Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roaches scurry

Political junkie though I am, I had not previously realized that the Senate requires a supermajority vote* - usually dispensed with by unanimous consent - to start debate.

But Republicans are nothing if not endlessly creative in finding ways to say no, in this case, of course, to even talking about making Wall Street safe(r) for America's economy. I have to thank them for exposing to me yet another facet of the brokenness of the Senate.

Part of that brokenness I would also lay at Harry Reid's feet. Finally, finally, he exposed us to the plain fact (which many of us already grasped) that Republicans are a bloc of blockheads. I've called for a long time for the Democrats to make the intransigent two-year-olds on the other side of the aisle pay a deep and visible political price for their tantrums.

Reid made Republicans stand up under the glare of TV cameras and defend the indefensible. They caved. Immediately. And scurried for cover.

The filibuster and its less-known cousins (how many are there?) need to die. The Republicans have worn them out.

Jan. 3, 2011, no matter which Democrat is Majority Leader...

* Actually, I'm still guessing. It's possible that unanimous consent is the only way debate can start, that the hoary old Senate not only lacks its own equivalent of the House's discharge petition, it even lacks a way for the majority's leadership to force a measure to floor. But I can't find out for sure, since all the Senate Floor Procedures I've tried to read from the Committee on Rules and Administration are unavailable.

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