Thursday, July 19, 2012

How To Repeal the 20th Century

In the news the week: Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid said publicly that he will lead the Democrats to reform the filibuster if the Democrats hold on to a simple majority in the Senate.  If you haven't been following, a filibuster is a procedural move in the Senate that any Senator can use to tie up legislation and force a 60-vote supermajority to give the Senate permission to vote on the actual legislation.  In effect, it can create a 60-vote supermajority requirement to pass bills, and over the past decade, the filibuster is being used more and more.

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell is publicly troubled about what Senator Reid said, but I suspect McConnell has been thinking the same thoughts while hoping that the Republicans take over the Senate in the November elections.

So, let's imagine for a moment that Mitt Romney defeats President Obama in November, that the Republicans retain hold of the House, and that we end up with 51 Republican Senators, a simple majority.  When you consider where the current Republican party is when it comes to the role of government, regulations, taxes, etc., would they be truly willing to use their power to repeal the 20th century?  When I am being a paranoid moderate Democrat, this is what I worry about:

Looking forward to the inauguration of Pres. Romney in late January, the Republicans take what they have learned from the work of Midwestern governors and legislatures and get to work:

Step 1:  GOP Senators eliminate the filibuster and other minority rights in the Senate.

Step 2:  The House and Senate decide to load up their wish lists and pass the Repeal the 20th Century Act. This will be one bill that does all of the following: repeals Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, welfare, the Voting Rights Acts, the Clean Air Act, the Civil Rights Acts, the Americans With Disabilities Acts, environmental protection laws, union rights, and everything else they don't like in the Federal Code.

Step 3:  The House and Senate pass the "Federal Revenue Act", eliminating the Income Tax, and instituting a payroll tax to the pay for the military and whatever else is left of the Federal government.

Step 4:  The House and Senate pass the "Abortion is Illegal Act", making abortion illegal in the United States, no matter what Roe vs. Wade says.

Step 5:  The House and Senate pass the "Emergency Manager Act", modeled after the Michigan law, allowing the President to temporarily replace governors in states with budget deficits, such as California.

Step 6:  Newly sworn-in President Romney signs all of these bills, starts a war with Iran, and then goes on vacation.

This sounds crazy, but I am certain my current congressman, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), would vote for all these without a sweat.  Then he would ask for a vote on his Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment (which is the best BBA proposal I've ever seen).


  1. I think most Republicans who would approve of 1-3 along the lines of limited government (≈ Ron Paul) would oppose 5 on the same principles, and just as vociferously. (6 too of course, and maybe even 3.)

  2. Methinks you worry too much...

    Even if they manage to remove the filibuster, in the long run it will benefit the Democrats and in the short run it will only expose the fact that the majority of Republicans are just Democrat-Lites. The liberal end of the spectrum would go into total meltdown proclaiming the end of the world as we know it, but the reality would be that the Republicans would only manage to tweak a few small things but the really big items would remain untouched. Many of the Republicans talk a big game, but when it really comes down to making the vote that counts, they don't have the desire to really act on their big talk.

    This is probably the last of the Republican hurrah's because after this election there will be enough of the "swing" states that will finish a demographic shift to the left that will basically put Democrats in permanent control. Once that happens the removal of the filibuster will be a distinct benefit for them.

    As for Justin Amash - he is one of the few politicians that actually vote according to whether or not the legislation is constitutional. That makes him appear to be a kook because most politicians don't worry about that silly ol' document.

    Oh - and let me go on record here as predicting that no major piece of legislation will ever be repealed if it means shrinking the size of government. That includes Obamacare and pretty much everything else listed in Step 2. I make that prediction because I've watched politics long enough to realize that all the talk means nothing - it's the actions that count. All the actions I've seen in the last 30 years end up in more government, not less.

  3. Re-read your first sentence, and then tell me why you are tagging Republicans with this "travesty". You make it out to be the end of the world as we know it, but it was proposed by the head Democrat of the Senate, not by Republicans.
    Is it because you fear that kind of power if not wielded by "your" party, or is it just the principle of the issue? If Obama is re-elected, does this reform suit you? It appears you have no qualms about stepping on the rights of others that don't think the way you do. Elite much?

  4. P.S. Tell me how the Republican scenario you show is different than the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed against the wishes of a majority of Americans. Seems that you are afraid that Republicans will start using the Democrat playbook regarding passing laws.