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January 25th, 2010

A person I do not like

I do not like Bernie Sanders. Not enough to want to see him replaced with Generic De Facto Democrat (or a Republican), however. He is not ineffectual, like Kucinich; he is not short of caring, like Kucinich; but he does seem to specialize in red herrings, well-tainting, half-truth, and so on. He is in my register as a demagogue. (I might say ‘populist’, except that term has been rehabilitated for some reason.)

I just listened to a Sanders tirade against Ben Bernanke, and I’m not sure if a single thing he said – I mean shouted like a maniac – was relevant. I don’t mind opposing an appointment, but please try not to sound like a tinpot dictator.

Some background on the filibuster

See http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/filibuster-20-how-41-senators-control-the-country-without-actually-filibustering.php

This idea of making the filibusterers actually do it the old way is a very bad one, in my opinion, and usually seems to have these three inexplicit goals, among others: (1) make the filibusterers experience physical discomfort, (2) make the filibusterers open to mockery, (3) spread magic fairy dust over the United States, so that a miracle occurs and everything is wonderful from then on.

Even to discuss (1) would be degrading. As for (2), the predominant mockery actually would go the other way – and with good cause. Goal (3) is more of the same from these people.

Requiring 60 for cloture seems to me a good idea, given that the Senate is loaded up with people like Pat Leahy, Kent Conrad, Olympia Snowe, etc., whose power is astoundingly great, considering the tiny populations they represent. Wasting time for the sake of mockery, on the other hand, is far better done by watching a Marx brothers movie.

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