Friday, February 13, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Filibuster?

Mr. Obama and the Congressional leadership have focused too much on the threat of Republican filibusters, in managing their massive bailout bills. Not too long ago, bills were passed with a majority vote, and filibusters were rare, and to be avoided. Now, the Republican minority threatens to use the filibuster to block any legislation, and the Democrats believe that they need 60 votes to get anything done. Nonsense!

The people voted for change, and it will not do anyone any good to fear filibusters. Especially when massive change and massive government intervention is needed, the Democratic approach should be to dare the Republicans to filibuster. Would the Republican Party long survive if the public saw them spending weeks holding up needed legislation? Would their pretense at fiscal responsibility long survive review, when they threw massive billions at the military with little oversight and much waste, when they passed massive tax cuts doubling the national debt, and when they conducted two wars without paying for them out of current income?

The Republicans have become the party of "cut tax and spent wildly." No filibuster by this bunch would last long. The Obama administration should welcome their filibusters, because they soon would collapse. Then, we could return to majority rule, instead of Republican bluster.

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