With a new Senate coming in, the left has once again begun targeting the Senate’s filibuster rule, which in effect requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass anything to which an impassioned minority objects. This applies to not just laws but the Senate’s confirmation power, and given the number of Obama judicial appointments pending, the loss of the filibuster could facilitate the seating of more radical federal judges, and maybe even another Supreme Court justice or two.
For this very reason, a propaganda campaign is underway to persuade the public that the filibuster should go away — at least until we get a Republican president and Congress in charge. After the public and media have been softened up, then the Democrat majority in the Senate can propose a rules change.
Contributing to the propaganda campaign today are the Los Angeles Times and “Professor” of History at UCLA Joyce Appleby. Unfortunately, the veneer of academic respectability brought to project by the professor is far too thin to be persuasive. Consider this argument:
This unfettered speechifying was allowed until 1917, when at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate adopted a rule that a two-thirds vote could end debate. Still, Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) was able to filibuster for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.Eighteen years later, senators revised the rules, dropping the necessary vote for cloture, or cutting off of debate, from 66% to 60%. This change also introduced the “invisible filibuster.” Senators need not actually stand up and talk to filibuster; they just needed to indicate their intention to do so.
I know she’s supposed to know what she’s talking about when citing the past, because she’s a history professor, but the good professor doesn’t in this instance. Strom Thurmond was Democrat when he filibustered in 1957. Democrats want to pretend otherwise, and I guess Professor Appleby prefers pretend history to the real thing.
Cliff Thier, adds:
Total repeal of ObamaCare becomes very doable in 2 years if the Democrats in the Senate are foolish enough to follow the good professor’s advice.
With Republicans controlling the House there is much less damage Senate Democrats can do if they end the filibuster. They’d have free rein to approve Obama appointees and judges of course, but he’s ignoring the Senate anyway for his executive appointments. Hard to see how he could make any worse appointments than Cole to Justice, anyway.
I wonder what period or region the professor specialized in. I can only hope that it was the history of transgendered Muslims in India in the eleventh century and not the history of American legislatures.