While the GOP sure looked bad on Nov 4th, there is still hope that the Grand Old Party will not be completely dead in 2009. With the run off election victory of Saxby Chambliss over Jim Martin in Georgia and the possible victory of Norm Coleman defeating Al Franken in Minnesota, this will mean that the Republicans will have 42 Senators and will be able to use the filibuster if necessary.
For those of you who are not sure what the filibuster is let me give you a brief synopsis: In the House of Representatives there are rules of debate, how long the person can speak and how many speakers on an issue. These rules are agreed to before hand with the majority party getting the greater say in how those rules will be structured.
After the debate is done, the bill has a vote and that is it. In the Senate it does not work that way, there can be unlimited amount of debate. One person can talk for hours and hours once he or she has been recognized and can defer to any college he or she wants.
The only way that the debate on an issue can come to an end is if 60 Senators vote to end the debate and go straight to a vote. During a filibuster, the side that does not have enough votes to get their way just keeps talking and talking. In fact, you do not even have to be talking about the issue being voted on.
One time a Senator just stood up there and read names from a phone book. It is a delay tactic that keeps a bill from becoming a law.
Now, the filibuster itself is not a solution and right now we need solutions. What the filibuster will do is ensure that Republican ideas will be allowed at the table and provide a check to some more Liberal movements in the Democratic Party. Of course, the filibuster also gives the Democrats a built in excuse as to why they could not do all that they promised their constituents that they would do if elected.
We should know, we used that same excuse for years when the Republicans controlled the Presidency, House and Senate. Even with all that GOP control, somehow those crafty Democrats were out there thwarting our grand plans.
In fact, during those years Republicans even tried to get rid of the filibuster, something I was adamantly against, I am sure they are glad that their plan was foiled by those crafty Dems now.
Of course, had the Democrats really been crafty they would have foreseen a huge victory in 2008, they would have then let the Republicans win the battle of eliminating the filibuster, only to lose the war.
When the only thing that you have is the possibility of delaying laws that you do not like there is not much life, however, as we have seen with the Phoenix and its ashes, that is all we need. The forces of creative destruction will turn the Republican Party into a better party.
We can rebuild it, we have the technology, we can make it stronger, faster, just like the “Six Million Dollar Man”, only in today’s politics we will need to upgrade that to six hundred million dollars.