John McCain

All Hail the Great Compromise!

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I know DC is a company town, but the boosterism on the Wash Post's editorial page today is quease-inducing.

First up is the David Broder's extended brain fart regarding John McCain (aka "the Senate's real leader"). Broder starts off by averring that "the Monday night agreement to avert a showdown vote over judicial filibusters…spared the Senate from a potentially ruinous clash."

Ruinous? How exactly? By making the Dems and Reps actually declare and define something approaching core principles and ideological allegiances? Come on–a Senate showdown on this would not have only been a fascinating spectacle, it would have been a pretty damned good civics lesson. Broder may be right that McCain is a big winner here but who cares (and who takes seriously that McCain is really going to make it all the way to the White House come '08; the guy is mush-brained buttinsky who has tried and failed multiple times already)?

Then the usually insightful and super-sharp David Ignatius slobbers all over "two venerable, white-haired politicians clinging to the vanishing center: Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, 87, and Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, 78," who were at the center of "The Great Compromise."

Come on, Byrd is a total hypocrite on this matter, having threatened in 1979 to make the very rule change that the GOP leadership is pushing now. "This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past," said Byrd at the time. As for Warner as statesman, does anyone really think that his legacy will be anything other than having been married to Elizabeth Taylor?

I suspect the new agreement will dissolve faster than a cake in the rain. As it should. And then maybe we'll see something really worth paying attention to: political discourse rooted in ideas. (But probably not.)

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  1. Bingo, Nick. You’ve written some stuff I’ve scratched my head over recently, but you’re right on target with this posting.

  2. Yes, but which one looks more like a turtle: McCain or Broder? I say it’s Broder.

  3. On the one hand, McCain looks more like a turtle. Yet a strong case can be made that Broder looks more like a turtle.

    Like a true statesman, I’m going to be reasonable, and say they both look more like a turtle. People who say that is logically and grammatically incorrect are the reason my puppy died.

  4. joe–

    A *true* statesman would attach his conclusion as an amendment to an omnibus spending bill and get it passed without debate.

    Oh yeah, and the reason your puppy died is because drugs are evil.

  5. But I don’t think that I can take it
    ‘Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh, no!

  6. Wasn’t Byrd — in 1979 — trying to amend Senate rules the normal way? You know, the normal 2/3rds vote required to change Senate rules?

    As opposed to the lovely run-around of just having the VP declare a 200+ year-old rule unconstitutional on a party-line vote?

    Because if Byrd was actually working within Senate rules, there’s a pretty frickin’ hefty difference there, don’t you think?

    I mean, if I won 200 bucks off you in cards, you wouldn’t see a difference if I’d done it through luck or skill and if I’d done it through using a cold deck and sleight-of-hand?

  7. mush-brained buttinsky

    didn’t stop the last guy.

    Ruinous? How exactly? By making the Dems and Reps actually declare and define something approaching core principles and ideological allegiances?

    a Senate showdown on this would… have… been a fascinating spectacle

    And then maybe we’ll see something really worth paying attention to: political discourse rooted in ideas.

    lol — mr gillespie, are you channelling hegel?!? what you value is apparently the opposite of pragmatism! so much for “reason”, i guess. what a laugh!

  8. Is no 19th-century German philosopher safe from the ravagings of gaius?!

  9. Look like turtles, act like turtle-heads…

    We could only hope for ruinous clashes.

  10. Is no 19th-century German philosopher safe from the ravagings of gaius?!

    NONE! 🙂

  11. gaius-

    On unanimous consent: Doesn’t that whole notion mean that an individual Senator can wield a lot of power?

    And isn’t letting the will of individual Senators prevail just another case of *gasp* individualism?!?!?!?

  12. The question should be “Is John McCain a Sith lord manipulating the senate to his advantage while he pushes for greater centralized power?”.

  13. “John McCain is evil!”

    “From my point of view, steroids are evil!”

  14. “From my point of view, steroids are evil!”

    You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend on our point of view.

  15. And isn’t letting the will of individual Senators prevail just another case of *gasp* individualism?!?!?!?

    🙂

    allow me to clarify these rumors that swirl about: i am not against liberty in its measure. what i do believe wholly is that liberty must be subservient to law, tradition and institution for society to maintain its health. and i like civility.

    i rail against individualism only because it has become lawless and amoral. that’s all. 🙂

  16. what about the laws and traditions related to capitalizing? you let that slipandwemightgodowntheslipperyslope

  17. the name and the capitalization are honorary of my status as a citizen of the age of irony. 🙂

  18. i am not against liberty in its measure

    Who ever, ever says they’re against liberty? Could we possibly find any authoritarian or totalitarian who wouldn’t cheerfully paraphrase that remark?

  19. maybe it is more proper, mr eric, to say that i am for law — and opposed, therefore, to lawlessness of either type, chaos or tyranny.

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