Why the Filibuster is Appropriate, Against Hagel - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Why the Filibuster is Appropriate, Against Hagel

Here is the second piece I promised (in an earlier post) about the battle against Chuck Hagel.

It’s a 1,000 word piece with several moving parts, but here’s the nut of the thesis:

[Senators] should consider a filibuster in its historical context, which originally was, honestly, to extend debate in order to have more time to persuade the public and other senators of one’s case. In extreme circumstances, of course, the ceaseless delay became, in effect, an outright blockage of legislation or nominees – but the legislative death-by-filibuster approach, rather than the “serve the cause of honest debate” approach, was rare enough that its use signaled a matter of particularly high importance, rather than a run-of-the-mill issue or action.

It would thus be more appropriate, not less, to use death-by-filibuster on the nomination of a Defense Secretary than on the nomination of, say, a U.S. Attorney. And it certainly would be appropriate to put a series of delays on such a nomination if it were reasonably thought that more relevant information was or should be forthcoming, or if it were reasonably thought that public opinion could be significantly altered – and especially if a sincere attempt were made in the meantime, via public debate on the Senate floor, to change fellow senators’ minds.

Finally of note, there are reasons within the internal logic of the Constitution (if not its outright letter) that make a filibuster of a Cabinet nominee more appropriate than a lengthy filibuster of a judicial nominee – and that make a filibuster specifically of the nominee for the Pentagon the single most appropriate of all potential blocking actions against officials requiring presidential appointment with the “advice and consent” of the Senate……

There’s also a whole lot of links to stories providing a boatload of different reasons why Hagel is so objectionable. 

There is no good reason to rush this nomination through.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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