Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apparently it's Right Wing Concern Trolling Week here, as Jennifer Rubin becomes the latest maven to scold the left, this time on the subject of Senate filibuster reform.

Those planning on tinkering with Senate rules are well advised to do some serious thinking about the unintended consequences of their desire to give the Senate majority more power. So long as McConnell, 46 other Republicans and a slew of nervous red state Democrats are there, they might want to leave well enough alone. And for those who find wisdom in the Founders' design of the Senate, it would be wise to retain a filibuster rule that, as Todd Gaziano of the Heritage Foundation, succinctly put it, "makes it harder for the politicians that cater to rent-seeking special interests to enact more laws that are generally unconstitutional, fiscally irresponsible and/or undermine our liberty." Well, you can understand why the left would be on the other side in that debate.

This entire line of reasoning baffles me.  Rubin is warning that the Senate actually doing something could have dire consequences, and that leaving an institution with an approval rating only slightly higher than that of the idea of bedbug infestations in a hospital's pre-natal ICU ward "as is" is somehow a good idea. 

To recap, the Senate not doing things is pretty much the crux of the problem.  Rubin seems to think that this should be the status quo, that the only legislation that should be allowed to reach a President's desk is the no-brainer bipartisan stuff, which by definition isn't going to be anything groundbreaking.  Why not campaign to raise the filibuster threshhold to 67 votes again?  Clearly, the higher the threshhold, the better the legislation will be produced, yes?

Just hasn't occured to Rubin here that if Democrats had embraced filibuster reform two years ago, we'd have a much different political climate right now.  Or maybe it has, actually...which is why she's so very eager to warn against the idea, since the past two years have proven to be fruitful legislatively but also very frustrating to a number of liberals.

We'd have gotten the DREAM Act passed, as just one example, depending on the type of filibuster reform considered.  A lot of other things that passed the House but died in the Senate, some hundreds of bills, could have ended up with the President's signature on it instead.

Pretty sure our Founders would of had something to say on the subject of the Senate's default mode being inaction when the country continues to face a major economic crisis.

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