Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shorter Matthew Yglesias: Wah! Wah! Wah!

Wah! Those mean old Republicans aren't helping Democrats pass their agenda!

We’re suffering from an incoherent institutional set-up in the senate. You can have a system in which a defeated minority still gets a share of governing authority and participates constructively in the victorious majority’s governing agenda, shaping policy around the margins in ways more to their liking. Or you can have a system in which a defeated minority rejects the majority’s governing agenda out of hand, seeks opening for attack, and hopes that failure on the part of the majority will bring them to power. But right now we have both simultaneously. It’s a system in which the minority benefits if the government fails, and the minority has the power to ensure failure. It’s insane, and it needs to be changed.

No, the system doesn't need to be changed. The system is working fine, preventing Democrats from passing terrible legislation. Was MY so upset when Democrats were blocking Republican Social Security reforms? I doubt it. MY has been on a tear about how we need to get rid of the filibuster, primarily because it gives the minority party power to shape or kill legislation. What he neglects to complain about is the fact that Democrats don't want Republican input. They want Republicans to support their tax increases and budget-busting ideas. They think bipartisanship is getting Olympia Snowe to vote with them. MY should spend some of his ire complaining about Democrats' arrogance and intransigence.

From National Review Online:
A Senate minority leader with only forty votes to work with, confronted with a bill that most of his caucus (not to mention a growing portion of the electorate) finds profoundly misguided and beyond repair, should do all he can to prevent its passage. Republicans on the Hill have offered alternatives and made arguments for a number of different paths to health-care reform, but the Democrats have large majorities in both houses of Congress and have ignored them. The notion that a different Republican leader would have gotten massive concessions and a completely different (and quite conservative) approach to health care out of Reid, Pelosi, and Obama just bears no relation to reality, and the idea that we are where we are in the health-care debate because Republicans have been intransigent is utterly detached from the events of the past few months.