Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Filibuster, and other silliness

From my progressive buddies over at YRHT, we get some groaning about the recent business in the Senate. In this matter, I agree with them, but not for the reasons they would like. The Repubs have said that giving each judicial nominee an up-or-down vote is the way to go. I don't have a problem with that. The business of the Senate is to vote on things. That is what we are paying them to do.

The guys over at YRHT say that doing away with the filibuster option is an evil Republican trick, that it goes in the face of 200 years of Senate rules, that it would irreparably harm the way the Senate does business, and might severely harm the Senate Committee system. I say SO WHAT?

I think that severely harming the Senate Committee system might not be a bad thing. We are paying those folks to be a deliberative body, not to clog up the works. Lets get simple on them. Once a day, get them all together and have someone throw out an idea. Let them argue about it, then vote on it. Limit debate to .... say.... fifteen minutes. They ought to be able to vote on 30 different issues per day. They can do their homework at night, like high school kids. Next day, same deal, get to the Senate chamber at 8:00, work through thirty bills by 5:00. Go do your homework. Half an hour for lunch, two fifteen minute breaks. Keep this up until everyone runs out of ideas, then dissolve the body till next year. We're done.

If they want to go on a trip, or research something, let them do it on their own time, on their own dime. They are only paid when they are in session, and then, dammit, they need to be in the Senate chamber, voting, because dammit, that is what we are paying them to do.

I think this would limit the amount of damage the Senate could do on any given day.

Similar rules for the House would speed things up. They wouldn't need offices, or staff, so the cost of government would go down. The lobbyists would go crazy, because access to Congress-critters would be severely limited.

This is a great idea.

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