• Ending the Filibuster Would Destroy the Very Purpose of the Senate. Her

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Mon Sep 6 14:19:21 2021
    Ending the Filibuster Would Destroy the Very Purpose of
    the Senate. Here's Why
    by Aadi Golchha, 8/29/21, Foundation For Economic Education

    In 1787, during the Constitutional Convention, James Madison—
    who is often referred to as the Father of the Constitution—
    described the Senate as “a necessary fence” which would
    protect “the people against their rulers” and from “the
    transient impressions into which they themselves might be led.”

    George Hoar, who served as a senator from Massachusetts from
    1877-1904, said that the Senate was created so that “the
    sober second thought of the people might find expression” &
    to “resist the hasty, intemperate, passionate desire of
    the people.”

    The Senate was created to be a slow-moving, deliberate
    legislative body where the voice of the minority is heard,
    & laws are scrutinized, debated, & passed only after a
    consensus is reached. It was set up to be a balance to the
    House of Representatives where the majority rules. Destroying
    the filibuster would destroy the very purpose of the Senate.

    Proponents of destroying the filibuster maintain that it's

    obstructionist. Writing for the Brennan Center for Justice
    in Oct 2020, Caroline Fredrickson wrote, “During the Obama admin,

    Senate Republicans took obstruction to a new level,
    using the filibuster more than ever in history. But the use
    of the tactic had been climbing even before Obama became
    president, prompting recent presidents of both parties to
    use executive orders and other administrative tools to
    circumvent Congress....Given that the executive branch has
    increasingly moved away from legislative initiatives because
    of Senate obstruction, the filibuster continues to undermine
    a real democracy.”

    In a way, she’s correct. But that’s because America was
    never supposed to be a pure democracy. Famously, when Ben
    Franklin was asked what kind of government the Founding
    Fathers had created, he responded, “a republic, if you can
    keep it.” The Founders built a system of government that
    was supposed to force consensus and compromise. Never was
    America to be run by a 51% pure majoritarian rule—or by a
    president using executive orders to circumvent the
    legislative body.

    Those pushing for the removal of the filibuster complain
    that the Senate is too slow and nothing ever gets done.

    But if the Senate were a pure majoritarian body like the
    House, Democrats would pass entirely uncompromising
    progressive legislation when in power, only to have it
    repealed & replaced by a conservative agenda as soon as
    Republicans gained a majority. Engulfed in this perpetual
    cycle, a filibuster-free Senate would give the American
    people whiplash.

    Rachel Bovard, writing for the Heritage Foundation in
    April 2017, wrote that “the framers designed the Senate
    to be a consensus-driven body. If a majority party knows
    they need to garner 60 votes to end debate on a bill, the
    necessity of working across the aisle, negotiating, and
    finding areas of agreement becomes imperative, rather than
    optional. Without the filibuster as a tool of negotiation,
    the Senate becomes little more than a smaller version of
    the House of Representatives where legislation reflects
    the priorities of the majority, with little regard to
    concerns of the minority.”

    Even President Biden, who has more recently called the
    filibuster a “relic of Jim Crow,” previously defended
    the filibuster.

    “The Framers sought not to ensure simple majority rule,
    but to allow minority views—whether they are conservative,
    liberal, or moderate—to have an enduring role in the Senate
    in order to check the excesses of the majority.” Biden
    said in a 2005 speech.

    As a Senator, Barack Obama offered a similar defense.

    “At the end of the day, [Americans] expect both parties
    to work together to get the people's business done. What
    they don't expect is for one party—be it Republican or
    Democrat—to change the rules in the middle of the game so
    that they can make all the decisions while the other party
    is told to sit down and keep quiet,” Obama said in a
    2005 congressional speech. “We need to rise above an
    ‘ends justify the means’ mentality because we're here to
    answer to the people—all of the people.”

    Biden & Obama were right on the importance of the filibuster—
    and it remains true today no matter which party holds
    political power.

    Aadi Golchha is the author of "The Socialist Trap: How the
    Leftist Utopia Will Destroy America" and an independent
    political analyst.


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