Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"Reservoir of Common Sense"

Yesterday on the Senate floor, North Dakota's Byron Dorgan made what I think is one of the most reasonable and worth-reading statements I've heard come out of the Senate in a long time. I include segments here.

"... The reason a 60-vote requirement - that is, a filibuster - is useful to the workings of democracy is because it requires compromise. It requires Members to reach a threshold of 60 votes in the Senate, which requires you to reach across the aisle and talk to people of the other party. That is a good thing, not a bad thing. Compromise is a good thing. Bipartisanship is a good thing, not a bad thing. We have people now who look at it as something that is awful. We want to take a partisan group that has 51 votes and is muscle-bound - it is politics on steroids - and ram it through the Congress and violate the rules in order to change the rules. It is not what this country should expect from the Congress.

Here is today's paper: 'Filibuster Rule Change Opposed.' It is interesting that there is a broad center of common sense. There always has been. Over two centuries, this country's political system moves one direction and then the other direction. But there is a strong magnetic pull back to the center. That magnetic pull comes from a reservoir of common sense all across this country of people who basically know what is the right thing. They know from their school days, from their civic organizations, they know from their everyday lives you do not violate the rules to change rules. We have certain rules. You do not violate rules to change rules. People know that inherently, and they also know the consequences of one-party rule that says it is our way and that is the only way and we refuse to compromise on anything.

For that reason, it is quite clear that two-thirds of the American people have that reservoir of common sense and are expressing it. I hope the majority party will listen. I especially hope Mr. Rove and the White House, who says there will be no compromise, will understand that compromise is what makes this Senate work." [emphases added]

Well said, Senator.


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