Saturday, May 21, 2005

Republicans vs. The Constitution: Not with a whimper but a bang 

Since Frist has pushed the button on the nuclear option, the chain reaction has started; and nobody knows whether the last shreds of Republican legitimacy will disappear or not.

The logic is simple. There are three rules:

1. To change Senate rules requires 67 votes.

2. To end a filibuter takes 60 votes.

3. Motions to change the Senate rules can be filibustered.

The state of play:

The Republicans, if they obey the rules, certainly don't have 67 votes to change the Senate rules.

The Republicans, if they obey the rules, may not even have the 60 votes to end a filibuter.

Checkmate? No! There's hope for the Republicans still, since they have Dick "Dick" Cheney's pasty white ass firmly planted in the presiding officer's chair:

1. The Republicans make a motion to end the filibuster with 51 votes (perhaps with Cheney himself providing the 51st). That breaks rule 2 (60 votes versus 51)

2. The Democrats will filibuster the rule change.

3. Cheney will allow the rule change. That breaks rule 1. (67 votes versus 51)

Break the rules to change the rules.

Now, with 51 votes, the Republicans can do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. They have absolute power.

And we, with our 49 votes—who represent a majority of the country— have no voice at all. We're completely disenfranchised.

Taxation without representation, anyone?

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