Yesterday, the National Journal reported that all returning Senate Democrats signed a petition to Harry Reid asking that filibuster reform be a priority in 2011. This development is not particularly shocking as the filibuster has long been an object of infatuation for liberals. Democrats will always try to inhibit the ability of the most deliberative body on earth the carry out its function to facilitate responsible debate. So, it is not the story itself that is newsworthy, but the amusing rationale that Democrats are using to support their call for reform.
The letter, delivered this week, expresses general frustration with what Democrats consider unprecedented obstruction and asks Reid to take steps to end those abuses.
“Unprecedented obstruction” really means that the Democrats are cranky that they couldn’t push through all of their pet projects in the current lame-duck congress. They are angry that Republicans killed the DREAM Act which would have established illegal amnesty; they are angry that the filibuster permitted much needed, responsible debate to reign in potential fraud in a 9/11 first responders health care bill, and they are angry that the GOP refused to vote on other legislation until a tax cut compromise was reached. All are responsible ways to use the filibuster to carry out the purpose of the Senate, and all provide much needed discussion on important national issues.
According to Democrats, discussion is only responsible if it is aimed at raising taxes or wasting taxpayer money, and even with the filibuster, liberals seem not to realize that they still were able to accomplish items on their agenda. The problem, it seems, is that they were unable to accomplish all of their proposals. Considering that they will have a much diminished Senate presence next year and even more minute influence in 2012, they are scrambling to maintain as much power as possible for as long as possible.
In short, while Democrats like to bill the GOP as the party of “no,” they are attempting to eliminate the very construct that allows for compromise. Whether you are a proponent of bipartisanship or not, the very idea is contradictory and absurd. It’s ok that Democrats want to put filibuster reform on their Christmas list because Santa only gives presents to good boys and girls. The Left doesn’t necessarily fit that bill.