Thursday, May 26, 2005

Crimes, Follies and Misfortunes

"History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind." - Edward Gibbon

Here's the story. In the 1930s through the 1950s, the Democratic Party was split between several wings (much like today). One wing, in the South, was politically conservative particularly on racial matters. Another wing, in the Northeast and Great Lakes states was politically liberal. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Northeastern Liberals, with the able help of Lyndon Johnson, passed several bills designed to protect the Civil Rights of African Americans. Such bills alienated the Southern Democrats.

The Republican Party in the same party was also split. They had some progressive / populist liberal members, and some old style conservative members. They had little influence in the South, which had been solidly Democratic since the civil war. They supported the Civil Rights legislation, and it couldn't have passed without their support. So a bright day for the Republican Party. Conservative Southerners, however, fled from the Democratic Party (as Lyndon Johnson predicted they would) en masse. This shift much more closely identified the Republican Party with Conservative principles, and in particular the Racial Obsessions of Southern Conservative Whites (Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond spring to mind). In all fairness, of course, 2000 is not 1970, and they have made a lot of progress in stifling racist statements and programs.

This little history lesson is brought to you, courtesy of Mr. Jay Bryant who seemed unclear about this history. Instead he taught this version of history. Democrats were racist and Conservatives were not. While in broad strokes that is true of the 1930s, certainly it is at least a little misleading.

Anyway the rest of Bryant's article is on why the Republicans should be happy to see the filibuster go. Mr. Bryant paints a picture of a completely Democratically aligned media back to the 1930s, which seems a bit extreme. At any rate that's why the Republicans can't use filibuster.
The filibuster is a useless tool for the Republicans, because they haven't the nerve to use it, and never have. The reason behind this timidity is, of course, media bias. A Republican filibuster would be the object of such intense media pressure that it could not possibly succeed. A Democratic "nuclear option" would never be called that, and never regarded as a radical trashing of tradition. It would be, instead, a noble reform.
Who coined the term Nuclear Option? Trent Lott! Not the "liberal" media. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Get it? Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. Trent Lott. OK? Do I need to repeat it any more? Trent Lott.

Anyway I'm calmed down now. Long story short, Jay Bryant is still apparently hoping they trigger the nuclear option.

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