Progressivism vs. the Filibuster

By Will, George F | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

Progressivism vs. the Filibuster


Will, George F, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


WASHINGTON

When evaluating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's ideas for making the Senate more like the House, consider the source. Reid, D- Nev., is just a legislative mechanic trying to make Congress' machinery efficiently responsive to his party's progressivism.

Progressives think the "living" Constitution gives government powers sufficient for whatever its ambitions are, enabling it to respond quickly to clamorous majorities. Hence the progressive campaign to substantially weaken senators' ability to use filibusters to delay action.

In 1917, the Senate adopted the cloture rule whereby debate could be ended by a two-thirds majority vote. In 1975, the requirement was lowered to three-fifths. With another weakening of minority rights, the Senate will resemble the House, where the majority controls the process and the disregarded minority can only hope to one day become the majority and repay disregard in kind.

The point of progressivism is to progress up from the Founders' fetish with limiting government and restraining majorities. Hence progressives' animus against the filibuster.

Since there have been 50 states, Republicans have never had 60 senators. Democrats have had that many after 11 elections. Both parties are situational ethicists -- in 2005, a GOP Senate majority threatened to forbid filibusters of judicial nominees during George W. Bush's administration. However, when filibusters impede the liberal agenda, excited editorials and solemn seminars deplore the "constitutional crisis" of a "dysfunctional Congress."

Recourse to filibusters has increased with the 70 times Reid has used a parliamentary device ("filling the tree") to limit and even deny the minority's right to offer amendments to legislation. Furthermore, 69 times Reid has bypassed committees, bringing bills written in private directly to the Senate floor without GOP participation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Progressivism vs. the Filibuster
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.