Democrats & Liberals Archives

How Did Hitler Tie His Shoes?

A few weeks ago, Senator Robert Byrd compared the Republican’s “nuclear option” - their plan to curtail the right of extended debate in the Senate - to the way the Nazi Party seized power in Germany,

Hitler's originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.

A lot of partisan hacks made a big deal about that bit of historical comparison, but reading Byrd's essay for yourself, you get the full context of why stifling debate is a bad thing - especially when you mull over how the ruling party so casually overrode Florida's judiciary system last week for a one-shot, emotionally charged issue. Byrd also reminds us that eviscerating the filibuster cuts both ways,

Perhaps more directly relevant to our discussion of the "nuclear option" are the seven days in 1937, from July 6 to 13 of that year, when the Senate blocked Franklin Roosevelt's Supreme Court-packing plan.

The DNC has a petition you can sign to manifest your disapproval in Congress. If you can't bring yourself to sign a DNC petition, just write your representatives a quick email telling them you disapprove of gutting the filibuster rules.

Posted by American Pundit at March 24, 2005 9:43 AM