Minority rules 

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0Even in what has been a spectacularly dishonest debate over health-care reform, attacks on Sen. Blanche Lincoln by the opponents of reform are notable for their hypocrisy. Anti-reformers fill the air and the letters-to-the-editor page with accusations that Lincoln betrays the principle of majority rule by not publicly adopting what they insist is the people's will. “The vast majority of her constituents are opposed to this not so skillfully disguised takeover of one-sixth of this country's economy,” a typical fulminator fulminates.$0 $0The same people condemn Lincoln for supporting majority rule in the Senate — that is, for being the decisive 60th vote to end a Republican filibuster. Strange as it seems — which is very strange — 60 votes were required, an extraordinary majority, just so the Senate could take up the bill. The bill itself reasonably requires only a simple majority of 51 votes for passage. This is pretty much the American way — the side with more votes wins — but offensive to the Far Right, which talks a better game of Americanism than it plays.$0 $0A right-wing editorialist was in dudgeon as high as an elephant's eye over Lincoln's vote to let the Senate consider the greatest social-welfare legislation since Medicare: “The U.S. Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body, but there will always be those senators who don't want it to be too deliberative, and are willing to cut off debate — a sure sign they don't have the overwhelming support of the American people for their measure.” “Overwhelming support,” indeed. If “overwhelming support” was required to pass every bill, in any legislative body, few would pass. Most all of the worthy ones would fail. “Overwhelming support” is limited to things like invading countries that the president is mad at.$0 $0The requirement of 60 votes to advance any major legislation in the Senate is new, a dramatic procedural change that's been largely ignored — if not approved — by the corporate media. It began only after Republicans lost control of the Senate in the 2006 elections and started filibustering everything. Before then, the filibuster was more the exception than the rule, although any effort toward racial equality brought one on. Now, there's a standing filibuster against progressive legislation. It's an embarrassment to a country that professes to believe in democracy.$0 $0 $0 $0$0 $0 $0$0 $0 $0 $0

From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation