Monday, May 02, 2005

Filibuster buster?

Those in favor of the filibuster keep arguing that "the minority" voices should be heard. That "freedom of speech" is for everyone and not just the minority. See this post by Instapundit.

One point I haven't seen addressed is just how small a minority should get to be heard. The Senate rules used to allow a complete filibuster by just one Senator. This was changed to two thirds, then to three fifths. The minority party is OK with that right now, because they have in excess of three fifths. But what if they only had 39 Democratic Senators? Would they then argue for the two thirds again, because without that their voices aren't heard?

Doesn't it matter that the voters have placed one party in the majority, perhaps on purpose? It's interesting that the Dems argue that the filibuster is necessary to produce "the will of the people." Perhaps if the Democratic plan was the will of the people, Tom Daschle would be the majority leader, and the Republicans would be arguing for the filibuster.

For, have no doubt, if the roles were reversed, I would expect the exact same arguments, only reversed.


In reply to comments:
Kathy, I haven't heard that anyone is attempting to kill the filibuster outright, but simply to get an up/down vote on the judicial appointments.

Curious jd, fortunately, the framers of the constitution anticipated your argument. We do not have a democracy, or even a truly representative government, but a republic. Arguing that there are more people represented by Senate Democrats than Senate Republicans either misses the point or deliberately attempts to confuse the issue. As you are a JD, I suspect you did not miss the point...

As you know, the intent of the House of Representatives is that each representative will represent approximately the same number of people. The Senate was created with 2 Senators from each state to allow the less populated states equal representation. There was never any attempt to account for how many people were represented by each Senator.

Again, this is why the writers of the constitution desired that the Senate give advice and consent, not the House.

There is no question about who represents the majority. In the House, there are more people represented by Republicans than by Democrats. In the Senate, there are more states represented by Republicans than by Democrats. This is how these were meant to be counted.

I don't necessarily disagree with your argument that the Republicans may be making a mistake by fooling with the filibuster. As I said in the original post, if the rolls were reversed, I suspect the arguments would be also.