james madison’s tyranny of the majority

Mario Cuomo entered the “activist judges” fray yesterday with an impassioned defense of the filibuster. Here’s a clip:

Now, the Republicans in the Senate, instead of dealing with his litany of failures, are threatening to claim ownership of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, hoping to achieve political results on subjects like abortion, stem cells, the environment and civil rights that they can not get from the proper political bodies: the Congress and the presidency.

How will they do this? By destroying the so-called filibuster, a vital part of the 200-year-old system of checks and balances in the Senate that allows the fullest possible debate before one of the president’s choices for the Supreme Court or other federal courts is allowed to take his or her place on the bench. That would be a change so undesirably destructive that it has been called the nuclear option.

The Republicans say it would assure dominance by the majority in the Senate. That sounds democratic until you remember that the Bill of Rights was adopted, as James Madison pointed out, in order to protect all Americans from what he called, the tyranny of the majority. And it sounds nearly absurd when you learn that the minority Democrats in the Senate actually represent more Americans than the majority Republicans do.

As could probably have been expected, it didn’t take long for the Republican attack machine to tear into Cuomo, but then, almost immediately, their arguments were soundly trounced by Armando over at the Daily Kos and others, leaving them looking about as pathetic as Republican Senator George “I’m working with my own numbers” Allen on “Meet the Press” yesterday. (Follow that last link, watch the video and be amazed.)

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  1. chris
    Posted May 3, 2005 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN!! They are now looking to falsify data. Reverse fucking gravity. Orwell is almost child’s play compared to this. I look out the window and planes are falling out of the sky and winged pigs are crashing into each other.

    Watching the “All the President’s Men” this weekend was absolutely laughable. Seemingly so innocent compared to what they are now doing in the outright open. Again, I feel the only way their masks will be ripped off is when one of them pulls a “Dead Zone”.

    I really feel powerless. Well this and the fact that I bought the exercise program “The Firm” off the TV and they sent me the “free promotional” bottle of vitamins along with three other bottles and a bill for 100 simollians. I called them in a rage and they say they have me “on tape” agreeing to their purchase…speakiing of tape.

  2. mark
    Posted May 3, 2005 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I refuse to think that all is lost. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m holding out hope that a great leader might emerge who will have the courage to put us on the right course… America needs someone to throw a glass full of cold water in its face.

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