Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Goodbye filibuster. Don't let the door hit you on the ass as you leave
The GOP has decided to blow up the filibuster, but just this once. Standard rightwing talk - that's how the supremes elevated the knownothing from Texas into the white house in a nice little coup, noting that their decision should never ever serve as a precedent for any other suit - an absurd clause that marked the decision as coming from a country club junta. In many ways, I think the 2000 decision marks a symbolic decision that America has not gotten over. A sort of last kick against the corpse of democracy. But the GOP is, I think, unleashing an ultimately benevolent monster. After all, the bad parts of Obamacare are there precisely in order to reach the 60 senator mark. Abolishing the 60 senator mark means that legislation only needs 51 senators. In a senate composed of reactionaries, this means that a lot of shit will be coming our way. But the only way that the GOP will be reduced to the minority status it deserves is if GOP voters get full in the face what they voted for. Already, polls show Trump's support in rural areas, the ones that voted for him, has collapsed - due to the fact that the ACHA that he supports is like a bomb dropped on their communities. The filibuster has the effect of both moderating conservative viciousness and limiting liberal programs - in other words, of making conservatism acceptable and compromising liberalism so that its obvious appeal is muted. The filibuster, like much of the American apparatus of governance, was constructed to make white male property holders supreme. The plutocracy has nothing really to fear from the way checks and balances result in checks for them and balances for the rest of us. (Not of course that the plutocracy realizes this. The insane fear experienced by billionaires wanting to save their spare millions from the taxman is proof that marginal utilitarianism goes against human feeling in the same way that quantum mechanics seems to defy common sense.) Part of why I am optimistic that a Dem it yourself movement can radically transform the Dem party is that the shell shocked response to what the Reps are doing when they have ample space to do it has more power than any of the tricks and sleights of the professional "campaign consultant" class. The Dem establishment model is: nudgery in the past, nudgery in the present, nudgery forever. This is founded on the pragmatic observation that the Congress is run so that no progressive bill can really make it through. This excuse is about to be bulldozed. Interesting times ahead.