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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Even if the offical is a bible-thumping Conservative?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting blueeagle
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    Even if the offical is a bible-thumping Conservative?
    Even if.

    The most interesting piece... at least for me... of the entire health care debate is the unintended consequence.

    Where government showed Joe Sixpack how the wheeling and dealing works... how demands for votes are made... how votes are bought with OUR money and how very much like prostitutes our "ruling class" have become.

    I think November is going to be a very interesting month.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    Let's go back to the reason for the argument.

    You are saying it is wrong and unjust for a Senator to withhold a vote due to a lack of pork in their state.
    Wrong, unjust, and, in the context of GOP's abuse of the filibuster to create a tyranny of the minority, unconstitutional. The framers specifically rejected a general supermajority requirement to pass legislation. They did so precisely because they forecasted the kinds of abuses the GOP is engaging in today. Unlike so many Constitutional issues, this was one Alexander Hamilton and James Madison expressly agreed upon. To require a supermajority to pass legislation creates a tyranny of the minority.

    I think there has been ample proof lately that both sides of the aisle openly and commonly resort to this type of behavior.
    No sir.

    Both sides are not "equally bad." When the Democrats were in the minority, they used the filibuster sparingly, to prevent the passage of the most obnoxious GOP legislation, and the appointment of the worst activist conservative judges.

    Now, by contrast, the GOP has transformed the filibuster into a general supermajority requirement to conduct any Senate business at all.

    It is wrong, unconstitutional, and the GOP is uniquely to blame.

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    Even if.

    The most interesting piece... at least for me... of the entire health care debate is the unintended consequence.

    Where government showed Joe Sixpack how the wheeling and dealing works... how demands for votes are made... how votes are bought with OUR money and how very much like prostitutes our "ruling class" have become.

    I think November is going to be a very interesting month.
    Those "demands for votes" were only made because of the filibuster. Had the will of the majority prevailed, Health Care Reform could have been passed 51-49, in accordance with Constitutional mandate. Lieberman, Nelson, and the rest of the Blue Dogs would have been rendered irrelevant.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    So you are saying that the fine senators from Louisiana and Nebraska were in the right when they withheld THEIR votes until pork started being forked?

    Crap, the Dems made such a nuisance out of the filibuster in the 60's - to prevent all those nasty civil rights laws from coming into play - that Byrd had to introduce the concept of tracking so that the Senate could get other things done.

    Strom Thurmond, a Dem in those days, holds the record at 24 hours and 18 minutes... if my research is correct...

    Now, a full day. They had to wait a full day to vote.

    Now why is that so very very bad?

    The other side, however, is just as worrisome. Are you saying that the minority in the chambers should NOT be able to effect the bills on the floor BECAUSE they are the minority?

    To be clear... my issue is not with the filibuster... to my mind it is much ado about nothing. If the votes are solid before the filibuster they will still be solid a day later.... my issue IS with the threat of ANY vote or action by an elected official until payment is received... directly or indirectly.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    So you are saying that the fine senators from Louisiana and Nebraska were in the right when they withheld THEIR votes until pork started being forked?
    No.

    Try again.

    This time read what I said.

    Crap, the Dems made such a nuisance out of the filibuster in the 60's - to prevent all those nasty civil rights laws from coming into play - that Byrd had to introduce the concept of tracking so that the Senate could get other things done.
    In all of the 50's and 60's combined, the filibuster was used less than the GOP used the filibuster in a single year last year. See chart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster

    Now, a full day. They had to wait a full day to vote.

    Now why is that so very very bad?

    To be clear... my issue is not with the filibuster... to my mind it is much ado about nothing. If the votes are solid before the filibuster they will still be solid a day later....
    The filibuster doesn't work that way anymore. Senators are no longer required to hold the floor in order to sustain a filibuster. The filibuster can be used to permanently block legislation, resulting in a de facto supermajority requirement in the Senate.

    The other side, however, is just as worrisome. Are you saying that the minority in the chambers should NOT be able to effect the bills on the floor BECAUSE they are the minority?
    No. The minority should be able to offer amendments, and maybe even temporarily extend debate as you suggest. The minority should not be able to turn the filibuster into a de facto 60 vote requirement to pass bills. That directly contravenes the framers' intent, it is wrong, and it is unconstitutional.

    my issue IS with the threat of ANY vote or action by an elected official until payment is received... directly or indirectly.
    I don't think there's any disagreement over whether bribery is wrong. Even Senator Shelby is not engaging in bribery.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting Baz744
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    No.

    Try again.

    This time read what I said.
    I did... where those nasty and mean Republicans weren't lying down like the good little Dems did when THEY were the minority...

    Oh, wait.


    The filibuster doesn't work that way anymore. Senators are no longer required to hold the floor in order to sustain a filibuster. The filibuster can be used to permanently block legislation, resulting in a de facto supermajority requirement in the Senate.

    You are correct... I was mistakenly referring to a set of circumstances that existed when I learned about them in school... damn, I am old.

    Okay. So a 3/5th's vote is necessary.


    No. The minority should be able to offer amendments, and maybe even temporarily extend debate as you suggest. The minority should not be able to turn the filibuster into a de facto 60 vote requirement to pass bills. That was not the framers' intent. It is wrong, and it is unconstitutional.
    The threat of a filibuster is the usual way that the amendments are actually included. The ONLY way the minority can do so.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if the majority saw value in a minority senator's idea and went "yup, we should change our bill to do that", but we all know that doesn't happen.


    I don't think there's any disagreement over whether bribery is wrong. Even Senator Shelby is not engaging in bribery.
    here, I disagree.

    When a person is demanding payment for a service, that is bribery.

    We have become so insulated to the way that government runs that we have forgotten that the very practice is corrupt.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    I never understood how Democrats can hold such a decicive majority in the House, Senate and the White House and still blame Republicans of "Tyrany"!!!

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    I did... where those nasty and mean Republicans weren't lying down like the good little Dems did when THEY were the minority...
    You said:

    So you are saying that the fine senators from Louisiana and Nebraska were in the right when they withheld THEIR votes until pork started being forked?
    So I said that nothing I said could be reasonably construed to mean that. I did not endorse anyone's withholding of votes in exchange for pork.

    I did explain that Senators like Nelson and Lieberman would not have had the bargaining power to withhold their votes but for the filibuster. I also distinguished between the historical use of the filibuster, which has always been sparing, and the GOP's modern abuse of the filibuster.

    The filibuster has always been understood as a tool to be used sparingly. It has always been understood that it could be taken away by a simple majority vote. And that fact has always helped ensure that the minority party doesn't abuse the filibuster to extract unreasonable indulgences, or to totally block the will of the majority.

    Now the Republicans are abusing the filibuster, and it is time to take it away.

    The threat of a filibuster is the usual way that the amendments are actually included. The ONLY way the minority can do so.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if the majority saw value in a minority senator's idea and went "yup, we should change our bill to do that", but we all know that doesn't happen.
    Any Senator can propose an amendment any time a bill is being considered. There is no prerequisite of a filibuster to propose an amendment.

    http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXV

    If the majority rejects good amendments proposed by the minority, it will pay a political price for doing so.

    But this is beside the point anyway. The question is whether the framers omitted supermajority requirements from the Constitution for a reason. They did. We know they did because they explained exactly why they did in the Federalist Papers.

    here, I disagree.

    When a person is demanding payment for a service, that is bribery.
    Your idiosyncratic definition notwithstanding, Senator Shelby isn't engaging in bribery under the law.

    We have become so insulated to the way that government runs that we have forgotten that the very practice is corrupt.
    You're right. Republicans are corrupting the process. They're acting in an unconstitutional manner to confound the will of the majority using a procedural rule designed and intended for infrequent use. A procedural rule they threatened to abolish 5 years ago because the Democrats filibustered 7 out of 325 of Bush's judicial nominees.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    If the majority rejects good amendments proposed by the minority, it will pay a political price for doing so.
    When viewed through the lens of both the stimulus packages and the health care debate, I believe it is safe to assume that the majority really doesn't believe there is any political price for ignoring the minority.

    Which, of course, brings even more credibility to any process which gives the minority a voice.

    I can't even fathom you actually believe this statement has any realistic value.

    Quote Quoting Baz744
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    You're right. Republicans are corrupting the process. They're acting in an unconstitutional manner to confound the will of the majority using a procedural rule designed and intended for infrequent use. A procedural rule they threatened to abolish 5 years ago because the Democrats filibustered 7 out of 325 of Bush's judicial nominees.
    I will just take a moment to bask in the hypocrisy of this statement.

    So, when the Dems were doing it, it was a strong and valid procedural procedure. When the Reps do the same thing, it is a corruption of the process.

    I wasn't at the Constitutional Convention. I have no idea how the founding fathers defined the term "infrequent" or how they would have reviewed this topic.

    Hmmm....

    Anyway, you still haven't explained why waiting even a week to vote means our entire Constitutional process is in the toilet.

    If the votes are there, they are there. If a delay provides introspection that changes a vote, isn't that BETTER?

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Stop the Tyranny of the Minority Now

    Quote Quoting EWYLTJ
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    I never understood how Democrats can hold such a decicive majority in the House, Senate and the White House and still blame Republicans of "Tyrany"!!!
    Maybe the Founding Fathers can explain it better than I can.

    To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser...
    [Supermajority requriements operate] to substitute the pleasure, caprice, or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent, or corrupt junto, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority...
    [Supermajority requirements make it so that] the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings.

    [Supermajority requirements create]continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good.
    Cyjeff? You reading that? I bolded it just for you. The modern filibuster has exacerbated the very problems you're talking about--exactly as Alexander Hamilton predicted.

    It is not difficult to discover, [that supermajority requirements give] greater scope to foreign corruption,
    Did you know that pork Senator Shelby is extorting will benefit primarily foreign corporations?


    [The benefits of supermajority requirements] are outweighed by the inconveniences in the opposite scale. [If supermajority requirements were imposed] the fundamental principle of free government would be reversed. It would be no longer the majority that would rule: the power would be transferred to the minority.
    Wow. The The power would be transferred to the minority. The principle of free government would be reversed. Hence:

    The Tyranny of the Minority

    [Supermajority requirements make it so] an interested minority might take advantage of it to screen themselves from equitable sacrifices to the general weal, or, in particular emergencies, to extort unreasonable indulgences.
    Like pork for foreign corporations operating in Alabama?

    Why conservatives hate our Founding Fathers is unclear. What is clear is that they do. As enemies of America, Freedom, God, Mother, and Apple Pie, maybe you can explain what you have against patriots like Hamilton and Madison.

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