The spectacle of George W. Bush’s rubber stamps running to the nearest microphone to shout “executive overreach” (Alberto Gonzales is the latest) about the executive order mini-DREAM act is clouding the real message of what happened on Friday. If we keep having a do-nothing obstructionist Congress, then we’re going to have executive orders that keep increasing the power of the Presidency at the expense of Congress.
The reason we don’t have a DREAM act is the Senate, where a 41 vote minority stopped it, because the Senate is now the place where states like Wyoming, Utah and Kentucky use the filibuster to rule the rest of us. I’ll outsource the details of the argument against the 60-vote-majority Senate to Steven L Taylor who has a good piece on just how un-democratic it has become (and don’t miss him destroying Doug Mataconis’ dumb arguments in the comments), since they’re obvious and well-accepted.
I know the reason Democrats don’t want to reform the Senate rules are a mixed bag of fear of a Republican President, slow acceptance of the current political environment, and Robert Byrd-like veneration of outmoded tradition. But we’ll have an elected King in a few years if we don’t get rid of the filibuster and win back a House majority so we can get something done.