Friday, May 20, 2005

Filibusters "particularly offensive to people of color?" No.

Given the filibuster's sordid history, used by southern Democrats in the 1960s in attempts to block civil rights legislation, one would think that traditional civil rights groups would be front and center in the move to restrict the practice. Think again.

Apparently, despite the filibuster's tarnished history, a change in the filibuster at this time would be "offensive" to civil rights advocates:
All 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus signed a letter delivered to Frist on Thursday stating their opposition to Brown and the other controversial nominees and arguing the filibuster should be retained. The tactic was not outlawed when it was used to delay key civil rights legislation for years in the 1950s and 1960s. They said banning it now when Democrats are trying "to protect African-Americans from judges who have opposed their rights and laws critical to their advancement toward equality" would be "particularly offensive to people of color."
So, it is a parliamentary procedure which has been historically used to block reforms, including reforms intended to help people of color. Therefore, limiting or restricting its use in the future would be “particularly offensive” to those same people of color?

Reminds me of the argument that we shouldn't have acted to stop Osama and Saddam after 9-11, since we'd let them run rampant before.

I guess I don’t get it.

In other news,
Amending the Constitution to explicitly prohibit wartime internment of any ethnic group “would be particularly offensive to Japanese Americans,” members of an Asian-American civil rights group wrote Majority Leader Bill Frist during the day. “Most of the Japanese Americans who today live lives of freedom are descended from an earlier generation who were interned under that same Constitution and lived to tell about it.”

Selling advanced new weapons systems to the Israeli and Taiwanese governments “would be particularly offensive to the people of Taiwan,” members of a Taiwanese delegation wrote Speaker Dennis Hastert today. “Chiang Kai-Shek was an exile from communist China, and most of the Taiwanese people alive today have been living in the shadow of an increasingly militaristic communist China for the last 50 years.”

Expanding the U.S. naval presence in and around radical Islamic and communist dictatorships around the world “would be particularly offensive to Cuban Americans,” members of a Cuban-American civil rights group wrote President Bush today. “Most of the Cuban Americans alive today are exiles from Castro’s communist dictatorship, or children of exiles, all refugees of a regime which President Kennedy’s ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation failed to stop 40 years earlier.”


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