Friday, August 07, 2009

Missing the Point

I think that Ezra is missing the point.

The likelier outcome, I think, is that Congress will dismantle the filibuster when it realizes that the filibuster is making it less relevant. If you look back at the financial crisis, the lead response came from the Federal Reserve, because everyone understood that Congress couldn’t move quickly enough. If you look at global warming, there’s considerable pessimism that the Senate will be able to pass cap-and-trade, and many expect the Environmental Protection Agency to simply embark on its own campaign to regulate carbon emissions. If you look at health care, ideas like the Federal Health Board or the Independent Medicare Advisory Committee are an explicit effort to entrust the continual process of health-care reform to a more agile body than the Congress.

The Senate loves the filibuster because it absolves them from actually doing anything.  When nothing gets done they are allowed to demonize the ‘evil opposition’ with the understanding that they have delegated the actual responsibility for policy making to the administration anyway.

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