Wed, 7 Nov 2012, 6:12am PST
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Somehow, I expect this will get filibustered.
If I were a senator, I'd filibuster every single bill until a filibuster repealment law was passed. Demand that the filibuster is completely banished and hold all legislation hostage until then. The other side will cave in as soon as some earmark they want is one the line.
Wed, 7 Nov 2012, 8:38am PST
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Nobody totally understands the rules of the Senate, but last I knew, their best shot was to introduce the change at the start of the new session, so if there are going to be changes, they will occur in Jan.
If you parse what Reid actually said though, he's probably just going to tweak and not eliminate. He knows that at some point Dems will be back in the minority.
Thu, 8 Nov 2012, 11:32am PST
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Has the filibuster ever been used for good? I've only heard of it being used for evil like blocking the Civil Rights Act.
Even so, the very idea of the filibuster goes against the principles of the Constitution and the philosophy of our republic. The filibuster supposedly exists because we must allow debate on issues to continue until all arguments are heard. Fine, that's a good principle.
However, a filibuster does not provide arguments but rather prevents arguments from being heard. As such it should not be tolerated. Furthermore, a 60 vote can end all debate, so we're not upholding the principle that all arguments should be heard anyway.
If it were up to me, I'd write a software system for formalizing and analyzing debates. I'd require all senators to submit their arguments in writing to the system. The system would eliminate all filibustering (non-arguments) as well as any argument that can be disproved by formal analysis.
A fact-checking subsystem would highlight accurate and inaccurate statements and the degree of accuracy along with corrections. Any "facts" determined to be inaccurate, would be rejected and marked as blocked paths in the argument tree.
The the system would present the entire argument tree back to the senators so they can respond to any open issues. This process would be repeated until no new legitimate arguments are made -- repeated arguments would not be added to the tree.
Then the system would present and read the entire, final argument tree to the Senate, pointing out all unanswered arguments on all sides. Finally, the Senate would vote.
A subsequent release would remove the voting power from the Senators and give it to expert algorithms. Senators would only be advocates of policies, not decision makers. Eventually, I'd eliminate the human politicians all together.