The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Obama Mamba - is there hope for the democratic party?

Reading the Washington Times today, I came across a suprisingly well thought out, rational response to the Alito nomination. It came from the dems' rising star, Sen. Obama.

"Sen. Barack Obama, the freshman Democrat from Illinois who is one of his party's brightest stars, chided his party yesterday for its "over-reliance" on "procedural maneuvers" such as the fruitless filibuster threats against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.

"We need to recognize--because Judge Alito will be confirmed--that if we're going to oppose a nominee, that we've got to persuade the American people that, in fact, their values are at stake," he said yesterday on ABC's "This Week." . . .

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, seemed to agree.

"I think a filibuster makes sense when you have a prospect of actually succeeding," he said on CNN's "Late Edition." . . .

Still, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden said yesterday that they will support their party's hopeless filibuster."

This guy is great. He is rational, clear headed, and above all practical. Its sad to see him being pressured into towing the party line, particularly when this involves supporting the use of a procedural tactic that only a few decades before had been creatively used by Democrats (and Republicans) to prevent the passage of civil rights laws.

Generally speaking, I believe widespread use of the fillibuster is a dangerous precedent to set. I've seen it misused by Republicans and Dems alike, and rarely is there a case where its use is truly justified. Even though it falls perfectly inline with the rules of procedure, I can't help but see it as cheating the system. I am glad that someone in the Democratic party sees this, and realizes that "crying wolf" over every nominee will only damage the credibility of the party. I do want the dems to gain power and obtain majority in congress. Our nation works best when checks and balances actually exist, and Presidential power is offset by congressional oversight. Any short term gains to come out of the empty threat to fillibuster will only lead to long term losses. The American public doesnt like gritty political tactics, particularly ones that leave a bad taste in ones mouth. Patience is a virtue, as my Mother always said. Democrats need to wait for the right moment, the right opportunity to leave their mark, and gain credibility with the American public.


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