Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just A Thought

I had written most of this on Facebook and then thought, "nope." I'll just write I here where nobody will read it anyway.

Deep thought regarding the filibuster modification in the house.  My brother-in-law, Tommy Brown, is home for the holidays from Nicaragua.  We have talked a bit about Daniel Ortega's Sandinista power grab down there.  But the short version is that, for most folks there, they prefer the services the Sandinistas provide to a relatively theoretical notion of freedom.  In reality, the constitutional changes are merely making official what has been de facto for some time.  And the remaining Contras who would like to fight are clinging to a hope that is no longer there: the Cold War is over, Reagan is long dead, and nobody is coming to their aid.

Big disclaimer: I am not saying that Harry Reid is a communist dictator.  But isn't the parallel there?  A very few teachers of government and civics, a few political junkies, and some talk radio listeners really care about the role of the filibuster in our checks and balances.  But times have changed (really beginning with the 17th amendment, but that's even more geekery). There are no Scoop Jackson Democrats nor Rockefeller Republicans, and most voters on both sides are just fine with that.

The country has grown more and more small-d democratic, for better or worse.  I think worse.  Our founding fathers would probably agree. But they made a system that could be changed.  Dr. Franklin was asked in 1787 what sort of government we had.  The answer was, "a republic, if you can keep it."  Perhaps we don't want to,