current frozen congress. Why change the game now when all the money is flowing your way? That is for the select few at the top.
The term filibuster comes from way back. A term that originally meant pirate or rob. In this case it's robbing us of a democracy when used to the extreme. Don't eliminate it all together just limit its' use to the most dire needs when a minority position should be examined and considered at length. Otherwise there can be no compromises or even a functioning government. Can't keep one foot on the gas and one on the brake and expect anything good to happen.