Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Diffusing a nuclear bomb

On Monday, a group of Senators, in a bipartisan act, headed off a showdown over the so-called “nuclear option”, which would have radically changed the rules of the Senate concerning the filibuster process. While the two sides reached a compromise, I still think the Democrats should have held out, although I can see why they struck the deal that they did.

Being a minority party in Washington during these days of bullying from the hard right and the Puritan’s peanut gallery (occupied by the likes of James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell) is not an easy position to inhabit.

While these religious zealots issued much blather and bluster post-compromise, not all the dissension was reserved for the side of our current day Elmer Gantrys. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold issued a statement in which he said that this compromise “is not a good deal for the U.S. Senate or for the American people.” I would concur with the Senator from Wisconsin.

It’s nakedly apparent how drunk with power the majority party is, in particular leaders of the Republican Party such as Bill Frist, Tom Delay, and it runs upwards all the way to the oval office. This recent tactic, filled with gall and hubris shows that they desire only to run roughshod over the traditions and institutions of government that have worked well for over 200 years.

While the filibuster might be unwieldy and certainly causes government to grind to a halt, it is a necessary and even essential part of maintaining our proud tradition of opposition in our country. Personally, I’d like to see the Democrats become even more of an obstructionist party, but I know that won’t happen. For Independents like myself, there really is very little to be happy with concerning our current state of governance.


weasel said...

Congratulations to your son on a great personal season and the Lyon's outstanding year as a team. He now has something to bang on about at graduationas and picnics when he is 40 (!)

As to the above; coming from the more vicious British political tradition I'm inclined to agree that we need more streetfighters but then I have to pull back and remember that is what the House of Reps is for. Senators can be nasty bastards but have act as if dealing with weighty matters of state.
I do think its time however to be rid of Snowe and Collins. What is the point of having two senators who cross their own party every day when we could have two real Democrats, and perhaps a chance to redress the political inbalance in the government. All it is every time Maine sends them to DC is an exersize in little state preening and self-sterotyping, as in "Look at us, we ahh independent and we ahh bloody minded sons of the sea and soil who-ah- work at National Semiconductor and have debts to Delware and Nebraska based credit card companies. Ayuh."

ChefDunn said...

It may not be perfect but I'm glad to see some sort of compromise. I'm really sick of this left and right crap.

I was happy to at least see a few down there standing up and just being reasonable.