Friday, April 22, 2005


Surprise #2: In Slate

Also via RealClearPolitics.

Timothy Noah makes a compelling argument (as a liberal democrat) for ending the filibuster. He states:

I have a problem with the "nuclear option," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's threatened alteration of Senate rules to prevent filibusters against judicial candidates. I believe it doesn't go far enough.
Noah takes a couple of logical twists to get to his position, but the reality is, he's confident that someday soon, Democrats will be in the majority in the Senate, and will be only too happy to have seen the last of (what would be Republican) filibusters.

At the height of his argument, Noah lets the cat out of the bag:
It's a clever argument—the antidemocratic nature of Senate representation creates a phony Republican majority that Democrats are justified in thwarting. But the perfect is the enemy of the good. The Senate ought to be eliminated, but it's a pretty good bet that it isn't going to be. That being the case, why not reach for the low-hanging fruit? I feel confident that if the Democrats had a Senate majority, Hertzberg would agree with me that it's time to democratize the Senate as best we know how.
(Note the readiness to radically rewrite the constitution to eliminate a bicameral legislature.)

I would argue that we should invoke the old Chinese curse on Noah and any like-minded democrats: may you have what you wish for (the elimination of the filibuster for judicial appointments, not the Senate majority).

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