Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Understanding the Nuclear Option

If you don't know how genuinely scary the nuclear option is, you aren't paying attention. Understand that in order to force through the nominations of several judges, Sen. Frist will have to overrule the Senate Parliamentarian and force the nominations through the Senate by ignoring both the rules on Senate debate and the rules for changing Senate rules. This is what's become known as the nuclear option.

Under rules that have been in place for a very long time, you need 60 votes to override a filibuster. Frist wants that changed to a simple majority (51). Also under current rules, you need 67 votes to change Senate rules. Frist is arguing that they aren't trying to change the rules.

More here.

This is truly scary -- this would mean one party would totally control government and the minority would have no voice or ability to stop anything the majority wanted to do. Its like Palpatine in Star Wars manipulating the Senate into giving him unprecedented powers. A sad day for democracy if they get away with this.


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