Now the Stakes are Higher and More Extreme

Darth Vader:  I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it further

The Empire Strikes Back 1980

Former slave: (selling his captors to slave traders) Do unto others before they do unto you, that is survival and economics!

Groo:  (drawing swords) Groo will do unto you!

Groo the Wander #5 slavers Epic Comics July 1985

Davros: Never forget, Doctor, you did this! I name you forever: You are the Destroyer of Worlds!

Dr. Who Journey’s End 2008

One aspect of this Senate rule change is how it makes everything more extreme.

One of the reasons why a this republic works is the respect for the rights of the minority. The Senate is the perfect example of this.

Thanks to the (old) rules of the senate a party even if they had no power elsewhere, with 41 votes in the Senate could still have an influence on government. This restraint was critical

1. It meant that a party had to hold a large super majority 60 votes to push through people unchecked. That assures that a nation would be strongly united behind such decisions before taking them.

2. It meant there was a brake on the extreme of a party could not push through a radical, even with a majority, because if they went too far the minority could stop it

3. It decreased the incentive for fraud, as long as there was a minority able to check them there is less on an incentive to take large risks or skirt illegality to gain a majority

And there is one other point that is very important to consider in a country as well armed as ours.

One of the reasons why we have had, with one exception, a history of peaceful transfers of power is that even an armed minority no matter how upset,  could always count on their rights as a minority to be respected due to our shared culture of such respect.

Today the “United” States is a country with two different cultures growing ever apart and at the same time (or because of it)  we are dealing with polarization and distrust at levels we haven’t seen in dozens of decades.

What does such move, in violation of promises made,  say to a people who already distrust the word of those in power and no longer share the same cultural values?

The left will no doubt argue, this change is limited, it doesn’t involve the supreme court, it doesn’t involve legislation.  That argument is meaningless.

Ask yourself, if there was a supreme court opening pending, if there house was held by the left rather than the right, do you REALLY think Harry Reid, who promised not 6 months ago that he would not do what he just did, would have excluded such people from the rules?  And given that Sen Reid had promised not to make this change what is the basis to assume that this will not happen again if circumstances change?  Who is foolish enough to believe this is where this is going to stop?

This change is going to have horrible consequences, it will give strength to the party extremes, it will make the stakes even higher for those seeking to use government to obtain power or wealth and it will inflame the passions of those who feel their rights are being violated, not something you wish to do in a land as well armed as ours.

Unless the senate reverses itself and I mean fast, within a few weeks, this will lead us further down a path that will be so destructive to this country that future historians will marvel that the leaders would have been so foolish as to take such a step.

Update: Reason (via Glenn) nails it

Update 2: That didn’t take long:

Thursday, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) called for more reforms.

“This has been escalating for a long period of time and it was time to stop it and that’s what we did this morning,” Harkin said. “Now we need to take it a step farther and change the filibuster rules on legislation.”