Rules Are Rules

I have seen a cou­ple of ref­er­ences to the idea of chang­ing the Sen­ate fil­i­buster rules. I am com­plete­ly opposed to this.

In the first place, the Democ­rats were able to pass health care reform with­in the exist­ing rules. The blame for the dif­fi­cul­ty involved lies far more on the Democ­ra­t’s own shoul­ders than it does on those of the Repub­li­cans. True, the Repub­li­cans did every­thing they could think of to stall and obstruct, but the Democ­rats had the votes any time they decid­ed to get their act together.

In the sec­ond place, chang­ing the rules is short­sight­ed. Even­tu­al­ly, the Repub­li­cans will again have majori­ties in con­gress. I do not think it like­ly that when that time comes the GOP will begin by rein­stat­ing the filibuster.

Final­ly, there is Mass­a­chu­setts. The Democ­rats changed the rules there when they were afraid a Repub­li­can gov­er­nor would be appoint­ing a replace­ment for Sen­a­tor Ker­ry. This was com­plete­ly unnec­es­sary since Ker­ry went on to lose the pres­i­den­cy and keep the sen­ate seat. And it bit the Democ­rats in the ass when Ted Kennedy was dying and they had to hur­ried­ly change the rules back so the Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nor could appoint a replace­ment. I won­der how much this play­ing with the rules influ­enced the elec­tion of Brown.

There are times in life when rules need to be ignored. There are times when rules sim­ply do not work any­more and need to be changed.

But this is not one of those times.