Monday, March 01, 2010

Andrew Sullivan's Boy Robin, Jonathan Bernstein: I don't really understand that filibuster thingy, but it must be kinda bad, I think

Jonathan Bernstein isn't the shiniest tool in the Atlantic's shed, which is why he serves a pinch-hitter for Andrew Sullivan. This is roughly equivalent to, in NBA terms, serving as Jon Koncak's backup in 1996.

See, Bernstein hasn't quite figured out the nuance of the filibuster.

The complex, advanced mathematics.

And all of the political machinations that make it so daunting to comprehend. Like, something about 60 votes.

...[It has become] a Senate in which the minority insists that almost every single item, controversial or not, needs 60 votes to pass (the new GOP standard in 2009) has changed the game...

Gee, Robin, and I thought the Democrats were the ones to invent the unconstitutional judicial filibuster: something that had never been done before! And they began engaging in this despicable practice specifically to prevent the first Hispanic judge -- Miguel Estrade -- from reaching DC's Court of Appeals.

If the Republicans had filibustered the stimulus, the climate/energy bill, the health care bill, and a handful of other things (card check, a few nominations) that their constituents intensely oppose, then I think filibuster reform would have remained a minor issue -- and the Republicans would be, as far as I can tell, not a whole lot worse off in terms of preventing legislation they actually care about. In fact, I think they would have been better off in many ways.

Last time I checked, Boy Wonder, a climate/energy bill and card check never made it to the Senate (thankfully) despite a Democrat supermajority.

Get it? Supermajority? That means the Republicans couldn't filibuster these things, Einstein. Get out your calculator and check. Don't worry, I'll wait here.

As for the ill-fated stimulus and health care bills, one additional news flash: a Republican was just elected Senator from Massachusetts. That means representative government worked. And the people, best I can tell, don't want their representatives screwing up anything more than they already have.

Now I know this article was really hard to understand, what with all the calculations and such, but get Andy to explain it to you one evening. Uncork a bottle of Pinot sometime this summer (I hear the Cape has beautiful beaches), and have Sully describe what all of this means in single-syllable words. Although, just to warn you, wine does not appear to be Andy's first choice as a recreational adjunct (*nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink*).


Jim - PRS said...

That's gonna leave a mark. :-)

The_Bad said...

Doug - please don't make me do this sort of complex math. It hurts my head.