Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

Related Post Roulette

19 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    But what a reprieve!

    “Sorry, we couldn’t make sure that every child like Deamonte Driver’s life would be saved because of the Republican filibuster.”

    “Sorry, we couldn’t pass this law that would have resulted in 3.8% unemployment because of the Republican filibuster.”

    “Sorry, we couldn’t provide everyone a unicorn that poops Krugerrands and pees gasoline because of the Republican filibuster.”Report

  2. Freddie says:

    Look, it needs to be said– our system makes it so that a party that has only obstructionism on its agenda can torpedo the country in almost any circumstance. It’s a fundamentally broken set of governing principles.Report

    • Scott in reply to Freddie says:


      Brown hasn’t even won yet and you are already being a sore loser.Report

      • Chris Dierkes in reply to Scott says:

        I’ve written on this before, but I would like to see parties that win elections by a health majority be able to govern (even if I disagree with their general views). I think something like the graduated time-scale decline of the filibuster (a la Tom Harkin) makes a great deal of sense.

        I agree with Freddie that the US system assumes (basically) that both parties (at least majorities of them) will play ball in the end. But, for better or worse (depending on pov), that is not the current GOP. And the system does have a flaw that is currently being exploited by the GOP.

        I don’t agree with all of the Dems proposals–though I generally agree with them that legislation needs to happen on a number of fronts–but this gumming up the works imo is extremely corrosive.

        Now before I get accused of this, I’m not suggesting 50+1 all the time, just ram it down the opposition’s throats. But this has gotten ludicrous.Report

        • Scott in reply to Chris Dierkes says:

          “And the system does have a flaw that is currently being exploited by the GOP. ”

          The Dems have used the filibuster so please get off your high horse about flaws in the system and who is exploiting them.Report

          • Chris Dierkes in reply to Scott says:

            get real.

            Yes Democrats have used the filibuster in the past (no really???), and yes they even used it far more than I would like. Both parties have been complicit over the years in increasing its frequency until now it’s a new (non-constitutional) norm.

            Nevertheless, there is a qualitative difference in what is going on here. We’ve never had a (major) party completely reject all elements of the other party’s agenda AND simultaneously having the filibuster to the degree that is now being used.

            Hell even when Gingrich and his crew came in, they worked with Clinton.Report

            • Scott in reply to Chris Dierkes says:


              I think you and other Dems are really just jealous of the Repubs party discipline. Not to mention that it is amusing that Dems are now bringing back talk of reconciliation to pass health care.Report

              • Chris Dierkes in reply to Scott says:

                I’m not a Democrat. I voted for Obama yes, but I’m a registered independent.

                I actually think some of the best domestic policy for the US would be along the lines that Jim Manzi, Reihan Salam, Ross Douthat, and David Frum lay out (e.g. Grand New Party and Comeback). Unfortunately the Republican party as currently established is not offering those ideas. So I don’t support the GOP in its current determination to oppose everything Obama and the Dems are doing. I would be very open to voting for a GOP that had an interest in establishing the kind of policy that the above named offer.

                And no I’m not jealous of GOP party discipline. I think it’s a party that’s lost in its own ignorant echo chamber, so I would not want the Dems to become like that at all.Report

      • Koz in reply to Scott says:

        Maybe, maybe not. What we can say is that in this particular circumstance, Freddie is wrong on the merits. In fact, it’s very likely that this country is governable. If the health care bill fails, it will be clear that what you can’t do is push through a policy agenda against the will of a large majority of Americans who are actively mobilized against it.Report

        • Chris Dierkes in reply to Koz says:


          do you think the GOP would be acting any differently fundamentally if the health care bill was say supported 60/40? Really?

          for what it’s worth, health care polling is notoriously tricky.Report

  3. North says:

    I’ll believe the Brown victory when I see it and not before. The fundamentals of that race are overwhelmingly Democrat favoring so we’ll see.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to North says:

      This is a good point as well. If Benjamin Atwood Smith II’s seat goes to a Republican, that will be… well, it’ll probably herald a second 2006.

      Brown will be a one-termer, of course. But still.

      I have no idea what two 2006s in such a short period of time will mean.Report

    • Bob Cheeks in reply to North says:

      North, old palsy, I am soooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Report

      • Chris Dierkes in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

        maybe but the press is killing coakley. and at the end races tend to break towards the leader (people like to back a winner).Report

      • North in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

        Well I’m glad you’re happy Bob but I’m skeptical. The press likes a close race. Close races sell add time. Close races keep reporters employed. They’ll blow up a race any time they have even a hope of it being believable. Perhaps it is that close. We’ll see but I’m not writing the seat off until the votes are counted.Report

  4. Kyle says:

    meh, the filibuster doesn’t make America ungovernable. Americans make America ungovernable.

    Democrats did force Republicans to use reconciliation quite a bit under President Bush, but the big difference is that the D’s are more ideologically heterodox than the Republican Rump (yeah 50-state strategy!) and have less discipline so I think this is a complaint that while equally valid tends to affect Democrats more than Republicans, then again, Republicans haven’t had a completely filibuster-proof majority dominate the federal government since the days when most Democrats were ex-Confederates.

    Really, though, Brown’s election doesn’t mean much wrt healthcare. I expect media voices will say so, but the House can just accept the Senate bill without amendment and try to fix things later through amendment or reconciliation.Report

    • North in reply to Kyle says:

      Agreed Kyle. A lot of the party insiders had been hoping that they could hammer some dents out and sand some warts off in reconcilliation but if it comes down to a choice between the Senate and nothing then they’ll pass the Senate bill. Yes I know the house vote was close before but Pelosi was not whipping the votes. I am pretty confident that House leadership can armtwist up the votes to pass it if they need to. Last vote they didn’t need to so they just let it mosey along. There’ll likely be a bill, one way or another, unless this lost special election precipitates a total collapse in which case they don’t deserve to pass it.Report