Friday, December 3, 2010

Ending the Filibuster-As-Time-Sink

Kevin Drum hilights Jeff Merkley's smart proposal to keep the spirit of the filibuster—allowing the Senate to continue debate in the presence of a small but vocal minority—while eliminating its use as a tool to simply slow down basic governance functions. The basic trade is that while the minority's right  to extend debate indefinitely becomes is reduced, their right to offer amendments is expanded. It's a good trade and Senate Democrats should take it. To state the obvious, in the event of a Republican President and Republican House/Senate in 2012 (which has at least a 12.5% chance of happening just by pure luck), the filibuster will be destroyed instantly and we all know it. Better to fly into the teeth of the thing and allow the Senate to go about its business for a couple of years before shit really hits the fan.
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