Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Predictions I Don't Want To Believe In

But it is what I think,

1.  The Senate version of Obamacare will pass in the House.  The vast majority of undecided House Dems are either holding out for the best offer or hoping this is all just a bad dream.  But at the end of the day, they will do as they are told.  I don't know if it will be by "deem and pass" or by an up or down vote. 

2.  Obamacare will have become law without any overt changes to the filibuster rule.

3.  I think that in the short term, conservatives will try (and I believe with all sincerity) to make the most of Democratic manipulation of procedural rules and their stated willingness to manipulate those rules even further.  I think that the long term consequence will be a weakening of respect for procedural norms on the right.  Respect for rules like the filibuster are dependent on the belief that those rules will be respected by the other party when they are in power.  The majority gives up some power in the present in return for not being shut out when they are in the minority.  The willingness of Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass Obamacare is a clear signal to Republicans that respecting the filibuster in the present will not, on the most important issues (where filibusters are most important as a moderating device), preserve the filibuster when the Democrats take over again .  So when Republicans are in such a position that only the filibuster stands in the way of achieving some major goal, the Republicans will gut the filibuster. I imagine that there will be a few liberals who cheer the loss of the filibuster as an advance in small-d democracy, but I don't think they will be very many. 

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I will cheer the demise of the filibuster.

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