Saturday, February 27, 2010

(Retro) Quote of the Day: Judd Gregg on reconciliation

Here's the New Hampshire senator, a Republican, in 2005 (when Republicans had a majority in the Senate):

We are using the rules of the Senate here. That's what they are, Senator. Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate set up under the Budget Act. It has been used before for purposes exactly like this, on numerous occasions. The fact is, that all this rule of the Senate does is allow a majority of the Senate to take a position and pass a piece of legislation... Now, is there something wrong with majority rules? I don't think so.

If you've got 51 votes for your position, you win.

Pretty simple, huh? Pretty democratic.

Ezra Klein notes that, at the time, Democrats were against reconciliation, "a terrible abuse of power." And so, yes, the hypocrisy cuts both ways. But Republicans, who are now against it, went ahead with it, as Democrats should now.

What has been appalling, though, has been the Republican-friendly Beltway media coverage and "analysis," heavy on GOP talking points, portraying reconciliation as some sort of indefensibly anti-democratic and even anti-American partisan trick. It isn't, and, far from subverting democracy, it actually allows the majority party to cut through a Senate rule that paralyzes the legislative process and, with it, democracy itself -- namely, the filibuster.

Hey, if it's good enough for Judd Gregg...

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