Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Byrd and Godwin's Law
Of course there are a few historical inaccuracies in Byrd's analogy (really Historian Allan Bullock's errors that Byrd was doomed to repeat).
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.
And that is what the nuclear option seeks to do to Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate.
Perhaps we shouldn't judge Byrd too harshly. After all his long career passed its high water mark some time back when he was the Senate Majority and Minority Leader - and he needed something to reinvigorate his storyline. Perhaps, like the Pope, Byrd was merely jumping the shark. However, cancellation of the Byrd show seems more likely now that the ADL is after him.
QandO documents some hypocrisy from Byrd on the fillibuster issue. Not that this impacts the issues of Godwin's Law issue or whether or not Byrd has jumped the shark, but it does add information to the story.