Saturday, January 17, 2004

Eliminate the Filibuster in 2005

I've been looking through my pocketsized US Constitution and I can't find the part where is says you need three-fifths of the US Senate (or 60 votes) to break a filibuster. But, that's because the constitution requires super-majority votes in four situations only.
(1) Constitutional Amendment
(2) Treaties
(3) Override a Presidential Veto
(4) Removing an Impeached President
In all other cases, it is assumed that a majority vote is sufficient. And the Constitution allows the Senate (and the House) to write their own governing rules. But, in 1959 the US Senate passed a rule requiring future Senate rules to pass with a two-thirds vote. It's time for the "rule by the minority" fun and games to end. After the 2004 elections, where the Republicans could gain several US Senate seats, the Republicans should simply ignore the filibuster. When Democrat US Senators object, have the Parliamentarian overrule them, citing the US Constitution. Some people think the filibuster is necessary in order to prevent "tyranny of the majority." But, there's only one thing worse than tyranny of the majority and that's tyranny of the minority. Besides, the existence of three political chambers with legislative power (US House, US Senate and the White House can veto legislation) provides all of the checks and balances we need. It's bad enough that federal judges declare laws unconstitutional without bothering to cite the US Constitution itself. Now 41 Democrat US Senators are making it impossible for these judges to be replaced by better judges. It can only happen if the GOP fails to get 51 Senators to eliminate the Senate filibuster rule.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Wesley Clark Said Saddam Had WMD, Supported the War

Wesley Clark testified to the US House Armed Services Committee in favor of removing Saddam. In April 2003, after the toppling of Saddam's regime, Clark praised the war against Saddam.

Who Are the Pragmatists in the War on Terror?

The Micropolitics of the Democrat Party

A Conflict of Visions

Years ago, Thomas Sowell wrote a book titled "A Conflict of Visions." It's a difficult read, but perhaps one that is necessary in order to understand why there seems to be two heavily fortified lines of division regarding this issues of war, poverty, discrimination and criminal justice. Sowell defines a vision as the thing we see before we analyze, an map with little detail that we use to navigate through terrain we have never seen before. On one side of the conflict of visions is the "constrained vision," a vision that sees the moral, intellectual and physical limitations of human beings as essential facts to consider when developing public policy. On the other side of the conflict of visions is the "unconstrained vision," a vision that sees these human limitations as being temporary and a relatively insignificant factor in the development of public policy. While the unconstrained vision sees solutions to problems, the constrained vision sees only tradeoffs. The left's inability to understand the need to make decisions in the absence of ideal solutions is the reason why their opinions regarding important policy issues are so consistently misguided.

An End to Evil

"An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror," by David Frum and Richard Perle is a great read. Frum and Perle ask that policy makers see the world the way it actually is rather than how they think it should be. Thus, they believe that those who would have the United States rely on the United Nations to guarantee its security are ideological, while they are pragmatists. Many Middle Eastern dictators will have a difficult time sleeping after reading this book. It calls for either regime change or a credible threat of same for numerous countries. And perhaps more importantly, the views of President Bush and many of his advisors are very much in line with those of Frum and Perle.