Minority Rules

Minority Rules LiberalOasis

Perhaps the most stunning part of the intel reform debacle is that the Speaker of the House admitted he had the votes to pass it.

Just not enough GOP votes to avoid making the Dems look good.

From the NY Times:

[Speaker Dennis] Hastert did not want to split his caucus and did not want the bill to pass with less than "a majority of the majority," said his spokesman, John Feehery.

"What good is it to pass something," Mr. Feehery said, "where most of our members don't like it?"

Well, there is a little thing called "the public good."

But that requires putting governing ahead of politics.

And that's not how the GOP got to where it is, so why start now?

Of course, saying the bill doesn't have support of the "majority of the majority" is a fancy, self-serving way to say a loud minority is opposed.

And that when a loud minority is opposed, it's important to wait -- as Senate Majority Leader Frist said -- until we "get it right".

Hmm. Does Frist apply the same logic to, say, judicial nominations?

Not exactly. As he said on CBS' Face The Nation this Sunday:

...let's take a nominee from the president, who has majority support in the Senate, and let's deny senators the opportunity to vote. It's wrong.

Any attempt to claim simple majority rule is a consistent principle of the GOP is now shot to hell.

So when the GOP tries to use it later, it should be quickly shoved down their throat.

We all know the Framers wanted the minority to have rights, to prevent a tyranny of the majority.

The question for the public to judge, both with today's intelligence reform and tomorrow's judges, is not if the minority has a right to object. Of course they do.

Instead the question is, what is the quality of the minority's objections?

Is the Pentagon's loss of turf, and lack of unrelated provisions on undocumented immigrant workers enough to warrant delay on the intelligence reform the 9/11 Commission says is "essential"?


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And should the Senate roll over for activist right-wing judges who want to turn the clock back on equal rights, labor protections and environmental protections?

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