Monday, April 4


Nathan Newman argues that the filibuster benefits conservatives more than progressives.

That might be true, but the constitution is not about favoring one point of view over another. It is about protecting the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. This country is based upon a system of "majority rule, minority rights," not simply "majority rule," under which such a majority could deny basic rights to a whole class of citizens. There's a good simple tutorial on the principle here.

Bill Press:

Before exercising his "nuclear option," however, Frist should learn a lesson from Iraq. Georgia's Freshman Sen. Johnny Isakson recently returned from Iraq, where he asked Kurdish leaders if they were worried about being outvoted in a Shiite-dominated National Assembly. Oh no, they told him. They'd borrowed a secret weapon from the United States: the filibuster.

"If there were ever a reason for optimism about giving more aid to Iraq," Isakson said on the Senate floor, "it is one of their minority leaders proudly stating one of the pillars and principles of our government as the way they would ensure that the majority never overran the minority."

If it's good enough for Iraq, it's good enough for the United States. Long live the filibuster.

Some day soon, I hope, Democrats will again be the majority party. Even then the principle holds. We are NOT the party of political expediency; we ARE a party of principle.


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