Friday, December 12, 2008

Rules, law, gasoline and the filibuster

Josh Marshall posts a reader's letter on the senate republicans and the Detroit bailout
I think the fact that option (4) doesn't seem to have even been considered is indicative of the abuse of the filibuster in recent years. The filibuster is meant to be a tool to express extreme outrage, not as a device to force the threshold to passing a bill to 60 votes. At this point, the filibuster rules have lost their relevance and should be abandoned (despite the fact that it will tie Democrat's hands in future Senate sessions when Republicans are in control.
Again: the liberal academic focus on rules and rationalism, but rules don't make a society. cf. Sandy Levinson's fixation on the weaknesses in the the constitution. Society is made of people before it is made of rules. Without trust rules mean nothing. Related: Dani Rodrik is supposed to be a smart man.

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