There are pretty solid reasons why we have the filibuster rule 

There are pretty solid reasons why we have the filibuster rule

It’s a bummer, this filibuster thing in the Senate. So say any number of leftists, including columnist Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the ludicrous commentators on MSNBC and a few people we maybe ought to take more seriously.

Krugman, to be fair, makes some valid points about individual senators abusing certain traditional Senate rules, but the chief reason for the moment’s angst is that the filibuster rule has been used to stop that treasure of treasures in the liberal heart: a Democratic health bill that if finally enacted just might eviscerate the nation’s future.

Where is it written that governing may only be defined by doing big things, especially if they may simultaneously be stupid?

Competent, wise legislative governance can mean sticking primarily to what’s crucial for governmental operations. It was surely one of the greatest single insights of the Founders that the best government is limited government because the more government you get, the less liberty you will almost invariably have.

Overweening government can be fiercely damaging in a whole host of ways, and overlooks the fact that citizens can time and again solve their own problems voluntarily without the coercive intervention of officials who may not have the slightest idea what they are doing.

Another point is that majorities can be tyrannical — a majority in the population as well as a majority in a legislative body. You can easily enough have legislators ready to mandate health insurance purchases they have no constitutional right to mandate, or forcing businesses into steps that will cut down profits and the ability to hire more people, for instance.

It’s because majorities may go awry that we have constitutional checks and balances, that we have a Bill of Rights and that we have a number of Senate rules, most importantly the filibuster.

Caution is rarely a bad thing. What we had from the beginning with this health legislation was incaution justified by nothing more than cries that the current system had problems.

It does. It can be fixed with a number of relatively simple, inexpensive steps.

It’s interesting that great numbers of ordinary citizens caught on to all this even as their supposed betters in Washington, D.C., did not.

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Jay Ambrose

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