Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Nuclear Option? Bring it On

Yglesias argues that liberals stand to gain over the long run in a filibuster-proof Senate.
"The liberal difficulty is what it always has been -- getting new stuff passed into law. The public's instinctive skepticism toward novelty is re-enforced by the fact that the American political system puts into place an uncommonly large number of veto points at which legislation may be blocked. New bills must pass two separate legislative houses, each representing different sorts of constituencies; acquire a presidential signature; and pass muster with the Supreme Court. The filibuster merely enhances this tendency, already an outlier in the democratic world. It's no coincidence that the United States is also an outlier in terms of having a relatively underdeveloped welfare state. The many sticking points in the legislative process were deliberately designed by the Founders to bias the political system in favor of conservatism. Speaking ill of the Founders is, of course, not something done in polite American political discourse, but such biases are nothing liberals should embrace."

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