Friday, July 30, 2010
"Constitutional hardball," "showdowns," and "crises"
Mark Tushnet has coined the term "constitutional hardball" and Adrian Vermeule and Eric Posner "constitutional showdowns" to refer to certain sorts of acriminious controversies over the extent of institutional power under the Constitution. (Jack and I have written about "constitutional crises," but we agree that not every episode of "hardball" or "showdown" counts as a full-scale "constitutional crisis," even if we argue that it is not very helpful to refer to, say, secession in 1860 as merely an episode of "hardball" or "showdown.")
The Dems and their media spokesmen like Dionne do not in any way share your constitutional concerns. Their current transient support for filibuster "reform" is a function of their calculation that the Dems will be left with a narrow majority in the Senate. I assure you that this solicitude for reform will vanish the instant the GOP were to reach 51 seats in the Senate.
FWIW, the GOP is demonstrably no different.
Yodelism, apparently, is capable of reading the minds of:
"The Dems and their media spokesmen like Dionne do not in any way share your constitutional concerns."
But, dear laddie, they may have their own constitutional concerns. Sandy is not the only one with such concerns. We all may have concerns, but we can differ in just what concerns us.
Perhaps in a prior life our laddie was "The Shadow" as he tries to cloud men's minds with his libertarian claptrap.
I think the focus on Biden is dubious. A number of Dem senators have indicated that they would not vote to change the current filibuster rule. See here.
I don't mind filibusters. It forces those yahoos to cooperate with eachother and pushes things to the center.
Rep. Weiner was out there upset at the House blocking funding for some 9/11 related matter that a majority of the House supported, but for some reason a supermajority was needed.
I got an email from my senator's (apparently, the most good looking one, according to some survey)campaign office upset about it. I emailed back telling them to worry about their own side of the street.
The problem is waiting until January, since it will then be obvious which party will benefit. But if Biden announces tomorrow that he will rule (in effect) against the filibuster, regardless of which party is in control, then that will change the perception of people like Mr. DePalma and other cynics (who have reason, of course, for their cynicism). I read the article that Mark Field helpfully hyperlinked, and all I can say is that the aged denizens who believe that everything is just fine and that the answer is simply getting along with one another are simply delusional. What is extraordinary is that Diane Feinstein seems supportive of a rule that clearly cuts against California. Californians should be up in arms against this (and, who knows, some might take this quite literally.
"Diane Feinstein seems supportive of a rule that clearly cuts against California"
But, it doesn't cut against her personally in various ways, does it? The filibuster along with other devices likes holds are great perks.
And, there is always the fear that at some point -- unlike all the times "they" abuse it -- it will be useful to your state or the interests you support.
Folks, how ya do???
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