Letter: The real Senate lawlessness
What can one count on? The traditional list is death and taxes. One should probably include Grant Bosse’s getting something very wrong.
His July 21 column (“Shaheen willing to ignore rules she doesn’t like,” Sunday Monitor Viewpoints) rambles for 847 words on his version of the distinction between government of laws and government of men.
When one undertakes a historical analysis, the basic facts must be factual. Bosse’s historical method is best described in his own words: “That conversation (between Washington and Jefferson) wasn’t documented until 1850, and probably never happened, but I’d really like to believe it did.”
In other words, history is what he wishes it to be.
Ditto his failed attempt to misrepresent the number of bills and nominations held up by the Republican Senate minority. Were they filibustered? No, by Bosse’s reckoning the problem was cloture votes. Why were there so many cloture votes? Filibusters, of course, except now the system is so broken that minority senators no longer have to stand and read the telephone book. One has only to declare his intention to not do so in order to force the cloture vote. Thus can a lone senator prevent any bill or nomination from being voted upon without a 60 vote super-majority cloture vote. Once again, Bosse uses facts that he wishes were so instead of the generally accepted ones.
Finally, Bosse connects the two non-facts to conclude that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is acting lawlessly by supporting a bipartisan agreement to require simple majority votes for seven specific executive branch nominees.
The U.S. Senate has become a lawless body but, predictably, not in the way Bosse claims.
The Republican minority has, declared as dogma by its leader, chosen to ignore its constitutional responsibility to govern. Single-minded opposition to President Obama’s every initiative is the real lawlessness, and that’s the fact.