"[You] can constantly rationalize a deeply anti-democratic system on grounds of imagining scenarios where a brave minority of progressive senators are the only barrier to horrific right-wing policies. But you don’t have to imagine how a filibuster-wielding Republican minority can bring the country to a virtual standstill. We’re living in that world right now."
— Ed Kilgore is right, but the real root of the problem is that only some of the country is living in that world. So far as I can tell, FOXnews watchers are convinced that it’s the Democrats who are bringing the country to a standstill by not offering to “reach across the aisle.” Look no further than this NewsHour discussion of Dick Lugar’s defeat and its broader meanings. Turns out he was run out of town because “he’s commended by many as one that does reach across the aisle, but, unfortunately, in our mind, that’s a one-way road. The other side, the Democrats, don’t seem to do that. And, in fact, they advocate that, but in their mind, that’s we surrender, we being the Republicans, would surrender to their ideals.”
When, exactly, did that demand for surrender happen? Because I remember nothing but repeated pleas on the part of The Democrat: please, take our Social Security, our Medicare, our Whatever, but just don’t blow up the country today Mr. GOP.” And, in return, the numerous GOP counteroffers (aside from Ryan-plan mandated elimination of these programs) were? …
This belief in Democratic intransigence, though, is amazingly widespread and typically accepted as fact (cf. Ifill’s complete non-reaction to this preposterous statement. One can only conclude that it must be pretty close to 100% accurate). Then you get to the proportion of “serious person” type folks that think both parties are equally at fault for gridlock. Then and only then do you get to the sad lunatics who think the GOP has been sanding the gears and bears most of the blame for inaction these past few years that just happen to coincide with Obama’s presidency and just happens to coincide with a similar and explicitly stated purpose on the part of GOP leadership in both the House and Senate (to sand the gears and hurt Obama). But why bring pesky facts into this?
And so, because of all this and more, the only political party that’s going to eliminate the filibuster in my lifetime is the GOP. It’s been so for a very long time now.
And, as I’ve said many times, the filibuster will be eliminated exactly 30 seconds after a new Congress convenes in which the GOP holds the Presidency and fewer than 61 chairs in the Senate. And that’s 2012 in a nutshell. If you like the social safety net, you’d better goddamned well get out and vote. Early and often. The ACORN way.