Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Love a Good Takedown

From Steve Benen's Political Animal,

David Brooks: Gail, there I was watching the snow drift down on the Brooks estate in suburban Maryland last Saturday, when suddenly, after some spluttering and coughing, I was without power. Now I know how the Republicans feel.

Gail Collins: David, I think the Republican analogy would work only if your next step was to barricade yourself in the power station, turn off service to all the people who did have power and announce that nobody was going to do anything until the company promised to build its next generator on your block and employ all your family, friends and neighbors at handsome salaries to do the assembling. But I'm sorry, you were saying about the snow...

The full discussion is here; Benen's larger point is the fact that the filibuster is in the way of getting any of the legislature's duties accomplished. Collins gets in another good comment at the end of the online exchange:
Actually, I think we just need one simple change that will get us back to the good old days when Congress was capable of passing standard legislation and could occasionally summon the will to make large, imperfect fixes of urgent national problems.

Get rid of the Senate filibuster. It wouldn’t make things tidy. It wouldn’t be utopia. The Democrats will miss it next time they’re in the minority. But when people elected a government, it would get to govern again. And probably, it could keep the lights on.

I'm not always in agreement with Collins, but on both points in the latter paragraph, I am. It wouldn't solve all the problems. But it would at least it would allow the Senate to do its job. The issue isn't just that the Senate isn't completing the obligations with which they are Constitutionally charged, it's that as things stand now, it is utterly unable to do so, and looks as if it will remain in the same state for the foreseeable future.

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