The problem of the Fillibuster

I generically like Representative Greyson’s suggestion that the filibuster should be moved down to 55.  There is simply no excuse for a Senate party Caucus of 60 to be so logjammed by a roster of four tail-waggers, against a minority of forty, and if Lyndon Johnson had to get 60 votes to get through Medicare, he wouldn’t have been able to pull it off.  The Filibuster has evolved to an overuse, from out of its not illustrative history of “Rule 22″ coming to a vote every session with the Southern Dixiecrats passing it for a trump card against Civil Rights.

The problem is that that rule change should have been adopted around about 2007, when the Democrats gained that 51 to 49 majority, looking ahead to perhaps a Hillary Clinton presidency, but more liably a large Senate majority after a bad map for the Republicans in 2008.   A softer vote requirement now looks as a pre-requisite to pass through any agenda option.  But I don’t really believe in changing rules in midstream, so we have it today where we have a pretty bad little health care bill, bad by my definition of its sausage making showing up an inorganic policy getting away from tackling the major issues in lieu of pleasing Lieberman Nelson Landrieu Lincoln Snowe.  Such as the “Louisiana Purchase”, one step down the line in terms of approval ratings.

Then again, this might just raise the roof for others hiding behind the cloak of convenience: if we get down to a requirement of 55 votes, we might just get to know Evan Bayh Max Baucus and etc.  This was the whole premise of the “Gang of 12″ in that last Filibuster Tiff against the backdrop of the Religious Right’s “Justice Sunday” sneak.  Maybe the liberal contrarians were right at that time: it’d be better if they blew up the Filibuster.  Social Security Privatization was sunk at the time due to political pressure making it unpopular, not a 40 vote bullwark.

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