Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Buster we could do with less of

Now that it's back to no business as usual for our congress (look no farther than the bills being debated) Though I'd delve into why there is such disfunction of the disfunctional. Our founding fathers started out with the right ideas in incorporating a simple majority vote into the constitution but somewhere along the way the best laid plans took a side track. What's the expression? Give a guy an inch. And such is the case with our congress. What once took 51 votes by our senators now requires 60 and we wonder how anything gets done. No the only time such a vote should require such a majority should be on extremely important issues like going to war and major changes to the constitution. Most other matters are not an urgent issue. In fact the naming of a post office or park could be done by email and avoid the tedious speeches by long winded senators who always manage to slip their current agenda into a speech complete with the accolades to Warren G. Harding.

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.  


BBC said...

Back in the old days train wrecks were popular and drew big paying crowds to watch them smash into each other head on.

BBC said...

Educators like to ring alarms and make others worried about cut funding by saying reducing it would impact student achievement.

I think they are more concerned about the impact on their wages.

harry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harry said...

Mr DeMeur wrote

"....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."

I'm no procedural ex-spurt but AFAIK these bastards in both houses of congress make their own rules as to how they conduct (or not) business. A simple majority is all that's required to change procedure.

If this is not correct please enlighten me.

This nonsense has gone on much too long and the cost is incalculable.

p.s. I trashed previous comment for lack of coherence.

harry said...

Well then, I'll correct myself.

Senate rule change requires 2/3 majority.

Which could possibly be do-able in new session in January.


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