Home / Democrats, Republicans, The Filibuster And The Moderate Compromise

Democrats, Republicans, The Filibuster And The Moderate Compromise

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This week we witnessed a moment of compromise between our two governmental parties. There had been loggerheads over a rule called the filibuster. Fourteen senators, seven Democrat, seven Republican, brokered a deal of compromise to get the wheels of legislature moving again. Neither of the party leaders, Bill Frist or Harry Reid, were very pleased with the outcome. As with all compromises a party has to lose something in order to forge ahead. Both left that day cursing the “moderates” that had thrust this upon them. Progress had prevailed when both were looking for a showdown.

The first judicial nominee went through without problems then, instead of moving to the next judge in line, they switched direction to the UN nomination, John Bolton. Now the entire deal has proven to be for naught. Again, the Democratic Party threatens to filibuster in previously unheard of arenas. Again, the Republican Party threatens to enact the nuclear option against this sort of filibuster. Again, those that want congress to actually do something for a change shake their head in bewilderment.

Is this two party system so inclined to fight against each other that they will obstruct all progress in order to gain an advantage on the other party? Where does government stop and party begin? Is there any way to quell this tide of party fighting? Should we?

Moderation, or centrism lends itself to the thought that groups of people can work their differences rationally without choosing sides, touting declarations and making much ado about nothing. It uses words like compromise, agreement and sympathy. Centrists are usually the ones to get things moving, to break through, to cede a point in order to gain a point. They’re the small gears of each party that grind together in order to keep the larger gears moving.

To date, we have only had one president not associated with a party, George Washington. Some would arguably call him the greatest president we have ever had. Others would call him mislead by one party or the other and not at all a good president. It was this “spirit of party” that was one of the determining factors in him leaving office. The fighting and bickering was too much for his aging mind and body to take anymore.

So is centrism really the way to go? Should we disband our two party system and work as one unit towards a better democracy? Maybe we should and maybe we shouldn’t. Sure, centrism has been a good and worthy addition to government, but has it been a route that disdains all others? Should we always seek a compromise?

Since our two parties have formed we have grown to be the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth. Our military is second to none and our industry is better than any other country as well. Our nation is the envy of the world. It may sound arrogant, pompous even, but it’s true. No nation in the world is as desired as we are. When a nation needs military help do they call the French, the Chinese or the British? No, they call the Americans. When there is a humanitarian crisis are the Syrians called? No, we get called before anyone else in the U.N. humanitarian council is even considered. We are first in and last out.

So is it centrism that makes us the most sought after nation in the world? It’s probably not. It’s probably our unwavering desire to do better, our strong belief system and just plain old stubbornness. We go in with the intention of getting the job done and don’t leave until we see it through to the finish. Our greatness comes not from our ability to compromise, but our ability to laugh in the face of adversity. It comes from standing fast on one side of an issue or the other. It comes from our two party system.

We are a strong nation because our two party system makes every issue, every bill, every judicial nominee, absolutely everything to be sent through a trial by fire. We are the best because everything must be put up against the most rigorous approval process for any government the world over. It is our infighting that makes us stronger.

I am not saying that there is no need for a middle party. There is a definite need for some compromise between parties. It is an integral part of our government and without it there are times when all progress would stop. It is the bridge between the two unwavering pillars that occasionally needs to be traversed. Alone, however, I do not believe it could succeed. Just as alone the two opposing parties could not succeed.

Remember this the next time you see someone with the polar opposite to your opinion. There is a purpose for their dissenting opinion.

Remember this when you see two sides fighting over something as simple as blue or black ink. It is through this fighting that the most durable path of freedom is discovered.

Remember this when you see a R.I.N.O. or a D.I.N.O. and remember that there is a need for those in the middle just as there is a need for those on the extremes. A centrist is not a spineless weasel selling out his party. A centrist is someone trying to keep the wheels of legislature turning ever onward.

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About Jeremy H. Bol

  • Have the Republicans really threatened the nuclear option on Bolton? There line all along is that it’s only on judicial nominees that they’ve been considering it. After all, they don’t want to expose for what it really is: jockeying for power.

  • my understanding is that a single Senator (Boxer i think, not certain) is holding up the Bolton nomination until further records are released to the Senate from the State Department..

    State doesn’t want to give the documents…hence the hold up

    i highly doubt Sen Frist is going to try and “go nukuler” on this one right now

    but we will see..


  • Not really 100% sure on the current Bolton deal. It was talked about and I don’t see any signs of things letting up personally. The DNC sees an opportunity to further delay conservative appointments so it’s going to do its darndest to prevent as many as they can. I’m not complaining about it. It’s just more politics. The Republicans would be doing the same thing if the shoe was on the other foot.

    I’d actually like to see this come to the nuclear option so we can have a firm “up or down” vote on whether or not the filibuster will stand or not for nominees passing through congress. It would set a permanent precedent on the matter instead of delaying the inevitable.

  • Brian

    Bolton is a liar, a bully and a coward. He does not deserve a shot at being our nation’s leading diplomat at the UN.

    The Republicans filibustered Clinton judicial nominees 60 times! The Frist man even was responsible for leading at least one of them. The Democrats only were going to filibuster 8 judges who were apallingly awful choices who judge based on their personal feelings and not the law as written!

    Leave it to the Republican leadership to make it sound like something has never happened before when indeed they have done it more than the Democrats ever have. At least the Democrats allow the minority the right to dissent!!

    If the 48% of Americans who didn’t vote for W (and can’t see or address “our president” in person since we aren’t members of his party) 49% of the Senators don’t count anymore, let’s call them all home and save ourselves some tax money! However, I don’t trust a one party system. Isn’t that what the cold war was all about?

    60 Senators must vote to change Senate rules. If 51 vote to change a rule, is the rule really changed?

  • Brian,
    Why do you wish to start a fight? I’m not trying to tout Bolton as a good or bad candidate. I’m trying to explain an entirely different concept than your deeply rooted left mind is focused on.

    I really don’t know where you’re getting your numbers, but the rules in congress as I know them don’t quite jibe with what you’re handing out. 60 filibusters?..or 60 no votes?…wait, I get it. You’re listening to Media Matters or Daily KOS. Okay, let me explain.

    The 60 or so judicial nominees were not filibustered by the republicans. It’s sort of hard to have a filibuster when you are the controlling party. No, those nominees were not filibustered. They were blocked. Some claim that it’s equivocally the same thing, but it’s NOT the same thing. It’s similar to tabling a bill. You’re familiar with how that works, right?…nevermind, sorry if it sounded condescending. I didn’t mean it that way.

    Anyway, here’s a source and a direct quote by the DNC:

    Moreover, some 60 Clinton nominees never had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee – as effective a block to confirmation as a filibuster, they add.


    From there it’s a simple he said/she said. It depends on whether you want to believe the deomcratic or republican side of the equivocation.

    Maybe you should project your anger somewhere else Brian. I’m all for a good discussion but would prefer not to sink to the level of the common politician.

    Bully, coward and liar…really…you’re sounding a awful lot like a certain congressman I’ve been hearing as of late.

  • Sorry, typo:
    deomcratic = democratic

  • Good response, Jeremy, but probably a wasted effort. You’re appealing to reason in an audience which is motivated entirely by faith and fanaticism.


  • One must try if there is to be any opportunity to succeed.

    Thanks for the compliment Dave.