Monday, December 21, 2009

Required Reading

Krugman on how we must change Senate rules to get things done:
Remember, the Constitution sets up the Senate as a body with majority — not supermajority — rule. So the rule of 60 can be changed. A Congressional Research Service report from 2005, when a Republican majority was threatening to abolish the filibuster so it could push through Bush judicial nominees, suggests several ways this could happen — for example, through a majority vote changing Senate rules on the first day of a new session.
Under the current Republican minority, filibusters now affect 70 percent of proposed legislation. It's just nuts.


Anonymous said...

Funny how I saw no calls from Krugman to do this when the Republicans were the majority. Amazing how the Republicans were able to work within that framework with kickbacks and payouts to less than enthused Democratic Senators.

mlutwak said...

"Anonymous" does put "his" finger on something -- how the Democrats constantly caved into the Republicans, while the more-disciplined, more clear-about-their-ideology Republicans manage to hold the line. By-and-large, as we look at the possible rage of politics (let's just include the Western World for now), our system clearly has been narrowed to an ideological spectrum that ranges from hard-core conservative free-marketeers to soft-core conservative free-marketeers. There is no attempt to build a new center, just constant pandering to the right. At what point will any progressives say enough?

KAZ said...

I don't disagree with either comment, and I think progressives can only say "enough" with any authority when they actually have ideas and not kneejerk "no way" reactions to things. It's my major objection to our "no fracking" contingent here in Tompkins County. You can't say "no fracking" and continue to burn natural gas from someone else's back yard, or oil from TX or OK, all while protesting windmill farms and writing legislation to regulate the size of solar panels. Be serious. I refuse to be a member of the party of "no fracking way." I long to be part of the party of "Here's a better way." That goes for everything from fracking to the state budget to Afghanistan.