2bits, find the filibuster in the Constitution. You can't do it. Find the
six times the Constitution allows a supermajority. The Constitution is the
framework that protects minorities. The founders did not support rule of the
minority, as you propose. 'This (the supermajority) isn’t
what the Founders intended. The historical record is clear on that fact. The
framers debated requiring a supermajority in Congress to pass anything. But they
rejected that idea.In Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton savaged the
idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “its real operation is to
embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to
substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or
corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable
majority.”In Federal 58, James Madison wasn’t much
kinder to the concept. “In all cases where justice or the general good
might require new laws to be passed, or active measures to be pursued, the
fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no
longer the majority that would rule; the power would be transferred to the
minority.” '- Ezra Klein, the Washington Post, is the Filibuster
I would like to see the credentials of some of the people posting comments here
and compare them to Krauthammer.
mark,The majority deciding they can eat the minority is just a frequently
used (but extreme) illustration of what PURE-majority-rule means (mob-rule by
vote).Other examples... if a majority of kids in your kids school
class vote that they can punch your kid... they can.Or if a majority
of people vote that we can keep colored people off the bus... we can.Those are ALL illustrations of majority-rules (not tempered by some rules to
protect the minority from a self-centered majority).We NEED rules
that protect the minority from a self-centered majority that just wants what
they want and don't care what the minority wants.THAT is what
the founding fathers opposed. People who think the majority should ALWAYS get
what they want, regardless of how it impacts the minority... is the problem the
founders fought against. Filibuster is just one rule to protect the
minority from total-power being held by the majority (because that type of
unchecked-power tends to be abused).Be careful how much
unchecked-power you give the majority. The NEXT majority may not be as nice.
YOU may be in the minority someday.
@mark "...they need to address it...in the courts....Also...Congress can
address it through an impeachment."No one is going to sue or
impeach the president for delaying the effects of a law they believe will harm
Americans. This doesn't make his actions any more lawful -- it only means
that he will get away with it for the time being.Whether or not
anyone tries to stop him, he has no legal authority to make changes to the laws.
He has authority to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, and
authority to recommend measures for the consideration of Congress, but he
doesn't have authority to do what he just did with Obamacare."I know exactly where [my health care] will be provided from a year from
now."Lucky for you. About half of Americans with
employer-provided insurance are in for a change they're not expecting.
Wow, 2bits, that's quite a stretch. The framework you are
worried about is, of course, the Constitution. And like I said, nothing in what
the Senate did violates it. The Senate was not created to have to use super
majorities. (Except in a few instances, perhaps you should look up when the
Constitution requires a super majority vote.) Now I know the
Republicans were trying to set it up so that any legislation Barack Obama
supported would require a super majority, but the Constitution does not call for
that. The Constitution allows a simple majority to move bills through congress,
or to confirm judges. Now maybe you want to amend the Constitution
so that a super majority is needed for all business in the Congress, or you may
want to amend it to tell the Senate exactly what their internal rules are, but
to do so you WILL need to get a super majority. Per the Constitution. Now none of what we are talking about requires the eating of people on an
island (relax), all we are talking about is what is required by the
Constitution. That Constitution that was created, in part, by the same founder
Tyler,The filibuster is just another rule that was there to keep the
majority from easily trampling the minority. Filibuster rule didn't give
EITHER side tyrannical power. Doing AWAY with it does. WITH the
filibuster the minority has SOME power (I see no problem with that). But the
majority can still overcome it when needed... they just have to get a distinct
majority to say so (not just one person more than 50%). How does that give
tyrannical power to the minority? It doesn't. It just gave them SOME
power. But the majority can overrule them IF they get a distinct majority.---I really don't see how the filibuster gave the
minority tyrannical power. It just gave them a tiny slice of the power.I seriously think our founding fathers didn't WANT a tyrannical
majority. Almost every rule they made was intended to FORCE compromise. They
wanted the majority AND the minority to have to work hard to find a compromise
that at least SOME on BOTH sides would see as good legislation (not just 50%+1
person).The theory being we would get better balanced legislation IF
we had to get even opposition party support for it first.
@2 bits – “"Protection of the Minority" is a concept we have
had in this country since the beginning.”Those are all good
points applied in context… I don’t think there’s any context
here though.And of course the Constitution protects minority rights
(at least in theory… you might get an argument from certain minority
groups throughout our history) and if you can site where Obama or the Senate
Dems have violated the Constitution (by the SC’s interpretation, not
yours) then you might have some context.But there a difference
between protecting minority rights and living under a tyranny of the minority
(which is what the Senate has been experiencing since Obama took office).I would prefer neither, but if we’re going to have one or the
other I’ll take the tyranny of the majority any day of the week. Reached comment limit...
mark,Pure "majority rules" without some framework of rules that
the majority can't violate to protect the minority is just "mob
rule".RE: "When did people get so afraid of majority
rules"...... Since the beginning of our Nation.Thomas
Jefferson:"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one
percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine".PURE "Majority Rules" means if there are 3 people on an island
and 2 vote to eat the other... you can eat him. It's just mob rule by
majority vote without a framework of rules they can't violate (like no
eating each other)."Protection of the Minority" is a concept
we have had in this country since the beginning. This founding principle is
eroded when people adopt your attitude (ANYTHING the majority wants to do...
they can do). ---This Nation was founded by people
who were oppressed minorities in their homeland. They wanted to prevent this
flaw of human nature as much as possible. Thus the Constitution.As
Barack Obama himself pointed out... "The Constitution is a document of
negative liberties... it defines what the government (elected by the majority)
can NOT do to you".
Nate, you have a question concerning law. If President Obama has broken any laws
is not based on Nate from Pleasant Grove claiming he has. If people seriously
think he has been outside the law with regards to what he has done on healthcare
then they need to address it (where Nate?) in the courts. Also, if
people think President Obama has maliciously broken the law Congress can address
it through an impeachment. But, if you will notice, nobody is seriously thinking
about that. And believe you me, if the Republicans in Congress thought they
could do it, they sure would. In a heartbeat. But of course they know that the
President has done nothing impeachable. So some of them may squawk, but who
really cares if they do? As far as knowing where healthcare will be
provided from a year from now? I know exactly where mine will be provided from a
year from now. As do the vast majority of people. It's not like the bad old
days when people could get kicked off their insurance if it was found they had a
preexisting condition, or had reached a maximum cap.
@Esquire "if Obama was breaking the law, there would be
repercussions."There are repercussions. When laws are applied
arbitrarily, we no longer have rule of law. Everything is done on the
ruler's whim. Whatever is politically expedient for him at the moment,
that's what happens. No one knows what they can count on.In the
case of health care, insurance companies prepared for three years to sell in the
exchanges. Then they are suddenly told that the employer mandate will be put on
hold for a year. After that, they are told that the website doesn't
function, but it will two months from now. Then it is announced that individuals
can keep their own plan, if the insurance company and the state regulators will
allow them. Then it is announced that the small business mandate will also be
put on hold. Then at the end two months, the website still doesn't work.Is there anyone in the country who knows how his health care will be
provided a year from now? Who really knows?This is only one example
of repercussions that come when the rule of law is ignored.
2bits, Krauthammer, doesn't know what he is talking about. Of
course there are rules. And there are still rules. And one of those rules is
that you can change senate procedural rules with a vote. Majority rules. This
has nothing to do with the Constitution, except that the Constitution allows the
body to set its own rules, as we just saw happen. When did people
get so afraid of majority rules? When did they start to believe that everything
should be determined by a super majority? There are only a few situations where
the Constitution calls for a super majority, and changing Senate rules
isn't one of them. Yep, majority rules. 50% plus one. And guess
what? The worlds not going to fall apart because of it. Frankly, this should
have been done a long time ago.
I have to admit that I agree with George on this one.When all you
need is a simple majority to change the rules... there are no rules.The rules we have today will change to whatever the current majority wants
tomorrow if one party has even a single seat majority (and it's very
unusual to have the exact 50/50 ratio needed to prevent this from happening).---Democrats seem to relish what they are doing with their
power today... I wonder if they will be so enthusiastic should there come a day
when Republicans take the majority back and decide to do their own
power-play?You have to know what what goes around comes around.---When you trample on the minority when you have the
power... what can you expect in return when the power flips? And it will if our
200 years of history are any indication of reality.This unrealistic
expectation that Democrats will be in control from now on... is just absurd and
historically unprecedented. So why expect it to happen now?If
there's one thing our Constitution was set up to prevent... it's
tyranny of the majority. That hasn't changed (yet).
Nate, if Obama was breaking the law, there would be repercussions. The
"breaking the law" line is nothing but Fox talk. It is a phony line.
@Tyler D "I think most people (outside the right-wing bubble) are untroubled
by this because they see these changes as largely administrative meant to make
the transition smoother."Most people see that Obama is breaking
the law in order to save it from its own stupidity. I wouldn't described
them as untroubled -- it's only that they're no longer surprised.
The fact is is if the people of United States elect a GOP congress and a GOP
President they can pass their own legislation. Conservatives need to stop
whinning and convince Americans their ideas and values are better for the
country. Time to turn off the cable news and conservative blogs and hit the
streets to start selling their own hope & change.
The GOP howls that their vicious abuse of the process has been curtailed, that
their mendacity has been checked. And Krauthammer writes a vile piece that is
so partisan that he again shows his credibility is zero. Other than being a
mouthpiece of the Fox propaganda machine, what value does he provide to
intelligent dialogue on the issues? None whatsoever.
@ the old switcharoo - mesa, AZ - "There's no facts in your facts
dude."Fact: 'Obamacare' is now a law.Fact:
Due to outrage by millions of Americans, Obama has asked insurance companies to
ignore the law/violate the law (that he himself pushed relentlessly to pass) by
NOT cancelling customers' insurance plans because they now do not comply
with the law.What part of that do you not understand?Like I said, liberals throughout the country prove time and time again that
they do not like "facts" or "truth".Need I say more?
@Counter Intelligence – “Tip O'Neil shut the government down 6
times under Reagan”Except in those and every other case I can
find, the shutdown was always over a budgetary issue (i.e., something part of
the annual appropriation process). What’s unique about the Tea
Party tantrum is that it was not… it was simply about a law they hate.If Tip O’Neil would have shut down the government over, say, his
desire to have the Reagan tax cuts repealed (or delayed to keep the analogy
relevant) than your analogy would hold. @Nate – “He is
unilaterally dictating changes to a law passed by Congress…”I think most people (outside the right-wing bubble) are untroubled by
this because they see these changes as largely administrative meant to make the
transition smoother.And let’s be honest – we all know
Obama is going to get zero help from congress in making sure the implementation
goes well. If anything, congress will spend as much time as possible trying to
gum up the works.
@Tyler D "Oh wait, this article was supposed to be about Senate rules…
how did we get to Obama again?"The article was about
lawlessness. That's how we got to Obama. He is unilaterally dictating
changes to a law passed by Congress, when his constitutional duty is to see that
the laws are faithfully executed.
one voteTyler DTip O'Neil shut the government down 6
times under Reagan - yet you call the latest shutdown (which was practically
begged for by a vindictive and vengeful Obama and Reid) a tea party tantrumApparently all it takes for a conservative to be considered evil, is to
act mildly like a liberal
IMHO, the Republicans in Washington WANTED the Democratic majority to make the
changes which were made. In the end, it gives them an opportunity to practice
what they do best - complain. I am not sticking up for the Democrats - I
don't think that they are any better. There comes a point when the
partisan infighting needs to stop and the country needs to be put first. Imagine if we had some real problems which needed to be addressed by our
congress. Our country has faced those issues - 9/11, Pearl Harbor attack,
economic collapse, civil war,assassination of presidents, slavery, riots, etc...
If our "leaders" can't even agree on making a budget or
appointing a judge, I wonder how they would perform during real problems.
I have often wondered why some people on here who hate Dr, Krauthammer always
feel obligated to read his column and never attach what he says but always
attack him personally! If a conservative doesn't like what a liberal writes
or says, they change the channel or skip the article. Not liberals, they demand
any voice that does not agree with their ideology be shouted down, silenced and
There's no facts in your facts dude. They followed the senate rules in
making a change to the Senate rules!Recess appointments are also
within the senate rules and presidential powers. Bush made plenty of the same
plays. You just call them terrible and unconstitutional when the other side does
them and that's dishonest!
Article quote: "Barack Obama may be remembered for something similar. His
violation of the proper limits of executive power has become breathtaking.
It's not just making recess appointments when the Senate is in session.
It's not just unilaterally imposing a law Congress had refused to pass
— the DREAM Act — by brazenly suspending large sections of the
immigration laws. We've now reached a point where a flailing president,
desperate to deflect the opprobrium heaped upon him for the false promise that
you could keep your health plan if you wanted to, calls a hasty news conference
urging both insurers and the states to reinstate millions of such plans. Except
that he is asking them to break the law. His own law."Hey!,
hey!, hey now Charles! Let's not start using facts here!
'Facts' are the very things liberals absolutely refuse to believe
exist.Someday, when all is said and done, it will be revealed with
irrefutable power, that Barack Obama was THE worst U.S. president ever.May that day come soon....
There is way too much that is unknown about Barry. What we do know though is
that he is willing to do anything to have power, regardless of the constitution.
We also know what a mistake it is to elect someone with absolutely no experience
in doing anything. Jimmy was bad Barry is worse.
Obama is probably the worst president in history, but he is NOT an illegal
immigrant. He was born in Hawaii and his mother was an American Citizen. That
makes him an American Citizen. I wish this silly birther stuff would stop.
There is so much more to criticize him for that is truly legitimate.Charles is right on target as always!
Charles invokes the constitution, when filibuster rules are not part of the
constitution, they were determined by the Senate. I don't know if this is
a good idea or not, but if filibustering by the minority prevents seating of
judges, then changes need to be made.
Charles is articulate and accurate as always in his analysis of Barack. The
heavy influence of "Rules For Radicals" seems to be taking hold of
Barack now more than ever as his presidency spirals out of control. Rules For
Radicals is the how-to bible for Marxist dictators.
The real lack here is not B.O., it is the foolishness and ignorance of those who
support him and then will turn around and criticize the next republican
president, and then those who are critical of B.O. now who will then
wholeheartedly support the next republican president. Both are seeing through
rose colored classes without a clue as to how to make a difference to the
Republic in which they live. They are both contributing to the current mess by
being a part of the charade that presents itself in Washington D.C. The real
patriots,mostly silent, are those who haven't handed their minds over to a
political party and the Utopian socialists. The independents are the biggest
force in America, something that is driving the governing parties crazy. They
are represented by the libertarians, the Tea-party, the religious,and any other
thinking American that knows the truth and is waiting for a real leader to
emerge that won't still everyone's money, come up with phony
"fixes" to real problems, and won't lie, steal, and cheat the
American people. I guess that about wraps it up doesn't it?
@Mr. Bean – “Some day in the not too distant future, the nation will
be in default.”That may very well be but there are
constitutional norms (as Krauthammer says) for dealing with this issue - causing
our creditors to question the full faith and credit of the U.S. is not one of
the them. @ Mr. Bean – “The prima facie evidence so far
in Obama's term”You’re misusing the term
‘prima facie,’ but I have little doubt that much of the hatred for
this current president is prima facie in nature.
[Tyler D - ...and some of our elected leaders flirting with national
default.]Some day in the not too distant future, the nation will be
in default. There's only so much money in the entire world for us to
borrow... and we're almost there. And guess what... much of our national
debt is the government borrowing from itself. That particular funding trick
can't go on forever.[Tyler D - ... prima facie evidence that
anything Obama does is flawed or illegitimate.]The prima facie
evidence so far in Obama's term in the White House confirms that fact. And
remember, the evidence seems to point to the scenario that the guy is an illegal
immigrant. Some day when the evidence becomes available we will see that he
registered at Occidental and Columbia as foreign student Barry Soetoro.
The first 190 or so years of US history there were only talking filibusters, not
procedural ones. That's why there were so few up until the Carter years and
forward, because they would always end within 48 hours and not serve as
perpetual barriers.As for what I'll think of Republicans with
this power? I don't care. Democrats rarely filibustered Bush executive and
judicial appointees and frankly the party that wins the White House should get
to have their people put in. Leaving the filibuster for legislation and Supreme
Court nominees is fine with me.
Article quote:“the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown
of constitutional norms.”And nothing has demonstrated that
fact more than the recent government shutdown (over a law that had nothing to do
with the annual appropriation process) and some of our elected leaders flirting
with national default.And then Charlie undercuts his entire argument
with the following statement:“Nonetheless, for about 200 years
the filibuster was nearly unknown in blocking judicial nominees. So we are
really just returning to an earlier norm.”Exactly!And then of course we get the requisite clumsy segue to Obamacare – that
ever faithful rollout meant to provide prima facie evidence that anything Obama
does is flawed or illegitimate.Oh wait, this article was supposed to
be about Senate rules… how did we get to Obama again?
What did he say as to the tea party tantrum?
If Democrats or liberals want to defend what Obama and Reid, supported by the
majority of Democrats in Congress are doing, consider this. If this were being
done by a Republican President, and a Republican House, and Senate, would you (
the Democrats) be sitting back and acknowledging all is well, it's just our
system? Of course not. You know you would be saying the very same things that
Mr. Krauthammer is saying. THAT should tell you something. And if it
doesn't, maybe you should question just how much you REALLY support and
sustain our Constitution and form of government in the first place. You might
find that you really do want to live in a country run by a dictator as long as
he/she dictates in the political fashion you like. If so, you have the right to
think like that, but DON'T try to call yourselves Patriotic Americans who
love their country, because that is not what this country is about and never has
been. Strong words, but that's how I and Iam sure many many feel about
what this current President and Democrats are trying to do.
Right on, Charles!!Unfortunately we have a situation where a well
deserved presidential impeachment will likely not take place. I think Americans
are rapidly coming to the conclusion that we have a dictator in our
nation's White House. Let's hope next election that at least the
Senate will change so Harry will have to step down as leader. We've had
about enough from him.
Charlie, you've committed criminal hyperbolic speculation with this one.
We've gone past an outbreak of lawlessness, which our nation celebrates, to
an outbreak of stupid. Our nation celebrates this, too, but shouldn't.