Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dashed Again

By now I know that I should never get my hopes up.  But I enjoy heady sensation of being optimistic about the fate of my country when I can, so against better knowledge I was looking forward to this day.  Once again, I've been disappointed.   This time it's because the esteemed members of the United States Senate have seen to it that the chamber will continue to be the worst legislative body in the developed world.  The specifics of the negotiated rule changes are nice but essentially irrelevant. The most important goal, establishing that a majority of 51 can set the rules on the first day of the session, was taken off the table by Reid.  To top it off the rule changes that were agreed to aren't really rule changes at all, just standing orders, which I guess are some kind of less potent Rule Lite for those times you want the power of a rule, but not the scary permanence of one.  Or something.  (I should look up what standing orders actually are, but fuck it.)

Anyway, the upshot of this is that nothing will be done during this Congress, and the Republicans will do in January of 2015 what the Democrats should have done today.  Oh, well.

On to the next hopeless cause!

Update 2011/02/06: A good insider account of the reform effort is here.  It also makes the argument that the reform effort did result in everyone agreeing that Senate rules could be changed by a simple majority.  That's somewhat different than establishing a precedent, but point taken.

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