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Alaska Editorial: Changing the rules

Posted: November 27, 2013 - 1:03am

The following editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

The thing about changing the rules when in power is that you have to follow them when you aren’t in charge.

That’s what the Democrats accomplished when they ended filibustering — a 200-plus years rule — in the U.S. Senate in recent days.

Frustrated with President Obama’s nominations for federal positions being held up in the Senate, the Democrats eliminated filibuster rights. Then the nominees started to move forward in the process of filling positions.

The effect is that Senate Democrats will find it easier to push their party’s agenda. It won’t be necessary to win over a single Republican. It is similar to what the Democrats did when they wanted to see Obamacare passed. Remember? Just vote for it, and find out what is in it afterward?

This move by the Democrats portends no better outcome than Obamacare, which has turned out to be a disaster.

To essentially tie the hands of the minority, which the Republicans are in the Senate, is to refuse to listen to another point of view and march forward with one’s own. This is a dangerous way to do business, because no party is right all of the time. The minority tends to provide restraint when business or lack of it meanders out of control.

It also is likely the first step toward the Democrats losing control in the Senate. The voting public feels more comfortable with checks and balances; it will elect Republicans if the Democrats reach for too much power, as appears to be the case.

Then, the Democrats will be in the position of the minority, and will have to follow the rule they created, which is no filibustering on certain nominations.

It won’t seem like such a good idea then.

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