Filibuster Proof

by Morgan Freeberg | October 26, 2008 11:32 am

Having a democrat President, a democrat House and a democrat Senate is not enough. For Hillary Clinton, it’s worth forming an alliance with Al Franken, to stump around in an effort to make the new Senate filibuster-proof[1].

“Al Franken was taking on the vast right-wing conspiracy before other people even admitted it existed,” she told a crowd of 2,000 supporters on the University of Minnesota campus, urging them to give her rival, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, a filibuster-proof margin in the Senate. “Al Franken, with your help, can be our 60th vote.” [emphasis mine]

While I remain a staunch anti-filibuster advocate (When I Start Running This Place, Item #30[2]), it’s an interesting canary in a coal mine in this situation; with 41 Republicans in the Senate the filibuster would be the last hurdle for bad ideas, or at least, extreme ideas.Think about it: With the results in from an election in which Obama became our President in a rout, and democrats solidified their holds on both houses of the legislature — what kind of acts would still need that pesky filibuster to be removed, or rendered ineffective, in order to pass?

Here’s something else to ponder. Since the question posed above is simply belaboring the obvious (my respected pro-filibuster opponents use that argument on me, fairly often), it’s well-established that we already have quite a few people who are concerned with it. Hillary’s no dummy with that fine political art & science of figuring out what’s bothering people. She could have come up with a laundry list of good ideas, that might perish in the legislative chamber of a nation gripped in left-wing fever if there are 41 Republican votes in the Senate to bottle things up. Somehow, it was worthwhile to leave this undone. And I notice that’s the case pretty consistently.

The democrat party loves to talk about victory over Republicans.

It loves to talk about tactics and measures put in place to make sure they’re unopposed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were so enthused, with the prospect of defeating terrorists?

They so seldom talk about the fine details of what exactly it is they want to do. They hate Joe The Plumber so much. All Joe The Plumber did was initiate a dialog about this, at such a level that such a dialog became truly useful to people. If democrats thought they had a platform that would become more popular to us as we learned more about it, right about now Joe The Plumber would be getting a phone call about a Cabinet position, or an Ambassadorship.

That’s not what’s happening to Joe right now.

Their euphemisms disturb me. A lot.

So many of their most effective euphemisms involve placing discussion of generalities, where discussion of specifics would be in everybody’s better interests. Barack Obama has been babbling constantly for the last two years about “the failed policies of the Bush administration.” He could have been talking about an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. He could have been talking about making sure each year’s budget is in the black — no new spending. After all, we “know” that’s what he really means, right? But he doesn’t say those things very often; instead, he talks about “the failed policies” with that name always following afterward.

No politician worth his salt will choose a strategy that involves risk and cost, over another one that does not.

I’m hearing the word “common sense” bubbling to the surface of the political-speech stewpot as well. In a sane political cycle, a singular use of this term would inspire stigma, and repeated uses of it would result in career suicide. But it seems Sen. Obama’s margin over his opponent widens by a point every time he uses that phrase, so it’s working out very well for him.

Implications of “common sense”:

You and I are not only united, but our unification is a piece of distant history. We are united in our goals as well as in our methods for reaching them. What I’d do in a situation, is identical to what you’d do in the same situation…or, at least, our reactions would be substantially similar. We need not make early commitments about what exactly is to be done — we can leave the real decision making until later, because you and I have this fraternal notion of trust in each other.

Is that the situation with the political climate of our country today?

More to the point, what has Obama, or Hillary, or the democrat party in general — done to foster a climate like that?

Therein lies the patently absurd dishonesty to which we’ve unfortunately become accustomed, and begun to accept. The democrat party is making a good show of including “everyone” in what they’re going to be doing. But Hillary’s effort here is typical of her party’s efforts. They want a complete election cycle in which they are so powerful, that nobody else’s opinion matters. They’ve done such a splendid job of gathering campaign funds, now, that they have a golden opportunity to explain the details of why they need that, to the rest of us.

And they won’t do that. They won’t do it, because it would hurt them. They act — in many, many ways — like people ready to assume a substantially different behavior, after a point of commitment has passed. The point of commitment means everything to them. If they had a real fraternal camaraderie with the rest of the nation, something in which the phrase “common sense” would be meaningful, the point of commitment wouldn’t have such an impact.

They act — more than a little — like the blushing bride waiting for the rings to be exchanged so she can gain back the weight, stop wearing make-up, spend truckloads of money down at the mall, start shagging the best man, and never cook another meal again.

Caveat emptor.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes[3].

  1. stump around in an effort to make the new Senate filibuster-proof:
  2. When I Start Running This Place, Item #30:
  3. House of Eratosthenes:

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