As the start of the 113th Congress barrels toward us, Democrats are considering some modest changes to Senate rules, which as Dennis explained, would require filibustering Senators to actually hold the floor and talk, depriving Americans of their last reliable source of classical music — the C-SPAN nothing-is-happening soundtrack.
Like most of his GOP colleagues, the 2012 version of outgoing Senator Jon Kyl has been critical of these proposed changes…
"To suggest a nuclear option by which a mere majority of the body can amend the rules, is itself a violation of the rules," Kyl said. "It's an assertion of power, but as the old saying goes, might does not make right."
If only there was another Senator who could make the opposite argument in the strongest possible terms…
I have heard much careless talk over the past few months. Some charge that the Senate will soon "break the rules to change the rules" and "destroy the Senate as we know it." Some Senators claim that the Senate is about to abdicate all constitutional responsibility and is becoming a "rubber stamp." Others raise the specter of "lawlessness" and "banana republics." Worst of all, other Senators speak figuratively of detonating nuclear bombs and shutting down the Senate's business….Not only are the claims blatantly false, but they add to the already unacceptable level of incivility in political affairs…
Fortunately, the Senate is not powerless to prevent a minority from running roughshod over its traditions. It has the power — and the obligation — to govern itself. As I will demonstrate today, that power to govern itself easily extends to that device that has come to be known as the "constitutional option."
Oh, that's also Jon Kyl? Thank goodness we only have Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to deal with. If 2012 Jon Kyl was forced to negotiate with the 2005 Jon Kyl who delivered the latter speech, we'd really have gridlock.
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Tags: Filibuster, Jon Kyl, Senate