Rollback by reconciliation

Lately, Republicans have whined about Democratic plans to use the “Reconciliation” process to pass their socialized medicine bill. From what I gather, Reconciliation is some exception in the Senate rules which prohibits filibusters, but which is supposed to be used only on budget bills to resolve minor differences. Therefore, the Republicans are whining that Reconciliation should not apply to the socialized medicine bill because this bill constitutes a major leap of legislation — and isn’t even a budget bill. But in my opinion, overall, this whining is shortsighted and hypocritical.

I have written previously that the filibuster significantly harms American democracy. Over time, the statists win with the fillibuster because it means they just have to muster enough support to pass new bureaucracy and regulation, whereas clear-thinking people later have to muster 60% of the Senate to repeal the programs. Yes, the filibuster can theoretically slow the path toward statism, but it also completely eliminates our capability to overturn the statism. In Europe, they sometimes have elections where conservatives come to power and completely overturn communist regimes. In America, we could get 58% liberty-loving representatives in Congress, but they could do essentially nothing to push back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Education, most of the other idiotic “departments” of our government, the corrupt income tax, etc.

Conservatives are generally foolish to rely on these authoritarian, minority-rule measures to protect freedom. These “checks and balances” are no such thing. It’s the leftists who benefit from the “balance” of the “strong” activist judiciary, for example, which gives out the rights to kill unborn children and such. It’s the leftists who mostly utilize the filibuster to block everything productive — from Bush’s federal judicial nominees to his attempts to regulate Fannie Mae to prevent the housing crisis. The leftists thrive on minority-rule. Every time the Republicans try these “checks and balances,” however, some new Gang of 14 appears and the conservative filibuster attempt collapses.

But forgetting the relative partisan benefits of this rule, let’s examine the inevitable effects of the rule itself. What we have in the filibuster is a defect in American politics. Most of the voters are too uninformed to keep up with who specifically is filibustering what, and on what basis. All they know (at best) is what party is in charge of Congress. If they see a Republican majority for several years and fail to witness any rollback of government spending, they blame the Republicans. They do not think, “Oh, gee, the Republicans only have fifty-eight votes, which is too few to stop a filibuster, and so therefore I should send them a couple more members of their own party.” Unfortunately, that type of thinking is too logical for most people. So to help people understand the process better, we need to simplify. We do not need these obscure, extra-constitutional rules that arbitrarily give the minority party extra power. Let the ruling party actually RULE. If  judges or the President or the voters want to veto a bill, let them use their own constitutional powers to restrain the congress.

As I heard Mark Levin correctly mention lately, any bill passed by Reconciliation can be repealled by Reconciliation! If the Democrats want to, let them embrace this nuclear option so we can restore true majority rule to the country. Then we can start using the same or similar strategies to repeal all their garbage programs. We can finally begin to peal back the layers of tyranny while we gradually purify the hearts of American citizens.

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2 Responses to “Rollback by reconciliation”


  1. 1 Ilíon March 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    When I started reading your point that “the filibuster [rule] significantly harms American democracy” I thought, “No, this can’t be right.” But, you’ve convinced me (though, in fact, I tend to cluster with the Founders in my distrust of “democracy”).


  1. 1 My indecision regarding hope « The DREW BLOG Trackback on November 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

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